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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Council complaints procedures - the black hole

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is seeking an urgent meeting with the Comhairle, about their handiling of complaints.

The policy is clear:
Your complaint will be acknowledged by, or on behalf of, the Head of Service within three working days of receipt.[...]

You will be advised in writing of the outcome of your complaint within 21 days and be given the opportunity to discuss the outcome if you so wish. If a decision cannot be given within 21 days you will be informed of the reasons for any delay.
Today, it is now 150 days since a complaint I made was acknowledged, and 170 since it was received without any further update being received.

Good stuff!

No doubt Audit & Scrutiny Committee will have a very good look at whatever the Ombudsman says.


Anonymous said...

Do you think the ombudsmam will do anything? l don't think so they will say a lot and do nothing like most groups with power.

Anonymous said...

The Comhairle continues to be a shambles. Apart from the complaints procedure issue, there's the loss making works department, early retirement instead of punishment in you own case against the Comhairle, Mackinnon retreating back to the technical services instead of seeing through the new schools projects, closing the town hall to performances, and now the decision to build a new St. Kilda centre in the middle of nowhere!

Anonymous said...


Typical of a kind, unfortunately.

The sense that there is some (unstated) grievance niggling there which requires the correspondent to be at odds with Comhairle positions is irresistable.

In place of 'this is wrong', 'can't do that', 'punish him', 'put St Kilda Centre' there (where?), what about some positive ideas.

We're told constantly that grumpiness of this kind is bad for the health. Live longer 4.48 and cause us less stress as well, please!

Anonymous said...


Its not in the middle of now where. The new Lord of the isle Brian Wilson lives there.

Anonymous said...

Who has a nice new residencia at Mangersta? One day someone will actually make a decision that doesn't involve brown envelopes and or self interest.

7.38pm = The Convenor? or someone on wacky backy.

Hairy McLairy said...

This is a real issue - complaints, I mean. The Comhairle has a track record of not ever responding conclusively to complaints. They usually end up in a black hole in a central department with everyone blaming everyone else.

The problem is cultural - there are no adequate tracking and follow-up systems like in a properly-run Council. And no-one ever appears to be held to account if a complaint fails to progress.

Consequently, you have to make a complaint that your first complaint has been mishandled; at which point you look like a nutter with a bonkers grievance and the system treats you like one. And no, I've never made a complaint against the Council - they'd only lose it.

Anonymous said...

To 10.31am

Yes must be the convener, or the leader, or burr, or maybe even Brian Wilson if he dares to grace this blog.....

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you stay on the Cooncil
To quote Teddy Roosevelt:
"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if, and what changes were made to the St Kilda centre spec after the bid submissions and why?

Anonymous said...

12.00 - the criteria wasn't changed. Wide criteria was given, and from the beginning the consultants were open to ideas and input from all areas (wouldn't there have been an outcry if they weren't?). All areas had equal access to the consultants and every opportunity to put their case, and the proposals were scored against the criteria in the original document. If there was a problem with the process that should have been raised earlier.

Anonymous said...

The best idea was that of the outsiders who suggested a St Kilda trail up the islands.