Council claim they don’t yet know how many people wrote to them about parking changes

18 days after the closing date, the council claims they don’t have a finalised figure of the number of people who wrote to them. How likely do you think that is?

Pile of papers by Robert Couse-Baker

The changes to the parking arrangement on the Isle of Wight proposed by the council’s Independents administration has attracted much discussion across the Island.

Amazingly the council claims they don’t know the final figure of how many people responded to them about it.

Quick recap
Back on 9 May, 2014, the council issued an official Notice, which by law they have to before making changes. It detailed the changes in the parking charges, which including a wholesale increase in the cost of parking charges and the removal of much previously-free parking.

By law, the council is required to give an opportunity for residents to write to them with their reaction to the upcoming changes. Many OnTheWight readers commented that they didn’t view this as a ‘Public consultation’ as the council had tried to frame it – more that it was required by law.

This gave the public a month to respond, with the closing date being 9 June 2014.

How did the public respond?
With the strength of public opinion being clear, OnTheWight contacted the council well after the closing date to find out how many responses the council had received.

It took a full two days for the council to come back with – “The responses are still being compiled. Will let you know when the figures are finalised.”

We’re still waiting.

So 18 days after the month-long consultation closed, the council claims that it still doesn’t have a finalised number of how many people responded.

Image: Robert Couse-Baker under a CC BY 2.0 license

Tuesday, 24th June, 2014 3:28pm

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2c34

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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41 Comments on "Council claim they don’t yet know how many people wrote to them about parking changes"

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Colin

Perhaps they were filed under bin.

There were 2 different addresses plus e-mail,so that’s 2 waste baskets and a spam file…

Andrew Stone
Having worked in councils in the past I know the procedure for things like this. The letters are placed in a tray and not counted until such a time the council leaders feel the need to do so, they wont release any numbers as officially they “don’t know” despite close to a couple of thousand clogging up there trays. My guess is they will wait a few… Read more »
Joe
Who ever expected our Council to be honest?! Personally, I think of these workers as cavalier, uncaring and egotistical whose 2 main aims are to ride an as juicy as possible gravy train (I consider charging for parking not justified, let alone increasing such fines) whilst simultaneously massaging their grotesquely enlarged egos. In a word, useless. Having typed the above, I am aware it’s just another moan… Read more »
tryme

I’m glad Joe feels better! But I daresay we need to hear the Council’s reasons for the compilation taking time, before rushing to condemn. I can’t see any reason why they would set out to hide the numbers, whether small or large.

Drone

It’s entirely possible for the council to just say we’ve got around X number of responses but not a final total yet.

Taking nearly three weeks to count a pile of letters and batch of emails is a joke.

Andrew
I seem to recall a recent note that indicated that the council can no longer ‘afford’ to employ good staff nor attract suitable staff and was existing on what was actually left over from the former administration – frightening thought I know. However, this particular point is very much at play here as we seem to have staff being asked to get involved and lead on work… Read more »
tryme

I can’t see how the car parking consultation provides any basis at all for this denigration of council staff.

And by the way, does anyone recall the previous administration putting in all the real effort and enthusiasm to a consultation that this one does, statutory or not? No, I thought not.

Drone

Sticking up for the council again. My, how things have changed.

tryme

Oooo, is it bad form to make positive observations about the Council, then, Drone? Sorry, I though we were free to speak here!

Would be more impressive if you simply put a counter view and allowed others to give theirs.

Merely sneering at people without giving grounds can veer into bullying some off the page.
I don’t expect that’s what you want.

Caconym
Due to the cutbacks in parking enforcement staff it may, actually, be cheaper to NOT pay for parking and merely pay the fine if you are caught. Obviously the longer you park for, the more chance you have of being caught, but at £1.30 for an hour and parking fine at £25 if you cough up in 14 days, you only have to average 20 hour-long parks… Read more »
steve s

There’s a paper coming to Executive on 7 July. I’ve seen it in draft and it contains all the details of the consultation. I think it will be available on line from Friday.

steve s

It’s a draft paper, Simon. I received it on 23 June. I presume your response was received prior to that date. you’ll see it on Friday. That looks pretty open and transparent to me.

tryme

I think there are some things worth fighting talk, and others where there isn’t the need, when things are about to become clear anyway.

steve s

Simon,
Just to be clear, what’s not transparent here? Or is this actually about you not getting the information as quickly as you might like.

Cynic,
The IWC still has officers dealing with the media.

Cynic

Thanks Steve- how is their performance measured?

Sally Perry

It’s pretty simple.

If the number of people who wrote to the council about the changes to parking charges is available, why has the press office not just given OnTheWight the figure?

Ed Mew

Welcome to my world Sally, I have been trying to get answers from the council for two years! As a media site you may get answers quicker! Good luck and when 2020 comes I look forward to reading the response from the council :)

The Sciolist
Steve – the last council spent a large amount of our money – up to two million pa – employing up to six press officers? Two left to work for Island Roads, the others remain. As we have only a small number of local media outlets, we tax payers could be forgiven for wondering what the remaining staff do all day? I am also concerned that these… Read more »
The Sciolist

Correction, they set up a PR company that works away spinning for Island Roads.

steve s

Sciolist
No, I haven’t been media trained and I’m not sure what the corporate line is.

The Sciolist

Thanks Steve – you’re a pretty straight kind of guy, thanks for the answer. What do these press officers do all day? If you made them redundant, could councillor’s and officers not answer for themselves and save a fortune? The public would respect you all for it and after all, it’s what they did in years past.

BTW Did they offer you media training or advice?

writers cramp
Press officers ‘mingle’ with the press, that is what they do. It does not matter what type of press or what output the press takes as they all work together to ‘generate news’. The fact that the council pays your wages does not stop them mingling or ‘networking’ as they seem to call it. The only difference is when one arm of the ‘press corps’ wants to… Read more »
tryme
I thought that media are jolly glad to have a press officer to contact for info, rather than having to figure what is happening, when and by whom, all by themselves on every occasion. Everything in life can be misused, but if an administration has its feet on the ground, not spinning to deceive, this might mean that we Joe Public get a better stream of useful… Read more »
steve s

No, Sciolist, they didn’t.

The Sciolist

Steve – do the press officers who left still undertake any work for the council as contractors? If not, how do the few remaining cope with the same volume of work with fewr staff?

Nitonia

“Steve – the last council spent a large amount of our money – up to two million pa – employing up to six press officers?”

Wow an average on £333,000 salary for a press officer. That’s outrageous!!!

Cynic

It appears that the average wage of a local government press officer is about £32000 (say £40000 with benefits). So 6 x £40k= £240K pa

What was rest of the media budget-<£2 million?- spent on? Jollies and schmoozing by oficers and councillors in the last IWC?

Humphrey Appleby

Yes Minister/Deputy Leader/Councilor,
One has been coached.

tryme

But I can understand what he says! And he doesn’t take forever to say it!