COUNCIL STORM 2: York officials condemned for delays - UPDATED

COUNCIL STORM 2: York officials condemned for delays

COUNCIL STORM 2: York officials condemned for delays

First published in News
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CITY of York Council has been criticised for the length of time it takes to respond to complaints.

The Local Government Ombudsman today released its annual review letters showing the performance of local authorities across England.

The ombudsman Jane Martin has written to City of York Council's chief executive Kersten England and council leader James Alexander with details of the 72 complaints and enquiries her office received about the council.

>>> Read the letter here

The ombudsman wrote: "I am concerned that on several occasions the council has provided late responses to enquiries. This included a school admissions appeals case which should be treated as urgent. The Council did not respond to enquiries for over a month, despite reminders. In one planning complaint, the response was slightly late and incomplete. The council then delayed the case by several months whilst resolving a matter of disclosure on certain documents."

The ombudsman's office has also run up against problems getting simple information from the council in less than 20 days, and Dr Martin added: "Despite efforts to explain that provision of this information can lead to early resolution or closure of the case, the council has, on occasions, appeared reluctant to quickly provide information which should be readily accessible."

She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year.

She cited one complex adoption complaint, in which the LGO received no confirmation its recommendations would be implemented, and said: "This case also illustrates the communication difficulties we are having with the council, and despite repeated chasing, we do not always receive a response to calls or correspondence."

Among them the biggest proportion - 13 - were about environmental services and public protection and regulation, while related related to planning and development and nine each to housing, highways and transport, education and children's care services, and adult care. Six of the complaints against the council were upheld, while 23 were sent back for local resolutions to be found, 19 were closed after just initial enquiries, and 14 were not upheld.

But because of a change in the way the ombudsman records complaints, it is impossible to compare this year's performance with last year's, but the review does point out significant concerns about delays in council responses.

Ian Floyd, the council's director of customer and business support, said this evening: “We’re always aiming to improve the council’s complaints procedure and our systems and processes as a whole.

"Staff have worked hard to see an improvement since last year and, like local authorities up and down the country, in the face of an increase in activity year on year.

"We will look to further improve this over the coming year through the council’s Rewiring Public Services Transformation Programme.”

North Yorkshire County Council featured in 86 complaints and enquiries over the year - 38 of those about education and children's services - also came under fire for long delays in replying to the ombudsman's official enquiries, especially in the area of adult social care.

In the East Riding the unitary authority featured in 90 complaints, 23 of them about education and children's services.

Across the rest of the region - in Harrogate, Selby, Hambleton and Ryedale - the largest number of complaints have come in the area of planning and development, with Selby in particular singled out for criticism after the District Council declined to follow the ombudsman's recommendations over a planning complaint.

In a separate case that emerged today, the Information Commissioner's Office rapped the council for its handling of seven Freedom of Information requests by local resident Mike Hammill.

  • Councils' letters from the LGO for this year and previous years can be read on the LGO website.

Comments (18)

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6:20pm Tue 15 Jul 14

AnotherPointofView says...

"She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year."

Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now.
"She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year." Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now. AnotherPointofView
  • Score: -22

7:15pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Cheeky face says...

I have had complaints with the council for months. Ombudsman normally help only if you are out of pocket!

The council failed to give the traffic adjudicator info in Feb 2014; which they agreed to do; James Alexander said this and it was in the Press.
I have had complaints with the council for months. Ombudsman normally help only if you are out of pocket! The council failed to give the traffic adjudicator info in Feb 2014; which they agreed to do; James Alexander said this and it was in the Press. Cheeky face
  • Score: -77

8:10pm Tue 15 Jul 14

maybejustmaybe says...

I suppose I shouldn't expect a reply to my email a month ago about the blocked gullies on our street then?
I suppose I shouldn't expect a reply to my email a month ago about the blocked gullies on our street then? maybejustmaybe
  • Score: -24

8:59pm Tue 15 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

AnotherPointofView wrote:
"She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year."

Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now.
Interesting you should say that, about Ms England's employment contract - I uploaded an FOI request to what do they know website yesterday asking for the performance related contract monitoring etc. you see the reports in the press today on poor performance from the ICO and LGO are just the tip of the iceberg - let's look at social services, the latest poor & secret democratic services audit, the old folks homes, the stadium, the many other audits kept behind closed doors, the massive grants, Unmonitored to favoured organisations, the terrible peer review, secret appointments - interims, to avoid oversight - the TDF grand departy fiasco, campsite fiascos - the 20 plenty, the shocking state of our steet signs - endless issues ..... Kersten England is responsible for the delivery of these services - the councilors decide policy, she is responsible for implementation - that's how it works - but where are the top staff held to account? Not at all... In fact whilst lower level staff are stopped standby payments, the chief officers have now got them. Who holds them to account? No one - the complaints all successfully diverted to the hapless Councillors.

It is time we as citizens and all the councilors had inputs into the so called performance contracts of the top staff.... And I am sure lower level staff would be as interested as we are to know what these top dogs need to do ( or not do ) to get their performance related rises.

So stand by, for the FOI result ... No doubt the ICO will need to be called to assist, just like he was to find out Kersten's out of York travel days and 'business' -but patience is a virtue. The LGO and ICO, as we do, have the goings on in city of York in their sites- so just maybe finally something may happen to rebuild transparency and trust......... Maybe

Gwen swinburn
[quote][p][bold]AnotherPointofView[/bold] wrote: "She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year." Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now.[/p][/quote]Interesting you should say that, about Ms England's employment contract - I uploaded an FOI request to what do they know website yesterday asking for the performance related contract monitoring etc. you see the reports in the press today on poor performance from the ICO and LGO are just the tip of the iceberg - let's look at social services, the latest poor & secret democratic services audit, the old folks homes, the stadium, the many other audits kept behind closed doors, the massive grants, Unmonitored to favoured organisations, the terrible peer review, secret appointments - interims, to avoid oversight - the TDF grand departy fiasco, campsite fiascos - the 20 plenty, the shocking state of our steet signs - endless issues ..... Kersten England is responsible for the delivery of these services - the councilors decide policy, she is responsible for implementation - that's how it works - but where are the top staff held to account? Not at all... In fact whilst lower level staff are stopped standby payments, the chief officers have now got them. Who holds them to account? No one - the complaints all successfully diverted to the hapless Councillors. It is time we as citizens and all the councilors had inputs into the so called performance contracts of the top staff.... And I am sure lower level staff would be as interested as we are to know what these top dogs need to do ( or not do ) to get their performance related rises. So stand by, for the FOI result ... No doubt the ICO will need to be called to assist, just like he was to find out Kersten's out of York travel days and 'business' -but patience is a virtue. The LGO and ICO, as we do, have the goings on in city of York in their sites- so just maybe finally something may happen to rebuild transparency and trust......... Maybe Gwen swinburn gmsgop
  • Score: -30

9:08pm Tue 15 Jul 14

tobefair says...

Does the "score monkey" as he seems to be called on here work for the council?
Does he get paid overtime for his work on this site? If so it is coming out of our council tax.
Perhaps a freedom of information request needs to be asked.
Does the "score monkey" as he seems to be called on here work for the council? Does he get paid overtime for his work on this site? If so it is coming out of our council tax. Perhaps a freedom of information request needs to be asked. tobefair
  • Score: -102

9:26pm Tue 15 Jul 14

nearlyman says...

