The CEO speaks: Croydon is “proud to serve”. Allegedly

Croydon Council, replete with meaningless “mission statements”, expensive consultants, focus groups and empty managementspeak gobbledegook is, apparently, “proud to serve”.

They say that local residents’ views “really do count”.

Publications usually only have one foreword. But in a 44-page document produced by Croydon, our council which has “efficiency in its DNA” (copyright Nathan Elvery, 2011), they manage to find space for not just one, not two, but three (count ’em!) forewords.

Presumably with a press operation working on the 7th Floor of Taberner House alongside the CEO’s office, the staff there has to make sure it delivers on the £660,000 annual cost of Croydon’s very own Ministry of UnTruth.

Croydon calls this their customer service five-year plan, which might not be the best-advised title for such a piece of propaganda. After all, wasn’t it Stalin who “popularised” five-year plans?

Undeterred, Our Great leader, Croydon’s near-£200,000 a year chief executive Jon Rouse, has penned one of the forewords threewords, where he says:

“We take customer service seriously in Croydon Council and this strategy is one of the most important ones in the organisation. This strategy is designed to enable us to meet and exceed the expectations more of the time.

“We know there is more work to do in improving customer satisfaction with the services we deliver. Over the coming year, all front-line services will undertake a self-assessment in relation to customer service quality, with a view to gaining external accreditation after that.

“We work hard at delivering excellent value for money. That is why we will be looking at how customers currently access services and identifying whether we could make these services available in a better, smarter way.

“This is about giving customers more control over when and where they access our services.

“This is about making any interaction between the customer and the council easier, better and faster. Our ethos is ‘no wrong door’ in that none of our customers should ever feel like they are being passed from department to department, with no answer. We will be working with the services that matter to our customers in order to develop staff, systems and processes so that always put our customers first.”

We here at Inside Croydon naturally applaud the sentiments.

And with help from our loyal reader and other Croydon residents, its businesses and visitors, we will, of course, be keeping check to see that the council’s deeds match their words. Below is a quick selection of the most recent examples where Rouse’s five-year customer service plan has fallen well short of its noble sentiments already.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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