By Statute, all members are required to sign up to a Code of Conduct following their election to office. The most recent Code which Members have agreed and signed up to was introduced in accordance with the Localism Act 2011. It provides the rules and requirements against which Members are obligated to comply. The issues are around Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Non-Pecuniary Interests and other Interests. It can be a criminal offence to fail to register interests or to attend a meeting and vote on a matter which is affected by such an interest.What happens if a complaint is made about a Member?
Complaints about the conduct of any Member and failure to adhere to any of the provisions in the Code may be made by anyone. These should be made via the link to online councillor complaints form. Once received, they will be initially assessed by the Council's Monitoring Officer who will determine whether the complaint should be investigated.What is the process followed for a complaint?
Following a complaint being received, the Monitoring Officer will consider the complaint to establish if there is any breach of the Code which may have been identified. If the Monitoring Officer considers that s/he can resolve the complaint through informal mediation or discussion, s/he may take this step before determining whether a complaint should be investigated. In making his/her decision, the Monitoring Officer will consult with the Council's Independent Person (or where it has more than one Independent Person, one of the Independent Persons).
If the matter is considered to be a criminal offence then the Monitoring Office will be asked to prepare a file or papers for referral to the Police.
More information on the process can be found in the N.B Reference to the Mayor shall include the Deputy Mayor and reference to the Party Leader shall include the Deputy Party Leader.