I believe the term used in politics is 'Not fit for Purpose'.
For how long must York be subjected to this ?
I believe the term used in politics is 'Not fit for Purpose'. For how long must York be subjected to this ? nearlyman
  • Score: -51

10:44pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

Hope these two 'storms' reach the national daily papers and TV local news programmes, plus Private Eye.... !!!
Hope these two 'storms' reach the national daily papers and TV local news programmes, plus Private Eye.... !!! Badgers Drift
  • Score: -53

12:08am Wed 16 Jul 14

jay, york says...

tobefair wrote:
Does the "score monkey" as he seems to be called on here work for the council? Does he get paid overtime for his work on this site? If so it is coming out of our council tax. Perhaps a freedom of information request needs to be asked.
You obviously touched a very raw nerve there tobefair - no comment from cyc at all -but a massive negative score from them and their cronies.
Says it all really - they never have anything constructive to say. Should be ashamed of themselves.
[quote][p][bold]tobefair[/bold] wrote: Does the "score monkey" as he seems to be called on here work for the council? Does he get paid overtime for his work on this site? If so it is coming out of our council tax. Perhaps a freedom of information request needs to be asked.[/p][/quote]You obviously touched a very raw nerve there tobefair - no comment from cyc at all -but a massive negative score from them and their cronies. Says it all really - they never have anything constructive to say. Should be ashamed of themselves. jay, york
  • Score: -43

12:16am Wed 16 Jul 14

jay, york says...

gmsgop wrote:
AnotherPointofView wrote: "She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year." Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now.
Interesting you should say that, about Ms England's employment contract - I uploaded an FOI request to what do they know website yesterday asking for the performance related contract monitoring etc. you see the reports in the press today on poor performance from the ICO and LGO are just the tip of the iceberg - let's look at social services, the latest poor & secret democratic services audit, the old folks homes, the stadium, the many other audits kept behind closed doors, the massive grants, Unmonitored to favoured organisations, the terrible peer review, secret appointments - interims, to avoid oversight - the TDF grand departy fiasco, campsite fiascos - the 20 plenty, the shocking state of our steet signs - endless issues ..... Kersten England is responsible for the delivery of these services - the councilors decide policy, she is responsible for implementation - that's how it works - but where are the top staff held to account? Not at all... In fact whilst lower level staff are stopped standby payments, the chief officers have now got them. Who holds them to account? No one - the complaints all successfully diverted to the hapless Councillors. It is time we as citizens and all the councilors had inputs into the so called performance contracts of the top staff.... And I am sure lower level staff would be as interested as we are to know what these top dogs need to do ( or not do ) to get their performance related rises. So stand by, for the FOI result ... No doubt the ICO will need to be called to assist, just like he was to find out Kersten's out of York travel days and 'business' -but patience is a virtue. The LGO and ICO, as we do, have the goings on in city of York in their sites- so just maybe finally something may happen to rebuild transparency and trust......... Maybe Gwen swinburn
Gwen -please just get on with what you need to do - you are amazing and will have so much support, York needs someone like you to stand up to these overpaid cyc incompetents.
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AnotherPointofView[/bold] wrote: "She said this made more work for the council in the long term and urged Mrs England to review the way the council has dealt with complaints this year." Rather than review complaints Mrs England, why don't you review your own employment contract? Resign now.[/p][/quote]Interesting you should say that, about Ms England's employment contract - I uploaded an FOI request to what do they know website yesterday asking for the performance related contract monitoring etc. you see the reports in the press today on poor performance from the ICO and LGO are just the tip of the iceberg - let's look at social services, the latest poor & secret democratic services audit, the old folks homes, the stadium, the many other audits kept behind closed doors, the massive grants, Unmonitored to favoured organisations, the terrible peer review, secret appointments - interims, to avoid oversight - the TDF grand departy fiasco, campsite fiascos - the 20 plenty, the shocking state of our steet signs - endless issues ..... Kersten England is responsible for the delivery of these services - the councilors decide policy, she is responsible for implementation - that's how it works - but where are the top staff held to account? Not at all... In fact whilst lower level staff are stopped standby payments, the chief officers have now got them. Who holds them to account? No one - the complaints all successfully diverted to the hapless Councillors. It is time we as citizens and all the councilors had inputs into the so called performance contracts of the top staff.... And I am sure lower level staff would be as interested as we are to know what these top dogs need to do ( or not do ) to get their performance related rises. So stand by, for the FOI result ... No doubt the ICO will need to be called to assist, just like he was to find out Kersten's out of York travel days and 'business' -but patience is a virtue. The LGO and ICO, as we do, have the goings on in city of York in their sites- so just maybe finally something may happen to rebuild transparency and trust......... Maybe Gwen swinburn[/p][/quote]Gwen -please just get on with what you need to do - you are amazing and will have so much support, York needs someone like you to stand up to these overpaid cyc incompetents. jay, york
  • Score: -77

