How to contact the Councils

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Plan | 0 comments

We thought it would be useful to ask our two Councils (via Cllr Liz Morris for Haringey and Cllr Anna Wright for Camden) how they preferred to be contacted for help or information and this is how they replied:

Haringey

Camden

  • The Contact Camden number is 020 7974 4444 – you can choose options to go direct to some of the highest demand services or you can hold for the operator to speak to someone at the Council directly. Once through to the line for a specific service, callers are held in a queue but informed on how long they can expect to wait.
  • Information and contact details for different services on the website: camden.gov.uk .
  • For matters concerning waste collection and fly tipping etc, use the Clean Camden app: https://camden.lovecleanstreets.com/help
  • For matters concerning community safety, there is a dedicated email address: CommunitySafety@Camden.gov.uk.

Then we asked them some detailed questions about how they handle queries from residents or residents’ groups. Here are their responses:

Haringey

  1. Call centre technology to inform callers where they are in the queue / how long they can expect to wait.  Is this now implemented in all call centres?

We have this technology in our main call centre, which is Customer Services. Other services are implementing similar technology.

  1. What info is provided to councillors regarding the departments responsible for addressing enquiries?

We have a dedicated email address for Councillors to make enquiries and do not provide different points of contact.

  1. Is this info the same as call handlers are given?

Call Handlers use information held on the online customer services portal which is on the intranet and so available to the Councillors through the Haringey intranet.

  1. Are there performance targets regarding waiting times?  What are they?  How close are we to achieving them?

No – the performance targets are % calls answered.  We are achieving this on all council service lines.  We do focus on average and longest wait times and monitor staffing/lines/availability in real time throughout the day.

  1. If letters and emails from Residents’ Associations are routinely not answered, is this a matter of policy (too expensive to respond) or because of insufficient information on the right person to forward them to?

There is no reason why letters from Residents’ Associations are not routinely answered, but we would issue a note of caution against writing letters to us at present as in the majority of Council staff are working from home and there may be delays in dealing with physical post due to few people being in the office. We suggest that the ‘Contact us’ section of our website is used wherever possible.

  1. Satisfaction data – is this monitored?

We track satisfaction data on the Net Easy Score which uses an industry standard methodology to measure the ease with which customers can get the information and help they need when contacting Haringey Council. The Net Easy surveys are completed online and represent responses to show customer experience relating to our website and the core telephone service.

We also track the timeliness of responses to all logged Freedom of Information requests, Member’s enquiries and complaints in our management grip scorecard. We periodically commission market research about Haringey residents in order to understand more about their lives, attitudes, and feelings about their local areas. The last survey was in 2018, the results are published on our website https://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/have-your-say-haringey/residents-survey

We have also established a Citizens Panel where residents can have their say on issues that affect them and the place that they live, more detail can be found here: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/citizenspanel

We will be analysing this feedback alongside other related intel (sentiment analysis from social media platforms) alongside other more quantitative metrics so we can deepen our understanding of resident’s perspectives, needs and circumstances particular in response to the C-19 pandemic emergency response which in some ways has brought public services closer to our communities. A selection of metrics to understand the user experience and satisfaction levels will be picked up in our refreshed Borough Plan performance framework. Some practical ways we will do this and map/ track how effective we are in making progress towards achieving our goals, are set out below:

  • Ongoing work to update and develop the Community Impact Assessment (CIA), including to support analysis of emerging secondary impacts from C-19, project effect on future outcomes, need and demand
  • Using the Citizen’s Panel to track impact of C-19 on our residents, and involve them in process of recovery and renewal, including as part of participatory and co-production activity with services
  • Working with residents and communities to understand need, design our services and develop solutions to the collective challenges facing us
  • Increasing representation of views from ‘seldom heard voices’

Camden

  1. Call centre technology to inform callers where they are in the queue / how long they can expect to wait.  Is this now implemented in all call centres?

See above – Camden does use call centre technology.

  1. What info is provided to councillors regarding the departments responsible for addressing enquiries? Is this info the same as call handlers are given?

There is no single organisational organogram with all staff and contact details for Camden, as this would be vast and would fail to keep up with any staffing changes. Councillors learn who are their main points of contact for different things and also make use of a member support service that can refer their enquiries on behalf of residents to correct officer depending on the specific detail of the case. This is not something that can realistically be shared with residents but all residents are welcome to contact their local councillor or contact the services directly via the Contact Camden telephone or website. via the Contact Camden telephone or website.

  1. Are there performance targets regarding waiting times?  What are they?  How close are we to achieving them?

Camden monitors the customer service response for performance management purposes and reports on this transparently and regularly. If you are interested, you can see the public reports via the papers presented to the Culture and Environment Scrutiny Committee (again all available on the council website and you can attend any of these meetings if you are interested). All callers are also asked to fill out a customer satisfaction survey which is used to monitor and improve performance.

  1. If letters and emails from Residents Associations are routinely not answered, is this a matter of policy (too expensive to respond) or because of insufficient information on the right person to forward them to?

It’s certainly the case that Camden staff are very overworked and have to deal with a huge volume of emails etc. Speaking personally – as a local councillor rather than as staff – I get many hundreds of emails a day and it can be very hard to keep up so occasionally some get missed. Emails/letters from residents’ associations are a tricky one because I guess is depends what they are about and the nature of the association. The designated team for dealing with Tenant and Resident participation matters are the TRA team although their remit is specific to those who are either tenants or leaseholders of Camden properties. Email: tp@Camden.gov.uk

  1. Satisfaction data – is this monitored?

Yes – see above

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