PROCEDURE FOR USE IN COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE COUNCIL
Before the Meeting
- The complainant should be asked to put the complaint about the Council’s procedures or administration in writing to the Clerk.
- If the complainant does not wish to put the complaint to the Clerk, he or she should be advised to address it to the Chairman of the Council.
- The Clerk shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant when the matter will be considered by the Council. The complainant should also be advised whether the complaint will be treated as confidential or whether, for example, notice of it will be given in the usual way (if, for example, the complaint is to be heard by a Committee).
- The complainant shall be invited to attend a meeting and to bring with them a representative if they wish.
- Seven clear working days prior to the meeting, the complainant shall provide the Council with copies of any documentation or other evidence relied on. The Council shall provide the complainant with copies of any documentation upon which they wish to rely on at the meeting and shall do so promptly, allowing the claimant the opportunity to read the material in good time for the meeting.
At the Meeting
- The Council shall consider whether the circumstances of the meeting warrant the exclusion of the public and press. Any decision on a complaint shall be announced at the Council meeting in public.
- The Chairman is to introduce everyone in the meeting.
- The Chairman is to explain the procedure.
- The complainant (or representative) is to outline the grounds for complaint.
- Thereafter, questions may be asked by (i) the Clerk/Officer/Member or Chairman and then (ii), Members.
- The Clerk/Officer/Member will have an opportunity to explain the Council’s position (if relevant).
- Questions may be asked by (i) the complainant and (ii), Members.
- (i) The Clerk/Officer/Member and then (ii), the complainant to be offered the opportunity to summarise their position.
- The Clerk/Officer/Member and the complainant to be asked to leave the room while Members decide whether or not the grounds for the complaint have been made. If a point of clarification is necessary, both parties shall be invited back.
- The Clerk/Officer/Member and the complainant return to be given the decision but if not likely to be finalised the same day they are to be advised when the decision is likely to be made.
16. The decision is to be confirmed in writing within seven working days together with any details of any action to be taken.