Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Thanet District Council’s leisure websites complaint update.

Of the things that I periodically raise with the council I think the issue of how the council promotes local leisure on the internet is becoming increasingly more important.

When the council failed to promote the royal visit of the Queen to Margate, see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2011/11/council-website-misplaces-royal-visit.html I decided that enough was enough and I was going to take the problem of the council’s three dysfunctional tourism websites all the way through the complaints system until I got some sort of improvement.

The current complaint is one of several I have made about this subject, this link takes you to my pervious post about it
http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-do-you-do-when-thanet-district.html the correspondence there takes you up to a couple of weeks ago when I asked them to send it for further review.

Below in red their response received today.

Dear Mr Child

Customer Feedback Reference:33343/1962152

Thank you for your recent communication which was received on 11/01/2012, where you raised a number of concerns about the way we promote events on our websites.

As you complaint refers to events, I must begin our response by noting that it is not part of the Council’s remit to promote events.  Whilst, we accept that events are good for the area, it is not our goal to promote every event, which is a key part of the event organiser’s role.  Some organiser’s will ask for the Council’s support (which we primarily offer through our Tourism website), some ask the Press but, equally, some do not promote their events at all.

With regard to the points made in your complaint, I would like to offer the following response:

Warming Words is a Thanet District Council organised programme and we apologise that events for that programme were not promoted as effectively as they could have been.

Content on the community portal is user driven – it is a facility that we provide to community groups so that they can promote their own activities. We keep the control of this fairly simple: correcting grammar, typos, and moderating only to prevent offensive or illegal content being published. Wherever we can, we have encouraged local voluntary and community groups to make use of this free facility throughout the year.

We were not informed of the New Years Eve fireworks in Ramsgate so were not able to promote that event on any of our websites.

We are happy to review the publication of our events, ensuring that our efforts focus on what is important within the resources which we have to hand.  As promoting other’s events is not within our remit a review may lead us to simplify our provision rather than enhance the service as you appear to imply.

However the feedback, that you have provided, has stimulated internal discussion about these issues and we will progress these. Thank you.

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 ****** ****** - Customer Feedback Co-ordinator, Business Services.

Yours sincerely

***** *****
Business Services Manager

On the whole I take this response to be positive, at least they seem to have finally acknowledged that there is a problem.

Busy day and I will add a bit to this when I get time. 


  1. Until the next time. Lots on information on the Channel Dash" service on Saturday.

  2. Since we're on the issue of TDC websites, I finally managed to watch the webcast of last month's Full Council meeting. the recording is fine, its just that Councillors either aren't talking into the microphone, or they arent switching them on. Theres also frequent shouting at Councillors who are speaking, thus the pauses.

    In short, its the workmen/women, not the equipment...

  3. James I had an unsatisfactory response to my complaint that the video was too small, mostly they responded to the effect that Youtube limits the size and length of videos, something they stopped doing about a year ago. Anyway I have asked them for further review, what a waste of their time and mine.

    The stock response of responding to genuine complaint, about something that we are paying for, that is being done badly, being an excuse that they are doing it as well as they can, just won’t wash with me any more.

    In the case of the videos there is a cheaper (free) solution and as they are making the videos anyway, the only cost is editing out what they don’t want us to hear, because it reflects badly on the council. I think the proper solution is to tell members that it will be published unedited on Youtube before the meeting starts.

  4. Michael Ihave given up on the idea TDC will promote tourism on anyof their sites.

  5. Don,
    You say, " I have given up on the idea TDC will promote tourism on any of their sites."

    Surely TDC are correct in this. After all what possible connection can there be between Thanet and Tourism.


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