12:58am Wed 16 Jul 14

missbouquet says...

would be good if council tax dpt would answer the phone, have rang them many times, no answer. cant discuss anything with them.
would be good if council tax dpt would answer the phone, have rang them many times, no answer. cant discuss anything with them. missbouquet
  • Score: -81

11:00am Wed 16 Jul 14

yorkie0802 says...

That should include councillors as well, no reply on phone, and e-mails remain unanswered!
That should include councillors as well, no reply on phone, and e-mails remain unanswered! yorkie0802
  • Score: -83

1:22pm Wed 16 Jul 14

wildthing666 says...

I requested information why they just put everyone on a 10 month plan when on benefits and not move them to a 12 month plan and in over a year they have only give one automated reply

https://www.whatdoth
eyknow.com/request/r
ight_to_pay_council_
tax_over_12#incoming
-531417

This was after resending the request on 20/6/14, I have now asked for an internal review but it seems that COYC only reply when they feel like it.
I requested information why they just put everyone on a 10 month plan when on benefits and not move them to a 12 month plan and in over a year they have only give one automated reply https://www.whatdoth eyknow.com/request/r ight_to_pay_council_ tax_over_12#incoming -531417 This was after resending the request on 20/6/14, I have now asked for an internal review but it seems that COYC only reply when they feel like it. wildthing666
  • Score: -125

5:16pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Meirion M says...

York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace.
They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible.
We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected.
I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections.
I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..
York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace. They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible. We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected. I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections. I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again.. Meirion M
  • Score: -53

9:50pm Wed 16 Jul 14

CHISSY1 says...

You are all brainwashed by MPs and councilors,save the HHS some money and get a hobby.You are faceless people who post rubbish on here and it does not serve any purpose,only to give people like me a laugh.
You are all brainwashed by MPs and councilors,save the HHS some money and get a hobby.You are faceless people who post rubbish on here and it does not serve any purpose,only to give people like me a laugh. CHISSY1
  • Score: 126

10:31pm Wed 16 Jul 14

James Venamun says...

Meirion M wrote:
York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace.
They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible.
We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected.
I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections.
I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..
I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same.

As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests.

I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind.
Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better .
[quote][p][bold]Meirion M[/bold] wrote: York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace. They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible. We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected. I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections. I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..[/p][/quote]I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same. As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests. I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind. Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better . James Venamun
  • Score: -53

11:51pm Wed 16 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

James Venamun wrote:
Meirion M wrote:
York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace.
They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible.
We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected.
I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections.
I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..
I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same.

As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests.

I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind.
Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better .
Brave staffer at city of York council- this confirms exactly what I have heard, seen and experienced. Dissenters inside the council are eliminated as surely as those outside the council are vilified, impugned, belittled, ignored, silenced, by top management and top councillors.

The council is in a spiral going the wrong way - you say it will get worse before it gets better - the more we see, the worse it gets. As much as I feel sorry for us citizens fighting for right to be done- I feel desperately sad for the staff who are 'led' by the 'donkeys' -

I get many direct messages from these hard working staff, too fearful to speak - everyone says the same - they are told what to do from the very top, dissent is not an option . The organisation is, as this staffer says, losing the good staff, who jump or are pushed, with outsider managers being recruited personally by Kersten England, at her pleasure - using the fullest extent if her delegated powers-forget the councillors!, or transparent recruitment.

I wish I knew how to make things better without the staff having to see a continual exposure of the many failings - but silence is not an option, as it will only get worse faster.

