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Complaints about the conduct of a district, town or parish councillor

Complaints that a district, town or parish councillor may have breached their code of conduct, are dealt with by the District Council Monitoring Officer in consultation with an ‘Independent Person’ from a pool of people who have been recruited for this purpose.

The Suffolk Local Code of Conduct applies to elected councillors and co-optees appointed to the county, borough, district, town and parish councils in Suffolk. 

Please note that the Monitoring Officer can only deal with complaints about the behaviour of a councillor covered by the code of conduct. Any complaints must be clear as to why the complainant thinks that a councillor has not followed the code of conduct  

How to make a complaint 

Complaints about the conduct of a district, town or parish councillor must be submitted in writing. Please read the supporting notes before completing the online complaints form.

What happens next?

An initial assessment of the complaint will be made within 20 working days of receipt.  The complaint will be dealt with by the Council’s Monitoring Officer who will consult with an ‘independent person’ appointed by the Council before determining how the complaint should be handled.

The councillor complained about will be asked to provide his or her response to the complaint before it is considered. 

The Monitoring Officer may decide that:

  • no action be  taken on the complaint; 
  • the complaint be referred to the leader of the political group (if applicable) which  the councillor complained about belongs to, for action; 
  • the complaint be dealt with by local resolution e.g. an apology from the councillor, training, mediation or other action; or 
  • the complaint be investigated. 

An investigation will only be undertaken in more serious cases or where other forms of action have been unsuccessful. Suffolk Coastal/Waveney’s respective Audit and Governance Committees will determine those complaints which have been investigated and where the ‘independent person’ has made a finding of breach of the Code of Conduct. 

The respective committees may censure a councillor found to have breached the Code or recommend training or other action. The committees do not have power to suspend or sanction a councillor.