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Trafford council (a shambles)
Topic posted by A member of the local community ... dated:09 August 2004
Has anybody tried getting through to Trafford Council by phone especially the Council Tax Section, you tend to get a recorded message saying "lines are busy please try later". Just by chance if you do get through you get music while you are waiting for god knows how long.When you have given up trying to get through on the phone try getting in to your car and traveling to the Council's new multi million pound Waterside Centre, which was built onto the Old Sale Town Hall this multi million pound HQ as far as I am told by staff has no parking places for either staff our visitors. I was advised by the Staff of the Register of Births and Deaths when I phoned to cancel an appointment to park in the local supermarket car park after not being able to find a parking space.When You eventually get in the Waterside Centre you are greeted by desks which, when you have got a ticket Your number will come up and You will go to that particular desk. I feel sorry for the person on the desk because they seem to get all the stick and abuse when people can't talk to the department, they want, especially the Council Tax Section who lock themselves away and haven't got the bottle to talk to the public face to face but are quite happy to have an arrogant attitude, should you get through on the phone to that department. Considering the Planning Department amongst others moved in to this building how did they have the cheek to allow themselves planning permission when anybody else wanting to extend or open a business would have been refused due to insufficent parking places. Maybe a puplic inquiry should look into this circus we call our local council, at the end of the day they work on our behalf but make it difficult to contact them. I would like to hear of any other problems with our local Council.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Divad ... dated:13 July 2017

Thank you Aardvark, it is good to know of this.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Aardvark ... dated:12 July 2017

Divad, they do disclose what they do with the money. It was one of the reasons for underspending on the 2016-17 budget. Have a look at last year's Outturn Summary Report and other documents on the Council's Budgets and accounts web page.

Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Divad ... dated:12 July 2017

MEN have reported the figures released from the Manchester Airport profits and issued to council. Last year they recieved £3.7m and this year 2017 £4.5m. As residents this should be disclosed to all as to what they do with this bonus money.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by JohnH ... dated:07 December 2011
The Big Society makes an appearance in Trafford.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Graz ... dated:20 June 2011
Northern Rail service from Flixton to Manchester. Where else can I buy this service from?
Residential Care Home. I should really move an elderly person to another home because of poor customer service?
British Gas. Again, I should really change energy supplier because of poor customer service? It's not quite that simple when you consider I would have pay off my balance first.
 
It's not always the case you can take your business elsewhere and even if it were that simple it should not be the answer - poor customer service needs correcting not sidestepping. 
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Tom ... dated:20 June 2011
If I receive poor service from a private company, I can buy what I need from someone else.
 
Councils get their money no matter what, which is probably why the roads around here resemble the surface of the moon. 
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Graz ... dated:20 June 2011
Unanswered letters and emails are routine, and when a return phone call is promised it doesn't happen.
 
It's all very amateur and unbusinesslike, but I doubt Trafford Council is any worse than any other. It's just how local government operates.
 
And you've perfectly described the majority of the private sector as well!  
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ed ... dated:20 June 2011
I've had reason to contact the council a few times over the years, all about straightforward, uncontroversial matters which should have been dealt with quickly. I've lost count of the number of times I've been told a delay is because someone is off sick, out of the office, on a course etc.  It's not unusual for staff who answer the phone to admit they don't know who is responsible for something, or to put you through to someone who then tells you you've come through to the wrong person.
 
Unanswered letters and emails are routine, and when a return phone call is promised it doesn't happen.
 
It's all very amateur and unbusinesslike, but I doubt Trafford Council is any worse than any other. It's just how local government operates.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Dave - urmston.net ... dated:20 June 2011
Barri, you've gone back 20 years there I think. I work for a government funded organisation and to get a job at our place these days, you have to pass a time-limited apptitude test which has a very high failure rate. Then, once you're in, you have to be interviewed for every promotion. I've been on temporary promotion for over a year but they're still going to make me apply for my job.

The only thing that I disagree with is that they use competencies to determine whether someone is suitable for a job. Competencies fail to take into account one's passion or interest for a job, which means that someone can be promoted into a post that they have no interest in. The reality is that such a person will never do that job better than someone who is actually interested in the role - whch is a bit unfair and unproductive. Which is why you'll find a lot of people working for government organisations who remain there year after year doing a job that they don't really care for. Basically, if you're not bothered what job you do and know how to answer the competency questions well, then you can go far.
 
As far as I'm aware Trafford Council will operate in a similar way - with little or no chance of getting a job or promotion based on who you know.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by AnotherPete ... dated:19 June 2011
Barri - Surely you should have added "in my opinion" to that.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Barri ... dated:19 June 2011
Trafford Council is staffed by unqualified people, that have only got the positions / jobs by who they know that's already employed by the Council, where really they should have the relevant qualification to actually do the job, this is why complaints and contact go unanswered in many cases.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ladyb ... dated:21 April 2011
I agree Tom I'd love to be able to see the stars!
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Tom ... dated:20 April 2011
That would be something that performs a useful function, right?  Unlike pretty lights that pollute the sky and do nothing else.  So why would you want to stop that?
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ricky ... dated:20 April 2011
And also, Tom, they should stop those 24-hour operation freight container operations right alongside that require lighting for the guys to do their work putting containers on trains that take lorries off the roads... 
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Tom ... dated:19 April 2011
They should be forced to turn those lights off after a certain time, say 11 or 12pm.  Some of us actually want to see the night stars.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by AnotherPete ... dated:19 April 2011
LadyB - It was just a suggestion, not a definitive answer.
 
