Stranded But Still Serving

THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Act (FOIA) has been a godsend for journalists. The free flow of information from organisations is variable but in four years of working with them, we have always found that Thurrock Council’s Department is one of the best. So it came as no surprise that even though Dept manager Clive Collins was stranded abroad he was still replying to enquiries.

A website called www.whatdotheyknow.com charts the progress of FOI requests. One such request has been this:

Dear Thurrock Borough Council,

1. Do Refuse contractors employed by Thurrock Council have a
contractual obligation to return bins to the property and not leave
them scattered on the pavement. What action is being taken to
ensure that this is done? Has the contractor been formally warned.
Has the contractor been fined ?

2. Pavement parking
Has the council ever issued a parking ticket for parking on the
pavement in such a way that it blocks pedestrian access?

Is the council taking any action against the number of vehicles
that are parked with 4 wheels on the pavement in the homesteads
area?

Yours faithfully,

Alan Maylin
221 Branksome Avenue
Stanford-le-Hope
Essex

Yesterday, Business Improvement Manager Clive Collins contacted Mr Maylin. He said: “Dear Alan. I don’t know if you have a reply or not as i’m stuck out of the country. If you have not had a reply please contact our Dept.”

There can’t be many people who are still trying to serve their taxpayers/clients while stranded abroad. Naturally, the council can;t comment or promote this as we are in a position called “purdah” during the election but sometimes deft communication skills such as this mean a lot.

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