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Monitoring Officer not responsive.

0 votes
Thanks to all who took the time to advise and reply. I have been trying to engage with the Monitoring Officer to find out how to set down my complaint about Councillors' conduct effectively and in line with the complaints procedure. However, she tried to dissuade me immediately and said she cannot look into Councillors' counduct. I also want to make a complaint about the Clerk who refuses me PC services. If the complaint against the Clerk goes to the Chairman, who is doing everything to cover up her incompetence, nothing wrong will be found. Is this the only avenue? Who regulates the Monitoring Officer, does a complaints procedure exist or is it up to the MO to decide what she will look into?
by (170 points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
Strange reaction from MO as this is what they are set up to decide on "Breaches" of the code of conduct which EVERY councillor signs up to when they take office. Don't know if the MO ( or their secretariat) you spoke to but can understand if it was the MO's assistant they may be following a policy of "weeding out" of what must go before the MO and what not. As far as the complaint is concerned the online forms are quite easy to follow and fill in. You need to supply as much information ( and evidence) as possible. The complaint is nothing to do with anyone other than yourself and the respondent . If the chair or clerk are the respondent then you should only communicate with the MO and their officers on the matters. Your complaint is private and nothing to do with the Parish Council and they must make no comments on the matter at meetings etc.

As the MO is a member of the local council then they are bound by that councils complaints procedures.
by (22.5k points)
+1 vote
As Mentorman has said, the MO must investigate allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct by members of the Council, but you must be clear in your submission about which aspects of the Code have been breached. There are many issues that fall outside the Code. The MO is not there to advise on how to submit your complaint, as they must be seen to be impartial.

There is no role for the MO in relation to Clerks, as they are employees of the Council and subject to the Council's complaints procedures.
by (50.1k points)
+1 vote
You can legitimately lodge a complaint about maladministration of the Monotoring Officer of the Principal Authority to the Local Govt Ombudsman.   The PA is not obliged to act on the LGO judgement but most do.  No idea how long they will take to process the case though.
by (33.9k points)
0 votes
Richard   If you have a complaint against the clerk, then it does go to the chairman, but only as a figurehead.  It is in fact going to the council, and you can post it to them all if you want (and some have).  The personnell committee (if you have one) would then consider the complaint, looking at your evidence and talking to you (an essential part of a complaint procedure).  They then have to reply to you.  It may grind on, but it is unlikely that the chair of the council would lead the investigation, as then they are not impartial should it go to appeal.   While the clerk may not be replying to issues you raise, it may be councillors who have given the clerk a list of priorities commensurate with the time they are happy to pay for, and your issues are not on it (for example).
by (2.5k points)
Based on my experience of several Councils some Clerks can pretty much do or say what they want without sanction as their managers are terrified of doing anything about it
I’ve seen behaviour that would warrant suspension or even dismissal ignored and complaints to their managers shrugged off
I’m not saying that this applies to the majority of Clerks and Councils

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