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Figures reveal sharp rise in council complaints

Worcester Editorial 19th Jun, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE NUMBER of complaints regarding Worcester City Council’s services has increased by 25 per cent in a year, it has been revealed.

New figures show 198 complaints were made between April 2013 and March 2014, 48 more than at the same stage last year.

Almost 150 of those complaints centred around the council’s cleaner and greener department, which deals with parking, street cleaning and waste collection, with many people voicing their disappointment about missed bins.

Council chiefs have said the rise could be down to an increased awareness of the complaints system.

But Coun Andy Roberts, who became the cabinet member for Cleaner and Greener earlier this month, said the numbers were ‘very concerning’ and he admitted it would take time to get things back on track.

“There may be a technical reason behind it because people find it easier make complaints,” he said.

“But I have heard that one quite a few times over the years and to be frank the number of complaints ties in with some of the things I am seeing, like the condition of Astwood Cemetery.

“We are working on putting things right now, but I rather think things are going to get a little bit worse before we start making real improvements.”

Council leader Coun Simon Geraghty told the Observer he has made it one of his top priorities to pump £80,000 back into street cleaning and sweeping as he said services are currently too stretched.

“The complaints are a reflection of where people genuinely have issues, so we should be looking at them and seeing whether there is a problem,” he said.

“Our approach will be not to micromanage issues, but we should be saying ‘this is what needs to happen’ and then holding officers to account to make sure that does happen.”

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