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 about a Councillor
1. complete the "Complaints form - Allegation of breach of Members' Code of Conduct" that can be accessed under the Downloads and Resources heading on this page.
2. send your complaint about a Councillor:
- by email to email@example.com; or
- in writing to The Monitoring Officer, Legal and Democratic Services, City of Doncaster Council, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
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:
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 this page.
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), having first discussed the complaint with the subject member
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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
Monitoring Officer's Annual Report on Complaint Handling and Whistleblowing
Copies of the Monitoring Officer's Annual Report to the Audit Committee on ethical governance matters are available to view in the 'Downloads & Resources' section on this page. Each Report includes statistics for the previous 12 months on complaint handling activity in relation to allegations of Member misconduct (see Appendix A).
Hearings Sub-Committee - Decision Notices
Copies of Decision Notices issued by the Hearings Sub-Committee are available to view in the 'Downloads & Resources' section on this page.
Downloads & Resources
- COMPLAINT FORM - Allegation of breach of Members' Code of Conduct
- Download (101KB - DOC)
- Code of Conduct COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE - Current
- Download (203KB - PDF)
- Monitoring Officer Annual Report to Audit Committee 2023
- Download (134KB - DOC)
- Monitoring Officer Complaints 2022-23 - Appendix to Annual Report
- Download (76KB - DOC)
- MO Annual Report to Audit Committee 2022 final
- Download (176KB - DOC)
- MO Complaints Schedule 2021-22 Audit Committee final
- Download (83KB - DOC)
- Monitoring Officer Annual Report to Audit Committee 2021
- Download (308KB - DOC)
- Monitoring Officer Complaints 2020-21 - Appendix to Annual Report
- Download (71KB - DOC)
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