Name: Complaints relating to alleged breaches of the Member Code of Conduct
Description: Codes of conduct - The Council is required to adopt 'Arrangements' for dealing with complaints alleging code of conduct breaches

Complaints relating to alleged breaches of the Member Code of Conduct

Please refer to our Corporate Privacy Notice and service specific Privacy Notices for further details of how we process your personal information and your rights.

Complaints about the conduct of a Borough Councillor, Parish or Town Councillor or Co-opted Member

The Council is required to adopt arrangements for dealing with complaints alleging code of conduct breaches. This Flow Chart PDF, 164.9 KB outlines the process. The Monitoring Officer has the specific duty to ensure that the Council, its Officers, elected Councillors and Co-opted Members, maintain the highest standards of conduct.

If you have a complaint against a Borough or Parish/Town Councillor or Co-opted Member, please read the following guidance before you complete this complaint form PDF, 330.28 KB. If a disability prevents you from making your complaint in writing, you can call our Customer Services on 01322 343434. We welcome calls via Relay UK

You must provide your name and address. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

You must explain in as much detail as possible, what the Councillor has done that you believe breaches the Code of Conduct. It is important that you provide all the information you wish to have taken into account by the Monitoring Officer when she (acting in consultation with the Independent Person) decides whether to take any action on your complaint.

There is no right of appeal against the decision of the Monitoring Officer, the determination of the Hearing Panel, or of the outcomes through mediation, with the Leader of the Member's Political Group or the Panel of Political Group Leaders. You may apply to the court for judicial review, on the grounds that the Monitoring Officer's decision or Hearing Panel's determination, is illegal, unfair, irrational and/or not proportional.

If you consider there was administrative fault in the way the Monitoring Officer or the Hearing Panel considered your complaint (eg: delay, rudeness, bias, faulty procedures, offering misleading advice, refusal to answer questions, unfair treatment), you may ask for a Stage Two review. Please note that the Stage Two review  will not change or annul the Monitoring Officer's decision or the Hearing Panel's determination on whether the Member has or has not breached the Code of Conduct. This is a matter for the court, through the judicial review process.

If you are dissatisfied with the Stage Two review decision, you may complain to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can consider whether the Council has done something wrong in the way it dealt with your complaint e.g:

  • has there been an unreasonable delay in taking action?
  • has the Council failed to take into account relevant information in reaching its decision? and
  • has the Council followed the proper procedure in investigating the complaint?

Where to see the Registers of Interest

The Registers of Members' Interests for the Borough Council and the eight Parish/Town Councils are maintained by the Monitoring Officer and available for public inspection on the Council's website. Each Parish/Town Council is also required to publish its own Register on its website.

Entries on the Registers may change from time to time. There will inevitably be an administrative delay between receiving notification of a change and updating the on-line versions of the Registers.

Hard copy versions of the Registers are held at the Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford Kent DA1 1DR and may be inspected, by appointment, during office hours. Appointments may be made by contacting Member Services on 01322 343430 or Online: Contact the Members Services Team

Where to see the Codes of Conduct

Please contact the relevant Parish/Town Clerk for further information regarding their own code of conduct or if you want to be sent a copy.

Last Updated: 18th May 2021