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Smear Campaign?

0 votes
Has anyone every made a complaint against their parish council and been subject to a sustained campaign seemingly to discredit their view and reputation?
asked by (220 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Certainly aware of number of cases locally where that has unfortunately been the case within the local area.  I have observed numerous councils who use all the tools at their disposal (public money & public platforms) to engage in efforts to discredit through disinformation & innuendo individuals whose "crime"  is often entirely inadvertently uncovering serious wrongdoing when there specific interest (often something close to there heart) prompts them to take an interest in the "first tier" of local democracy.  Have noticed a pattern where individuals smear former councillors (particularly those who have passed away and no longer able to defend themselves)
answered by (1.9k points)
I know of many cases including three of which involved calling in the Police

There’s a case locally where a Councillor has been reported to the Monitoring Officer for using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information which should be available to them and some of which should be in the public domain anyway

The costs of this type of feuding must be huge
Believe me there is no end to which some Parish Councils will go to if they feel threatened
Although Parish Councils have complaint procedures it’s quite common for complaints to be ignored and not drawn to Councillors attention
+1 vote
Sadly, this will always happen in a self-regulated system. Sometimes the actions of the council are sufficiently serious to warrant a Code of Conduct complaint. In rare cases, the internal auditor might pick up on the subject of the original complaint. Occasionally, a council has been punished at the ballot box, but this requires a considerable amount of effort. Most of us pay a few pence per week towards our parish council, so we take very little interest in what they get up to. More often than not, you just have to accept that we live in an imperfect world and none of us, individually, has the power to change that.
answered by (24.7k points)
This situation highlights that some sort of professional representative and standard setting body formed from councillors themselves is the only solution to this perennial problem of apathy and lack of consequences for transgression of standards. No point in making rules if they are not a)enforced and b) not have consequences. The apathetic attitudes of the electorate are in my opinion due to a basic lack of professional standards in many councils. One bad or biased decision by a council can alienate a large portion of a community into the destructive "why bother" mode. If it can be assured that each councillor is at a  professionally set standard then community confidence in their work must surely follow
It would be nice to see the local associations being a little more proactive in this regard. Attending parish council meetings would give them a better insight into the problems and enable them to formulate training modules and courses or, at the very least, issue good practice guidelines.

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