As more citizens speak up in their various skills areas - the council is being exposed, and oh so slowly being called to account - too little, too slowly - citizens, and staff can help like this brave person.... More please, anyone who can, please step up... It is serious, we all know it...

Gwen Swinburn
[quote][p][bold]James Venamun[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Meirion M[/bold] wrote: York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace. They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible. We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected. I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections. I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..[/p][/quote]I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same. As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests. I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind. Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better .[/p][/quote]Brave staffer at city of York council- this confirms exactly what I have heard, seen and experienced. Dissenters inside the council are eliminated as surely as those outside the council are vilified, impugned, belittled, ignored, silenced, by top management and top councillors. The council is in a spiral going the wrong way - you say it will get worse before it gets better - the more we see, the worse it gets. As much as I feel sorry for us citizens fighting for right to be done- I feel desperately sad for the staff who are 'led' by the 'donkeys' - I get many direct messages from these hard working staff, too fearful to speak - everyone says the same - they are told what to do from the very top, dissent is not an option . The organisation is, as this staffer says, losing the good staff, who jump or are pushed, with outsider managers being recruited personally by Kersten England, at her pleasure - using the fullest extent if her delegated powers-forget the councillors!, or transparent recruitment. I wish I knew how to make things better without the staff having to see a continual exposure of the many failings - but silence is not an option, as it will only get worse faster. As more citizens speak up in their various skills areas - the council is being exposed, and oh so slowly being called to account - too little, too slowly - citizens, and staff can help like this brave person.... More please, anyone who can, please step up... It is serious, we all know it... Gwen Swinburn gmsgop
  • Score: -120

7:47pm Thu 17 Jul 14

James Venamun says...

gmsgop wrote:
James Venamun wrote:
Meirion M wrote:
York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace.
They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible.
We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected.
I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections.
I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..
I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same.

As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests.

I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind.
Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better .
Brave staffer at city of York council- this confirms exactly what I have heard, seen and experienced. Dissenters inside the council are eliminated as surely as those outside the council are vilified, impugned, belittled, ignored, silenced, by top management and top councillors.

The council is in a spiral going the wrong way - you say it will get worse before it gets better - the more we see, the worse it gets. As much as I feel sorry for us citizens fighting for right to be done- I feel desperately sad for the staff who are 'led' by the 'donkeys' -

I get many direct messages from these hard working staff, too fearful to speak - everyone says the same - they are told what to do from the very top, dissent is not an option . The organisation is, as this staffer says, losing the good staff, who jump or are pushed, with outsider managers being recruited personally by Kersten England, at her pleasure - using the fullest extent if her delegated powers-forget the councillors!, or transparent recruitment.

I wish I knew how to make things better without the staff having to see a continual exposure of the many failings - but silence is not an option, as it will only get worse faster.

As more citizens speak up in their various skills areas - the council is being exposed, and oh so slowly being called to account - too little, too slowly - citizens, and staff can help like this brave person.... More please, anyone who can, please step up... It is serious, we all know it...

