Compliments and Complaints Procedure
The Parish Council is committed to providing a high quality service to Marks Tey residents. We therefore need to be aware of issues of concern to local people. Your views are very important to us in helping to achieve and maintain the highest possible standards. The Compliments and Complaints procedure assists in this.
We would ask that you contact us either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by letter to the address at the bottom of this page.
When contacting us, we will need your name, address, telephone number and email address to avoid any delay in dealing with the matters you are bringing to our attention.
Compliments – We will pass on any compliments to the person(s) concerned and report this to the Parish Council
General Feedback – We will pass on all comments to the relevant person, team or committee. If you have indicated you require a response we will confirm receipt of your feedback and report on any action taken.
Formal Complaints – This complaints procedure is intended to ensure that complaints by members of the public about the Council’s actions, or lack of action, or standard of service are dealt with promptly and effectively. The object of the procedure is to put things right when they have gone wrong and ensure that mistakes do not recur in the future.
This procedure does not apply to:
- complaints about the substance of policy decisions made by the Council (although members of the public may make comments or ask questions during the public participation session during every Council and committee meeting);
- complaints about the conduct of an individual councillor, which should be made to the Monitoring Officer at Colchester Borough Council
- complaints by an employee of the Council about the Council’s actions as an employer, which should be dealt with under the Council’s grievance procedure.
- Complaints about the Council’s administration and procedures should be made initially to the Clerk to the Council, and will be dealt with initially by the Clerk. If the complainant is unwilling to approach the Clerk a complaint may be made to the Chairman of the Council, who will refer the complaint either to the Clerk or to the Full Council. Complaints may be made in writing, by email, by phone or in person.
- Complaints which cannot be dealt with immediately to the satisfaction of the complainant will be acknowledged in writing within 5 working days.
- Complaints should be dealt with promptly. In general complaints will be dealt with within 20 working days of receipt, although this time limit may be extended with the agreement of the complainant, or where the Clerk feels it necessary to take legal or other advice.
- Where it appears that the complaint includes an allegation that a criminal offence has been committed the Clerk may deal with the complaint by referring it to the police.
- If a complainant is dissatisfied with the Clerk’s decision on a complaint, or if the complaint is not dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant within the timelimit set out in the previous paragraph, the complainant may ask for the matter to be referred to the Full Council.
- Where a complaint is referred to the Full Council the complainant will be informed of the date, time and place of the meeting. At least ten working days’ notice will be given. The complainant will be invited to attend the meeting and also to submit any documents which s/he wishes to refer to. Any such documents must be received by the Clerk seven working days before the meeting to enable them to be circulated to members. The Clerk will provide the complainant with any documents that s/he wishes to refer to the same timescale. The Clerk will also inform the complainant whether it is likely that the meeting will be open to the press and public or whether the press and public are likely to be excluded (for example because the personal affairs of an individual may be discussed).
- At the Full Council meeting the Chairman should introduce everyone and explain the procedure. The complainant may outline the grounds of complaint and may then be questioned, first by the Clerk and then by Council members. The Clerk may outline the Council’s position and may be questioned, first by the complainant and then by Council members. The Clerk and then the complainant may give a final summary of their position.
- The complainant and the Clerk will then leave the Council Room to allow the Council to reach a decision on the complaint. They will be called back when the Council has reached a decision.
- If the Council considers that a complaint alleges misconduct by an employee the decision on the complaint may be deferred until the allegation has been dealt with under the Council’s disciplinary procedure.
- Council decisions on a complaint should normally be announced in public. The complainant should be notified of the decision in writing within seven working days, and notified also of what action will be taken.
- Where a complaint is upheld the Clerk should report to a subsequent meeting of the Full Council what action has been taken to ensure that any mistake does not recur.
Please address all communications to: The Clerk, Marks Tey Parish Council, Parish Hall, Old London Road, Marks Tey, Colchester, CO6 1EJ