Conduct policy wins approval
THE City of Melville has signed off on a policy to deal with unreasonable behaviour from residents and people with whom it has interactions.
The “managing unreasonable conduct by customers” policy outlined the types of issues that council officers were facing and was approved by the council on July 17.
An “unprecedented service demand from a small percentage of its community” was claimed as the reason for the policy.
Chief executive Shayne Silcox had previously indicated some of the strategies in dealing with unreasonable behaviour would include specifying who the customer may contact within the organisation, what issues will no longer be discussed and how frequently they may contact the City.
At the meeting, three changes were put forward by councillors, including Deputy Mayor Matthew Woodall’s amendment to include a right of appeal, which was approved.
Cr Karen Wheatland’s amendment to change some of the definitions about who was covered by the policy was also approved.
A motion from Cr Nicholas Pazolli to delete some of the types of unreasonable conduct was hotly debated but voted down.
After a long debate, the councillors voted in favour of the motion with the amendments 8-5.
The Melville Times has received letters from residents concerned with the impact of the policy.
The council also ticked off on a report about the cost of responding to questions and issues raised by the “top ten entities” who make queries to the City.
It estimated the cost of responding to these entities was $178,000 in the 14 months to July 31 last year.
The report will be sent to Local Government Minister David Templeman as part of the Local Government Act review.