Residents' anger over Ryedale District Council posting information on internet only

Gazette & Herald: . .

A SHIFT in the way local councils interact with the public could see residents who do not have access to the internet left in the dark about services.

People have expressed concerns about not being able to access information regarding garden waste collections over the winter, which have now stopped until March.

Kate Green, 75, of Helmsley, said it was becoming more common for organisations to post information online, leaving people without a computer without the means to access relevant information.

She said: “They all assume everyone has a computer. I certainly haven’t, and I know a number of people who haven’t.

“So, when Ryedale District Council said to go online for tips regarding green waste disposal I, along with a number of other people, have not been able to see what those tips are. It makes me so cross.

“There are a lot of older people in this area, many without a computer. I also don’t have a car, so it looks like my green waste will have to stay in my garden until the spring.”

John Brown, Ryedale District Council’s environmental co-ordinator, said the council will continue to send information out by non-electronic means.

“Ryedale District Council prides itself on high standards of customer service and listens carefully to all the issues raised,” he said.

“The council fully appreciates the profile of our residents and will continue to send information out through other non-electronic channels, though this is very much dependent on cost, as the council continues to face financial constraints affecting how its services are delivered.”

Mr Brown said the Government encourages local authorities to use the cheaper method of online communication.

For residents who do not use the internet, information tags fixed to their bins have information of collection date changes.

However, the council has admitted that for some residents the information tag could have ideally gone out a week earlier.

Information regarding collections over winter was also published in leaflets distributed to parish and town councils. These are also available at the council offices and local libraries.

Residents who require more information can phone 01653 600666.

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