Most complained about councils outed

MISCONDUCT allegations are the most commonly made complaints about councils in NSW.

Other common types of complaints were in relation to financial management by councils and land use planning and development matters.

The figures have been released as part of the Office of Local Government's 2017-18 Complaint Statistics.

The statistics were bad news for Kempsey Shire Council, which was the most complained about council in 2017-18 with 35 complaints, followed by Central Coast Council (33 complaints), Blue Mountains City Council (31), Northern Beaches Council (31) and City of Sydney Council (25).

The outcome has been attributed to the fallout over the the Kempsey cinema project and the turbulence surrounding operations of the air training college at the airport.

Coffs Harbour City Council registered nine complaints, Nambucca two and Bellingen six.

Further to the north, Clarence Valley received 12, Byron Shire 16, Ballina 11 and the Tweed 14 complaints.

In general terms the Office of Local Government (OLG) received 823 complaints about NSW councils in 2017/18, compared to 811 lodged the previous year.

"The community rightfully expects their local council to be meeting their expectations and these complaint statistics highlight where councils are potentially letting down their residents.

"The Office of Local Government assesses each complaint, uses the information to help improve the performance of councils, and where necessary takes other appropriate regulatory action," Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton said.

It's important to note that these numbers reflect only the number of complaints - not whether a criticism was valid or found.

The OLG has also pointed out that in some cases, specific councils may be the subject of campaigns, usually about a single controversial issue.

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