Council functions

The request was partially successful.

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities. The activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected representative are:

1 directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council Staff) of the Council by residents;
2 sitting on committee's;
3 acting for the political parties that they represent and/or ceremonial duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a Committee or resolving a complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on these three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they spend 'working for a Council' as an elected representative.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to local councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many elected representatives are (and were) represented on your authority for these years.

I would also like to know how many Complaints in total were submitted to your Council in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 for each year. I would further like to know how many of these complaints were formally considered by an elected representative for each of these years.

I would further like to know how many complaints against the Executive (Council staff) led to the elected representatives formally identifying that the Executive had acted wrongly for the years 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, and how many of these formal determinations by the elected representatives identify that there was no wrong-doing by the Executive. How many staff employed by your authority in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 ceased to be employed by your authority as a direct result of a complaint against the Executive, and the Councillors identifying this to be the case.

I would further like to know how much money the Council has paid to a complainant (i.e. victim of a Council's wrongdoing) through its own complaints system (i.e. excluding any intervention by the Local Government Ombudsman, Valuation Tribunal or similar body) in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

I would like to know how much money either in the form of local settlement or additional formal finding of maladministration causing injustice the Local Government Ombudsman has recommended that your Council pay in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (for each year) and if the Local Government Ombudsman's recommendations have been met in full (including any non-financial recommendations for each year)). Please detail any recommendation that has not been met in full and provide a copy of the Elected representatives decision. Please additionally identify if these costs were met directly by Council Tax Payers or the Council's insurers (excluding self insurance by a Council)

Finally, please provide details of the financial cost of administering all your complaints systems (including FoI and DP) by the Executive for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the number of staff employed in administering complaints and resolving these (Full time equivalent staffing levels). Please also provide details of your total administrative costs for 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the total number of staff employed by your authority, as well as any pay increase (including increments) made to the Council's Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in pounds sterling for each of these years. Please additionally identify if the Chief Executives wages included performance related payments.

If you do not have this reasonably basic management information related to complaints and/or identify that the costs of accessing the information requested will be more than £450 please state this and identify that your Authority does not have either a functioning or accountable complaints system, and does not maintain any basic management information related to this issue.

If you have a complaints system not fit for purpose please identify which political party currently controls your Council, and if this political party has appointed the current Electoral Registration and Returning Officer through its control of the Council (with date of their formal appointment). Please name the current Electoral Registration and Returning Officer, and identify if they are also Head of Paid Service, and Clerk to your Authority. Please additionally provide any documentation maintained by your Local Authorities Head of Paid Service identifying that they personally do not believe it to be appropriate for your Council to have a complaints system that is fit for purpose. This documentation should be in existence due to the provisions of s4 of the Local Government Act 1989.

Yours faithfully

Stuart HARDWICKE CARRUTHERS

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for your request for information and I confirm we shall respond as quickly as possible but not later than 22 September 2008.

Wendy Kassamani
Information Compliance Officer
Brighton & Hove City Council
Tel: 01273 296636

show quoted sections

Wendy Kassamani, Brighton and Hove City Council

Regarding your request for information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000:

Ref: foi/380

Please find set out below the information requested through the above
request:

I would like to know the average proportion of time the elected

representatives of your authority spend as part of their duties for

2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 on their main activities.

The Independent Remuneration Panel carries out full reviews of the
workloads and work patterns of councillors, both those holding positions
of additional responsibility and also backbench councillors as part of its
evidence gathering process. The Panel has carried out diary exercises for
a number of past years to ascertain the total number of hours spent by
Members in their various roles. The Panel's background papers are not
publicly available under the Freedom of Information Act but their findings
are contained in their Annual Reports which are published on our website
at the time they are presented to committee and Full Council.

The relevant reports can be found at

[1]http://peace.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Intran...
(2005 report to Full Council on 16 March 2006)

[2]http://peace.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Intran...
(2007 report to Full Council on 12 July 2007)

[3]http://peace.brighton-hove.gov.uk/Intran...

(2008 report to Full Council on 24 April 2008).

The activities that form their duties (employment) as an elected

representative are:

1. Directly resolving complaints against the executive (Council

Staff) of the Council by residents; 2.Sitting on committee's

3. Acting for the political parties that they represent and/or

ceremonial duties (i.e. all time not spent on sitting on a

Committee or resolving a complaint against the executive);

The total time spent by an elected representative for a Council on

these three activities should be 100 per cent of the time they

spend 'working for a Council' as an elected representative.

I would additionally like to know how much in total was paid to

local councillors to meet all their duties (including expenses) for

2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 by your authority, and how many

elected representatives are (and were) represented on your

authority for these years.

The annual statements of Members' Allowances and Expenses are published on
the council's website as close as possible to the end of each financial
year. The statements can be viewed at
[4]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cf...

The total number of councillors for those years was:  54

I would also like to know how many Complaints in total were submitted to
your Council in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 for each year.

