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Pembrokeshire: 22 code of conduct complaints in year

PEMBROKESHIRE had 22 councillor code of conduct complaints in 2022-23, senior councillors heard.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) requested its annual letter was presented to Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on December 4, to assist members in their scrutiny of the council’s complaints performance.

A report for members stated that during 2022-23, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW) received 44 complaints in respect of Pembrokeshire County Council, the ninth highest in Wales per 1,000 residents, up from 13th the previous year.

Of the 45 complaints determined by the PSOW (one of which related to 2021-22), three cases required intervention.

A total of 14 complaints were closed after PSOW initial consideration, 23 cases being deemed premature (which means that the complainant had not exhausted the council’s complaint process), and four cases being deemed out of the jurisdiction of the PSOW.

The ombudsman letter also highlighted eight code of conduct complaints relating to Pembrokeshire county councillors, and 14 relating to town and community councils.

Pembrokeshire County Council, County Hall, Haverfordwest

A PSOW decision not to investigate further was made in respect of all eight county councillor complaints.

Of the town and community councils, Haverfordwest saw five complaints, one referred to the council’s standards committee, and four where a decision was taken by PSOW not to investigate.

Decisions not to investigate were also taken in Hundleton, two cases; Llanrhian, two cases; Milford Haven, one case, and Saundersfoot one case, with the latter having a further case discontinued.

No action necessary was deemed on one case each in Solva and Tiers Cross community councils.

At the December 4 meeting, members heard an error had been made in the initial report on the numbers of councillor complaints, the correct figures being shared at the meeting.

Cabinet agreed to note the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales Annual Letter 2022-23.

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