Bristol City Council (23 010 644)

Category : Other Categories > Councillor conduct and standards

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 19 Oct 2023

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council's handling of member conduct complaints as we cannot achieve the outcome the complainant seeks.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complained to the Council about the conduct of a councillor which he felt affronted by. Mr X is unhappy with the Council's handling of his complaint and more broadly, with its handling of all member conduct complaints. Mr X says he has lost trust in the complaint handling procedure at the Council and would like to see the officer responsible at the Council replaced.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or continue an investigation if we decide we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended, section 34(B))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. We have no remit to become involved in human resourcing at the Council or staff performance issues and so we cannot achieve the outcome Mr X seeks. We will not therefore investigate his complaint.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because we cannot achieve the outcome he seeks.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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