Vexatious Complaints 20/21
Report of Councillor Mark Robinson, Executive Member for Customer, Digital and Performance.
The Executive Member for Customer, Digital and Performance, Councillor Robinson, explained that the Vexatious Behaviour Policy governed how Breckland Council dealt with, and responded to, customer behaviour which was deemed unacceptable. The Council must report the number of customers dealt with under the Council’s Vexatious Policy annually to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission. He confirmed that in 2020/2021 no customers had been dealt with under this policy.
Councillor Turner said that Town and Parish Councils would each have their own Vexatious Policy in place and asked if they deemed a person vexatious should they inform Breckland Council in case that person then brought a complaint further forward and if so, would those numbers show within the Breckland Council figures.
Councillor Robinson said that this was not policy but suggested it would be good practice that Breckland Council were informed.
The Executive Director Place and Delivery explained that each individual organisation would have their own policy to adhere to, but they had obligations that if the complainant became threatening in any way, there was a duty under certain circumstances to make other agencies aware, so that it did not put others unduly at risk. In terms of the Vexatious Policy, he felt that there was not a duty to share but he would check the policy and make Members aware.
Councillor Jermy asked what training and guidance was given to staff to help them determine what behaviour would be classed as vexatious.
The Executive Director Place and Delivery confirmed officers were aware that any incidents should be reported to senior management who would determine whether it was in line with the Vexatious Policy. He stated Breckland Council had a statutory obligation to continue to provide a service to that person, therefore, arrangements would be put in place about how they could contact Breckland Council and suitably access service requirements.
The Assistant Director Customer and Performance stated that the policy was on the website and that he would send the link to Members.
Councillor Bambridge asked if there was such a policy in place for Councillors. The Executive Director Place and Delivery stated there was a Members Code of Conduct which Councillors should adhere to.
Members of the Commission noted the report.