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How do I handle a complaint about a fellow councillor

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What is the procedure for handling a complaint by one councillor against another
asked by (330 points)

1 Answer

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Strictly the only person that can deal with a complaint about a Councillor is the Monitoring Officer although you would hope the Chair could try to settle it informally
Two Councillors publicly accused me of lying and I wrote to the Chair pointing out that I recorded all meetings and I could prove I didn’t lie and asked for a retraction but she wouldn’t act and I couldn’t be bothered to report them

The same people then  supported a complaint the Clerk made against me and attempted to restrict my activities giving me no right of reply so I’ve self reported myself to the Monitoring Officer
To say this has caused chaos is an understatement
answered by (1.6k points)
Of course in an ideal world the council should have a published complaints procedure to follow in complaints from the public and councillors within which the matter can be brought to an amicable closure. The MO is of course the final option but unfortunately in my experience is as useful as a chocolate tea pot. The MO has no power (other than recommendations) to enforce decisions and their procedures are closed and shrouded in secret. What happened to open and transparent governance there then?
Couldn't agree more!! A huge pitful!!
I think i will do the same. I have been accused of undermining our clerk and causing her stress questioning her ability. None of which is true. I am new and ask questions. I went to another Parish to see how they worked, no slur whatsoever on ours but it was all taken badly. her friend supports her in council meetings by calling out rude, insulting and derogatory remarks which have gone unchecked. the clerk supported her also in a lie. I believe the aim is to shut me up. so its bullying. I think i will also report myself to the MO. I have reported the bullying to the chair who is setting up a grievance panel but as he advised me to consider my position i feel i need to go to the MO. especially as i believe the clerk has now counter comlpained to the chair officially
Georgie, what you've gone through is very similar to what I have suffered it is critical that you record all meetings and ensure you retain all emails

I think going to other Parish Council meetings is a wonderful way to see best / worst practice and I do it myself
Hi Georgie

Be careful not to exhaust yourself mentally with this one and disrupt your mental health, the outcome won’t be worth it.

Unless the MO is a ‘newbie’ and keen to make a statement, I’m afraid you’ll probably end up disappointed with the response. You’ll also probably end up more frustrated by the Council’s attitude when they hear of the MO response and no doubt they’ll see it as a victory.

I don’t want to assume the outcome but sadly they’re pretty template and will be told it’s an internal issue etc.

All’s I can say is that you should note everything and whilst it’s hard not to, DON’T add personal opinion or comments when you relay to paper. You can also have a friend/family member attend and record the meeting, which is their right.
Don’t give in but remember you can NOT be kicked off the council unless you’ve committed a crime or been made bankrupt.

If I were you I’d be super proactive in my community and keep chipping away at the local people you know to stand for election next time. Choose your army to defeat your enemy!

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