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Complaint from resident sent to parish email box about a councillor

0 votes
A resident sent in a complaint to our parish mailbox concerning the conduct of a councillor during an altercation in the village.  This complaint has been seen by the councillor, Chair and me so far. Appreciate this is just one parties side, however there were witnesses and the matter was also raised with the police. The complainant was advised by us to  submit the complaint to the Monitoring Officer which they have done.
There has been unprofessional behaviour from this councillor previously and I do not doubt this appalling matter has taken place, however two sides to everything etc.

We are a small village with a small council and word gets round and we worry for our reputation.   Can the matter be mentioned at our next meeting either just to advise a complaint has been received against the councillor or even just ‘a complaint has been received’ and now referred to the MO or can we ask the councillor for their comments so that if other councillors are approached they are forewarned? If so I would expect this matter to be for councillors only with the public (if any) removed. Based on the MO’s findings would presumably be made public at some point.

Any thoughts, guidance,  much appreciated as we just want to handle it right.
by (160 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
I wouldn't contact the other Councillors for comments, the Monitoring Officer will do that if they have any concerns.  Your Parish Clerk will be contacted by the Monitoring Officer to say they have received a complaint and will be sent a copy of it.  The Monitoring Officer will contact the Councillor to get their side of the story and come to a conclusion and will inform the Councillor and your Parish Clerk of the outcome.  It should not be mentioned at all until the conclusion is reached and then maybe a note in the minutes saying something like "A Code of Conduct complaint against a Councillor was forwarded to the Monitoring Officer and no action was taken (if they are in the clear) or training was recommended (if that's what they recommend."  To be honest the Monitoring Officer can't actually do a lot and it depends if you have a good or bad one as to what the outcome will be.
by (2.9k points)
Thank you ‘Parishcouncillor’ your response is much appreciated.
0 votes
The PC can, and should, do absolutely nothing. The matter is between the complainant and the MO if it is submitted to MO.
If the individual was acting in a private capacity, then the MO has no jurisdiction.
Only if the individual was acting, or holding them self out to be acting, in an official PC capacity would the behaviour be anyone’s business other than there own
Private activity undertaken by a private individual (even if a parish councillor) is private business - unless it is criminal then it might be police business  but even if it is police business, it does not automatically become PC / MO business
by (1.2k points)
Thank you ‘RoundAgainCoxn’. Your response is much appreciated.
I agree with this - it is up to the complainant to pursue the matter either via the Monitoring Officer or, if more serious, the police.  From my bitter experience (and I obviously do not know the fine detail) it will make matters worse, not better, if the parish council gets involved.

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