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Councillor complaints, code of conduct and register of interests

Councillor complaints, code of conduct and register of interests

What standards of behaviour should I expect from a councillor?

When acting as a councillor, elected members are expected to meet the standards of behaviour set out in the Member Code of Conduct. The Member Code of Conduct is contained within the Council’s constitution.

How can I submit a complaint about a councillor?

Members of the public concerned about a city councillor’s conduct can make complaints directly to the Council. Complaints may be submitted in writing or by using our online form. If submitting a complaint, you must include details of the councillor concerned and the nature of the complaint.

How will complaints be considered?

Complaints about councillors are referred to the Council’s Monitoring Officer. The Monitoring Officer is an employee of the Council who has specific responsibilities for the proper governance of the Council. The Monitoring Officer will then consult with the Council’s Independent Person and decide whether the complaint should be formally investigated. The Independent Person is appointed by the Council under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 to offer advice before a decision can be taken on whether to investigate an allegation made under the Member Code of Conduct.

Wherever possible, the Monitoring Officer will seek a local resolution of complaints without a formal investigation. If the Monitoring Officer does not consider it appropriate to take a decision on a matter it will be referred to the Ethics and Engagement Committee. If an investigation finds no evidence of a failure by a councillor to comply with the Member Code of Conduct the Monitoring Officer is able to close a complaint.

What action can be taken against a councillor who has breached the Member Code of Conduct?

If a councillor is found to have breached the Member Code of Conduct, the following action may be taken against the councillor:

  • A Hearing Sub-Committee may report its findings to Council
  • A member’s political group leader or Council may be recommended that the councillor should be removed from any or all committees or sub-committees of the Council.
  • The Leader of the Council may be recommended that the member should be removed from the Executive or from particular portfolio responsibilities.
  • The Monitoring Officer may be instructed to arrange training for the member.
  • The member may be removed from all outside bodies to which they have been appointed
  • Facilities provided to the member by the Council, such as a computer, website and/or email or internet access may be withdrawn from the councillor.
  • The member may be excluded from Council offices or other premises, with the exception of meeting rooms as necessary for attending Council committees or sub-committees.

Do councillors have to make a declaration when they have a potential conflict of interests?

The Localism Act 2011 contains specific rules governing Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) that apply to councillors. There is a requirement for councillors to register DPIs and failure to register a DPI can be a criminal offence.

Councillors must not participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which they are aware they have a DPI unless they have a dispensation to do so. In addition, the Council has adopted its own additional rules extending the range of circumstances in which has a councillor must declare an interest in Council business.

All details relating to these interests can be found in the Council’s constitution.

Where can I find details of a councillor’s declaration of interests?

Details of councillors’ interests are available by viewing the details on each councillor; you can view these details online here.

Democratic Services

Tel: 01522 873387

Email:  democraticservices@lincoln.gov.uk

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