Dealing with residents’ problems

One of the first things that start to hit your inbox when first elected as a councillor are emails from constituents, and others, who have a problem or issue. To existing councillors and council officers this type of work is referred to as ‘casework’.
The first casework I logged was actually from me as there happened to be an issue close to my home that needed some input from the council to get it resolved. This was quite useful as it provided an opportunity to try out the council’s processes with only me to account to. In this case the system worked and the problem was resolved – great start!
A steady flow of casework has followed and now forms a regular part of my life. It is good that I am able to help people but I find it difficult to avoid dealing with emails and phone calls at weekends, when on holiday, or even in one case when rushing across London to catch a train for a business-related meeting.
I have received enquiries with a broad range of subjects and work done as a result has included replacing a manhole cover in Central Road, painting parking bay lines which had been missed due to a parked car and replacement of a fence damaged in last winter’s storms. Other subjects of casework have included parking penalties, litter, waste collection, a broken tree branch hanging over the pavement and even a missing tap!
It can be quite a job keeping track of everything but it is very pleasing when issues are resolved and you are contacted by a happy and/or relieved resident.
It is worth mentioning that residents can register issues and then follow their progress via the Report It area of the London Borough of Sutton web site. On occasions where things don’t work out as expected your councillors are of course available to help and can be contacted as shown in the Your Councillors section of the Sutton web site.