How to complain about a Councillor

If you are unhappy about the way a Councillor, a Co-opted Member of the council or a Parish/Town Councillor has behaved, you can make a complaint in writing to the Council’s Monitoring Officer.

By making a complaint you must provide details as to why you think a member has not followed the Code of Conduct for members - this sets out the rules governing the behaviour of its members.  

This will help you to determine whether your complaint relates to a potential breach of the code. Please read the 'Complaints that the monitoring officer cannot deal with' section below before filing a complaint.

Making a complaint

1. complete the complaints form that can be accessed by clicking on the link in the 'Downloads & Resources' section on the right hand side of this page.

2. send your complaint:

  • in writing to The Monitoring Officer, Legal and Democratic Services, Doncaster Council, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU; or
  • by email to TheMonitoringOfficer@doncaster.gov.uk

If you would like to discuss the matter before making a complaint, contact the Monitoring Officer, Scott Fawcus, on 01302 734640

3. please include any relevant background documentation in support of your complaint

Complaints the monitoring officer cannot deal with:

The Monitoring Officer can only deal with complaints about the alleged behaviour and conduct of a councillor.  He does not deal with complaints about:

  • a Council policy or decision
  • a Councillor’s decision to support or to refuse to support a cause
  • acts carried out in a Councillor's private life (i.e. when not undertaking official duties)

To complain about Council services or actions, or lack of action, taken by the Council or staff, please visit the council’s:

Complaint process:

The Council's procedure for handling complaints regarding allegations of Member misconduct can be viewed by clicking on the link in the 'Downloads & Resources' section on the right hand side of this page.

In summary:-

The Monitoring Officer will determine whether a complaint falls within the scope of the Members’ Code of Conduct and, if so, he will assess the complaint in consultation with an Independent Person (and Audit Committee members in cases where the Monitoring Officer feels that it may be beneficial)

In consultation with the independent person, the Monitoring Officer will decide whether the complaint merits formal investigation, or whether an alternative course of action (if any) should be taken.  

The Monitoring Officer may decide:

  • that no further action should be taken regarding the allegation
  • to seek to resolve the complaint informally without the need for a formal investigation - this may involve the member accepting that his/her conduct was unacceptable and offering an apology, or other action by the authority, such as training for the member
  • to forward the complaint to the relevant group leader/political group for informal resolution (or parish/town council if applicable)
  • arrange for an investigation to be undertaken in relation to the circumstances of the allegation that has been made

Following an investigation

The Monitoring Officer will consider the Investigating Officer’s Final Report in consultation with the Independent Person and will then decide what action to take.  

Options include:

  • taking no further action (in which case the matter is closed),
  • seeking informal resolution between the parties concerned
  • referring the matter to the Audit Committee's Hearings Sub-Committee

If a complaint is referred to a Hearing, the Hearings Sub-committee will determine whether the Code has been breached and, if so, what (if any) sanctions should be imposed.

There is no right of review of the Monitoring Officer’s or Hearings Sub-Committee’s decision.

Parish/town councillors:

The Monitoring Officer may also inform the parish council of a complaint and seek the views of the parish council before deciding whether the complaint merits formal investigation.

Criminal conduct or breach of other regulation

  • the Monitoring Officer has the power to call in the Police and other regulatory agencies.

Additional help

  • complaints must be submitted in writing.  However in line with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, we can make reasonable adjustments to assist you if you have a disability that prevents you from making your complaint in writing.
  • we can also help if English is not your first language - alternative formats and languages can be made available upon request
Last updated: 06 December 2016 16:58:53