Maidenhead, UK, June, 2017 -- Opposition councillor Lynne Jones has been publicly apologised to the Royal Borough's lead member Cllr Simon Dudley after concerns she raised about the failure of the call centre were found to be spot on.
At Tuesday's meeting of the authority's ruling cabinet a report revealed that earlier methods of tracking the number of calls had given a wrong impression - suggesting that almost 77 pert cent were answered within a minute. But the old method had not included abandoned calls.
When they were taken into account the percentage answered within a minute dropped to 62 per cent.
Council leader Simon Dudley apologised to Cllr Jones, who had been accused at an earlier meeting of exaggerating waiting times by the then lead member for customer services Cllr Geoff Hill.
After the meeting Cllr Jones - who represents Old Windsor and is one of only three opposition councillors left - said: "I think it is good there has been a change of attitude and it had to come from the top."
But she made it clear that she felt it should not have been left to her to raise the problem.
She said: "Any councillor could have raised this, whether in opposition or not.
"I'm sure I was not the only one to be told that people could not get through to the council. But it is nice to have it acknowledged. I was not exaggerating, only bringing up something that needed to be addressed.
"I didn't like being rubbished in public when I was trying to do the right thing."
At Tuesday meeting Cllr Dudley confirmed he was putting £58,000 into recruiting extra staff for the call centre, improved training and equipment.
He said yesterday: "I'm incredibly disappointed about the performance of the call centre over quite a long time. We were given inaccurate picture of its performance. Abandoned calls were excluded from the statistics and this was completely unacceptable - there were about 7,000 of them."
He praised Cllr Samantha Rayner who has taken over from Cllr Hill as lead member for customer services, saying: "She is already getting on top of it."
He repeated his regret about what had been said to Cllr Jones at the earlier meeting, saying: "She was criticised at the last meeting and I think that was unfair."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Date Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
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