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Thanet District Council (18 018 827)

Category : Other Categories > Other

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 complaint

  1. 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.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Miss X said in her complaint and her complaint to the Council, which the Council sent to me.

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What I found

  1. 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.

Analysis

  1. 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.

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Final decision

  1. 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 final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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