By Ian Dipple Monday 22 October 2012 Updated: 22/10 17:35
A TELEPHONE system failure has left residents struggling to contact Bromsgrove District Council.
Engineers are still battling to fix the problem which occurred on Friday afternoon (October 19). It means anyone trying to contact Bromsgrove District Council on the main switchboard number is being directed to the call centre at Redditch who are then trying to divert people back to staff in the Bromsgrove office, taking messages and asking staff to return calls.
Coun Peter McDonald, leader of the Labour group on the council, said it was the third time the system had failed this year and said taxpayers were being given 'a second rate service by a second rate council'.
"We have had three different systems in the last eight years and Bromsgrove council has spent in excess of £3million on phone systems. The people responsible for the procurement of this system ought to be accountable," he said.
"Residents are being sent to Redditch and then put through to the hub and then having to listen to music for half an hour it's diabolical.
"It's grossly unfair on the residents who pay for all these systems and then can't get in touch with their council."
A spokeswoman for Bromsgrove District Council said they were unable to say when the system would be back up and running.
"Due to a failure of the telephone system at the Customer Service Centre we have had to instigate our business continuity plan to enable us to take customers calls.
"This means we have transferred lines to the Redditch CSC and have redeployed staff to handle calls as best they can in Redditch. As the staff do not have access to all the system they would normally use they are having to transfer calls back to staff in the Bromsgrove offices or take messages and have staff return calls.
"Whilst inconvenient this is better than having no phone lines available at all.
"Every effort is being made to try to resolve the problem and we hope to be back to normal as soon as possible."
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