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Dumfries and Galloway Council's failure to comply with their complaints procedure for vexatious reasons.

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Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

The Council's website has a page for people to submit complaints to them. It gives a detailed account of how complaints will be dealt with, including the time limits that will be applied.

Some weeks ago a complaint was submitted about the conduct of Doreen Beattie who has the job title, Community Well Being and Temporary Accommodation Coordinator. To date, no response has been received to this from Dumfries and Galloway Council. A reply is supposed to be sent within 5 days.

A subsequent complaint was sent a fortnight later which was due to the absence of a reply to the original complaint. Once again, this was ignored and no response was ever received.

On an earlier occasion, four complaints were sent in on totally different subjects and the person who first dealt with these decided to treat them as one complaint. When the complainant objected they were advised they had no right to choose how these would be dealt with by the council. A call to the SPSO found that the council had no right to adopt this method.

Prima facie, it appears that Dumfries and Galloway Council are perverting the process in order to prevent complaints, which are being dealt with dishonestly by them, only to be referred to the SPSO subsequently. They are also trying to lower the number of complaints made to them. The reasons for failing to deal with genuine grievances can be described as vexatious. This is unlawful.

Please state why all of the above failed to be dealt with in accordance with your complaints procedure. What grounds do you have for choosing to merge four separate complaints into one, despite the complainant objecting? Is it council policy to try to lower the number of complaints it receives? Does the council act vexatiously towards certain individuals and does the influence of Freemasonry play a part in this?

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Susan Murray left an annotation ()

It is interesting to note that Dumfries and Galloway Council has yet to acknowledge this request. It seems to be operating the same tactics for complaints made to them, that is to fail to respond to these. This council has recently featured in the Rotten Boroughs section in Private Eye. It refers to them as the rubbish council, how appropriate.

McCaa, Gillian, Dumfries and Galloway Council

OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE
Hi Nick
 
I sent this one to you previously and we agreed that it is not an FOI but
needs a response.  It is from Susan Murray but appears to be referring to
Ms Hurle's complaints.
 
I have worked with Communities to draw something up and attach this. 
However, I am at a loss as to how to answer the part that I have
highlighted.  Any suggestions?  And are you happy with the other
responses?
 
Gillian
 
 
Please state why all of the above failed to be dealt with in accordance
with your complaints procedure.
•       No details can be found of any complaints to Dumfries & Galloway
Council from yourself.  In order to investigate an allegation of service
failure I will require full details of the complaint you are referring
to.  Please note we will only correspond with the complainant or their
appointed representative in relation to any allegation of service failure.
 
What grounds do you have for choosing to merge four separate complaints
into one, despite the complainant objecting?
•       Again, no details can be found of any complaints to Dumfries &
Galloway Council from yourself.  Dumfries and Galloway council values
complaints.  It seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as
possible to the point of service delivery and to conduct thorough,
impartial and fair investigations of customer complaints so that, where
appropriate, we can make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the
case.  The full policy can be found here.
[1]https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints
 
Is it council policy to try to lower the number of complaints it receives?
•       As above, Dumfries and Galloway Council Values complaints.  It
seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as possible to the
point of service delivery and to conduct thorough, impartial and fair
investigations of customer complaints so that, where appropriate, we can
make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the case. 
[2]https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints
 
Does the council act vexatiously towards certain individuals and does the
influence of Freemasonry play a part in this?
 
 
 
 
Gillian McCaa
Information Governance Team
Democratic Services
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Council Offices, English Street
Dumfries, DG1 2DD
Internal: 64202
External 01387 260202
Fax Number 01387 260034 (internal 64034)
Drop Point: 205
Email: [3][email address]
[4]www.dumgal.gov.uk
 
Disclaimer:
This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted
with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual
or entity to whom they are addressed. 
 
If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment)
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies.  If you
are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure,
review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is
strictly prohibited.  Please be aware that communication by internet email
is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. 
Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or
damage which may result from this email or any files attached.  It is your
responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses
or other defects.
 
Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council
for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the
policy on staff use.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be
used.
 
Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be
disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  For further information and to view the
Council’s privacy statement please click  [5]here
 
P SAVE PAPER - Please do not print this e-mail unless absolutely
necessary
 
 

show quoted sections

FOI, Dumfries and Galloway Council

OFFICIAL
Dear Ms Murray
 
Thank you for your email dated 1 June and detailed below for ease of
reference.  Our response is as follows:-
 
Please state why all of the above failed to be dealt with in accordance
with your complaints procedure.
 
•       No details can be found of any complaints to Dumfries & Galloway
Council from yourself.  In order to investigate an allegation of service
failure I will require full details of the complaint you are referring
to.  Please note we will only correspond with the complainant or their
appointed representative in relation to any allegation of service failure.
 
What grounds do you have for choosing to merge four separate complaints
into one, despite the complainant objecting?
 
•       Again, no details can be found of any complaints to Dumfries &
Galloway Council from yourself.  Dumfries and Galloway Council values
complaints.  It seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as
possible to the point of service delivery and to conduct thorough,
impartial and fair investigations of customer complaints so that, where
appropriate, we can make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the
case.  The full policy can be found here.
[1]https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints
 
Is it council policy to try to lower the number of complaints it receives?
 
•       As above, Dumfries and Galloway Council Values complaints.  It
seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as possible to the
point of service delivery and to conduct thorough, impartial and fair
investigations of customer complaints so that, where appropriate, we can
make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the case. 
[2]https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints
 
Does the council act vexatiously towards certain individuals and does the
influence of Freemasonry play a part in this?
 

* As above, Dumfries and Galloway Council Values complaints. 

 
 
Gillian McCaa
Information Governance Team
Democratic Services
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Council Offices, English Street
Dumfries, DG1 2DD
 
Internal: 64202
External 01387 260202
 
Fax Number 01387 260034 (internal 64034)
Drop Point: 205
Email: [email address]
[3]www.dumgal.gov.uk
 
Disclaimer:
This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted
with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual
or entity to whom they are addressed. 
 
If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment)
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies.  If you
are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure,
review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is
strictly prohibited.  Please be aware that communication by internet email
is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. 
Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or
damage which may result from this email or any files attached.  It is your
responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses
or other defects.
 
Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council
for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the
policy on staff use.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be
used.
 
Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be
disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  For further information and to view the
Council’s privacy statement please click  here
 
P SAVE PAPER - Please do not print this e-mail unless absolutely necessary
 

show quoted sections

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