Mary Tabor on dealing with complaints and grievances [Text only]

'Yes in the mid fifties, we used to invite all the tenants who'd come within the last six months...'

Stevenage Museum

Mary: Yes in the mid fifties, we used to invite all the tenants who’d come within the last six months and this wasn’t to give them the first information, but it was to tell them, well listen to all their grievances. We used to invite someone from the gas board and someone from the telephones and someone from the buses, the same complaints always used to come up and the same answers always were given. It was rather funny because I went to a meeting about a year ago I think, at Broadwater because they were having troubles with the new estate down, the council were having problems with the Hertford Road houses and a sort of tenants meeting there and exactly the same things came up, the same then as now.

Interviewer: What sort of things?

Mary: Well why can’t we have a bus? And they’d say you can’t have a bus if you don’t have a certain number of people but were going to have a bus but you’ve got to wait until that road is finished. Mud of course was one of the things that always came up. The telephones it was very difficult to begin with it think the lines were difficult, telephones were difficult.

Interviewer: People didn’t have telephones in their houses?

Mary: Well some of them wanted telephones in their houses and they were on the list but they couldn’t get it. The public telephones were a long time coming. We used to sometimes have to make arrangements with the clerk of works if somebody’s baby was coming in the middle of the night they, well they wouldn’t be there in the middle of the night, but different things happen some plans or some kind of vigil had to say who had got a telephone, telephones were definitely a problem. It was the Corporation were always blamed for, everything was the Corporations fault in those days. But of course it was extremely difficult to get everything, I mean it’s its bad enough isn’t it when you move into a house and to get the roads finished and the gas, electricity and everything at the same time.

I remember at one point, one of the complaints was always that the builders hadn’t put the top soil back, the garden always flooded because of course most people hadn’t had a garden they used to come back to the estates people and landscaping and they’d say it was just a question of gardening, they must dig a trench put all the stones in it and that will do away with the flooding sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. But this was the children through the mud and bringing it into the house this was the sort of thing that housewives found difficult. The other thing was a lot of the builders left all the rubbish and I was digging and found this and that no topsoil. Then there would be topsoil somewhere else I remember we had tried to get a scheme by which lorries would deliver topsoil, deliver it somewhere so people could go and get their topsoil.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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