I have had a reply to my complaint to the council about their various events websites, they don’t seem to want to sort the issue out, so I am now going down the road that wastes everyone’s time including their own and will probably eventually lead to The Local Government Ombudsman.
The correspondence is below and if anyone has any better ideas, please put them in the blog comments.
Here is my initial complaint
This complaint relates to the council’s events sites and results from my trying to get information about the New Year fireworks events in Thanet.
From Christmas 2011 until New Years day I tried to find information about New Years events using the councils three information websites and I have tried subsequently to use these websites to find information about what’s on in the three main Thanet towns in January.
None of the three council events websites mentioned either the fireworks event in Ramsgate that did take place or the cancellation of the one in Broadstairs and event coverage on all three sites for January is very poor.
Warming Words has no events listed for January see http://www.warmingwords.org.uk/january.aspx
Thanet District Council Community Information Portal has one event listed for January, see http://communityportal.thanet.gov.uk/home/
Visit Thanet while slightly better than the others shows only on event for Ramsgate for the whole of January comparing this with the amount of events listed in the local papers local papers, it seems that something has gone radically wrong with the way the council tourist information is ensuring that local events appear on the internet.
Below is one days listings of events from one local paper.
Saturday January 7
Bradstow Mill, Broadstairs, JEDWOOD
Port and Anchor, Ramsgate, EYELASH GUILT
Britannia, Margate, BARKIN’ MAD
Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs, STEVE MORRISON
Birchington United Services Club, Station Road, Birchington, OUTCOME
Margate Museum, Old Town Hall, Market Place, Margate, A GEORGIAN CHRISTMAS, 11am-5pm
Ramsgate Sports Centre, ROLLER DISCO, family session from 6-7.30pm, 8 years and upwards from 8-9.30pm
Club Caprice, Cliff Terrace, Cliftonville, DJ MASTER G, 8pm until late, chart, R & B etc
Harbour Street Bar, Ramsgate, KARAOKE
Revolution Skate Park, Dane Valley Road, St Peters, BEGINNERS CLIMBING CLUB, 5-6.30pm, 01843 866707/866706
Staffordshire Street Car Park, Ramsgate, MARKET
The Albert, Ramsgate, DISCO WITH DJ BLACK ICE, 8pm until late
The Pride of Ramsgate, Turner Street, GAY NIGHT CLUB, 10pm-3am
TDCCOM1860 ref supplied 10.01.2012
Best regards MichaelTheir response
In a message dated 25/01/2012 08:22:36 GMT Standard Time, *******@Thanet.gov.uk writes:
Dear Mr Child
Customer Feedback Reference:33343/1962152
Regarding Firework displays over the Christmas and New Year period.
Thank you for your recent communication which was received on 11/01/2012.
The council’s main website, www.thanet.gov.uk offers community groups and event organisers the facility to publish information about events, and these websites rely on this information being generated and published.
The warming words website is a literacy project and only features literacy based events. However, events have not been updated for January as there have been no events organised.
Unfortunately, the Council and Visit Thanet were not informed about the fireworks event in Ramsgate which took place and this is why this event wasn’t published on our websites.
The fireworks event in Broadstairs was not published because the decision to cancel the event was taken over the Christmas period and the council’s offices were closed.
We hope that this resolves the matter to your satisfaction.
If you are not happy with our response, you may write to us with your reasons within the next ten working days, requesting a further review.
In order for us to respond as efficiently as possible, please ensure that you quote the above reference number and address your communication to Amanda Buckingham - Customer Feedback Co-ordinator, Business Services.
Corporate Information and Improvement Manager
My reply to their response.
******, */****, I am requesting further review on this one.
At the moment we have three events information websites, all of which are using our limited council resources and none of them appear to be performing properly.
What I am trying to get you to do is to sort this issue out not excuse it, hopefully with one functional events website which shows the events that the various Thanet tourist information offices know about and the events that are sent to the council for inclusion, automatically or manually.
For the council’s main website homepage to be promoting only one church quiz in February one in March, a church tour in February and a gang show in March, as it is at the moment, is preposterous.
I should point out here that a major exhibition of international significance, Turner and the Elements, opened in Margate this weekend.
To say that there are no literary events in January to put on the Warming Words website is equally preposterous, an example would be the Lemn Sissay Poetry Projection, this involves poetry about fifty feet high being projected onto the building immediately opposite the tourist information office.
The failure to promote or to make any notification of the cancellation of the fireworks events also seems to be inexcusable, these are both significant annual events with council notification being mandatory. Unless of course you are saying that the Ramsgate event was held on council property without the council being notified.
In these times of public cuts I find it wholly unacceptable that the council should waste their limited funds on three separate events sites, none of which function properly in representing the events, that the tourist information officers are aware of, on the internet.
Best regards Michael