I asked under the FoI for details of the enormous number of complaints the council had received in the three years prior to my request. The council acknowledged and told me that they were entitled to up to 20 working days to answer me. The twenty working days came and went and no reply. I sent Reminder No 1 – no acknowledgement and no reply. And the same for Reminder No 2. Reminder No 3 was a little more assertive but I did get a reply that my request was being attended to. Reminder No 4 was not really a reminder; I told them I'd asked the Information Commissioner to remind the council of its statutory duties.
I received details of the enormous number of complaints a few minutes ago. There were five.
One is dated 20th June and is therefore a complaint made after my request, after the issue was made public and after the assertion of an enormous numher of complaints. I can ignore that one for the time being – it could well have been a response to the outrage the council is attempting to create rather than a genuine complaint.
But, anyway, there are still four - and that's more than most councils receive. Mostly there are none.
All four (or five) are articulate and plausible and on the same lines as this one below. So, we can get the idea that it's our discharge of rubbish that's the problem. As always.
Apart from the complaint which was only made weeks after the council began its campaign, none are dated. I have no idea when the complaints were made. For all I know they could have been made up in the weeks since my request. I've asked for the dates.
I've been invited to talk by telephone with a senior council employee.
But situation is normal. Council alleges enormous number of complaints – FoI says four.