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Noisy neighbours? Tell us in advance
11:00am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
A COUNCIL is unlikely to come out if you complain that your neighbours are being noisy – because it needs advance notice.
The policy emerged after a resident called Southend Council’s environmental health out-of-hours noise abatement service to report a rowdy party in the early hours of Sunday morning, but was told no one could help.
The resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “One of my neighbours was having a party, with music blaring. “I’m reasonable, but this noise was keeping my children up. I contacted the out-of-hours service at Southend Council to be told, ‘sorry we have no one to come out’.
“After pushing a little further I was finally told this was due to staffing levels. So they are doing nothing. “What I would like to know from them is what exactly are they wasting my £1,100 council tax on?”
The council’s out-of-hours service includes noise nuisance and other complaints. It operates each Friday and Saturday night from 5pm to 1am, but this can vary to cover daytime events, according to the council. The service is also available one evening a week, up to 9pm.
Carl Robinson, Southend Council’s group manager for regulatory services, said workers’ shifts were geared towards responding to prior calls rather than dealing with calls as they happen.
He added: “In general, the workload for each out-of-hours shift is pre-planned, using complaint data to target the most persistent issues, including noise.
“This means, although any resident contacting us on a particular night may not receive an immediate response, all calls are recorded, which helps us then plan our forthcoming out-of-hours workload schedules.
“We take issues of noise nuisance very seriously and would like to reassure residents their complaints are listened to and dealt with appropriately.”
Anyone suffering noise nuisance issues can call the council on 01702 215000.