Complain about a councillor
Your complaint must be about conduct that occurred while the member(s) complained about were in office. Conduct of an individual before they were elected, co-opted or appointed to the authority, or after they have resigned or otherwise ceased to be a member, cannot be considered.
The latest Code of Conduct was adopted on July 5, 2012, although some parish councils adopted the code of conduct earlier or later. If your complaint concerns matters that occurred before 5 July 2012 you should contact the Monitoring Officer before making your complaint to check whether it is within our jurisdiction. If you're not clear if we can consider your complaint, you should contact our Monitoring Officer by email
Who you can complain about
Your complaint must be about one or more named members of the following authorities:
- Boughton Monchelsea
- Broomfield and Kingswood
- Chart Sutton
- Collier Street
- East Farleigh
- East Sutton
- Sutton Valence
- West Farleigh
Your complaint must be that the member(s) has, or may have, breached the Code of Conduct. If your complaint is about a parish councillor, you should contact the parish clerk to obtain a copy of the Code adopted by that Council.
Complaints about dissatisfaction with a decision or action of the authority or one of its committees, a service provided by the authority or the authority’s procedures do not fall within the jurisdiction of the standards committee. Complaints about the actions of people employed by the authority also do not fall within the jurisdiction of the standards committee.
Your complaint must be in writing. If a disability prevents you from making your complaint in writing you may contact the Monitoring Officer for assistance.
It is important to note that not every complaint will be referred for investigation or other action. The Monitoring Officer must decide whether this is appropriate. They will make this decision using referral criteria. If they decide not to refer your complaint for investigation or other action they will give you the reasons for this decision.
What happens next
When you submit your complaint we will write to you to let you know we have received it. We will also tell the member that you are complaining about that we have received your complaint, who made the complaint and the relevant paragraphs of the Code of Conduct that it is alleged may have been breached.
The Monitoring Officer will then consider your complaint in consultation with an Independent Person and decide whether it should be referred for investigation or other action. This will happen within, on average, 10 working days of the date we receive your complaint. It is very important that you set your complaint out clearly and provide at the outset all the information you wish the Monitoring Officer to consider.
The Monitoring Officer may decide to refer your complaint for ‘other action’ instead of referring it for investigation. Other action is a deliberately broad term that may include options such as requiring the person you have complained about to apologise or undergo training or mediation. The Monitoring Officer will carefully consider your complaint when deciding whether other action is appropriate. If the Monitoring Officer decides to refer your complaint for other action we will explain what this involves.
Setting out your complaint
It is very important that you set your complaint out fully and clearly and provide all the information at the outset. You should also provide any documents or other material that you wish the Monitoring Officer to consider where possible.
We recommend that you use our complaint form. You should tell us exactly what each person said or did that caused you to complain. If you are sending supporting documentation please cross-reference it against the summary of your complaint.
You should be as detailed as possible and substantiate your complaint where you can. Although you are not required to prove your complaint at this stage of proceedings, you do have to demonstrate that you have reasonable grounds for believing that the member(s) complained about has breached the Code of Conduct.