Why Have a Complaints Policy and Procedure?
1. The Charity Commission report ‘Cause for Complaint’ states: ‘an effective complaints management system is a proven way of maintaining and building relationships with the people on whom the organisation depends.’ This is particularly relevant for Hannington Parish Council as it exists primarily to help and support the residents, and its success depends on having the support and confidence of those residents.
2. Handling complaints well:
* Demonstrates the Parish Council's commitment to its clients and other stakeholders;
* Demonstrates the Parish Council's commitment to providing the best possible service;
* Helps the Parish Council to find out about things that have gone wrong so;
* Helps the Parish Council to prevent things going wrong again in future.
Who Is This Model For?
3. The Policy and Procedures (both available below) are based on a model that was aimed at small organisations that have no staff, or only one or two non-managerial staff, such as Hannington PC.
Adapting the Model to Suit Your Organisation
4. The policy assumes that complaints are likely to be handled by the Parish Council itself. The alternative is that it is led by a member of staff, the Clerk. But, in a small organisation, like Hannington Parish Council, any ‘complaint’ is more than likely to be against that employee!
5. The Parish Council also needs to consider not only to whom any complaint should be sent but how (in person or in writing) and to where?
6. Flexibility in handling complaints is essential so the Procedure adopted by the Parish Council in Sept 2016 (see below) is not too rigid.
Clerk, Hannington Parish Council, Sept 2016