As for the dome itself it is part of the branding of the TC (look at any advertisements for it.)  Having it illuminated 24/7 is most likely intended to make it a landmark, and if it is using LEDs it isn't using much power.  Expecting them to turn it off is like asking a company to turn off their illuminated signage.
 
I haven't been there for maybe a decade or more, but do they turn the lights off at Meadowhall.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ladyb ... dated:19 April 2011
Anotherpete, good point about the airport, but, if chill factore can use small red lights to warn aircraft why can't the Trafford Centre?
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Graz ... dated:19 April 2011
Possible, seems a bit low though. High intensity red lights are usually adequate for aircraft safety but I think they have to be at a certain height as well.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by AnotherPete ... dated:19 April 2011
Graz - Aren't the lights on the domes LEDs, therefore about as efficient as lights can currently be without switching them off entirely?
 
There may also be a need to leave the lights on on the dome with regard to it being close to the flightpath of Barton Airport.  Just a thought.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Graz ... dated:19 April 2011
Or they could at least switch to energy efficient options. Funny how intrusive, tasteless lighting costs more money.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ladyb ... dated:19 April 2011
Going back to turning the lights off at the trafford centre pfffft. I actually suggested this to peel employees, when they held an open day, I suggested it to save money and conserve electricity, I more or less got laughed out of town, with a filthy look and a furrowed brow. Even during earth hour the trafford centre only turned the lights out in one dome, a poor effort considering some countries turn all of their lights off for 1 hour each year to raise awareness of our consumption of fuels. I think it would be a good role to other big stores if the trafford centre were to turn their lights off, but unfortunately I can't see it happening anytime soon. :-(
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Graz ... dated:16 April 2011
Why people pick on jobs that seek to promote equality I don't know. Would you be happy to save the cost of these posts knowing that skilled and knowledgeable applicants were being denied the chance to serve the public becuase of their gender, skin colour or nationality and why is making life fair and equal for everyone seen as a waste of money? That's ignoring the fact that all organisations have a legal requirement to ensure they are compliant and that's why the jobs are created in the first place.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ed ... dated:16 April 2011
We didn't get lots more street lighting, or lots more anything of anything, as Trafford council, like all councils in the country, went on New Labour encouraged spending spree which doubled council tax in not time at all and resulted in a bloated payroll including all sorts of 'strategic' managers, 'equality' officers and hordes of low quality admin and ancillary staff in the schools. 
 
We used to have streetlights when Trafford Council employed many fewer people than it does now.
 
We can still have streetlights when Trafford council has been forced to cut back on staff to the same staffing levels as only a few years ago, and still many more staff than we ever used to need before 1997.
 
If Trafford Council does switch off streetlights to save cash we can be sure it is only because they'd rather keep staff who don't really do anything useful than provide services which people actually want.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Lego ... dated:15 April 2011
Does anyone at Trafford Council ever look at their web pages ?- I've just logged on the planning pages, hoping to see the Weekly Planning Applications for the 14/4/11, clicked on the link and guess what appeared -" Your Guide to Pedestrian Crossings" !!
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by PeteM ... dated:06 March 2011
For all you Big Society freaks out there in Trafford, this article sums up the reality very nicely. If this is what you want then god help us all.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by DavidU ... dated:06 March 2011
Turning out the lights is not as easy or as cheap as it initially appears.
 
Turning out the lights completely is relatively simple, someone just goes round and pulls out all the fuses.
 
To turn out lights selectively for part of the night is not so easy. Modern street lights work by individual photocells on each light, which sense the ambient light, switching the light on at dusk and off at dawn. These replaced the older time switches which had to be reset every couple of weeks to match the changing patterns of daylight throughout the year. To cut off the lights at midnight would require a time switch to control them.
On installations such as the motorway or Parkway, which have their own dedicated lighting circuits installed, it would be relatively easy to install a time switch and a set of contactors in the main power box to control the entire section. However, in most built up areas the street lights take their feed individually off the same supply cable which supplies everyone else, houses, shops, etc. There a time switch would have to be fitted to every light, quite an expensive and time consuming business.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by DavidU ... dated:06 March 2011
"Ian, looks like they're thinking what you're thinking...
Greater Manchester Combined Authority"
 
It looks potentially dangerous to me. We could easily be overruled by the neighbours for political reasons. Another attempt at imposing congestion charging or the anti vehicle policies of our neighbours (such as the reduction of the A6 from 3 lanes to 1 near to Salford University applied to Chester Road) imposed on us against our wishes.
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Boblet ... dated:05 March 2011
Ian, looks like they're thinking what you're thinking...
Re: Trafford council (a shambles)
Reply posted by Ian ... dated:04 March 2011
I think the lights have gone out at Trafford Council. I used to work for them and the systems they use are in the dark ages compared to the private sector, there are too many staff who abuse the sick leave scheme and too many middle management staff who monitor the workload of staff under them but don't try to help. The way to save money would be to go along the shared services route for councils and also for  police staff, new contracts could be brought in which would help reduce costs and stricter monitoring of sickness, perhaps no payment for the first 5 days. With revised contracts there would also be greater savings on employer pension payments, come on councils get in to the real world!!
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