Hanging on the telephone: Harlow resident to question Harlow Council on waiting times

Harlow Council / Tue 13th Sep 2022 at 07:03am

A HARLOW resident is set to question Tory-run Harlow Council on increasing delays in answering the phone.

David Forman has tabled the following question at Thursday night’s cabinet meeting.

My question relates to Agenda reports pack for the Cabinet meeting of 15 September 2022 and is directed to Governance portfolio holder Alastair Gunn.


Under Agenda Item 11 on page 124 the KPI CS50 shows the average waiting time for calls received by Contact Harlow. Despite a target of 40 seconds, the average waiting time increased successively in each quarter of 2021/22 from 1m 15s to 2m 56s.

In quarter 1 of 2022/23 the average waiting time was 2m 43s and this was despite increasing the target time to 44 seconds.

In relation to Contact Harlow, under Agenda Item 10 on page 61 it shows that Harlow Council saved £32,000 in staffing costs due to staff vacancies.

Therefore, do you think:
(a) There is a correlation between excessive waiting times and fewer staff in Contact Harlow;

(b) That filling the staff vacancies would consistently achieve your less rigourous target waiting time of 44 seconds;

(c) The stress levels of the existing staff in Contact Harlow would be reduced by filling staff vacancies;

(d) That staff in Contact Harlow would suffer less verbal abuse if waiting times achieved your target of 44 seconds; and

(e) Conservative local election pledges in 2021 to run services better than the last dire Labour administration are now looking dubious?

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