City of Melville has most number of complaints against councillors

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Melville has conceded it is concerned about a State Government report that shows it has the most complaints against its councillors of any local government.

The Local Government Standards Panel Report 2017-18 revealed there were 10 complaints against Melville councillors during that financial year.

There were 82 complaints within all local governments in the 2017-18 financial year, compared to 68 in the previous financial year.

Acting chief executive Marten Tieleman said while receiving complaints of any nature was a concern, the City was not involved in the assessment of complaints regarding elected members which made it difficult to comment.

“The role of the City’s designated complaints officer in relation to complaints regarding elected members, is to notify the involved parties and to submit the complaint to the Local Government Standards Panel for assessment,” he said.

“Following that the City has no further involvement in the process of determining whether or not the complaint is upheld.”

Mr Tieleman said he was aware that one “minor breach” was upheld by the panel this year, relating to a matter that occurred in 2016.

“Newly elected members undergo a comprehensive induction program provided by the City, which is also extended to existing elected members should they wish to refresh their knowledge,” he said.

“Elected members are also encouraged to attend ongoing professional development to support them in their roles, with various learning and development opportunities advertised to them on an ongoing basis and financial support to do so provided.”

Local Government Minister David Templeman said while he could not comment on the operations of the panel, the State Government was focused on increasing accountability within the local government sector.

“We know that the community expects their elected members to behave appropriately and with transparency,” he said.

“There may be an increased awareness of, and confidence in, the appropriate mechanisms for the community to make complaints.

“Elected members hold a position of responsibility and as such, the community expect them to demonstrate a high standard of behaviour.”

Complaints against elected members in metro councils:

City of Melville: 10
Shire of Chittering: 6
City of Rockingham: 5
City of Perth: 4
City of Swan: 4
City of Canning: 3
Town of Victoria Park: 3
Town of Nedlands: 2
Town of Bassendean: 1
City of Bayswater: 1
Town of Cottesloe: 1
City of Kalamunda: 1
City of Kwinana: 1
Shire of Mundaring: 1
City of Stirling: 1
City of Wanneroo: 1