‘Great service. Excellent value. Would use again. A+++++++++++’

Perhaps a bit flippant, especially as I think the latest initiative from our heavily listing ship of state is, actually, quite a good one.

The simple fact is that these ratings take place informally in all sorts of places.  Across the counter of the local shop, between neighbours or online in various guises: people are not afraid to say what they think is wrong (or right) with local services.

What has never happened is for that conversation to take place on an ‘authorised’ forum – public services have never encouraged people to tell them what’s wrong.  Of course, I can immediately see the criticism; this will just be legitimising those with an axe to grind or agenda to push.  And you can see how it would be fairly easy for people with minor gripes, if I were in opposition I’d be combing the feedback for ammunition.

I think Wandsworth provide excellent services, but I also know that nothing is perfect and however much we strive we won’t get it right 100% of the time. But given that these conversations are taking place, and people do have complaints, shouldn’t we be encouraging them to air them in an arena where we can do something about them?

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.