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Make a complaint about Councillors

What can you complain about?

You have the right to complain about the conduct of any elected Councillor within the area of Bath and North East Somerset. This includes:

  • Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • parish councils
  • town councils

If you think that the behaviour of a Councillor has breached Code of Conduct in Part 4 of the Constitution, you can make a complaint to the Monitoring Officer. Click on part 4.2 in the index and you will be taken to the relevant section.

A breach of the Code may include:

  • bullying and intimidation
  • failing to treat others with respect and courtesy
  • disclosing confidential information
  • accepting inappropriate gifts and hospitality or failing to declare gifts and hospitality
  • disreputable conduct
  • misuse of Council facilities or resources
  • failing to register an interest on the Register of Members’ Interests
  • failing to declare or disclose Interests

Only complaints about the alleged behaviour and conduct of a Councillor which relate to a breach of the Code of Conduct can be considered. It is not able to deal with complaints about failure to disclose a pecuniary interest, which is a criminal offence or complaints about the council’s officers or matters which are not covered by the Code of Conduct.

Parish councils have their own Code of Conduct, which is available on their website or from the Clerk.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint about a Councillor. If several people wish to make the same complaint about a member, there is no need for each person to fill out an individual form. You can make a group complaint on one form, indicating who will act as the lead complainant.

What do you need to tell us?

Tell us as much as you can about the complaint you wish to make. You need to tell us which part of the Code of Conduct in Part 4 of the Constitution has been breached. Click on part 4.2 in the index and you will be taken to the relevant section. You will be able to upload documents in support of your complaint as you complete the online form.

What happens after you complain?

When a complaint is received, the Monitoring Officer will carry out an initial assessment. They will consult with an Independent Person, and the Independent Chair of the Standards Committee.

The Monitoring Officer will decide whether the complaint should be referred for investigation or is other action is suitable. If an investigation is required, an Investigating Officer will be appointed to provide a report, which may then be presented to the Standards Committee at a hearing. If their decision is that the Code has been breached, then they will decide on an appropriate sanction. The full procedure is set out in the Councillor complaints procedure.

Make your complaint online

You can make a complaint using our online form.

Make a complaint

What happens if you are not happy with how your complaint was handled?

There is no right of appeal against a decision of the Monitoring Officer or of the Standards Committee. If a complainant feels that the Council has failed to deal with their complaint properly, they may make a complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.