Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite Lewisham Town Hall Catford SE6 4RU

Contact: Troy Robinson 0208 3149365 

No. Item


Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 33 KB


None were made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the Committee meeting held on the 23 July 

2014 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Annual Complaints Report pdf icon PDF 509 KB


Ralph Wilkinson, Head of Public Services, presented the report which

provided performance information for 2013/14 on complaints dealt with by the

Council and its partners at Stages 1 and 2 of the corporate  complaints

procedure, as well as complaints and enquiries to the Mayor and councillors

and complaints and enquiries from Members of Parliament.


The report and presentation did not include complaints or enquiries in relation

to adult and children’s social care both of which are reported individually and

publicised according to statutory guidance.


The Independent Adjudicators report and the Local Government Ombudsman

Annual Review Letter were also considered.


It was explained that there had been an increase in some complaints when

compared with previous years. The most noticeable increase related to

Council Tax  and was attributable to legislative changes in Council Tax

Benefit being replaced by the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. Another

reason for the increase in complaints was a consequence of changes that

removed or severely reduced the period of exemption  awarded to empty



It was explained that there had been some difficulties due to the increased

volume of telephone and billing enquiries and a number of improvements

were made to address those difficulties including the introduction of a number

of automated messages  directing customers to self service  via the Council’s

web site.


In response to an enquiry from members it was further explained that no

formal benchmarking was  undertaken however officers do discuss the issue

of complaints with colleagues in other boroughs. It was possible for some

benchmarking of overall numbers  to be carried out  however processes are

different so the reliability of any benchmarking is uncertain.


Members of the Committee noted that the report was very helpful, useful and



RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Compliance with the Member Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 53 KB


Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer, presented the report and

explained that the report provides information about the extent of compliance

with the Member Code of Conduct.


The committee’s attention was drawn to the written observations of

Independent Member, David Roper- Newman, that the absence of complaints

against councillors is very encouraging  and must be due in large part to

compliance with high standards of ethical conduct on the part of councillors

themselves, coupled with the high degree of support from the Council’s

Monitoring Officer.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.


Standards Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 27 KB


Kath Nicholson, Head of Law and Monitoring Officer presented the item and

invited the Committee to comment.


The Chair identified the need for some specific training on the use of social



Kath Nicholson agreed to seek the assistance of the Member’s Training and

Development Team and the Council’s Head of Communications in securing

appropriate training and guidance.


RESOLVED   that the work programme shown  in paragraph 3.3 of the report

be agreed.



The meeting ended at 7.45pm.