Friday, 15 July 2011

Buckingham Palace...I mean Hackney Council

Now we all have unwelcome visitors in our garden from time to time - slugs, snails, caterpillars - for example.  Worse than these invertebrates however - I have men from Hackney Council!!!!.

I was very excited this morning as I'd been invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace and I doubt you get a garden more glamorous than the palace garden.  Unfortunately my day was slightly ruined by men climbing over my fence.

I had already blogged about the council sending two men over who clambered over my fence unannounced and trampled my plants here....

Then the same thing happened a second time and I called the council complaints line to complain.  Not the best idea as the woman who operates the complaints desk doesn't seem to appreciate you complaining and is likely to take your complaint as a personal attack on her and continue the conversation with a sarcastic tone in her voice.  The complaints desk it would appear is only there to redirect you to somewhere else anyway or to tell you it's better to complain in writing or via email.  I chose the email option...

That was a mistake though - unsurprisingly my email was returned unsent (I have a feeling that their inbox is full but that is mere speculation).

So then just this morning as I'm getting ready to go to Buckingham Palace - this appears over my fence...

followed by this...

Which basically scared the S*£T out of me

and then he leaves, the same way he came...(don't watch all of this, it goes on and on and on.  Tres boring.

Just so you know - they are discussing how many weights they can lift at the gym, not how fabulous my garden is looking.

Lord, it feels like I'm on an episode of that cowboy builders programme....

Now the frustrating thing here is, they only need to knock on my door, or give me a little warning and I can unlock my back gate.  But clearly there's far too much organisation involved for Hackney Council - trespass and property damage is a much easier option.

So I complained again this morning - cue woman with attitude problem as I dare to phone the complaints line with a complaint.  Do not be irate, emotional or angry whilst complaining to Hackney Council.  In fact don't bother complaining - just move boroughs...or cities...or better yet countries (my friends had such bad dealings with Hackney Council they moved here... )

Now my complaint is apparently in 'stage one' now, which is exciting (and I have no idea what 'stage one' is - I think it means nothing much will be done).  Anyway - my complaint was passed to my 'neighbourhood office' (I'm putting lots of apostrophes everywhere because I know not what any of these things mean)

My neighbourhood office did call me however, and this is basically how the conversation went...

Neighbourhood office 'Hello, is this....[me]?"

Me: Yes

N.O : well the problem is - we do not have the address of the property you are complaining about

Me: Ok, you want my address then?

N.O No, we have your address, we want the address of the property you are complaining about

Me: um? I'm not following you.

N.O it just says here that you want to make a complaint about 2 men climbing in to a property

Me: I do yes, I want to complain about two men climbing in to MY property (um...obviously? no? perhaps not?).

N.O oh ok.  We will investigate.

Hang up.

Wow, investigate, that sounds thrilling.  I can't wait to find out what you discover.

To be continued.  Probably for a very long time.

I'll tell you all about Buckingham Palace soon - which will be a much more cheery blog post.  Princess Anne looked wonderful.


  1. Lady Snodsbury of Pilkington19 July 2011 at 00:41

    Hackney Council rarely does anything more than "going through the motions" with complaints at Stage 1. However, it is useful if you are issued with a Complaints Reference number.
    If they don't write to you within three days you should fast forward your complaint to Stage two. At this stage the Council will ignore your Stage 2 complaint, but will deal with your Stage 1 complaint.

    Franz Kafka would have had a field day in Hackney!

    Looking forward to hearing about the borders of Buckingham Palace!

  2. Hackney Council, don't get me started! A man turned up recently, out of the blue, and replaced my my old chainlink fence with a solid wood one. I wouldn't have minded but I'd just spent two back-breaking hours digging out the (now invisible) bed to plant it up. Anything you hear from Hackney Council about consultation is a total farce. Did you ever progress to a stage 2, by the way?