IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Light at end of tunnel for 664 who complained about Town Hall

21 April, 2017

• IS Islington Council’s complaints procedure fit for purpose. My experience suggests “no”.

Stage one, you send your complaint to the head of the department you are complaining about and they discuss it with colleagues in the office and then dismiss the complaint.

Stage two, you send your complaint to the complaints department, who will then hold consultations with the stage one department. They will then notify you that they will be dealing with your complaint. Three days later you receive notification that your complaint has been rejected. You have been refused consultation with the complaints officer and you cannot rectify the misinformation they have received from the stage one department.

You then write to Islington Council chief executive Lesley Seary asking for an investigation by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee into the failures of the complaints procedure. Needless to say you get no response from Ms Seary to your request. This is disregard for the community and democracy.

A Freedom of Information request asking for the number of complaints made to Islington Council showed there were 664 at one department, of which the majority of complaints were dismissed. Scrutiny must be more independent and separate from those being scrutinised.

I say to those 664 dissatisfied tenants and leaseholders that there might be light at the end of the tunnel as MPs have called for an inquiry into overview and scrutiny committees’ performance in local government.

Ask your MP to put your complaint to the central government committee to help with their inquiry and this might bring about an independent procedure.

PJ LEAMY
Cowdenbeath Path, N1

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