Complaint about an elected member/councillor
Complaints about councillors
Is your complaint one which the standards committee could consider?
There are two complaint forms and procedures, for two different types of complaints.
This form is only to be used if you are complaining about a (parish or borough) councillor's conduct.
If your complaint is about the council or its officers see our complaints procedure.
The points listed below will help you decide whether this is the correct form to use when making your complaint. You should speak to Diane Rice, Monitoring Officer, if you are not clear if the standards committee can consider your complaint. The assessment sub-committee of the standards committee will make the decision about what action, if any, to take on your complaint.
Your complaint must be about conduct that occurred while the member(s) complained about were in office. Conduct of an individual before they were elected, co-opted or appointed to the authority, or after they have resigned or otherwise ceased to be a member, cannot be considered by the assessment sub-committee.
The Code of Conduct came into effect on 5 May 2002, although some authorities adopted the Code of Conduct earlier. If your complaint concerns matters that occurred before 5 May 2002 you should contact Diane Rice before making your complaint to check whether it is within the jurisdiction of the assessment sub-committee to consider.
Your complaint must be about one or more named members of the following authorities: a Parish Council within the Ribble Valley; Ribble Valley Borough Council.
Your complaint must be that the member(s) has, or may have, breached the Code of Conduct. A copy of the Code of Conduct and frequently asked questions about the Code of Conduct are available at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk. You may also contact Diane Rice if you require further information.
Complaints about dissatisfaction with a decision or action of the authority or one of its committees, a service provided by the authority or the authority's procedures do not fall within the jurisdiction of the standards committee. Complaints about the actions of people employed by the authority also do not fall within the jurisdiction of the standards committee.
Your complaint must be in writing. If a disability prevents you from making your complaint in writing you may contact Diane Rice for assistance.
It is important to note that not every complaint that falls within the jurisdiction of the standards committee will be referred for investigation or other action.
The assessment sub-committee of the standards committee must decide whether this is appropriate. It will make this decision using referral criteria.
If the assessment sub-committee decides not to refer your complaint for investigation or other action it will give you the reasons for this decision. It will also explain any right that you may have to ask for the decision to be reviewed.
How should I set out my complaint?
It is very important that you set your complaint out fully and clearly, and provide all the information at the outset. You should also provide any documents or other material that you wish the assessment sub-committee to consider, where possible. Unless the authority advises you otherwise, you will not be able to attend the meeting of the assessment sub-committee.
We recommend that you use our complaint form, or provide a covering note summarising what you are complaining about, especially if your complaint includes a lot of supporting documentation. In the summary you should tell us exactly what each person you are complaining about said or did that has caused you to complain. If you are sending supporting documentation please cross-reference it against the summary of your complaint.
You should be as detailed as possible and substantiate your complaint where you can. Although you are not required to prove your complaint at this stage of proceedings, you do have to demonstrate that you have reasonable grounds for believing that the member(s) complained about has breached the Code of Conduct.