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Councils and email

Discussion in 'off topic' started by paulfromcamden, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I emailed my local councillors about a local matter and received the following back from one of them:

    Thank you for your enquiry which has been passed for me for response.

    In common with other councils, comments and objections are required by post to ensure that all correspondence is correctly received and recorded. It is imperative that no correspondence is lost in electronic transmission which can occur with spam and content filters.

    They seem to be basically saying they don't 'do' email. Is this normal for councils?
  2. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Not in my experience. We've recently been invited to participate in a residents' consultation about some proposed changes to our local streets, and an email address was provided for the purpose.
  3. AV8

    AV8 pfm Member

    So why do they have an email address then ?

    We have local councillors, they have email, they are proactive as soon as the correspondence is received, no need for pussyfooting.
  4. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    A quick thought: this is not going to be compliant with the FOI Act either. If you email an FOI to any public authority, it's a valid FOI whether or not the authority deems it 'necessary' to send it by letter. So if they can (and indeed must) accept FOIs by email (which carry a statutory obligation for a response within 20 working days), then they must be able to accept other official correspondence by the same means.
    hifinutt likes this.
  5. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    Only when it suits them. I don’t suppose many of us like writing letters in this electronic age so they might be hoping you’ll just give up and go away.
    mansr and MikeMA like this.
  6. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    You could just reply saying 'Clearly you've received it. So deal with it.'
    narabdela and MikeMA like this.
  7. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    @Chops54 Quite. I don't know if it's simply an ill-conceived policy or deliberate obfuscation to stop residents bothering them.

    The reference to 'electronic transmission' is hilarious!
    narabdela likes this.
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    email + Council = total, gold-plated, 110% waste of time

    NW Leics.
  9. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    This is absolutely not my experience with LB Merton, or indeed Manchester council a few years ago.
  10. Chops54

    Chops54 pfm Member

    And if you keep pestering them you might get put on their offenders register:eek:
  11. timH

    timH pfm Member

    My wife works (from home)for local borough council and everything is now electronic. If something does come in by post to the office it gets scanned and emailed to her. Indeed a big part of her job is putting comments received up on the website (which she has to monitor for sensitive content - can’t mention beavers apparently :) )
  12. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Both, by the sound of it. There seems to be a strong element of "Can't be arsed" in there.
  13. AV8

    AV8 pfm Member

    timH and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  14. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    It's bollocks. They've been inspired by the new ethos of corporate customer service, which can be summed by one word: hide.
  15. Spiderous

    Spiderous pfm Member

    Without knowing the details it sounds like the council and councillors are talking crap. Under DPA 2018 they are both data controllers. If they are processing your Personal data, you have the right To request copies of it electronically (by email) and they should provide it to you electronically (by email).
    Chops54 and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  16. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    Our local council (Moray Council) has been positively encouraged email contact during the lockdown as it allows more staff to work from home.
    hifinutt likes this.
  17. Manimal

    Manimal pfm Member

    What is common across Councils is to positively encourage communication in electronic format. It's much cheaper than paper based and is available 24/7. Importantly it also enables staff to give more support to those who may not be up to speed with electronic methods of communication. I cannot imagine asking customers to write in stating it may get lost in spam filters - especially when it is sent acknowledging receipt of your enquiry. Our communications team would chase me down the corridor slapping my legs...
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  18. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    I spend hundreds of hours emailing councillors about issues , no one writes anymore , they are all working from home and letters have no effect.
  19. Radfordman

    Radfordman pfm Member

    And keep taking our money.
  20. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    Is this LB Camden by the way?

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