CamdenNewJournal

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Town Hall told: Soften tone of your letters

28 February, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Julian Fulbrook

THE Town Hall has been told to tone down the blunt manner in which it writes to residents in financial difficulties.

The suggestion came from one of the council’s own Labour councillors who wants Camden to do more to provide advice for people up against it.

Julian Fulbrook told a scrutiny meeting discussion on suicide prevention: “Sometimes when you see the letters our constituents receive from the council, you think ‘my goodness, this would drive anyone to some extreme measure’. It’s wholly inappropriate.”

Front-line staff have been given extra training to help explain services and advise residents, the meeting last Wednesday heard.

Cllr Fulbrook, one of the longest serving councillors at the Town Hall, said: “Financial issues loom really large and I don’t think there are any councillors here who have faced a ward surgery without someone saying something like they are at their wits’ end – council leaseholders who get in over their heads, and tenancy arrears.”

Green councillor Sian Berry added: “You can say the same thing but in a better way. I know that doesn’t solve people’s benefits problems but if the way we can communicate it could be reviewed that would be good.”

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