Subsequent to the Local Government Act 1972, Parish and Town Councils are no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman and there is no statutory mechanism to which a complainant can rely for an independent formal assessment.
Askern Town Council adopted a formal complaints procedure to enable rate payers, public organisations and private bodies to inform us if they are dissatisfied with the administration of Askern Town Council’s decisions and, or, practices and to enable the Council to deal efficiently and effectively with any discrepancies.
To ensure that your complaint is dealt with appropriately please follow the advice below:
You can also download a copy of the complaints procedure here.
Type of conduct
Local elector’s statutory right to object Council’s audit of accounts pursuant to the Audit Commission Act 1998, section 16. On other matters councils may need to consult their auditor/Audit Commission
In England a complaint relating to a member’s failure to comply with the Code of Conduct must be submitted to the Monitoring Officer of the relevant principal authority.
Internal disciplinary procedure
Aims of the procedure
Askern Town Council’s complaints procedure aims to be:
- Well publicised and easy to use
- Helpful and receptive
- Non adversarial
- Fair and objective
- Based on a ‘complaint’
The Local Government Ombudsman defines a complaint as: ‘An expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about the council’s action or lack of action or about the standard of a service, whether the action was taken or the service provided by the council itself or a person or body acting on behalf of the council.’
- Clear procedures and defined responsibilities
- Quick, thorough, rigorous and consistent
- Decisive and capable of putting things right where necessary
- Sensitive to the special needs and circumstances of the complainant
- Adequately resourced
- Fully supported by councillors and officers; and
- Regularly analysed to spot patterns of complaint and lessons for service improvement
Askern Town Council endeavours to maintain confidentiality and will only disclose the identity of complainants to those who need to consider the complaint. However, please note that all correspondence may be read out at Council Meetings; therefore, should you wish to remain anonymous at meetings, please specify so in your correspondence.
What you need to do:
Initially, the complainant is asked to put the complaint about Askern Town Council’s procedures or administration in writing to the Clerk: Miss Laura Waude, Clerk to Askern Town Council, Alexander House, High Street, Askern, Doncaster, DN6 0AB, Telephone: (01302) 707252 Email: email@example.com
2. If the complainant does not wish to put the complaint to the Clerk he or she is advised to address it to the Chairman of the Council.
3. The Clerk or other nominated officer shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant when the matter will be considered by Askern Town Council or by the committee established for the purposes of hearing complaints.
4. The complainant shall be invited to attend a meeting and to bring with them a representative if they wish.
5. Seven clear working days prior to the meeting the complainant shall provide the Council with copies of any documentation or other evidence relied on, and, in accordance with the principles of natural justice, Askern Town Council shall provide the complainant with copies of any documentation upon which they wish to rely at the meeting and shall do so promptly (within 3 clear working days), allowing the claimant the opportunity to read the material in good time for the meeting.
6. At the Council meeting the Council shall consider whether the circumstances of the meeting warrant the exclusion of the public and the press. However, any decision on a complaint will be announced in public at the Council meeting.
7. The Chairman should introduce everyone and explain the procedure.
8. The complainant (or representative) should outline the grounds for complaint and, thereafter, questions may be asked by (i) the Clerk or other nominated officer and then (ii), members.
9. The Clerk or other nominated officer will have an opportunity to explain the Council’s position and questions may be asked by (i) the complainant and (ii), members.
10. The Clerk or other nominated officer and then the complainant should be offered the opportunity to summarise their position.
11. The Clerk or other nominated officer and the complainant should be asked to leave the room while members decide whether or not the grounds for the complaint have been made. If a point of clarification is necessary, both parties shall be invited back.
12. The Clerk or other nominated officer and the complainant should be given the opportunity to wait for the decision, but if the decision is unlikely to be finalised on that day they should be advised when the decision is likely to be made and when it is likely to be communicated to them.
13. Following the meeting, the decision will be confirmed in writing within seven working days, together with details of any action to be taken.