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Can a Parish Council be found to be guilty of unreasonably persistent and vexatious complaints?

0 votes
One councillor regularly, about every two months, makes a planning complaint concerning one parishioner's property and although his complaint is always minuted the result of the Enforcement Officer's investigations are not. In light of honesty and transparency Should they?  Because the complaints are always unfounded, could the Enforcement Officer consider listing these complaints as unreasonably persistent and vexatious - surely this brings the Parish Council into disrepute and the complaining councillor should be prevented from continuing his personal vendetta through the council.

I would appreciate advise with this please.
asked by (1.8k points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
You don't make clear whether the councillor makes his bi monthly representation to the PC or the planners. Any person( even serving councillors) can make representation to the planning department on planning matters. A councillor has to ensure that his representations cannot be seen as representing any council's comments and avoid all identification as a parish councillor. The planning officer responsible for the application has to correlate and assess each representation and duplicate representations from the same source would be classed as a single response. This is why petitions on planning matters are useless as they only count as a single  viewpoint. The officer will evaluate the points raised in respect of planning law alone and matter raised outside of the regulations will be ignored and have no validity in decision making.

If the representations are made to the PC then it is for them to deal with the matter according to their standing orders and rule as to the validity and matter brought before them. Once dealt with then it does not ( unless new evidence is brought) need to be looked at again and can be dismissed. Once the PC has registered their observations and comments on a planning application they do not then have to receive representations from councillors or public and should refer the person to the planning dept.
answered by (7.9k points)
0 votes
On what basis is the parish council considering this matter? Is it an agenda item? Are other members of the council voting to support these complaints? If the complaints are always unfounded, the clerk and the chairman should consider whether each motion is improper and whether or not it should be included on the agenda.
answered by (29.1k points)
A councillor brings his complaint forwards at items to report at the end of a meeting
 - the clerk then writes off to the Enforcement Officer
Does the council vote to ask the clerk to write on its behalf?
No, there is never a vote by the Planning Committee or the Council on the councillors complaints about the Parishioner - but they are actioned by the Clerk.
Generally anything that requires an action like this should be voted on or agreed by the council. It should really be an agenda item too unless something is dealt with as an emergency  - this clearly isn't the case as it's a regular occurence.

The clerk should be picking up on this and raising their concerns about improper process and refusing to do it.
Absolutely Clerk 975. The council has allowed a single member to instruct the clerk to issue a letter on behalf of the whole council on an item not on the agenda. The purpose of placing this item on the agenda is to allow the owner of the property, or his or her respresentative, or neighbours, to attend the meeting, either to speak or, at the very least, to hear what is being reported.
Thank you all so much for this advice.
0 votes
Firstly the Councillor should be declaring an interest. Once this is done it is then for the Council to decided whether or not the Councillor in question can vote on a particular issue or be part of the discussion as a Council (If required) - it would appear that they shouldn't be allowed but that's for your council to decide.

If the Council as a whole feel the matter is dealt with an no new information of substance is being provided then it perhaps shouldn't be permitted on the agenda.
answered by (5.3k points)

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