Code of Practice Before the Meeting
1: The complainant should be asked to put the complaint about the Council’s procedures or administration in writing to the Clerk or other nominated Proper Officer.
2: If the complainant does not wish to put the complaint to the Clerk or other Proper Officer, they may be advised to put it to the Chair of the Council.
3: The Clerk shall acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant when the matter will be considered by the Council or by the Committee established for the purposes of hearing complaints.
4: The complainant shall be invited to attend the relevant meeting and bring with them such representation as 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, they wish to refer to at the meeting. The Council shall similarly provide the complainant with copies of any documentation upon which they wish to rely on at the meeting.
At the Meeting
6: The Council shall consider whether the circumstances of the meeting warrant the exclusion of the press and public. Any decision on a complaint shall be announced at the Council Meeting in public.
7: The Chair to introduce everybody.
8: The Chair to explain the procedure.
9: The Complainant (or representative) to outline the grounds for complaint.
10. Members to ask any question of the complainant.
11. If relevant, the Clerk or Proper Officer, to explain the Council’s position.
12. Members to ask any question of the Clerk or Proper Officer.
13. Clerk or other Proper Officer and complainant to be offered the Opportunity of the last word (in this order).
14. Clerk or Proper Officer and complainant to be asked to leave the room while members decide whether or not grounds for the complainant have been made. (Both parties may be invited back if a point of clarity is necessary).
15. Clerk of other Proper Officer and complainant return to hear decision, or be advised when a decision will be made.
After the Meeting
16. Decision to be confirmed in writing within seven working days together with details of any action taken.