Complaints procedure

Hixon Parish Council is committed to providing its services efficiently and to as high a standard as possible.  However, we do encourage individuals to bring shortcomings to our notice so that we may:

  • have the opportunity to resolve your issue
  • learn from our mistakes so that they may be prevented in future
  • review policies and procedures where necessary

We take all complaints very seriously and it will depend on the type of complaint as to how it is handled.  There are currently three types of complaint, namely –

  • an employee
  • a Councillor
  • administration and procedures

The purpose of a complaints procedure is to put things right if things go wrong. This policy sets out the procedures for dealing with complaints by members of the public about Hixon Parish Council.

  1. The Council will deal with complaints about the Council employees internally as an employment matter. Any complaint about a Council employee should be put in writing to the Chairman of the Council. The matter will then be dealt with internally and appropriate action taken.
  2. All councillors sign up to the Code of Conduct as part of their declarations of acceptance of office. Complaints about councillors should be addressed to: The Monitoring Officer, Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford ST16 3AQ. Tel: 01785 619000.
  3. Complaints about procedures or administration should be discussed with the Clerk who is also the Proper Officer of the Council. Mistakes and misunderstandings are often resolved informally at this stage. The complaint should be put in writing to the Clerk and the Council will discuss it at the next Parish Council Meeting.
    However, if the Clerk cannot resolve the concern or issue to your satisfaction, please follow the steps detailed below.

    1. Please put your complaint in writing to the Clerk, detailing the procedure or administration you wish to complain about. If you do not wish to send the complaint to the Clerk it may be sent to the Chairman.
    2. The Clerk shall acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and advise you of the date of the meeting when the Council will consider the matter.
    3. You will be invited to attend the meeting and may bring with you such representatives as you wish.
    4. At least 7 clear days before the meeting, you will need to provide Hixon Parish Council with copies of any documentation or other evidence, which you may wish to refer to at the meeting. The Council will similarly provide you with copies of any documentation upon which it may wish to rely on at the meeting.
    5. The Council shall consider whether the nature of the complaint warrants the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting. Any decisions on a complaint shall be announced at the Council meeting in public.
    6. The following procedure will be followed:
      1. The Chairman will introduce everyone.
      2. The Chairman will explain the procedure.
      3. You will be asked to outline the grounds of your complaint.
      4. If relevant, the Clerk will explain Hixon Parish Council’s position.
      5. Councillors will then have the opportunity to question you and the Clerk.
      6. You and the Clerk will then be offered the opportunity of any last words.
      7. You and the Clerk will be asked to leave the room whilst the Councillors decide    whether or not the grounds for the complaint have been made, (if a point of clarification is necessary, both parties are to be invited back).
      8. You and the Clerk return to hear the decision, or to be advised when the decision will     be made.
    7. The decision will be confirmed in writing within seven working days together will details of any action to be taken.
    8. If you wish to appeal against the decision, you must inform Hixon Parish Council, in writing, within 7 working days of the written confirmation of the decision.
    9. The Clerk will acknowledge receipt of your request for an appeal within 48 hours and advise you when the matter will be re-considered by the Council.
    10. You will be invited to attend the appeal meeting and may bring with you a maximum of 2 representatives.
    11. The appeal meeting will follow the same procedure as detailed in (f), providing you with the opportunity to explain your grounds for the appeal.
    12. After the appeal, Hixon Parish Council will confirm its final decision in writing within 7 working days, together with details of any action to be taken.
    13. If you have exhausted Hixon Parish Council’s complaints procedure and are not satisfied with the action taken, or believe that you have been unfairly treated, then you can pursue your complaint through the Ombudsman, who provides an independent national service to investigate complaints about councils.

Ombudsman details
Phone – 
0300 061 0614
Website – www.lgo.org.uk
There is a form on the Local Government Ombudsman website that can be completed online.