Complain about a Councillor
How to complain about a Councillor
Councillors' Code of Conduct
All Councils are required by the Localism Act 2011 to adopt a Code of Conduct that sets out the rules governing the behaviour and registration of Declaration of Interests for their Members when acting in their official capacity.
Braintree District Council adopted its Code of Conduct on 11th June 2012 and it came into effect on 1 July 2012.
The Code of Conduct for Members is published in Chapter 3 of the Constitution.
Complaints and investigations against Councillors
From 1 July 2012 the District Council was required by the Localism Act 2011 to have in place "Arrangements" for dealing with allegations that Councillors had failed to comply with the Code of Conduct and also to investigate and determine those allegations. All complaints must be made in writing to the Monitoring Officer.
Please ensure that you read the District Council's process for handling complaints and the complaints assessment criteria shown under "useful links" to the right of this page. This will be used by the Monitoring Officer to determine whether a complaint may be investigated or referred to the Council's Standards Sub-Committee.
The District Council's Arrangements cover Braintree District Council Councillors and Parish and Town Councillors of the 52 Parish Councils and 2 Town Councils situated with the Braintree District.
If you wish to submit a complaint about the conduct of a Braintree District Council Councillor or a Parish or Town Councillor situated within the Braintree District, please submit your complaint on the Complaint form which is shown under "useful links" and send it to the address shown below.
Please note that the Council's Arrangements can only deal with complaints about the alleged behaviour and conduct of Councillors. It will not deal with complaints about any of the District Council's departments or Council policy. It will also not deal with any complaints about a Parish or Town Clerk or other matters not covered by the Code of Conduct.
When we receive a complaint
The procedure for the handling of complaints is set out in the adopted process. The Monitoring Officer will review every complaint received and may consult with one of the Council's appointed Independent Persons before taking a decision as to whether it:
- Merits no further action
- Merits early informal conciliation
- Should be referred to the Standards Sub-Committee to consider whether the complaint merits further investigation.
The Monitoring Officer may require additional information in order to come to a decision, and may come back to you for such information. In the absence of a response from you within 15 working days the Monitoring Officer may close the complaint.
The Monitoring Officer may request Information from the Councillor against whom your complaint is directed to help them to come to a decision. In the absence of the subject Councillor’s response within 15 working days the Monitoring Officer may proceed with the complaint.
Complaints should be addressed to The Monitoring Officer
If you are unsure about any aspect of the process, please contact the Monitoring Officer before submitting any complaint(s).
Who is the Monitoring Officer and what is their role?
Monitoring Officer: Kim Cole
Deputy Monitoring Officer: Emma Wisbey
The Monitoring Officer is appointed under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and has a number of statutory functions in addition to those recently conferred under the Localism Act 2011 and subsequent regulations governing into councillors' interests and conduct.
Role of the Independent Person
The role of the independent person is set out in Section 28 of the Localism Act 2011.
The independent person’s views must be sought, and taken into account, by the Monitoring Officer when considering an allegation in respect of a breach of the Code of Conduct.
The District Council has appointed a Standards Sub-Committee which deals with the conduct of Councillors and who can hold a hearing into allegations that a Councillor has failed to follow the code of conduct. This remit also applies to Parish and Town Councillors within the Braintree District. Any recommendations made following a hearing are made to the relevant Parish or Town Council concerned and are non-binding.