Gwen Swinburn
Keen up the good work Gwen, and I just hope somehow, hopefully not too far in the future , the tide will turn. The core issue here is one of honesty: Honesty in how those at the top deal with/motivate their own staff , and with the people we serve , and infused into the continuous drive for improvement that elected members should carry with them in office, regardless of political complexion, and for the good of the city . That thread is lost right now IMO . I just don't want York citizens to feel that all staff are complicit with this malaise , it just isn't true. Less petty squabbling, better leadership from senior managers MUCH more honesty and transparency and less "window dressing" would be a good start. Hence my withering gaze at the likes of the Complaints Team and the Media team who , at the moment, just seem to exude the rank arrogance of their paymasters in everything they put out. Ho hum.
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]James Venamun[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Meirion M[/bold] wrote: York Council-the elected councillors and the unelected civil servant-type "officers" are a disgrace. They are arrogant and so up own a****, incredible. We cannot wait until Alexander, (de) Merritt, and Tracy and that mob are unelected. I have voted Labour since 1956, but in May 2015, I will not vote Labour in the local elections. I hope that next year's elected council members get rid of the council's civil servants, starting with Mrs. England, and withdraw their contracts, and hire honest and decent councillors and officers, and start again to make York great again..[/p][/quote]I'd appeal to Merrion M not to tar all officers of CYC with the same brush. I myself have really very negative feelings towards JA and his cronies , but the difference between Councillors (who make policy) and officers ( who advise on policies and enact them) is that you can of course deselect your councillors through the ballot box. So I encourage you all to vote and get rid of this lot if you don't like what's happening at CYC, it's your right, use it. I am , like you Meirion, a Labour voter in National elections by the way, I expect a lot of York voters feel the same. As for the officers I think that the Complaints section of CYC needs a complete overhaul , it is clearly not serving it's primary purpose of ensuring officers give prompt, professional and accurate response to complaints, data protection and FOI requests. I'm am glad this Ombudsman revelation has come about, as , for me, CYC's public face is doing no favours at all to the able and committed staff who actually do care about our citizens and who want to provide a good service. Yes, such workers do exist, but at the moment , the staffing set up is all wrong- "Lions led by Donkeys" springs to mind. Finally, and returning to your email Meirion , some senior officers have effectively been sacked, but not for the right reasons. Most of those with any conscience and professional integrity normally try to take VR or early retirement before the they lose their jobs under CYC's so-called "transformation" agenda. Big changes and big improvements are needed , but the current administration have sadly shown they fall short of the mark. It will get worse before it gets better .[/p][/quote]Brave staffer at city of York council- this confirms exactly what I have heard, seen and experienced. Dissenters inside the council are eliminated as surely as those outside the council are vilified, impugned, belittled, ignored, silenced, by top management and top councillors. The council is in a spiral going the wrong way - you say it will get worse before it gets better - the more we see, the worse it gets. As much as I feel sorry for us citizens fighting for right to be done- I feel desperately sad for the staff who are 'led' by the 'donkeys' - I get many direct messages from these hard working staff, too fearful to speak - everyone says the same - they are told what to do from the very top, dissent is not an option . The organisation is, as this staffer says, losing the good staff, who jump or are pushed, with outsider managers being recruited personally by Kersten England, at her pleasure - using the fullest extent if her delegated powers-forget the councillors!, or transparent recruitment. I wish I knew how to make things better without the staff having to see a continual exposure of the many failings - but silence is not an option, as it will only get worse faster. As more citizens speak up in their various skills areas - the council is being exposed, and oh so slowly being called to account - too little, too slowly - citizens, and staff can help like this brave person.... More please, anyone who can, please step up... It is serious, we all know it... Gwen Swinburn[/p][/quote]Keen up the good work Gwen, and I just hope somehow, hopefully not too far in the future , the tide will turn. The core issue here is one of honesty: Honesty in how those at the top deal with/motivate their own staff , and with the people we serve , and infused into the continuous drive for improvement that elected members should carry with them in office, regardless of political complexion, and for the good of the city . That thread is lost right now IMO . I just don't want York citizens to feel that all staff are complicit with this malaise , it just isn't true. Less petty squabbling, better leadership from senior managers MUCH more honesty and transparency and less "window dressing" would be a good start. Hence my withering gaze at the likes of the Complaints Team and the Media team who , at the moment, just seem to exude the rank arrogance of their paymasters in everything they put out. Ho hum. James Venamun
  • Score: 2

2:32pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Dr Martin says...

CHISSY1 wrote:
You are all brainwashed by MPs and councilors,save the HHS some money and get a hobby.You are faceless people who post rubbish on here and it does not serve any purpose,only to give people like me a laugh.
are you the Score monkey?
[quote][p][bold]CHISSY1[/bold] wrote: You are all brainwashed by MPs and councilors,save the HHS some money and get a hobby.You are faceless people who post rubbish on here and it does not serve any purpose,only to give people like me a laugh.[/p][/quote]are you the Score monkey? Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

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