Comment: Move needs to be carefully monitored

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No-one likes nuisance callers, and we would all like to put a block on certain conversations.

But the city council’s move today to introduce a blacklist of problem complainants needs to be very carefully monitored.

Clearly if staff are being repeatedly verbally abused or threatened then action must be taken. No-one should feel unsafe in their workplace and we would support all measures to take action against those responsible.

However, what is worrying opposition politicians is the potential for genuine complaints to be brushed under the carpet as a 
result.

By their very nature complaints can become heated and council staff should have training in how to handle those situations, and not the option to put the phone down and invoke the blacklist at the first opportunity.

The city council maintains it does not expect to use the new system very often and we certainly hope that is the case.

The best way to respond to a complaint after all is almost always to solve it as quickly and efficiently as possible, reducing all communication to letter or through a third party is obviously not going to achieve that.

We will be watching closely how these new powers are used.

No-one has the right to abuse council staff but everyone has the right to complain.

You are life-savers

The response to our campaign to ensure a defibrillator in every sports centre in the Lothians has so far been incredible.

Since launching the campaign with the family of Jamie Skinner on Monday, we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support. Today we tell how Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre is to officially adopt the appeal. Thanks to them and to everyone who has been so supportive. It really is shockingly easy to save a life.