Standards Committee 12 September 2018
Chairman: Councillor Poole
Venue: Function Room 1, Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
Time: 2 pm
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1. Substitutions (if any)
2. Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Personal or Personal and Prejudicial Interests.
3. To take the minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 11 July 2018 as a correct record and authorise the chairman to sign.
4. Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman – Local Authority Complaint Statistics 2017/18.
5. Complaints Schedule – Update.
6. Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent by reason of special circumstances which must be specified.
Note: Reports are by the Director: Governance & Partnerships unless otherwise stated.
PRESENT: – Councillor England (in the Chair).
Councillors Ali, Collinson, T Foster, Glover, Godfrey and Wells.
The committee met at the Civic Centre, Scunthorpe
225 DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY, PERSONAL OR PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS – There were no declarations of interests made at the meeting.
226 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of this committee held on 11 July 2018, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and be signed by the chairman.
227 ASSESSMENT PANEL PROCEEDINGS – Resolved – That the minutes of the meetings of the Assessment Panel held on 30 August 2018 be received.
228 (4) LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL CARE OMBUDSMAN – LOCAL AUTHORITY COMPLAINT STATISTICS 2017/18 – The Chairman welcomed Janet Stopper, Head of Customer and Information Services, to the meeting. The Chairman explained that Janet had been invited to attend the meeting to provide an overview of the annual letter received from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman detailing the complaint statistics for 2017/18.
Janet gave a detailed presentation, explaining that the letter focussed primarily on complaint processes, rather than on outcomes. Benchmarking work had shown that North Lincolnshire Council had a relatively low number of complaints passed to the Ombudsman, and that the majority of these complaints were not taken forward. The Ombudsman had received 54 complaints in 2017/18, with 11 resulting in a more detailed investigation. Of these 11, only six were taken forward. It was confirmed that the figures were broadly in line with previous years.
The Chairman then led a discussion on how the complaints were dealt with, asking questions about how North Lincolnshire Council learnt from complaints, both locally and nationally. Janet described the manner by which the local authority benchmarked with others, and explored ways to improve services further. A weekly list of national cases was received, and was considered by officers across the council. Regional networks also assisted with this process.
Resolved – (a) That the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2017/18 for North Lincolnshire be noted by the Standards Committee, and (b) that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2017/18 for North Lincolnshire be referred to the Cabinet Member for Public Participation and Culture for consideration.
229 (5) COMPLAINTS SCHEDULE – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report updating the committee on progress made with complaints received.
The Director updated members on the complaints schedule, confirming that one complaint was under investigation and one complaint was awaiting assessment, with the remainder of the schedule up to date.
Resolved – That the report be noted.