Making a complaint about the conduct of a district, town or parish councillor
From 1 July 2012, the responsibility for considering complaints that a district, town or parish councillor in Suffolk Coastal District Council’s area may have breached their code of conduct, moved to the Council's Monitoring Officer in consultation with an 'independent person' from a pool of 8 people who have been recruited for this purpose.
The Suffolk Local Code of Conduct applies to elected councillors and co-optees appointed to the county, borough, district, town and parish councils in Suffolk. You can view the code of conduct by following the link below:
Please note that the Monitoring Officer can only deal with complaints about the behaviour of a councillor covered by the code of conduct. Any complaints must be clear as to why the complainant thinks that a councillor has not followed the code of conduct.
How to make a complaint
Complaints about the conduct of a district, town or parish councillor must be submitted in writing. Please read the supporting notes before completing the complaints form:
For complaints against district, town or parish councillors in Suffolk Coastal District Council’s area, you can send completed forms by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Woodbridge IP12 1AU.
Complaints against a county councillor (new window) should be made to the County Council's Monitoring Officer.
What happens next?
An initial assessment of the complaint will be made within 20 working days of receipt. The complaint will be dealt with by the Council’s Monitoring Officer who will consult with an 'independent person' appointed by the Council before determining how the complaint should be handled.
The councillor complained about will be asked to provide his or her response to the complaint before it is considered.
The Monitoring Officer may decide that:
- no action be taken on the complaint;
- the complaint be referred to the leader of the political group (if applicable) which the councillor complained about belongs to, for action;
- the complaint be dealt with by local resolution e.g. an apology from the councillor, training, mediation or other action; or
- the complaint be investigated.
An investigation will only be undertaken in more serious cases or where other forms of action have been unsuccessful. Suffolk Coastal’s Audit and Governance Committee will determine those complaints which have been investigated and where the 'independent person' has made a finding of breach of the Code of Conduct.
The Committee may censure a councillor found to have breached the Code or recommend training or other action. The Committee does not have power to suspend or sanction a councillor.