Melville tops list of com­plaints

Melville Times - - Front Page - Aaron Cor­lett

THE City of Melville has con­ceded it is con­cerned about a State Govern­ment re­port that shows it has the most com­plaints against its coun­cil­lors of any lo­cal govern­ment.

The Lo­cal Govern­ment Stan­dards Panel Re­port 2017-18 re­vealed there were 10 com­plaints against Melville coun­cil­lors dur­ing that fi­nan­cial year.

There were 82 com­plaints within all lo­cal gov­ern­ments in the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year, com­pared to 68 in the pre­vi­ous year.

Act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Marten Tiele­man said while re­ceiv­ing com­plaints of any na­ture was a con­cern, the City was not in­volved in the as­sess­ment of com­plaints re­gard­ing elected mem­bers, which made it dif­fi­cult to com­ment.

“The role of the City’s des­ig­nated com­plaints of­fi­cer in re­la­tion to com­plaints re­gard­ing elected mem­bers is to no­tify the in­volved par­ties and to sub­mit the com­plaint to the Lo­cal Govern­ment Stan­dards Panel for as­sess­ment,” he said.

“Fol­low­ing that, the City has no fur­ther in­volve­ment in the process of de­ter­min­ing whether or not the com­plaint is up­held.”

Mr Tiele­man said he was aware that one “mi­nor breach” was up­held by the panel this year, re­lat­ing to a mat­ter in 2016.

“Newly elected mem­bers un­dergo a com­pre­hen­sive in­duc­tion pro­gram pro­vided by the City, which is also ex­tended to ex­ist­ing elected mem­bers should they wish to re­fresh their knowl­edge,” he said.

“Elected mem­bers are also en­cour­aged to at­tend on­go­ing pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment to sup­port them in their roles, with var­i­ous learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties ad­ver­tised to them on an on­go­ing ba­sis and fi­nan­cial sup­port to do so pro­vided.”

Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man said while he could not com­ment on the op­er­a­tions of the panel, the State Govern­ment was fo­cused on in­creas­ing ac­count­abil­ity within the lo­cal govern­ment sec­tor.

“We know that the com­mu­nity ex­pects their elected mem­bers to be­have ap­pro­pri­ately and with trans­parency,” he said.

“Elected mem­bers hold a po­si­tion of re­spon­si­bil­ity and as such, the com­mu­nity ex­pect them to demon­strate a high stan­dard of be­hav­iour.”

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