Oh Celia, if only you’d read your e-mails properly…

Catching up with stuff, number two: I really don’t take much satisfaction in digging out an individual here; an individual who I suspect is probably engaged in work which is underfunded and under huge pressure from incompetents and a lousy administration further up the food chain. It’s the last refuge of an arse, frankly.

However, congratulations to Celia Johnson, an administration manager at Greenwich Council’s waste services team for sending the kind of e-mail you really shouldn’t send out to someone without doing your research properly. Sorry Celia, perhaps you should think twice before pulling this trick again. Hopefully this will act as a reminder.

Remember my humdinger of a post describing how it took four weeks and an e-mail to my local councillors and a senior manager for the council to pull its finger out and shift some dumped wheelie bins from my road? I complained about that along with the problem caused by neighbouring council tenants routinely leaving their bins on the pavement. Oh, it was a thriller. But there was a sort-of happy ending as the bins were finally shifted. Job done. I can forget about it. Well, so I thought.

There’s a sequel. One day into my holiday, I had an e-mail from Ms Johnson.

Your original request for action Ref: 346349 only stated the problem of the tenants at [address deleted] leaving their bins on the pavement.

Unfortunately for me, she’d cc’d this e-mail to her boss, neighbourhood services director Jim Wintour, and my three local councillors. Not nice to have it implied that I’m telling porkies.

Unfortunately for her, I can prove she’s wrong – I’d reported the problem via FixMyStreet, and my “original request for action” can be viewed here, including the words: “There are also wheelie bins dumped outside the north end of Harold Gibbons Court.”

I got a little angry at this, so counted to 30, then e-mailed her to point this out, and to ask that perhaps her and her colleagues would consider reading complaints properly before acting on them, and also that they could possibly refrain from cc’ing misleading e-mails like that to her boss and my local councillors, who I need to have an honest dialogue with. And then I returned to my holiday. Two weeks on, I haven’t had an apology; nor have I had any kind of reply. Shame.

But then again, this is Greenwich Council, where the council tax payer is always wrong. I don’t blame Ms Johnson personally – she’s clearly a cog in a hopelessly-run operation. But unfortunately, it’s us who bear the brunt of it, and pay for the privilege. And to be told we’re wrong by their staff.

Incidentally, Monday was bin day, which means doing wheelie-bin slalom around bins left out in the street by the council’s waste team, who uniquely manage to leave streets looking filthier after they’ve visited…
After the binmen called...
Nice work with the nappies, lads.


  1. Vicky

    Good on you!

    I once had a running email discussion with the gaffer of my local bin collection route after they didn’t empty my bin when I filled it with rocks (oops) I’d emptied the thing, but they still maintained that my bin was chockful of building rubble.

    It was only after my local councillor (a lovely middle aged lady who lives on the next road to me) came and looked inside the thing that they admitted they’d been looking through a bin on the wrong street.

  2. Charlton Average

    If you want bins on the street removed you might want to try and find out what the “Floyd Road” tactic is. The Council have taken away every single bin from one side of Floyd Road, allegedly due to complaints they were blocking the pavement. There was no consultation or warnings, one day they all just vanished. So the council can act rapidly and make bins vanish, if you can find out what the trigger was…