Further to Councillor Nicholas Watson’s call for “less spin and more substance” from Scottish Borders Council (Southern, January 13), can I give a practical example of what I would consider to be better communication?
In the last few weeks, many people have had a problem knowing when rubbish is going to be collected. The council web pages have been frequently consulted by people confused by the Christmas/New Year holiday changes and the disruptions due to the weather.
SBC’s web pages, unlike those of many local authorities, have not provided any specific information – general statements are useless to people wanting to know when to put out rubbish. We know when Christmas will happen, so why not plan ahead and put holiday changes into the timetables that are distributed to all households every year – and not put expensive adverts into newspapers every December, which are only read by a few people, and remembered by even fewer.
The revamped SBC communications team should consider examining what information the public needs from council departments, and provide this efficiently, effectively and timeously; and place a much lower priority on presenting unpopular decisions in the best light.
The public in the Borders are intelligent and well educated – they will appreciate good, honest information and quickly spot the spin. They deserve good public information from their council.
(secretary, The Borders Party)