Tel: 01630 673 426
Thursday 19 July 2018

PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Councillors are unpaid volunteers acting to serve the community as the first tier of local government.

Every Councillor is required to adhere to the Code of Conduct, and act in an honest and democratic way.

Loggerheads Parish Council aims to provide good quality services on every occasion but sometimes things can go wrong. The purpose of the complaint procedure is to find out what went wrong and try to put things right for the future. If you are dissatisfied with the standard of service, the actions or lack of action by the Council, the Councillors, its employees or anyone providing services on behalf of the Council, we would like you to let us know so that we can put things right.

1. Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Clerk and must include the following:
• The nature of the complaint in detail
• The subject of the complaint (e.g Council, Councillor, Clerk, contractor)
• The remedy sought

2. In all cases the Clerk will send a copy of the complaint to the Chairman (or the Vice-Chair if the complaint is against the Chairman).

3. The Chairman (or Vice Chairman, if the complaint is against the Chairman) in consultation with the Clerk, will contact the parties concerned in an effort to reach an amicable solution to the complaint.

4. If an amicable solution cannot be reached by the above means, a meeting of the Standards Committee will be called.

5. A meeting of the Standards Committee will take place on a date and time and at a place to be determined by the Chairman, in consultation with the Clerk. The quorum for a meeting will be three members of the Standards Committee providing that none of the three are subject to complaint.

6. If possible, the complaint will be dealt with by way of consideration of written representations.
If this is not possible, both parties to the complaint will be invited to attend in person and they may be accompanied by an advisor / representative.  (If the complaint is against the Council the chair or vice chair will represent the Council).

7. Where the complaint is heard in person rather than by written representations the following procedure will apply when the complaint is against an individual Councillor
• The Chairman will invite the complainant to state in full the details of the complaint.
• The subject of the complaint will be invited to question the complainant.
• The members of the Standards Committee will be allowed to question the complainant.
• The subject will be invited to answer the complaint.
• The complainant will be invited to question the subject.
• The members of the Standards Committee will be allowed to question the subject.
• The complainant will sum up.
• The subject of the complaint will sum up.
• The complainant and the subject will withdraw.
• The Standards Committee will consider the evidence and come to decision in respect of the complaint.
• Where the complaint is upheld in full or in part the Standards Committee will recommend a remedy to the complaint.
• The complainant and the subject of the complaint will be invited back into the meeting and advised of the decision. 

8. The Standards Committee shall forward details of any complaint and the manner in which it has been dealt with, via the Clerk, for report to the next meeting of the Parish Council. 

9. The Standards Committee shall, at its absolute discretion, deal with any matters not specifically covered by the procedure, but relevant to its role.

If the above does not resolve the issue the complainant can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.