Oh, Cornwall Council…

FAO anyone who might care at Cornwall Council,

(My expectations are low)

One week ago my son tried to use your “fully accessible toilet” and was left dangling in the middle of the room.

This was actually just one of the problems we faced that day.

The others included

  1. Difficulty getting in the building due to lack of a sign telling us to press a button behind us.
  2. Having a panic when we reached the toilet door because it stated on it that we needed to get a key from Reception. There was no visible lock so I saved us a wild goose chase by trying it and found it unlocked. Others no doubt trek to Reception – on a different floor!
  3. The emergency pull cord being set the wrong side of the sliding bar of the tracking and getting caught, hence setting off the alarm.
  4. Nobody coming when the alarm went off.
  5. The pull cord being in a position where it dipped in the toilet on the way back across the room. How many times has that been in the toilet bowl? Yuck!
  6. The hoist stopping half way across the room because it was not charged. Despite the sign in the room saying the facility had been checked twice that day the hoist had clearly been off the charging point for some time.

It was bad enough that my 10 year old son had to leave the park, where he had been playing with his friends,  spend time getting back to the car and strapping his wheelchair down (10 minutes) and then driving (10 minutes) to get to the nearest properly accessible toilet.

I know that Cornwall Council aware of the importance of Changing Places toilets and the limitations on so many lives without them.

When I wrote an e-mail of complaint I expected a compassionate response.

I expected a voice of sadness that this had happened.

I expected an apology.

I expected a request to discuss this further to ensure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Yet what I received was an insulting e-mail, quite frankly.

“Dear Rachel George,

Thank you for contacting Cornwall Council.

The toilets at Boscawen Park are no longer owned by Cornwall Council, they have recently been taken over by Truro City Council. You can contact their clerk, Roger Gazzard, on info@truro.gov.uk or 01872 274766.

Kind regards,”

Wow! Somebody really didn’t read it, did they?

I can accept that maybe one person was having an off day so I replied with a fresh e-mail, making it wery clear that I still wished to have the original complaint looked into but was now also complaining about the reply.

I heard nothing via e-mail.

However, it was brought to the attention of a nameless, faceless person at Cornwall Council who responded via Twitter with the following,

@ordinaryhopes  clearly our 1st response didn’t take account of the issues you raised, we’re sorry about that. Our Property Manager & Facilities Management team would like to meet you to identify how best to manage the facility so it can be of genuine use in the future, please DM us your contact details to arrange a meeting.

So still no apology that it happened in the first place!

A somewhat low-key recognition that the response “didn’t take account of the issues”.

You failed to read the complaint, failed to care and failed dismally with your response.

Since then, you have failed to actually contact me using the telephone number or e-mail address I provided you with. Four working days should surely have been time to telephone me?

If you cared.

My 10 year old son was left dangling in your bathroom, attached to a hoist with a toileting harness. His life is often difficult enough. On the day this happened he ended up being away from his friends in the park for one hour and forty minutes, just to use the toilet! Some friends had to leave in that time.

Doesn’t he deserve better?

 

13 thoughts on “Oh, Cornwall Council…

  1. How awful. A little care and compassion goes a long way. I really hope they respond and realise how vitally important these facilities, and kindness, are in making such a difference in people’s quality of life. xx

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  2. Your son absolutely deserves a full apology. For a local authority to respond with such a lack of compassion is beyond disappointing. I hope they not only apologise, but provide a full and concise explanation of how, and when, they will resolve all of the issues you encountered that day.

    It shouldn’t be such a battle to get accessible changing places, and they certainly shouldn’t be as badly thought out as the one your son had to use.

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    1. I had hoped that it would have been seen as a priority to ensure that the problems we encountered would not be faced by anyone else.

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  3. This makes me so cross. So often folks don’t appreciate how their lack of care can impact on others. This whole toilet issue wasn’t something I really had thought about before, certainly how much time and effort and planning were needed for every loo visit….Knowing where the nearest accessible loos are, driving there, getting in…etc only to find things weren’t working properly – especially when the note says they are checked. It needs a high profile campaign! You need to be on The One Show or GMTV so people are aware of how important this is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can see why you are upset by the responses, but I’m disgusted by what you had to go to in the toilet, your poor lad. This really does need addressing and you need a proper apology.

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  5. What appalling behaviour, shirking responsibility and ignoring your messages, they should be ashamed. Is that what classes as help in Cornwall? It’s not like your asking them to spend millions of pounds, it wouldn’t kill them to have decent, working facilities or to fix them up when they are broken/faulty. Instead they’d rather ignore you in the hope you go away. Sad that that’s what passes for public service in that area. I hope they get their fingers out and actually do something about it, your son shouldn’t have to put up with this sort of ineptitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      It is hard to believe that anyone, in any business, would leave such a complaint so long without making proper contact. Especially as they have my home telephone number and e-mail address. So much worse when it is Cornwall Council.

      Like

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