Walter, in Ramsgate has drawn my attention to some business carried out recently by TDC's Overview & Scrutiny Panel in regard to complaints to the Council.
GUIDANCE ON UNREASONABLY PERSISTENT AND OR VEXATIOUS COMPLAINTS
'Donna Reed said that whilst the majority of complaints received by the Council were genuine and received a thorough investigation, there was need to agree a policy on vexatious complaints to manage the nuisance caused by a few persistent complainants; this policy would give a standardised structure to handling such situations. Each service would have to put in a case for designating a complaint as vexatious which would ultimately be decided by the Monitoring Officer.
Members observed that while this was a good idea, officers should also ensure that genuine complaints raised by Councillors on behalf of their constituents were dealt with expeditiously. Donna Reed said a management system would be set up to track Members’ queries.
The Panel supported the policy, subject to an amendment that there be a review after six months of implementation to determine the effectiveness of the policy and a further report presented to the Panel.'
What worries me about this is what exactly is the policy and who determines who is a vexatious and persistent complainer? Bertie has been told that certain Thanet citizens, when they identify themselves, are stalled ( presumably whilst list is checked) and given the promise that 'X' will ring back and it never happens! Sounds a bit familiar?
So be wary when complaining or raising issues with departments in Toy Town's Town Hall; you are either 'on the list' already or might soon be.
What I find extraordinary is that whilst Planning was 'up to its neck in alligators in the swamp' of the China Gateway application last summer, Doug Brown was exemplary in fielding a host of questions, enquiries, concerns and moans by e-mail or by phone in a courteous and helpful manner and never failed to respond or elucidate or clarify. His example as a public servant striving to serve the electorate, no matter how mundane or repetitive the enquiry or moan should be considered by TDC as the 'model' for all its officers.
One is beginning to think that TDC regards its 'involved' electorate, as opposed to those who don't even realise it exists, as a pain in the butt! A dangerous and arrogant stance?
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