Complaints - making a complaint about an elected Councillor's conduct
Information for Potential Complainants
How to complain
Under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011, you have the right to complain about the conduct of a Member of the Council or a Member of one of the Town or Parish Councils within the area of Bath and North East Somerset. If you think that the behaviour of a Member has breached the Code of Conduct, you can submit a complaint to the Monitoring Officer (address shown below).
You will have to complete the necessary complaint form and provide relevant evidence or information in support of your allegations. The form is available from the Monitoring Officer and is also available to download on the right hand side of this page. Only complaints submitted within 6 months of the alleged breach will normally be considered.
If several people wish to make the same complaint about a member, there is no need for each person to fill out an individual form. You can make a group complaint on one form, indicating who will act as the lead complainant.
A breach of the Code may include:-
- Bullying and intimidation
- Failing to treat others with respect and courtesy
- Disclosing confidential information
- Accepting inappropriate gifts and hospitality or failing to declare gifts and hospitality
- Disreputable conduct
- Misuse of Council facilities or resources
- Failing to register an interest on the Register of Members’ Interests
- Failing to declare or disclose Interests
Please note that under the Council's arrangements, only complaints about the alleged behaviour and conduct of a Member which relate to a breach of the Code of Conduct, can be considered. It is not able to deal with complaints about failure to disclose a pecuniary interest, which is a criminal offence or complaints about the Council’s officers or matters which are not covered by the Code of Conduct.
Parish Councils have their own Code of Conduct, which is available on their website or from the Clerk.
If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, you may contact the Monitoring Officer before submitting a complaint. The Monitoring Officer will be able to advise you on the process but will not be able to comment on whether or not the subject of your complaint has or may have breached the Code.
You should submit your written complaint by post or email as soon as possible to the address set out below, preferably within 28 days of the alleged breach or provide an explaination of why the complaint is being submitted outside this time.
Following receipt of a complaint about the behaviour or conduct of a Member of the Council or one of the Town or Parish Councils the Monitoring Officer will carry out an initial assessment taking into account the views of the Independent Person, and the Independent Chair of the Standards Committee. The Monitoring Officer will decide whether the complaint should be referred for investigation or other action. Where a complaint is referred for investigation, an Investigating Officer will be appointed to provide a report, which may then be presented to the Standards Committee at a Hearing. If their decision is that there is a case to answer and that the Code had been breached, then they will decide on an appropriate sanction. The full procedure is set out in the Arrangement for Dealing with Complaints about the Code of Conduct for Members.
Address for Submission of a Written Complaint
The Monitoring Officer
Bath and North East Somerset Council
Lewis House Manvers Street
Bath BA1 1JG
Tel No. 01225 395171