An Eastbourne man who was accidentally ‘killed off’ by the council says the whole situation was a shambles.
Ron Burgoyne received a letter at his home in Hampden Park saying his wife’s council tax costs would be changing as he had died.
Very much alive, the 69-year-old said the letter set off a complicated sequence of events that dragged out for months. He said, “They sent me a letter to say I was dead. A man [at the council] said there’s been a mix up. If my name was Jones or Williams I could probably understand, but there not that many Burgoynes around. But then to be told they had the same initials – how could they get that so wrong?”
He said he was told the issue was fixed but then, months later, he received a letter saying his name had been struck off the electoral register.
“It’s a shambles,” Mr Burgoyne said, “I’m getting nowhere with them. I was so wound up my hands were shaking. I was struggling not to get really annoyed. The fact that they don’t answer the phone is very frustrating.”
He has filed a complaint about the whole process, after saying he spoke to multiple council staff and called numerous times.
He then received a letter which said someone would be in touch on August 15. When nothing had arrived by August 17, he rang the council again. “They said it hasn’t been assigned to anybody yet,. I said, ‘can I complain about the complaint procedure?’ They said no.”
He added: “It’s one thing apologising, it’s another sorting it out. I have got no confidence at all, they can’t even respond to a complaint. You can’t run a business like that,”
Eastbourne Borough Council said the council tax and electoral records have been corrected. A spokesperson said, “We are sorry that an initial mistake was made regarding Mr Burgoyne’s records. We have now fully investigated the issue and a response has been sent to Mr Burgoyne.”