Problems with Southwark Environmental Services?

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Monday 21 July 2008 12.45pm
Has anyone had any experience of dealing with Environmental Services? I emailed them recently about some fly tipping in the car park of my flats and they said it would be dealt with "within 1 day" - that was over a week ago, and nothing seems to have been done. I'm also concerned because the flats at the end of my road seem to have a problem with their drain - one is constantly overflowing (spilling toilet paper out into the street) and absolutely reeks, which can't be very healthy - this has been a problem for about two weeks, and I can't imagine I'm the only person that's noticed it! Have I just had a bad experience with the environmental department, or are they always slow to deal with things?
Monday 21 July 2008 12.57pm
They can't work miracles when the problems aren't within their control - I would call them again and remind them.
Monday 21 July 2008 3.11pm
call and email them everyday.
ask for the name of the person you're speaking to.
get a reference number for future use.

include the names and reference numbers that you've been given in all future phone calls and email.

explain how bad you think the situation is, make the most the issues that will illicit the quickest response (public health concerns maybe).

a blocked drain is a problem, but a blocked drain with raw sewerage overflowing the street right outside a primary school (for instance) is a much bigger and more urgent problem
Monday 21 July 2008 3.23pm
Do all of the above and then prepare emails and letters when you are forced to go along the "complaints procedure" trail which diverts everyone from the original problem and leaves you drowning in aforementioned raw sewage!
Monday 21 July 2008 4.21pm
I've found the environmental services to usually be OK and to provide a good service. However, recently it took them four months to replace my wheelie bin that had been stolen. After countless phone calls and e-mails getting me nowhere, the problem was solved very quickly when I copied my councillors on a e-mail.
Tuesday 22 July 2008 9.13am
Phone the sewage department direct?
Tuesday 22 July 2008 9.25am
as all the above, but also look for their service delivery blurb on the website, usually says something like 'we answer all phone calls within 5 rings, we will acknowledge all email within 24 hrs, we'll rectify any problems, within reason, within 5 days... etc, etc' If they don't do this then start contact people higher up the chain, managers of departments, then local councillors, etc, pointing out of course that they've failed their own 'service delivery' guidlines.
Tuesday 22 July 2008 10.19am
I have also sent them emails to collect garden waste in our council estate's common garden since last September and they never collected it.
They pruned a tree but could not be bothered to take the garden waste at the same time. I requested a brown wheelie bin for the garden waste and although they were not sure that our estate would qualify for one (!), they finally brought it. I filled it immediateley with a third of the garden waste, but it took them over 4 months to come and collect it, last week actually. I filled it straight away again and I don't know when they will manage to collect it next time. We still have a lot of garden waste to get rid of. I have asked them countless time to tidy the garden of the over growing ivy and nettle but they don't do anything. So I do my bit, planting flowers which they often mow together with the lawn (grrrh).
We also had over-flowing sewage in the garden a few months back and I called the Council's Repairs hotline (24hrs) and they came straight away the same day...Good luck!
Tuesday 22 July 2008 11.49am
Thanks to all of you for your advice - much appreciated!

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