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Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 209 KB


None were made.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2019 be

confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Annual Complaints Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 840 KB


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

well  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Annual Review of Whistleblowing Referrals and Policy pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Additional documents:


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.


Review of Compliance with Member Code of Conduct pdf icon PDF 288 KB


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

responsibility[FK1]  of members generally, for example, planning. It was accepted

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

outside bodies.


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