When Denis Knowles, Rosemary Lyons and the public returned the Chair thanked them. He said after “careful consideration” and receiving legal advice they had reached a decision.
Stella Elliott said that had carefully listened to the representations by Denis Knowles, but it was the final view that counts. She said it was “unacceptable” and they are thankful. In regards to respect, disrepute and the equality enactments. They had noted he had undergone training and his contrition. He had learned his lesson and they also took on board his prompt actions and self-reform as well as his full cooperation.
The panel had decided not to sanction him.
The Chair thanked the panel, officers and others and closed the meeting.
Cllr John Salter said he would disagree for the first time [with the Deputy Mayor Cllr Gerry Ellis], he called regularly and calls were answered within three to four seconds. He though they were always excellent, but his local library was a bit untidy.
Cllr Dave Mitchell said that his local library was brilliant.
Cllr John Salter said he had a passport.
Cllr Bob Wilkins asked a question about mystery shoppers.
Malcolm Flanagan said their queries could not be person specific and they couldn’t make up a hole in the road. They were testing to see if they knew the information or were looking at the information. The mystery shoppers had the information in front of them.
Cllr Chris Blakeley said he agreed with [Cllr] John [Salter] and [Deputy Mayor Cllr] Gerry [Ellis] that it was a mixed bag. Streetscene three weeks ago had answered within three minutes. He said he thought it was a good service 90% of the time and bad service 10% of the time.
Stella Elliott asked about accessibility about disability, how was this evidenced?
Malcolm Flanagan said there was a minimum standard but it keeps being raised. They figured out which was worst and spoke to Asset Management. The One Stop Shops and libraries in some cases required minor adjustments. However the age of the buildings was a problem. He said all were at a minimum standard.
Cllr Pat Williams said it would be good to have more information.
The Chair Brian Cummings said the report was noted.
Cllr Dave Mitchell said at the original meeting it had been deferred because of the Localism Bill. He accepted the recommendations and would monitor it closely. He could see the reason behind the question about where it would go to if it was out of Bill [Norman]’s hands. He said legal could take 2 1/2 hours to explain why.
Stella Elliott asked about timescales compared to those used by the Local Government Ombudsman report into complaints investigation.
Surjit Tour said they were investigated within 12 weeks. Standards for England investigated within six months. The reasons for slippage were justifiable. There was a clear timetable, however if it was not possible to adhere to they would state why there had been slippage.
Cllr Bob Wilkins said a benchmark and summary would be helpful regarding judgement in the future. However they should adopt the protocol and timescales which would improve the results.
Cllr Chris Blakeley said he accepted the protocol, but how would existing complaints be dealt with? Others had just drifted along.
Surjit Tour said some cases would be assimilated into the framework, the timetable would ensure they were dealt with promptly.
Cllr Les Rowlands said he agreed with the comments and accepted the protocol as a step forward. However he had worries about the excuses of falling behind due to lack of staff. He saw the protocol as the way forward, but how would they step up?
Surjit Tour said they were conducting a review in the Law, Human Resources and Asset Management department. Introduction of the Key Resource Indicators System (KRIS) management system should help. He was confident in the level of resources moving forward. Matters would progress in a timely fashion and the deadlines would be translated into practice.