Emergency Services (councillors are not)

Cllr John Paschoud

Cross posted from Love Perry Vale:

I found a call on my BT 1571 service, about 14 hours after it had been left (whilst I was out at a meeting the previous evening). “What should I do about this burst water main?!?!?” was the gist. Whilst I’ve been known to sometimes exercise mild plumbing skills at home (I’m not thinking of it as a major vocation!), I’m definitely not the person you need in that – or most other emergencies!

Thames Water are the ones to call for water supply and main-sewer emergencies. British Gas or Transco deal with gas leaks. The appropriate ‘official’ 999 service to call (only if there seems to be serious risk to life or property) for this sort of thing is the Fire Service (and London Ambulance if somebody is actually hurt).

I’ve been thinking about how to compile and maintain an online directory of useful contacts for these “semi-emergencies”. I’ve acquired quite a few over 10+ years of being a councillor – but that doesn’t mean they’re all up-to-date. Ones that I’ve used (or wanted to use) recently include: TfL Streets for reporting confused traffic-lights (but I had to phone one of the Council’s highway engineers to find it); TfL buses for reporting bus drivers who drive badly or drive straight past bus stops (although I last used that to commend a bus driver who was doing a very good job); British Transport Police (for reporting when station gates are locked, when they shouldn’t be, so they can arrest directors of Southern Railways)…

The Council does have ways to look-up most of these things; and it does have a number that’s staffed 24/7, with staff who can call-out appropriate specialists to deal with this sort of thing. It’s 020 8314 6000. That’s usually what I call, if I’m stumped.

About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in John Paschoud, Lewisham's Politicians. Bookmark the permalink.

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