Follow Councillor Q&A on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

Who monitors the council as a whole?

0 votes
The monitoring officer has reprimanded some of the councilors in my parish in regard to their behaviour towards a particular family.  There are other issues that the family has raised that need to be resolved in connection with parish land that borders their property.  Decisions are being made by the council that are unfair to the family and not in the interests of the community.  The family has been told that the monitoring officer will only investigate the actions of individual councilors, not the council as a whole.  Although we all know which councilors are driving this, we have no evidence.  Any complaints from the family are treated as vexatious by the parish council and not properly investigated.  How can we put a stop to this kind of bullying?
related to an answer for: More oversight of parish councils needed?
by (210 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
As parish councils make all of the decisions ( not the clerk and not the chair or any one councillor) they are jointly and severally responsible for their actions and decisions. The whole council is responsible. This is something a lot of councillors do not seem to be able to grasp. This is illustrated by the not unusual process at meetings of councillors " nodding through" votes on such things as budgets, accounts and AGAR returns without study or knowledge of what they are voting for (too much trouble).

They have a duty to ensure that everything the council does is done correctly and legally including investigating complaints and not fall back on the get out clause moulded into NALC "complaints procedure" recommendation which allows anyone who writes on a topic more than once to be branded "vexatious" and henceforth ignored. Disgusting. But I am sure many councils who adopted this particular document didn't even bother to read it before voting for it.
by (20.8k points)
I agree. It's time for the individual members to stand up and be counted. Don't vote with the bullies. Even if you lose the vote, ask for the votes to be recorded at the time the vote is conducted. This creates documentary evidence. Ensure that the minutes include the names of the members who propose and second a motion that you consider improper.

Finally, as I've suggested on previous discussions, arrange for a member of the public to attend your meetings, video them and upload the recordings to YouTube. This can have a huge impact on people's conduct in meetings.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the rarity of the content in the question. A Monitoring Officer has ACTUALLY done something regarding a Parish Council!!
Chloe! There are some good ones you know. I think we should pick a date in the calendar as the International Hug a Monitoring Officer Day to let them know that we appreciate them!!
Haha I agree! 1st April?
+1 vote
The short answer is nobody.  The only form of scheduled monitoring is via the external auditor, who analyses the AGAR and investigates complaints about items on the AGAR, if any are received.  The Principal Authority Monitoring Officer responds to complaints, questions or concerns regarding Councilllor code of conduct if any are made, but does not undertake any routine monitroing of any town or Parish Councils within their LA Boundary.
by (33.3k points)

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

Google Analytics Alternative