Councillor Conduct and Standards

link | Submit a complaint against a Councillor
text | Councillor conduct and standards

Code of Conduct

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new regime for standards and dealing with complaints against Members. Every local authority is required to adopt a Code of Conduct that sets out rules governing the behaviour of its Councillors. All elected, co-opted and Independent Members of local authorities, including Parish Councils are covered by the Code.

The Code of Conduct sets out:

  • Standards of behaviour including honesty, integrity, objectivity, openness and accountability
  • When a Member must declare a pecuniary interest
  • When they must withdraw from discussions, debates or votes
  • When gifts and hospitality must be notified to the Monitoring Officer.

You can find the Council’s Code of Conduct in the downloads section. The council adopted LGA Model Code of Conduct with effect from May 2022.  

The legislation contains specific rules governing Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPIs) that apply to both District and Parish Councillors. There is a requirement for Councillors to register their DPIs and for this information to be available on the District Council website for public inspection. Failure to register a DPI is a criminal offence. Councillors must not participate in any discussion or vote on any matter in which they are aware they have a DPI regardless of whether they are a Parish or District Councillor.

Parish Councils are required to adopt their own Codes and to make them available for inspection.

Code of Conduct Complaints

The code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour expected from District and Local Councillors.

Complaints made under the Code of Conduct are to relate to the actions of an individual Councillor only, and not about dissatisfaction or concern with a Council service.

Before you make a code of conduct complaint it is important to read the guidance included with both versions of the form.  It will help you see what kind of information you need to give to make sure that your complaint is properly considered. 

Anonymous complaints are not normally considered without exceptional compelling reasons as that goes against the principles of transparency and fairness. 

Only in exceptional circumstances will the identity of the complainant be granted confidentiality as it a matter of fairness to usually disclose the name of the person to the Subject Member. 

Note for Local Councils: Further guidance is available where local council clerks/employees may wish to make a complaint about the conduct of an individual Councillor. 

How to make a code of conduct complaint

A code of conduct complaint must be submitted in writing. 

You can make a conduct of conduct complaint online – by using the button link at the top of this page.

Where a complainant is unable to write due to a disability that prevents them from putting their complaint in writing or there is a language barrier then a verbal complaint will be transcribed and sent to the complainant for approval.  If you need any support in completing this form, please let us know as soon as possible by phoning 01529 414155 or email

What happens next

  • We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days

  • We will aim to carry out an initial assessment within ten working days

Independent Person for Standards

The Council has appointed an Independent Person under the Localism Act 2011 to assist the Standards Committee and the Monitoring Officer in dealing with Councillor conduct complaints.  The views of the Independent Person have to be taken into account, and the Subject Member (Councillor to whom the complaint relates) may speak to the Independent Person at any time during the complaint process.

Fred Mann is the Independent Person for Standards and Gordon Grimes is the Reserve Independent Person for Standards.  

If a Councillor who is the subject of a Code of Conduct complaint wishes to speak to an Independent Person, please email the Monitoring Officer or telephone 01529 414155.