Council meetings

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Suite Lewisham Town Hall Catford SE6 4RU

Contact: Troy Robinson 0208 3149365 

No. Item


Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 207 KB


None were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2018 be

confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Annual Complaints Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 652 KB

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The Head of Public Services presented the report which provided

performance information for 2017/18 on complaints dealt with by the Council

and its housing partners at Stages 1 and 2 of the Corporate Complaints

procedure and complaints and enquiries to the Mayor, Councillors and MPs

logged on the Council’s complaints management system during 2017-18.

It was explained that the new complaints process is now in place and there is

now more senior oversight than was previously the case. The new case work

system went live in April 2018 and the initial feedback is generally good.


There was further discussion on the possible merit in adopting the

Ombudsman’s definition of complaint. It was suggested that the Council is

doing itself a disservice in not adopting the Ombudsman’s narrow definition of

complaints. It was suggested that over 5,000 referrals seemed excessive and

potentially drains the Council of resources. It appeared that some of the

referrals are simply enquiries, not an actual complaint about service provision.

It was noted that there is a danger that such requests could simply

disappear if not captured as a complaint.


The Head of Public Services responded that it was previously the case that

the Council was criticised for under recording complaints. The approach now

taken by the Council is that if someone feels the need to contact the Council,

Chief Executive or service provider then such individual is unhappy and the

Council’s position is that  it would rather get the right outcome than to seek to

reduce numbers.


It was commented that the number of councillors using the new complaints

casework system requires to be addressed and for such use to be increased.

The Head of Public Services explained that some sessions have been

provided previously for councillors. He further explained that before the

Council meeting next week there will be a stand showcasing the new Council

website and there will be someone available to talk to councillors about the

new case work system.


The LGO letter expressed some concern about the speed of responses and

delay in making a response. The Head of Public Services explained that he

met with the Ombudsman late last year and confirmed that the relationship

between the LGO and the Council has significantly improved.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Whistlblowing Review pdf icon PDF 289 KB

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The Head of Law/Monitoring Officer introduced the report and explained this

is an annual report considered by the Committee and provides an opportunity

for members to note referrals and to consider and suggest any changes.

The Head of Law/Monitoring Officer provided the Committee with an update

on the 13 whistleblowing referrals received since the last review.


In response to a request for additional information in relation to Case Z the

Head of Law/Monitoring Officer confirmed that the matter had been referred to

the police who were investigating the matter of a malicious communication.


The Head of Law/ Monitoring Officer confirmed that provided there is enough

information for an investigation, matters will be investigated regardless of their



There was a suggestion that there could be a summary of the key stages of

an investigation to confirm the process entered into. It was commented that

this was a very effective procedure and despite it capturing a lot of disparate

issues, it appears to be working well.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Review of compliance with Member Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 263 KB


The Head of Law/Monitoring Officer presented the report and explained that

the report provides information about the extent of compliance with the

Member Code of Conduct.


The Head of Law/Monitoring Officer confirmed there have been two

complaints raised against members since consideration of the previous report

on compliance with the Member Code of Conduct in October 2017. In one

case informal resolution was suggested however due to delays in response

such a resolution was no longer feasible. An initial assessment was

conducted and the decision reached that it was no longer in the public interest

to proceed to further investigation.


The other complaint related to a complaint about service standards which

should properly be considered under the Council’s Corporate Complaints

procedures. The element of the complaint relating to the member’s conduct

did not constitute a breach under the Member Code of Conduct even if

proven. The Head of Law/Monitoring Officer responded accordingly.


It was commented that the report demonstrates a high level of compliance.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.



The meeting ended at 8:30pm