Haringey Council sorry for email telling resident to ‘P off’

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill

Wood Green Civic Centre. Picture: David Winskill - Credit: David Winskill

Haringey Council was forced to apologise when an employee accidentally forwarded an email telling a member of the public to “P off” to the man himself.

The council officer, who was acting head of the town hall's parking scheme's department, dealt with a query from Crouch End man Howard Kaye by sending him a message which said: "Tell him to P off. Get it logged and make him wait 10 days and we can help with the response."

It has only recently come to light, but was a response sent in January to a query about whether it would be possible to remove a parking bay that obstructed the views of cars coming down Crouch Hill towards Christchurch Road.

Howard told the Broadway this week: "I'm not a vexations person. I simply wrote to the council saying 'here's something I think is dangerous'. To cut a long story short, I then got this weird email."

Howard said the email, seen by this newspaper, "must have been supposed to be internal".

He added: "I received a grovelling apology, saying 'this was a bit of a joke gone wrong'.

"More to the point, though, this shows you the way the council treat people. They had not looked at the issue at all.

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"Really this illustrates how the council completely ignores local residents."

He said he had decided to share the email with this newspaper now "in the context of planned road closures to make Crouch End more 'liveable'" (see also Opinion, p13).

Zina Etheridge, the town hall's chief executive, apologised, saying she was "sorry we fell short on this occasion". She added: "This behaviour falls far below what we expect from our staff. The issue was addressed at the time. The team apologised to the resident immediately and offered to meet him to apologise further.

"A mistake made nine months ago does absolutely not reflect wider attitudes in the council at the time, or now."

In September, council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor confirmed there would be consultation following the conclusion of the Liveable Crouch End trial that began on October 7.