2005/06           Stage 1= 1825             Stage 2=
138               LGO= 99

2006/07          Stage 1= 2152            Stage 2=
128                LGO= 128     

2007/08           Stage 1= 2157             Stage 2=
144               LGO= 93

I would further like to know how many of these complaints were formally
considered by an elected representative for each of these years.

Complaints at Brighton and Hove are not considered by elected members. All
formal complaints are dealt with by officers. LGO complaints are responded
to by the Chief Executive.

I would further like to know how many complaints against the Executive
(Council staff) led to the elected representatives formally identifying
that the Executive had acted wrongly for the years 2005/2006, 2006/2007
and 2007/2008, and how many of these formal determinations by the elected
representatives identify that there was no wrong-doing by the Executive.
How many staff employed by your authority in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and
2007/2008 ceased to be employed by your authority as a direct result of a
complaint against the Executive, and the Councillors identifying this to
be

the case.

The data held does not enable us to distinguish between complaints about
staff conduct that were upheld and those which were not upheld. We can
however identify that the total numbers of complaints were made about
staff conduct.

2005/06         Stage 1=
209                        Stage 2= 11

2006/07         Stage 1=
226                        Stage 2= 12

2007/08         Stage 1=
143                        Stage 2= 10

I would further like to know how much money the Council has paid to

a complainant (i.e. victim of a Council's wrongdoing) through its own
complaints system (i.e. excluding any intervention by the Local Government
Ombudsman, Valuation Tribunal or similar body) in

2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. 

2005/06         Stages 1&2= £2470

2006/07         Stages 1&2= £1164

2007/08         Stages 1&2= £8479

I would like to know how much money either in the form of local

settlement or additional formal finding of maladministration causing
injustice the Local Government Ombudsman has recommended that

your Council pay in 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 (for each year) and
if the Local Government Ombudsman's recommendations have been met in full
(including any non-financial recommendations for each year).

There have been no finding of maladministration causing injustice. The
following payments have been made as a result of findings of Local
Settlement. All LGO recommendations have been met in full.

2005/06         £4460

2006/07           £934

2007/08           £725

Please detail any recommendation that has not been met in full and provide
a copy of the Elected representatives decision. Please additionally
identify if these costs were met directly by Council Tax Payers or the
Council's insurers (excluding self insurance by a Council)

These costs would not have been dealt with through Council insurers.

Finally, please provide details of the financial cost of administering all
your complaints systems (including FoI and DP) by the Executive for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the number of staff employed in
administering complaints and resolving these (Full time equivalent
staffing levels).

The staff costs for the Standards and Complaints Team were as listed
below. There are five full time equivalent posts. There would have been
additional costs for members of staff administering and responding to
complaints within service teams, but we are unable to provide a figure for
those additional costs.

2005/06         £132,278

2006/07         £138,274

2007/08         £150,582

 Please also provide details of your total administrative costs for
2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 and the total number of staff employed
by your authority, as well as any pay increase (including increments) made
to the Council's Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) in pounds sterling
for each of these years. Please additionally identify if the Chief
Executives wages included performance related payments.

We do not hold figures relating to total administrative costs.

No. of contractual employees as at 31 March:

2005-06  - 9236

2006-07  - 9389

2007-08  - 9482

Chief Executive salary is as follows. 

1.4.05 - £149,277

1.4.06 - £158,982

1.4.07 - £168,345

If you do not have this reasonably basic management information

related to complaints and/or identify that the costs of accessing

the information requested will be more than £450 please state this

and identify that your Authority does not have either a functioning

or accountable complaints system, and does not maintain any basic

management information related to this issue. 

If you have a complaints system not fit for purpose please identify

which political party currently controls your Council, and if this

political party has appointed the current Electoral Registration

and Returning Officer through its control of the Council (with date of
their formal appointment). 

Please name the current Electoral Registration and Returning Officer, and
identify if they are also Head of Paid Service, and Clerk to your
Authority. Please additionally provide any documentation maintained by
your Local Authorities Head of Paid Service identifying that they
personally do not believe it to be appropriate for your Council to have
a complaints system that is fit for purpose. This documentation should be
in existence due to the provisions of s4 of the Local Government Act
1989.

The posts of Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are both
currently held by Alan McCarthy, the Chief Executive.  The Chief
Executive is the Head of Paid Services and Alex Bailey, Director of
Strategy & Governance is the Monitoring Officer.  The Council does not
have a `Clerk to the Authority'.

Should you have any queries concerning this request please contact me,
remembering to quote the reference number shown above.

If you are not satisfied how your request has been handled, you can
appeal. Please write to:

Freedom of Information Appeals

Room 218

Brighton & Hove City Council

Hove Town Hall

Norton Road

Hove BN3 4AH

[5][email address]

If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact me via the
contact details below.

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If you are still not satisfied after your complaint has been investigated,
you can escalate your complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.
The contact details are:

The Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone number: 01625 545745

e-mail: [6][email address]

Website: [7]www.dataprotection.gov.uk

If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact me via the
contact details below.

Wendy Kassamani

Information Compliance Officer

Brighton & Hove City Council

Hove Town Hall

Norton Road

Hove, BN3 4AH

Tel: 01273 296636

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