Complaints Procedure – MPs and Public Bodies

It has become clear that the Authority’s standard complaints procedure does not work well for MPs or public bodies such as Parish Councils. For MPs, concerns are often raised on behalf of constituents who may already have made representation to the Authority. For Local Authorities or other statutory or public body, the issues can be quite complex, and unlike private individuals, there is no recourse to further review (Ombudsman) once the Authority’s complaints procedure has been exhausted. It has therefore been decided to follow a slightly different process in these cases.

Informal Stage

As with any complaint or expression of concern, it is hoped that discussion with the officer or service concerned can resolve any issues.

Formal Stages

Stage 1

Any formal complaint should be in writing and addressed to the Chief Executive (NPO) who will arrange for the complaint to be investigated and will respond within 15 working days. If there is any reason why there should be a delay this will be advised.

As MPs are not, in their own right, complainants, but are raising issues on behalf of constituents, this response will conclude the procedure. If a constituent continues to have concerns, they have recourse to the Local Government Ombudsman. Any general correspondence from MPs lies outside the complaints procedure.

Stage 2 – Other Public Bodies only

If dissatisfied with the response at Stage 1 from the Chief Executive, you should write again, with clear reasons for your continuing concern, to the Monitoring Officer. On receipt of this submission, and in consultation with the Chief Executive (NPO) and Chairman of the Authority a Review Panel of Members will be convened to review the complaint. The Panel will comprise three Members, including the Chairman of the Authority (or his/her Deputy), the Chairman of Audit & Governance Committee (or his/her Deputy) and one other. At least one Member will be a Secretary of State Member. The Panel will meet within 2 months of receipt of the Stage 2 complaint and the procedure will include a review of documentation together with personal representation from the complainant and the Authority.

The determination of the Review Panel will be final and will be communicated within 5 working days.

It is hoped that this stage of the process is only used in exceptional circumstances where discussion fails to achieve desired outcomes.