Complain about a Councillor
To complain about a councillor you will need to complete a complaint form.
The complaint will then be referred to the Monitoring Officer of the Council, who is responsible for administering the system.
Please complete and send the complaint form to:
The Monitoring Officer
Coton Road, Nuneaton
The form is also available on request from Receptions at Civic Hall, Bedworth and Town Hall, Nuneaton.
Please provide your name and a contact address or email address, to which receipt of your complaint can be sent and you can be kept informed of its progress.
If you want to keep your name and address confidential, please indicate this in the space provided on the complaint form, in which case it will not be disclosed to the Member against whom you make the complaint, without your prior consent. The Council does not normally investigate anonymous complaints.
The Monitoring Officer will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days of receiving it, advise you as to what will happen next and assign the matter to an investigating officer. That officer will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint.
Will Your Complaint be Investigated?
The investigating officer will then review your complaint against the criteria set out in Appendix 2 of Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution and will consult with an Independent Person. A decision will then be made by the Monitoring Officer, having regard to the recommendation from the investigating officer and the views of the Independent Person as to whether formal investigation or some other outcome is appropriate. If the view is that the complaint doesn’t merit formal action, the Monitoring Officer will inform you as quickly as possible of that outcome.
If more information is required the Monitoring Officer may come back to you for such information and may also request further information from the member against whom your complaint is directed.
In appropriate cases, rather than undertake a formal investigation, the Monitoring Officer may seek to resolve the complaint informally, without the need for a formal investigation. You will be contacted to ascertain whether you would be willing to deal with the matter in this way.
Where the Member or the Council makes a reasonable offer of local resolution, but you are not willing to accept that offer, the Monitoring Officer will take account of this in deciding whether the complaint merits formal investigation.
If your complaint identifies criminal conduct or breach of other Regulation by any person, the Monitoring Officer has the power to call in the Police and other regulatory agencies.
How is the Investigation Conducted?
If a formal investigation is merited, the Investigating Officer, who may be another senior officer of the Council, an officer of another Council or an external investigator will contact you to understand the nature of your complaint and seek further details.
The Investigating Officer will also contact the Member against whom you have complained and provide him/her with a copy of your complaint.
At the end of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will send copies of the draft report to yourself and the Member, in confidence, and give you the opportunity to identify any matter in the report which you disagree with or which you consider requires further consideration.
Once the report has been finalised, the Investigating Officer will send it to the Monitoring Officer, who will arrange for it to be considered by the Standards Committee.
What happens if the Investigating Officer concludes that there is no evidence of a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct?
The Standards Committee will review the Investigating Officer’s report and, if it is satisfied that the Investigating Officer’s report is sufficient, instruct the Monitoring Officer to write to you and to the member concerned, notifying you that he is satisfied that no further action is required.
What happens if the Investigating Officer concludes that there is evidence of a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct?
The Standards Committee will review the Investigating Officer’s report and will then either
a) send the matter for hearing before a Hearings Panel or,
b) after consulting the independent person, seek local resolution.
Further, information regarding the above matter can be found at paragraph 5A.7 of Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution.
What action can the Hearings Panel take where a member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct?
The Standards Committee has delegated to the Hearings Panel powers to take action in respect of individual Members as may be necessary to promote and maintain high standards of conduct. The Hearings Panel may:
a) Censure or reprimand the Member;
b) Publish its findings in respect of the Member’s conduct;
c) Report its findings for information;
d) Recommend to the Member’s Group Leader (or in the case of un-grouped Members, recommend to or to Committees) that he/she be removed from any or all Committees or Sub-Committees;
e) Recommend to the Leader that the member be removed from the Cabinet, or removed from particular portfolio responsibilities;
f) Instruct the Monitoring Officer to arrange training for the Member;
g) Remove from all outside appointments to which he/she has been appointed or nominated by the Council;
h) Withdraw facilities provided to the Member by the Council, such as a computer, website and/or email and internet access, or
i) Exclude the Member from the Council’s offices or other premises, with the exception of meeting rooms as necessary for attending Panel’s Council, Committee and Sub-Committee meetings.
The Hearings Panel has no power to suspend or disqualify the Member, or to withdraw Members’ allowances.
What happens at the end of the Hearing?
At the end of the Hearing, the Chair will state the decision of the Hearings Panel as to whether the Member failed to comply with the Code of Conduct and as to any actions which the Hearings Panel resolves to take.
As soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, the Monitoring Officer shall prepare a formal Decision Notice in consultation with the Chair of the Hearings Panel, and send a copy to you, to the member, make that Decision Notice available for public inspection, and report the decision to the next convenient meeting of the Council.
There is no right of appeal for you as complainant, or for the Member, against a decision of the Monitoring Officer or of the Hearings Panel.
If you feel that the Council has failed to deal with your complaint properly, you may make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Last updated Tuesday, 23rd May 2017