The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and Society of Local Councils Clerks (SLCC) have written to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the Local Government Association to highlight concerns about a recent legal judgement.
The judgement will make it more difficult for local (parish and town) councils to resolve disputes between councillors and their employees.
This decision confines most complaints about councillors to the code of conduct process. Employees will now (generally) not be able to use their councils' grievance procedures if the subject of their grievance is a complaint about a councillor.
Inevitably, this will lead to more principal authority involvement in local council matters and place additional burdens on already hard-pressed monitoring officers. It is also likely that matters which previously would have been dealt with within a council will take substantively longer when dealt with by a principal authority.
This decision will impact on the corporate well-being of councils, and NALC and SLCC have therefore called for urgent talks to try and find a sensible way forward to ensure quick and fair resolution of disputes.