Huge spike in grievances against town and district councillors

Central Beds Council
Central Beds Council

The amount of complaints made against town and district councillors has more than quadrupled in the space of two years, the Gazette can reveal.

Central Bedfordshire Council is set to discuss plans to make changes to the way it deals with complaints, after experiencing a deluge of grievances.

A report produced by the council’s monitoring officer Melanie Clay states that the average amount of complaints received each month has increased from 1.3 in 2012/13 to 5.75 in 2014/15.

At the last count CBC, which deals with complaints against representatives of town councils in Central Bedfordshire as well as its own councillors, had 30 active cases.

At its worst the council was looking at 42 active complaints in July 2014, a far cry from 2012 when the caseload was in single digits.

The spike in complaints has put a strain on council resources, amounting to 915 hours spent in the first eight months of 2014.

This has prevented officers working on projects worth £10k to CBC, the report adds.

A fortnight ago the Gazette revealed that a complaint made against Dunstable independent councillor Julian Murray cost CBC £3,577.47 (not including VAT) to investigate last year.