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None were made.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2019 be
confirmed and signed as a correct record.
The Director of Public Services presented the report which provided
performance information for 2018/19 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 2018 -19.
It was explained that there were a total of 7828 complaints and enquiries
received in 2018/19 which represented a 12% increase when compared to the
previous year. Attention was drawn to the breakdown of complaints and
enquiries by directorate and the percentages of those responded to within the
standard response times appearing as Tables 1, 2 and 3. It demonstrated that
the Council had improved in resolving complaints at the first point of contact.
The Committees attention was drawn to the breakdown of complaints
received by ward as set put at paragraph 5.4 and recent trends in relation to
the reasons for complaints. It was noted that the top three issues identified as
the reasons for complaints in 2018/19 were in relation to environment,
housing strategy and Council Tax.
It was explained that the Independent Adjudicator, who deals with Stage 3
complaints on behalf of the Council, had received 9 less complaints this year.
There was an increase this year in complaints upheld by the Independent
Adjudicator where she had investigated.
The Committee was referred to the Local Government and Social Care
Ombudsman Annual Letter which provides a summary and commentary on
complaints made against the Council. In 2018/19 127 complaints were
received a decrease of 19 on 2017/18.The LGSCO was critical of the time
taken to implement agreed remedies in a couple of the complaints.
The Director of Public Services confirmed that whilst there has been a
significant increase in complaints over the last two financial years the Council
was dealing with them faster and resolving them earlier.
In response to the significant increase in complaints and enquiries in
Resources and Regeneration the Director of Public Services could not at this
stage provide an explanation as to why they have gone up and other areas
have gone down. It could possibly be due to incorrect categorisation.
In response to further inquiry the Dire3cxtor of Public Services confirmed that
Stage 2 complaints are handled by the Corporate Complaints Team and an
independent review will be conducted.
It was confirmed that whilst the Council is improving the provision of services
online all conventional methods remain in place. In response to the specific
concerns relating to homelessness it was explained by the Director of Public
Services that officers remain committed to face to face contact with the right
In response to an enquiry in relation to attempts to capture equalities
information the Director of Public Services confirmed that there remained
difficulties in obtaining such details, which would be very informative. The
Council however remains keen to develop methods to capture such
In response to an enquiry about any available benchmarking to inform how
The Director 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
The Director of Law/Monitoring Officer provided the Committee with an update
on 5 whistleblowing referrals previously referred to the Committee in
November 2018 and on the10 referrals received since the last review.
It was suggested that in light of recent staff changes the Whistleblowing Policy
required amendment to reflect such changes.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Director 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 Director of Law/Monitoring Officer confirmed there have been nine
complaints raised against members since consideration of the previous report
on compliance with the Member Code of Conduct in November 2018.
It was commented that the report demonstrates a high level of compliance.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life
The Director of Law will make a presentation at the meeting.
The Director of Law gave a presentation on the Committee for Standards in
Public Life Review of Local Government Ethical Standards. It was explained
that this presentation was for information only at this stage. The Director of
Law suggested that a further report be brought to the Committee allowing
sufficient time to discuss those areas where the Council may wish to consider
amendments to the Council’s ethical governance arrangements.
It was suggested that as most decisions are made by the Mayor and Cabinet
the focus of any training should be focused and given to such members. The
Director of Law confirmed that a lot of Council decisions remain the
that all members will require training whether Cabinet members or not.
The Director of Law confirmed that she is happy to meet with any member to
discuss their responsibilities under the Member Code of Conduct and
specifically to advise any member with questions in relation to their role on
Members expressed the assistance in bringing this presentation to them and
looked forward to a further report as soon as possible.
RESOLVED that the presentation be noted and that a further report be
brought to the Committee as soon possible.
The meeting ended at 8:45pm