Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor G Cutting, the Executive Member for Corporate Services, submitted a report in respect of the Unreasonable and Persistent Behaviour Policy. He said that the draft policy was designed to replace the current vexatious complainant policy and provide more flexibility in dealing with customers.
Councillor Cutting said that customers who had been through the former procedures and were still not happy with the outcome had on occasion been labelled as vexatious and were told not to contact the Council. He said that this approach was something of a blunt tool and the reaction to receiving a letter like this was not positive and, in cases where customers had complex needs and lifestyles, this approach had not helped.
Councillor Cutting said that what was needed was a policy which allowed customers to feedback concerns in a way where Officers did not use the language of vexatious. He said that the policy set out a series of actions and interventions that were proportionate to the customer’s behaviour and there were also a whole range of steps that could be taken to help the Council manage better manage its resources, protect staff and not stigmatise customers.
Councillor Cutting concluded that the policy had been considered by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and was now recommended to Council and he hoped that it could be endorsed. Councillor Cutting proposed and Councillor Alder seconded, a motion that the proposals be supported.
Councillor Alder said that the proposals were eminently sensible and she thanked the Officers who had drawn up this policy. Councillor Goldspink said that the Liberal Democrat group were very happy to support this proposal. Councillor Stowe asked whether mental health issues had been taken into account as he knew of residents in his ward who struggled to communicate with people who were not listening to them and could appear aggressive but were not really aggressive.
The Leader said that she totally supported this revision of the policy as Officers had been subjected to some very rude and aggressive emails and this was totally unacceptable behaviour that was not good for the mental health of Officers.
Councillor Cutting said that the policy was intended to cater for the wide ranging needs of residents and he hoped that the policy would not impact any further on the lifestyles or possible health issues of residents.
A motion to support the recommendation having been proposed and seconded, was put to the meeting and a vote taken. The motion was declared CARRIED.
RESOLVED – that the new Unreasonable and Persistent Behaviour Policy, be approved.
Report author: Ben Wood
Publication date: 05/01/2021
Date of decision: 16/12/2020
Decided at meeting: 16/12/2020 - Council