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0 votes
A member of the public emailed a complaint to all councillors 3 months ago, about the conduct of a staff member.  To date the complainant has not received a response from the council.  The complaints policy has not been implemented, the Chair has not contacted the complainant to investigate, but misled council saying it had been dealt with.  The complainant came to the following council meeting and asked why the complaint had not been addressed, and why there had been no communication. Had the complaint not been sent to all the council, then it seems likely we would be unaware of the issue. The Chair it appears has taken the side of the staff member without any consideration to the member of the public, and then tried to bury it. The locum clerk met with the complainant  in an attempt to resolve the complaint raised about the staff member, and the complainant agreed an apology would be acceptable, written by the locum (rather than the complainee) and should be signed by the Chair.  However, the staff member believes they have done nothing wrong, despite witnesses to the complaint, and the Chair refuses to sign the apology to bring the matter to an end. The complainant wants the complaint to be acknowledged, and bring the matter to closure, but does not know where they can now seek redress.
by (160 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
You should have a complaints procedure which needs to be formally activated.  The procedure should contain provision for what happens if an informal approach is not accepted.  It usually involves convening a panel/committee to respond.  I suggest you or another councillor puts this on the agenda.
by (19.1k points)
We do have a complaints procedure, however, we have a chair and chair of staffing who are between them being evasive, and have an agenda not shared with about half the council.  They both work through a third party organisation of which 4 councillors are directors and three are on staffing committee, and which ignores the council being the qualifying body.  Its been a complete mess for years, councillors being blocked at every turn.  Some of us just want a resolution to the two ongoing complaints to satisfy all, and openness and transparency.
0 votes

You 'could' galvanise those Cllrs that feel aggrieved by the action of the PC chair and chair of staff committee into a code of conduct complaint for their behaviour on the basis that they may be considered to have:

2.1 - failed to treat others with respect - by not actioning the correct procedures and excluding other members

2.5 - conducted themselves in a manner which is contrary to the Councils duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct - by failing to address the matter in a timely fashion in accordance with established procedures

2.7 - has compromised or attempted to compromise the impartiality of anyone who works for or on behalf of the council - maybe...

2.9 - prevented someone from getting information to which they are entitled by law - response to complainant (a bit tenuous)

2.10 - bringing their office or council into disrepute - it is adversely impacting public perception of the PC

2.11 - improperly using their position to confer an advantage or disadvantage on themselves or another - self explanatory

2.14 - has failed to give reasons for making a decision - again, self explanatory

Not suggesting this would, of itself, resolve the external complaint issue but it might break the stalemate and result in action rather than inaction... 

Rather depends how assiduous your particular MO is though....

by (21.3k points)

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