Newbrough Parish Council Complaints Policy and Procedure

We are committed to providing high quality services to all our residents. The services we provide are continually reviewed to ensure they meet the needs and expectations of our customers, to help us improve we actively seek comments good or bad concerning all aspects of the services we offer.

If you have a complaint, suggestion or compliment please write to the Clerk at;

2 New Houses

Chollerford

Hexham

Northumberland

NE46 4ER

Or E-mail clerk@live.co.uk

Or phone 01434 689423

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about the council’s action or lack of action or about the standard of a service, whether the action was taken or the service provided by the council itself or a person or body acting on behalf of the council.

Complaint Category

 

Financial Irregularity

The Clerk should endeavour to provide an explanation of the item.  The Clerk may need to consult the auditor/Audit Commission. If the complaint is not satisfied, the clerk should advise the complainant of the Local elector’s statutory right to object Council’s audit of accounts pursuant to S16 Audit Commission Act 1998.

 

Criminal Activity

         The Clerk should refer the complainant to the police.

 

Member Conduct

         If the complainant relate to a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct, the complainant should be advised to submit the complaint to the Local Standards Committee.

 

Employee Conduct

         As an internal disciplinary matter this should be dealt with under the Council’s disciplinary procedure

 

Other Complaint

This should be dealt with under the following complaints procedure. This category of complaints are expressions of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about the Council’s actions or lack of action of about the standard of service, whether the action was taken or the service provided by the Council itself or a person or body acting on behalf of the Council.

 

How to use the Procedure.

We will always try to resolve problems as quickly as possible and to do this we would ask you to contact the Clerk who may be able to put things right there and then or at least look into the issue and come back to you.  If you have tried this approach or don’t feel that it is appropriate to contact the Clerk, you can contact the Chairman or ask for your complaint to be investigated formally. To do this you should put your complaint in writing.

Receipt of your complaint will be normally acknowledged within eight days and the Clerk with the relevant directorate will carry out a thorough investigation, they will report back to you normally within fifteen days although on some occasions the investigation may take a little longer.

Complaints about elected Members Conduct

If you wish to complain about the conduct of an elected member of the County Council you must submit your complaint to;

Chair of the Assessment Sub-Committee

The Standards Committee

Northumberland County Council

County Hall

Morpeth

Northumberland

NE61 2EF

Telephone   01670 534025

The Assessment Sub-Committee can only deal with complaints about the behaviour of a member. It will not deal with complaints about things that are not covered by the members’ Code of Conduct. If you make a complaint to the Assessment Sub-Committee it must be about why you think a member has not followed the Code of Conduct.

The Member’s Code of Conduct is included in the County Council Constitution.  (Northumberland Council Constitution.  The Constitution. )

 

Outcomes and remedies

There are several possible outcomes of our investigations into your complaint. If we do not find evidence of maladministration or service failure or if we find that the complaint is outside of our jurisdiction we will write to you and explain why, we will of course consider any comments that you may wish to make.

If we do find that our actions have been at fault there are a range of actions that we may take, these include, but are not restricted to the following;

Ø    An apology

Ø    Take immediate action that should have been taken earlier

Ø    Reconsider a decision that had been taken earlier

Ø    Improve procedures

Ø    Compensation in respect of any financial loss

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COMPLAINTS PROCEEDURES

Newbrough Parish Council
As a Parish Council we are keen to ensure that all we do is open and transparent.  If any member of the community feels that we are not operating in this way there is an agreed complaints procedure detailed as follows.

NEWBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Approved by NEWBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL  1/7/2009

  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 Member, Clerk)
  • The remedy sought
  1. In all cases the Clerk will send a copy of the complaint to the Chairman (or the Vice-Chairif the complaint is against the Chairman).
  1. 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.
  1. A copy of the written complaint will be circulated by the Clerk to all members of the Complaints Committee and to the subject of the complaint.
  1. If an amicable solution cannot be reached by the above means, a meeting of the Complaints Committee will be convened as soon as reasonably practicable
  1. A meeting of the Complaints 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 Council providing that none of the three are subject to complaint.
  1. 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.
  1. Where the complaint is heard in person rather than by written representations the following procedure will apply
  • 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 Complaints 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 Complaints 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 Complaints 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 Complaints 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.
  1. The Complaints 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.
  1. The Complaints Committee shall, at its absolute discretion, deal with any matters not specifically covered by the procedure, but relevant to its rôle.

Adopted by Newbrough Parish Council on 1st July 2009

Signed Chairman………….…………

Date……………………

RM-MMIX