Village Works

Complaints Policy

We will be reliable and put you first

Background

 

Village Works will ensure no one is left behind, the programmes aim to help more people towards work and into work, volunteering and to increase people of all ages working in inclusive lives.  This policy covers staff of all organisations involved in Village Works including sub-contractors and participants.

 

Village Works is an action research project that seeks to pilot a community development outcomes led approach to working with the most economically excluded, unemployed and disengaged residents of working age in rural coastal villages in targeted areas in Cornwall. It seeks to develop an approach that can be sustainable and replicable in other locations and which will progress the hardest to engage along a Life Ladder into personal and skills development moving towards employment, training and job search programmes. It is intended to fill a gap in provision which sits below Building Better Opportunities (BBO) and provides the very first steps for those who are not even on the radar of initiatives and who have multiple and complex needs that are barriers to engagement.  It has developed from the work of practitioners partnering this project who work day to day with this participant group and have identified a need, which existing support systems do not meet. It targets three rural locations (Community Network Areas) in Cornwall; Bude, Camelford and Helston and the Lizard (3 areas). Uniquely, partners in this project have direct access to potential participants for Village Works and can work quickly to make it operational.   The remainder of customers regarding fuel poverty will form the control group receiving just the Inclusion Cornwall Hub Conversation.

Each delivery partner of Village Works hold their own Complaints Procedure and can be used if you prefer to contact them.

Village coaches and Spotters and all staff working on Village Works will be able to direct a customer to the complaints policy and will inform all customers of the policy when they engage with the project.

Framework

We will be reliable and put you first

  • set clear customer service standards so you know what to expect
  • do what we say, on time, and aim to get it right first time
  • keep you informed so you don’t have to chase us
  • act on your feedback and publish the results

We will make our services convenient for you

  • provide choices on how you can contact us:
    • quickly – we aim to answer your calls within 5 minutes, and try to sort things out for you there and then
    • steadily –  if you write to us, we aim to reply within 10 working days, or you may be able to make an appointment to speak to someone
  • be open to all e.g. make sure we use accessible venues and plain English
  • provide support if you are a vulnerable person or cannot access the internet

We will be trustworthy

  • be open and honest about our priorities, policies and performance
  • explain why decisions have been made, so you understand the reasons for them
  • deal with your feedback, say sorry if we get it wrong and aim to put things right
  • treat you with fairness, courtesy and respect
  • maintain your confidentiality and keep your data secure

We ask you to:

  • treat our staff politely
  • inform us of your views
  • let us know if you have specific things you need help with

What are we doing to meet the Promise?

Many aspects of our performance are monitored:

 

How to make a complaint

The detail of your complaint

In order to help the Monitoring Officer make an initial assessment of your complaint please make sure you have:

  • Included your contact details in case any clarification or explanation is required relating to your complaint and Village Works
  • Identify the nature of the complaint
  • Explained the circumstances and nature of the complaint in detail.  You need to give us as much information as possible to inform our decision on your complaint and you need to demonstrate by that information how each of the areas of the Code you have identified has been breached.
  • Supplied links to or copies of any documentation relevant to your complaint.
  • Supplied copies of postings if your complaint relates to comments made on a social media site, as Council policy in relation to use of the internet limits officers’ ability to access social media sites.
  • Identified whether there are any witnesses or not, and if so, their names and contact details if you know them. It would be helpful if you could obtain the consent of anyone so identified to being a witness in support of your complaint.
  • Indicated whether you have complained about this issue before and, if so, to whom and the outcome

2. Your details

We believe it is fair that if a person is complained about they have a right to know who has made a complaint about them and that they are provided with the details of the complaint so that they may respond to the complaint.

In normal circumstances when a complaint is received details of the complaint and the name of the complainant, but not the complainant’s address or other contact details, will be passed to the councillor against whom the complaint has been made (who we will refer to as the ‘subject member’.

If you do not want your identity to be disclosed to the subject member you may request confidentially.

3. Confidentiality

If you have serious concerns about your identity or details of your complaint being released please make this clear.

We are unlikely to withhold your identity or the details of your complaint unless we consider that you have demonstrated that it is appropriate to do so. Any request for confidentiality will be considered by the Council’s Monitoring Officer or his nominee.

Each request for confidentially will be considered on its own merits and in determining such a request the following will be considered:

  • Whether you reasonably believe that you, or those connected with you, will be at risk of harm if your identity is disclosed;
  • That you are reasonably concerned about the consequences to your employment, or those connected to you, if your identity is disclosed;
  • That you suffer, or somebody closely connected to you suffers, from a medical condition and there is evidence of medical risks associated with your identity being disclosed or confirmation from an appropriate medical professional that that is the case;
  • The public interest. In some cases the public interest in proceeding with the complaint may outweigh the complainant’s wish to have their identity withheld.

Requests for confidentiality will not automatically be granted. Your request will be considered alongside the substance of your complaint.

If your request is not granted we will usually allow you the option of withdrawing your complaint.

If confidentiality is granted the subject member will be advised of that fact and the reasons, but not so as to indirectly disclose the complainant’s identity.

In exceptional circumstances, where the matter complained about is of a serious nature as detailed in the Assessment, etc. Procedure referred to above, we may decide that it is in the public interest to take appropriate action on the complaint, if you have asked us not to.

4. Submitting your complaint

Ordinarily, you must submit your complaint in writing and this includes electronic submissions. Or you can complete the form on line

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-and-democracy/standards-committee-information/code-of-conduct-complaints/code-of-conduct-complaint-form/?#formStart

 

If you have a disability that prevents you from or makes it difficult for you to submit your complaint in writing we will assist you in submitting your complaint. We can also assist if English is not your first language.

5. Important timescales and further information

Initial filtering of complaints, to advise whether the complaint will be rejected or proceed to formal assessment : Normally within 10 working days.

Assessment of your complaint : We will aim to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible and we will keep you advised of the timescales as the matter progresses.

Notification of our decision : Within 5 working days of the assessment of the complaint.

The steps in the process are explained in more detail in the Assessment, etc. Procedure referred to above, which also provides information on the procedure for assessing and reviewing complaints.

6. What decisions can be made on a complaint?

This is set out in more detail in the Assessment, etc. Procedure but the following decisions may be made during the assessment and determination of a complaint:

  • That the complaint should not proceed beyond the initial filter stage
  • No finding as to whether there has been a breach of the Code and take no further action
  • No finding as to whether there has been a breach of the Code but that action other than an investigation is appropriate
  • Finding of no breach of the Code
  • Finding of a breach of the Code without an investigation and impose no sanction
  • Finding of a breach of the Code without an investigation and impose a sanction
  • Referral for investigation to determine whether there has been a breach of the Code and, if so, the seriousness of the breach
  • A potential offence under the Localism Act 2011 may have been committed and an investigation, by the police where appropriate, ought to be conducted to determine whether the subject member should be prosecuted.

In some circumstances, whether a breach of the Code is found or not, a complaint may be referred for other action such as the provision of training to the subject member or even the whole of their Council

7. Notification of decisions

The decision will be sent to the subject member, the complainant and, if applicable, the Clerk to the Subject members Council, within 5 working days of the assessment of the complaint and the decision will be published on our website shortly after.

For more information on the complaints policy please contact Andrea Gilbert email agilbert@cornwall.gov.uk or telephone 01872 326469.