Complaints Procedure

1. Penzance Council is committed to providing a quality service for the benefit of the people who live or work in, or visit, Penzance.

2. If you are dissatisfied with the standard of service you have received from this Council, or are unhappy about an action or lack of action by this Council, this Complaints Procedure sets out how you may complain to the Council and how we shall try to resolve your complaint. 

The appropriate time for influencing Council decision-making is by raising your concerns before the Council debates and votes on a matter.  You may do this by writing to the Town Clerk in advance of the meeting at which the item is to be discussed.  There is also the opportunity to raise your concerns in the public participation section of Council meetings. 

3. This Complaints Procedure applies to complaints about Council administration and procedures and may include complaints about how an employee has dealt with your concerns.

4. It does not apply to:

4.1 Complaints by one Council employee against another Council employee, or between a Council employee and the Council as an employer. These matters are dealt with under the Council's disciplinary and grievance procedures.

4.2 Complaints against Councillors are covered by the Code of Conduct for Members and, if a complaint against a Councillor is received by the Council, it will be referred to the Monitoring Officer of Cornwall Council. 

5. You may make your complaint about the Council's procedures or administration by writing to or emailing the Town Clerk.  (Penlee Centre, Penlee Park, Penzance, Penzance TR18 4HE or hester.hunt@penzance-tc.gov.uk)

The Town Clerk will normally try to acknowledge your complaint within five working days and, wherever possible, will try to resolve your complaint within a further 10 working days. 

6.    If you do not wish to report your complaint to the Town Clerk, you may wish to make your complaint directly to the Chairman of the Personnel Committee, who will arrange for your complaint to be investigated by another senior officer or, if it is appropriate, will appoint an independent investigating officer.

7.    The Town Clerk or investigating officer (as appropriate) will investigate each complaint, obtaining further information from yourself and employees or members of the Council as necessary.

8.     The Town Clerk or investigating officer will notify you within 20 working days of the outcome of our complaint and what action (if any) the Council proposes to take as ta result of your complaint.  In exceptional cases the 20 works days timescale may have to be extended.  If it is, you will be kept fully informed of the reasons for the delay.

9.      If you remain dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, you may ask for your complaint to be referred to the Chairman of the Personnel Committee for review.  When reviewing the complaint the Chairman of the Personnel Committee can either respond directly to you with the outcome of the review or convene a Complaints Panel before making a decision.

10.    If the Chairman of the Personnel Committee decides to convene a Complaint's Panel you will be invited to attend and explain your complaint.  The investigating officer will respond and explain the reasons for reaching the decision taken.  At the Chairman of the Personnel Committee's discretion, you and the investigating officer may ask questions of each other.  At the end, you will have the final work and both parties will be asked to withdraw while the Panel make a decision. 

11.    A decision will be made by the Complaints Panel and the outcome of the review and of what action (if any) the Council proposes to take as a result of your complaint will be notified to you by the Chairman of the Personnel Committee, either at the conclusion of the Panel meeting or within 7 working days.

 

In the first instance, all complaints should be directed to the Town Clerk who is the Council's proper officer at the address below: 

Town Clerk, Penzance Council, Penlee Centre, Penlee Park, Penzance, TR18 4HE 

Approved and adopted by Penzance Council 8 April 2019