Complain about a councillor

Make a complaint

The Standards Committee can only deal with complaints about a member breaching the Members Code of Conduct. It can’t deal with complaints about things that are not covered by the Members Code of Conduct.

To make a complaint to the Standards Committee, download and complete this Complaint form. It can be sent:

The Monitoring Officer, North Tyneside Council, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside. NE27 0BY

If you require a paper copy of the form, you can request it by contacting us as above.

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Council will follow the process set out in its Local Arrangements.

If your complaint is not covered by the Code of Conduct, but you would still like to make a complaint, you should contact our Customer First Office by:

Related documents

Behaviour covered by the Code of Conduct

The full Members Code of Conduct can be viewed here.

Examples of behaviour covered by the Code of Conduct include:

  • failing to treat people with respect;
  • doing something to prevent those who work for the authority from being unbiased;
  • revealing information that was given to them in confidence, or stopping someone getting information they are entitled to by law;
  • damaging the reputation of their office or authority;
  • using their position improperly, to their own or someone else’s advantage or disadvantage;
  • misusing their authority’s resources;
  • allowing their authority’s resources to be misused for the activities of a registered political party;
  • failing to register disclosable pecuniary interests;
  • taking part in a meeting or making a decision where they have an interest that is so significant that it is likely to affect their judgement;
  • failing to register any gifts or hospitality that they have received in their role as a member worth over £50.

How complaints are dealt with

Following receipt and acknowledgement of a complaint, the Council’s Monitoring Officer will aim to decide within 28 working days:

  1. whether the allegation, if proven, would constitute a failure to observe the Code of Conduct for Members;
  2. if it would constitute such a failure, whether the allegation is to be investigated (this decision will be guided by the authority’s assessment criteria). The assessment criteria is set out in the Council’s Local Arrangements;  
  3. where the decision is not to investigate the allegation, the Monitoring Officer can pursue an alternative course of action, such as training for the Member concerned, or conciliation between the complainant and the Member;
  4. the Monitoring Officer will produce a summary of their decision;
  5. the Monitoring Officer’s summary will be sent to the complainant and the Member concerned, unless to do so would in the opinion of the Monitoring Officer prejudice a subsequent investigation;
  6. if an allegation requires investigation, the Monitoring Officer will arrange for the local investigation of the allegation;
  7. if the allegation is upheld and a breach of the Code of Conduct is found, the Standards Committee, or its sub-committee, have a range of sanctions available to them.

Any queries regarding the complaints process can be submitted via the contact details given above.

What is a Monitoring Officer?

The role of the Monitoring Officer was created by legislation. All councils in England and Wales are required to have a Monitoring Officer.

The Monitoring Officer exercises their role independently and impartially. They do not belong to any political party and will never be swayed by politics.

It is the Monitoring Officer’s duty to ensure that the Council, its employees, and elected Members maintain the highest standards in all of the work that they do.

In particular, they are responsible for ensuring the Members’ Code of Conduct complaints process is followed, as well as maintaining a list of Members’ registered interests. 

What is the role of the Standards Committee?

The Standards Committee is made up of nine councillors, who are appointed to the committee on an annual basis, in a way which reflects the political balance of the Council at the time of their appointment.

If an allegation is found proven after an independent investigation, and the matter is not capable of being resolved by Local Resolution, a hearing will be attended by the Standards Committee, or a sub-committee of the Standards Committee. The Committee or Sub-Committee will make decisions as to what should happen next.

What is the role of the Independent Persons?

The Independent Persons are entirely independent of the Council and any political party. They are neutral third parties who are appointed by the Council to give a reasoned and impartial view.

The Independent Persons are consulted by the Monitoring Officer throughout the complaints process. They can also be consulted by the Council or the Member being complained about. They are also invited to attend meetings of the Standards Committee.

The Independent Persons’ role is to offer an independent view on any matter they are consulted on, at any stage of the process.