Questions about town and parish councils
Follow Councillor Q&A on X/Twitter

Follow us on X/Twitter

0 votes
This question concerns correspondence to an individual councillor from a resident alleging breach of conduct of that councillor.
I understand individual councillors cannot respond to complaints and the normal route would be to refer to the clerk, who in turn would refer to the Monitoring Officer. However, the complainant has marked the correspondence private and confidential. I realise this phrase does not always bind, but given the history of complaints against previous Parish Councils & members, I don't want to be potentially in breach of confidentiality, escalating an already difficult issue.
I'm considering writing to the resident and pointing to the correct procedure via the PC complaint policy, which includes a section on the role of the Monitoring Officer where complaints of breach of conduct are alleged.
Thoughts please on how best to proceed?
by (120 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Why should the PC be involved in such a procedure at all? A complaint regarding a councillor to the MO is nothing to do with the council and is a personal matter between the complainant, the councillor and the MO. Although in some councils the clerk may be informed of such a complaint against one of their council members it is not for the council to mention discus or comment upon even if the MO calls for relevant documentation offered by parties in the case.The complaints procedure of the pc should merely state how a complainant should  proceed to the MO for decision.The PC has no powers to decide or investigate if a councillor has breached the COC nor implement any "punishment" for doing so.
by (27.4k points)
My question was more re ethics of how to reply when an individual councillor shouldn't respond to complaints about them. I made the decision to point the complainant to the complaints policy which has details of the MO.
0 votes
When I was a clerk, I took a simple line with anyone who raised an issue like this with me - "Complaints about the conduct of a councillor are dealt with by the Monitoring Officer - here are his/her contact details".  End of ...
by (10.6k points)
Thank you. I made the decision y'day evening to do just that. I'm the councillor who received the complaint, so was unsure how to proceed.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

3,001 questions
5,890 answers
10,223 users
Google Analytics Alternative