- The Clerk's contact details should be available on your notice board and on the Parish Council website, (MOST Councils are legally required to publish information on the web)
- The Council should have a complaints procedure which is readily available to residents to view
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- Your Parish Council should have a formal complaints procedure under which your complaint will be acknowledged
- You should be advised to expect a reply within a certain number of days
- Complaint procedures are an integral part of the machinery of nearly every commercial or public service organisation
- This is because it is through dealing with, and responding to, accusations or instances of poor performance or service delivery that the organisation sees its faults and has the opportunity to address them and improve
- Principal councils (county, unitary and district) have the added incentive in that there is the local government ombudsman service that has the statutory remit to investigate complaints and the power to issue public reports where it is deemed appropriate
- The ombudsman may recommend the payment of compensation or another remedy if appropriate
- However the Local Government Ombudsman nor Principal Authorities have no powers relating to Town and Parish Councils who fail to follow the law or do not to act correctly
The easiest way is to ask the parish council, because arrangements vary in different areas. Some parish councils take responsibility for:
- street lighting
- burial grounds
- play areas and public open spaces
- street furniture, such as litter bins, bus shelters, seats and grit bins
- litter picking and street sweeping
- public toilets.
Parish councils sometimes also take responsibility, on behalf of other authorities, for:
- maintenance of public footpaths and bridleways
- tree planting and the maintenance of roadside verges (including tree preservation orders)
- recycling provision
- street naming
- taxi and public entertainment licensing.
Your Parish Council should have a freely available complaints procedure.
- Your complaint should have been acknowledged and timeline given for replying to your complaint
- Ask the Parish Clerk for a copy of the procedure
A good complaints system is...
- well publicised and easy to use
- helpful and receptive
- not adversarial
- fair and objective
- based on 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
A Best Practice Guide for residents and councils is available for FREE to all registered site members.
- In reality this is probably the best approach.
- However be prepared to wait and do not expect a detailed reply.
- Our experience is that most M.P.s knowledge and experience of Town and Parish Councils is on the whole limited.
- It will however probably make you feel better in the face of the frustration you may have experienced.
- More importantly you will have helped highlight the very real problems with some councils.
To find Your M.P. and complain
- To find your M.P. replace "Your Full PostCode" in the box below with your real post code and click on "GO"
- A new browser window will open in "TheyWorkForYou" showing your M.P.
- Yyou may they click on the green "Send a Message" box.
- Write about your problem and send the message to your M.P.
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