Thursday, 18 February 2016

Yet again Worst Street
opts for self-service
rather than public service

Boston Borough Council has never been renowned for its communication skills – but its latest pathetic effort has left us speechless with amazement!
On Tuesday morning we were surprised when we collected our green wheelie bin – the one used for general waste–  to find a purple note attached (in English only)  telling us that the service was being charged for from April.
Only after we detached it did we notice that there was more writing on the other side and it it became clear that whilst the note was on a green bin, it referred to the brown bin collection for garden waste.
“If you wish to continue with your collections, please visit from 23rd February and pay. Charges for the year are £30 for the first bin and £15 for any additional bins.”
There are a number of flaws in this “one size fits all” approach.
In our area, the tags were placed on every bin – which suggests that the borough is seeking the cheapest way to let people know  ... by telling everyone.
However, a number of our neighbours do not have brown bins, and are also not at ease with the language – which may create some confusion for them.
But by far the biggest and most arrogant assumption is that we all have access to the internet, and Worst Street provided no ‘phone numbers for people who might need some help.
Using the net saves time and person power, and it is probably no concern of Worst Street’s if many people fail to get the message.
In Wednesday’s Boston Beano – a line was included to tell anyone who cannot use the online service that they can register and pay by coming into the council offices or by phone.
But again, they need the internet to be aware of this – and if they don’t have it, how will they know?
Doubtless the council will be blowing £600 or more on a couple of ads in our local “newspapers” – but these are poorly read these days.
The upshot is that many people will not get the message, and find that their weeds and lawn cuttings are not removed until they somehow find out the reason.
For a council that repeatedly pledged that garden waste collections would be forever free, then reneged on that promise and lied about ever making it, the civilised and courteous approach would have been to have written to brown bin owners to explain – and perhaps even offer a word of apology for the deceit.
But courtesy seems in short supply in this case – probably  because it costs too much.
We even suspect that the choice of colour for the labels attached to the bins is significant.
We can’t imagine many people choosing purple as a colour for communication – unless the printer happened to be offering it cheap because it was unpopular.
Remember, this is the council which ordered flimsier, less sturdy, brown bins than the previous green and blue ones – then realised that they weren’t strong enough to carry soil … which was banned from being put into garden waste bins forthwith!

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