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Brighton and Hove City Council staff to be taught how to write plain English after complaints of jargon-filled letters
6:00am Wednesday 2nd April 2014 in News
Council officers should be given training on writing clearer letters.
Residents who received letters from Brighton and Hove City Council’s housing department complained they were so full of jargon they could not understand them.
Staff will now have to have training in writing letters using simplified language in an effort to help tenants.
Councillor Bill Randall said he had recently received a letter from a tenant who had given up applying for a housing transfer because she couldn’t understand the forms she had to fill out.
He said: “We have a lot of people who find these things difficult.”
The council’s Housing Management Consultative Committee yesterday decided staff should be trained in writing letters, using plain English.
During the debate councillors gave their full backing to the plans to introduce dumbed down documents.
Officers will also be given an A-Z of alternative words – and provided examples of useful sentences to help them write letters.
It is not the first time staff have been trained to dumb down their correspondence.
A similar strategy took place several years ago but due to the turnover in staff since then it has been recommended the training happens again.
Coun Pete West added: “It’s very easy for us to slip into using jargon.
“It’s quite clearly very important because there are people who struggle with written English and they’ve had difficulty.”
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