Suffolk County Council Cabinet to receive "training on dealing with the public"

Ann Kerr, Stradbroke Parish Council Chairman
Addressing the library public meeting
It was revealed last night by Ann Kerr, Chairman of Stradbroke Parish Council that in response to a complaint against a cabinet member for repeatedly ignoring correspondence the County Council Standards Committee had ordered all of the cabinet to undergo training.

The decision notice orders that the Deputy Monitoring officer:
After the Annual General Meeting of the CC on 26th May 2011 he arrange for members of the Cabinet to receive training on: how to manage correspondence with and interact with members of the public wishing to air grievances about the Council's policies; the efficacy of an appropriate and timely apology in preventing members of the public feeling the need to complain about a councillor's conduct.
The results of the training are to be passed to all councillors and a review take place after three months.

As I understand this follows a number of similar complaints against cabinet members I will not name the cabinet member this particular complaint relates to. It seems incredible that such senior councillors need this kind of training. Isn't it common sense that ignoring correspondence and refusing to apologise when there is a good reason to is likely to lead to formal complaints?

Whilst I welcome the decision of the Standards Committee it concerns me that this training will be paid for at public expense and I would suggest that cabinet members are asked to pay for it themselves.

NOTE: All elected councillors at Suffolk CC get paid a basic allowance of £10 172 a year and cabinet members an extra £15 253 making a total of £25 424 a year. The Leader and Deputy Leader get more see the member's allowance scheme
Suffolk Politics 3569850071306383064

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