DCSIMG

Just one complaint is upheld at county hall

Complaints: County Coun Albert Atkinson inset says the number is minute

Complaints: County Coun Albert Atkinson inset says the number is minute

More than 60 complaints have been made about county councillors since 2003, figures reveal.

Lancashire County Council received 63 complaints about elected representatives over a nine year period.

The complaints were about a range of issues, including: failure to treat others with respect; use of resources for political purposes; disclosure of confidential information; misuse of resources and allegations of bullying and harassment.

The highest number of complaints was in 2011 when there were 11 complaints and the lowest number was in 2001 when there was just one complaint.

The figures were released under a Freedom of Information request.

Lancashire County Council has 84 councillors in total.

The complaints between 2003 and part of 2008 were dealt with by the Standards Board for England. All except one of the complaints were ruled out after investigations found they were not in breach of anything or they were not referred for any further investigation. In May 2008, a new system of complaints handling was introduced by government, requiring councils to operate local assessment processes before any referral to the Standards Board/Standards for England.

And in June last year a new system of complaints handling was introduced, with local authorities required to establish their own arrangements.

Just one complaint was upheld. It was against a councillor after he had resigned, but the behaviour wasn’t about his role of a councillor.

When county councillors are elected they are required to sign and observe the council’s code of conduct whenever they, conduct the business of the authority; conduct the business of the office to which they have been elected or appointed; act as a representative of the authority.

County Coun Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council said: “I would say most borough councils with fewer members than us would probably have a lot more complaints than we do.

“It really is minute with the number of things we have got to do. If there is a serious complaint it is of course taken seriously.”

 

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