Complaints about councillors

The council has 57 councillors who are elected every four years. The next elections are due 2021.

In addition the council has some co-opted members these are people who have been appointed (not elected) to serve on particular committees of the council. All councillors and co-opted members are required to undertake to comply with the member code of conduct adopted by the council. The Monitoring Officer is a senior officer of the council with responsibility for overseeing the ethical framework of the council.

The council adopted a new member code of conduct on 10 July 2012 following changes in the standards regime for local government.

WCC Member Code of Conduct 2012 (PDF, 121.6 KB)

Making a complaint

If you think a member has broken the council’s Member Code of Conduct, then you can complain to the Monitoring Officer of the council in writing. Please read the Advice Note below before making your complaint.

Advice Note Member Code 2012 (PDF, 45.17 KB)

 

Email: monitoringofficer@warwickshire.gov.uk

Address:
Warwickshire County Council
Shire Hall
Warwick
CV34 4RL

Your complaint must:

  • be about a councillor or co-opted member;
  • fall within the scope of the member code of conduct;
  • be made in writing to the Monitoring Officer.

Complaint process

Filter stage

Your complaint will initially be considered by the Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Chief Executive and the Political Group Leader of member complained about. Where appropriate the Monitoring Officer may also consult an independent person.

We focus only on allegations that we believe have the potential to damage the public’s confidence in local democracy. Where the allegation concerns matters which may amount to a criminal offence the Monitoring Officer will consult with the Police on whether the matter should be referred to them. You will normally be advised of our decision or the proposed next steps within 20 working days of receipt of your complaint.

Options available at the filter stage are:

  • Complaint resolved by informal action acceptable to both member and complainant;
  • No further action where complaints fall outside the Code or do not justify investigation and there is no informal resolution;
  • Allegations of criminal matters if appropriate referred to Police;
  • Referral for investigation if criteria are met.

We will only refer a complaint for investigation if the following criteria are met

  • it is serious enough, if proven, to justify the costs of an investigation; or
  • it is part of a continuing pattern of less serious misconduct that is unreasonably disrupting the business of the Council and there is no other avenue left to deal with it; and
  • the conduct complained of occurred within 6 months of the date the complaint was received.

We will not normally refer complaints for investigation where they fall within one or more of the following categories

  • we believe it to be malicious, relatively minor, or tit-for-tat
  • the same, or substantially similar, complaint has already been the subject of an investigation or inquiry and there is nothing further to be gained
  • the complaint concerns acts carried out in the member’s private life, when they are not carrying out the work of the authority or have not misused their position as a member
  • it appears that the complaint is really about dissatisfaction with a council decision
  • there is not enough information currently available to justify a decision to refer the matter for investigation

Referral for investigation

If your complaint is referred for investigation the Monitoring Officer will appoint an Investigating Officer. The timescale for producing a report will depend on the nature of the investigation. Before any recommendations in the report are finalised the Monitoring Officer will consult an independent person and ascertain their views on the matter.

If the member concerned does not accept the recommendations in the finalised report the matter will be referred to a Hearing sub-committee for consideration.

Sanctions available if there has been a breach of the Code

The sanctions that may be imposed by the Council in the event of a breach of the Code of Conduct are:

  • A formal letter to the member found to have breached the code;
  • Formal censure by motion;
  • Removal by the authority of the member from committee(s) subject to statutory and constitutional requirements;
  • Press release/other appropriate publicity.

Complaints about councillors was last updated on June 2, 2017.


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