It is important to realise that Community Councils are separate organisations and are not part of the local authority, consequently not all council policies or procedures will apply to them. This is particularly relevant when making a complaint, either to a community council or about a community council or councillor
If a complaint is about either the local authority or its members, Argyll and Bute Council has a complaints process which is outlined on its website and explains how to make various types of complaint, including complaints about local authority councillors. It does not however cover complaints about Community Councils
Community Council Complaints
If you have a complaint about any aspect of a community council, how it conducts its business, or otherwise behaves, then your first action must be to contact the community council and get the opportunity to address your concerns.
Community councils are obliged to have a complaints process in place. In most cases the process is simply to raise the complaint as an agenda item at the next meeting of the community council, where it can be discussed and hopefully resolved. The usual way of ensuring your complaint is raised at the next meeting is to write to either the secretary or convenor of the Community Council outlining your complaint. You have a right to attend the community council meeting, but it is for the meeting chair (usually the convenor) to decide whether you will also be allowed to speak at the meeting. Once the community council has considered your complaint, should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you can raise the issue with Argyll and Bute Council who then have discretion as to whether to investigate the matter.
Guidance for Community Councils
It is important that community councils have an agreed procedure in place to deal with any complaints made and this is a requirement of the current Scheme for Establishment of Community Councils. Our Model Complaints Procedure provides guidance for community councils with regards to complaints.