Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 15 Mar 2019
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Miss X’s complaint. Miss X complains as a councillor about a Council officer breaching political impartiality. Miss X does not complain as a member of the public and so the complaint is outside the Ombudsman legal remit.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Miss X, complains a Council officer has breached political impartiality by re posting a comment from an MP on social media.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We can only accept complaints from members of the public or their authorised representatives. This means we cannot accept complaints from councillors complaining about something relating to their position as a councillor. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26A, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Miss X said in her complaint and her complaint to the Council, which the Council sent to me.
What I found
- Miss X complains a Council officer breached political impartiality by re posting a comment from an MP on social media. Miss X complains that, one month prior to district elections, this does not portray an apolitical service by the Council.
- We investigate complaints from members of the public. We cannot investigate complaints from public bodies. Miss X complains as a councillor and so as part of a public body, not as a member of the public.
- We cannot investigate as Miss X does not complain as a member of the public. The complaint is therefore outside our legal remit.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman