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COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

1. WHAT COMPLAINTS CAN BE MADE TO SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL?

  1. Any complaint expressing dissatisfaction with the Parish Council's administration and procedures.

2. WHY DO WE NEED A COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE?

  1. A complaints procedure demonstrates Sedlescombe Parish Council's commitment to act upon and listen to citizens' views about the Council's administration and procedures and ensures they receive a fair, fast and effective response.

  2. A complaints procedure enables Sedlescombe Parish Council to improve its service delivery arrangements.

3. SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE IS DESIGNED TO BE:

  1. Accessible: The procedure will be well-publicised on the Parish Council website.
  2. Simple: The procedure will be as easy to understand as possible.
  3. Fast: Complaints will be acted on quickly and citizens kept fully informed.
  4. Effective: All points that are raised will be addressed and appropriate remedies provided.

4. WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY THIS COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE?

  1. The conduct of a Sedlescombe Parish Councillor is not covered by the Parish Council's own Code of Conduct on Complaints but is covered by the Sedlescombe Parish Council Code of Conduct adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council on 17/07/2012. A complaint that a parish councillor has breached the adopted Code of Conduct should be made to Rother District Council Standards Committee at the Town Hall, Bexhill on Sea TN30 3JX. Further information is available from the Rother District Council website or from any of Rother District Council's Community Help Points in Battle, Bexhill and Rye.

5. COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICY DECISIONS MADE BY THE PARISH COUNCIL

  1. This type of complaint should be referred back to the Council through the Clerk (but note that Standing Orders states that issues may not be re-opened for six months unless special circumstances are met).

6. COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE CLERK/RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER

  1. This type of complaint will be dealt with as an employment matter. The complainant will be assured that the matter will be dealt with internally and appropriate action taken as required. Details of action will be communicated to the complainant.

7.COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE COUNCIL'S PROCEDURES OR ADMINISTRATION.

  1. Notification of complaint. If the complaint about procedures or administration is notified orally to a councillor or the Clerk and it is not possible to satisfy the complainant fully forthwith, the complainant shall be asked to put his/her complaint in writing to the Clerk. Even if the complainant is satisfied, a report shall be made to the Council at the next meeting including details of the outcome.

  2. Notification to Chairman rather than the Clerk. If the complainant indicates that he would prefer not to put the complaint to the Clerk, he shall be advised to put it to the Chairman.

  3. On receipt of complaint. The Clerk shall acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant when the matter will be considered by the Council or by the Committee established for the purposes of hearing complaints.

  4. Invitation to a meeting. The complainant shall be invited to attend the relevant meeting and bring with them such representative as they wish.

  5. At the meeting - exclusion of public and press. The Parish Council shall consider whether the circumstances of the meeting warrant the exclusion of the public and press. Any decision on a complaint shall be announced at the Council meeting in public.

  6. Decision. As soon as may be practicable after the decision has been made, it and the nature of any action to be taken shall be communicated in writing to the complainant.

  7. Deferral of consideration. The Council shall defer dealing with any written complaint only if it is of the opinion that issues of law or practice arise on which advice is necessary. The complaint shall be dealt with at the next meeting after the advice has been received.

This revised policy was adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council on 11 November 2008.

8. CONTACT DETAILS:

Letter to Mrs. Carol Hodgson, Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer, Sedlescombe Parish Council, April Cottage, Church Road, Catsfield, Battle, East Sussex. TN33 9DP (updated 09 September 2014)

E-mail clerk@sedlescombe.org.uk

Telephone 07531 065 469 (updated 09 September 2014)

Chairman's contact details: Cllr Jonathan Vine-Hall, Hurst House, Hurst Lane, Sedlescombe, Battle TN33 0PE. Tel: 07973 129505 (updated 17 July 2012)