Do they know who I am? Yes they do…

Friday, 20th May

• ARE you being pestered by the council’s parking permit officers to prove digitally that you live at your address?

If you do not or cannot provide this information your resident’s parking permit will be cancelled and your vehicle towed away and you will face paying a huge penalty.

Some years ago Camden Council spent a massive sum on “updating” its IT system. It seems yet again long-suffering residents ended up with a worse service.

In this specific case the council already has me on the electoral roll. For over 30 years I received a postal vote in my name, have a library card, Freedom Pass and I pay the council tax. Why ask me to supply information they already have in multiple forms?

But there is a wider issue than this petty bureaucratic nonsense of officers not doing their job and demanding residents do it for them.

The Covid-19 pandemic revealed that an estimated 25 per cent of residents in the Gospel Oak area have no effective digital access.

Other forms of communication do not work. Attempts to telephone often result in long waits and, for those on pay-as-you-go tariffs, vast costs.

Perhaps the new influx of councillors will learn about the huge range of problems facing our residents and work with them to bring relief.

Or will they do what their predecessors did after the last local election in 2018, vote £10k annual increases for cabinet members.

Surely their first task will be to sort out the communication system so that vulnerable residents can actually contact council officers. And, of course, stop officers asking residents for information they already have.

MICK FARRANT, NW5

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