Code of Conduct
Councillors code of conduct
The Borough Council has adopted a Members Code of Conduct setting out rules governing the behaviour of its Members and co-opted Members of the Council.
The Code of Conduct requires Councillors to observe the seven principles of public life:
In addition, there are rules governing disclosure of interests and withdrawal from meetings where Councillors have certain interests. Councillors are also required to record on the public register of interests of members and co-opted members their financial and other interests.
The Council has a Standards Committee to ensure that Councillors maintain the high standard of conduct that is expected of them.
This remit of the Committee includes:
- advising the Council on the adoption or revision of the Members’ Code of Conduct
- monitoring the operation of the Members’ Code of Conduct
- advising, training or arranging to train members and any co-opted members of the council on matters relating to the Members’ Code of Conduct
- conducting local hearings and determining of sanctions should a breach of the code of conduct be found
Making a complaint against a councillor
The Borough Council is responsible for dealing with complaints about not only the conduct of its own Councillors, but also Parish Councillors representing parishes within the borough.
Please note that a Parish Council has the power to adopt its own Code of Conduct, therefore if your complaint relates to the conduct of a Parish Councillor, you will need to check what the Parish Council Code of Conduct says.
The Monitoring Officer can only accept complaints about the behaviour of a councillor which is covered by the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct only applies when a councillor is acting, or giving the impression that they are acting, in their official capacity. If you make a complaint it must be about which part of the Code of Conduct you think they have not complied with when they are acting as a councillor.
Arrangements for dealing with complaints about breach of the Code of Conduct
The council has Arrangements for dealing with councillor complaints setting out how it will deal with allegations that an elected or co-opted member of the Council or of a Parish Council within its area has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct. The Monitoring Officer will deal with a complaint as quickly as possible and will usually make a decision on initial assessment around 2 months after receipt of the initial complaint. If a complaint is referred for investigation, it may take up to 12 months for a decision to be made.
Under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011, the Council is required to appoint an Independent Person to assist the Council in promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct amongst its elected members and parish councillors. The Independent Person will be consulted on the decision to investigate complaints and before it makes a decision on an investigated complaint. The Independent Person may be consulted on other standards matters, including by the member who is subject to an allegation.