Code of Conduct for Members
Burnley Borough Council is committed to promoting the highest standards of conduct by elected members (including Borough, Parish and Town Councillors) and co-opted members and has adopted a Code of Conduct (the Code) for members as part of its Constitution.
The Council’s Monitoring Officer and the Audit and Standards Committee are responsible for overseeing the operation of the Code and for the arrangements for dealing with complaints that a member may have not followed the Code.
Complaints about Members
Anyone who believes that a member may have not followed the Code can make a complaint and send it to the Monitoring Officer who will make an initial assessment as to whether it merits investigation or another course of action. The Monitoring Officer makes this initial assessment in consultation with an Independent Person who is not a member or officer of the Council.
Any complaint about a member must be about conduct that occurred whilst that member was in office and acting (or claiming to act or giving the impression that they were acting) as a representative of the Council. This means that the conduct of an individual acting in their private capacity cannot be considered.
Any complaint about a member’s conduct before they were elected or co-opted to the council, or after they have resigned or are no longer a member, cannot be considered.
If you wish to make a complaint about a member you must include information on why you think that a member has not followed the Code by:
- Failing to treat others with respect;
- Causing the Council to breach the Equality Act 2010;
- Bullying, harassing or victimising any person;
- Intimidating any person involved in any investigation or proceedings about a member’s alleged misconduct;
- Revealing information that was given to them in confidence, or stopping someone getting information that there are entitled to by law;
- Damaging the reputation of their office or authority bringing their office or the Council into disrepute;
- Using their position improperly, to their own or someone else’s advantage or disadvantage;
- Misusing the authority’s resources including using them improperly for political purposes;
- Failing to register financial or other interests;
- Failing to follow the rules relating to disclosure of interests at a meeting.
- Taking part in a meeting or make a decision where ty have a ‘disclosable pecuniary interest’ or an interest that is so significant that it is likely to affect their judgement (a ‘prejudicial interest’);
- Improperly influencing a decision about a matter in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest.
How do I Make a Complaint about a Member?
It is important that you set out your complaint fully and clearly so that you can show that you have reasonable grounds for believing that the member has not followed the Code. Please also provide any other documents or material that you would like to be considered.
Complaints must be submitted in writing. This includes submissions by email. We recommend that you use our complaint form, however, we can make reasonable adjustments to assist you if you have a disability that prevents you from making your complaint in writing. We can also help if English is not your first language.
If you need any support completing this form, please let us know as soon as possible.
Please sign and date the completed form and return it, together with any supporting documentation, to: –
Burnley Borough Council
Burnley BB11 9SA
Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
What Happens to My Complaint?
Please be aware that, as a matter of fairness and natural justice, the member that you are complaining about will normally be told who has complained about them and receive details of the complaint. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Monitoring Officer may withhold your identity upon request if they are satisfied that you have reasonable grounds for the member not to be told who has made the complaint.
As mentioned above, the Monitoring Officer will review the complaint and consult with the Independent Person to decide (initial assessment) whether it merits investigation or another course of action.
Every effort is made to deal with complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, every complaint is treated on its own merits and it is not possible to be totally prescriptive about timescales so an indicative timeframe for what happens, and when, is available as a guide.