Issue - meetings

Public Participation

Meeting: 17/11/2021 - Standards Committee (Item 12)

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question, or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Committee.


Chris Thorp addressed the Committee about the Council’s complaints policy and procedures. He made a number of points by way of follow-up to his comments at the last meeting of the Committee, in summary as follows:


·         The complaints policy should be extended to ensure that it can be used by members of all volunteer groups that exist, or which may be formed in the future. From his experience of complaints regarding allotments, this would be of great importance in site representative cases. Access to the policy would also prevent a situation whereby a complaint is made to the person being complained about.


   In respect of recent complaints lodged by Mr Thorp during the last year or so regarding other Council Volunteers (Site Reps) in the Forum Group, he said that it seemed clear that Nina Warrington’s finding of: “What occurs in the Allotments Forum, stays in the Forum” was unsafe due to her having entirely overlooked the established policy that: “Any complaint should be fully investigated in accordance with the Council’s Complaints Procedure.” He felt this policy had not been followed in respect of these complaints, and he asked for them to be reviewed, and a considered response be provided to him.


   He also raised the question: “Without access to the Council’s Complaints Policy how can anyone seek redress within their Group, especially in cases where the Group Leader, also being a Volunteer, is involved?” He believes it is essential that volunteers with clearly specified roles have the right to use the Council’s Complaints Policy.


·         Site representatives should not act on behalf of the Council as they are representatives of the tenants, and they do not have “duties” but “roles” and the site agreements should be amended to reflect this.


·         Several site representatives have not been formally inducted and are therefore not aware of their responsibilities with regard to data protection and the sharing of personal information.


The Chairman thanked Mr. Thorp for his representations and informed his that a written response will be provided in due course. Mr Thorp agreed to send a copy of his representations to the Chair.