|Queen Street Square, Whitehaven|
AT the start of February the two street lights at the back of my house went out plunging Queen Street Square into darkness. Ten months and countless phone calls, emails and letters later, the lights have at last been fixed.*
I'd like to thank...
- Sheila on the county council streetlight 'hotline';
- The four council workmen who came to look at them
- County engineer Mike who finally found out they didn't own the lights. He suggested they belonged to Home Group and even rang them to let them know the lights were out of order (May 5).
- The receptionist at Home Group, Copeland who took delivery of my hand-delivered letter about the lights (although I never had a reply)
- Home Group's Freedom of Information officer who received my FoI request - but did nothing about it
- Steve from the Information Commission who let me know Home Group aren't answerable to FoI requests
- MP Jamie Reed (although he never replied to my letter)
- Kathryn from Home Group who said she would investigate whether they owned the lights and would let me know by Friday (Sept 30). I still haven't had a report back.
- Home Group chief exec Mark who finally gave his staff the kick up the arse they needed.
- His secretary for letting me know what was happening
- Sincere thanks to Home Group Customer Care manager Lorraine who really pulled all the stops out to resolve this problem
- The three workmen who came to find out what was wrong with the lights
- The two workmen who, on December 6, came round and changed the light bulbs.
How many people does it take to change a light bulb? 20.
This 'problem' will happen again and again unless organisations which own street lights are encouraged (required) to put their phone number of the lights (Something like "Faulty? Phone 0800...")
Home Group and councils need to be 'answerable' to someone. Unless they are fined for not doing their job they really can get away with doing nothing for months.
* Two days later, one of the lights broke again!