We have a duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for elected and co-opted Members and have arrangements in place to deal with complaints.
We can only investigate complaints alleging a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct by:
- Sheffield City Councillors
- Voting and non-voting co-opted members of the Council
- Bradfield Parish Councillors
- Ecclesfield Parish Councillors
- Stocksbridge Town Councillors
In dealing with your complaint we will be fair to both you and the Member. We will progress matters in accordance with the timescales set out in our procedure. Complaints will be handled in the strictest confidence at all times.
No action taken
It is likely no action will be taken where:
- a significant amount of time has elapsed since the alleged events
- the allegation relates to a cultural or recurring issue relating to standards within the Council
- the matter should be dealt with by some other method
- complaints have been made about the Member relating to similar issues that have previously been dealt with through this procedure
- the complaint appears to be trivial, vexatious, repetitious or a general misuse of the opportunity
- the conduct occurred during political debate or could be regarded as a political expression of views or opinion
Actions to resolve your complaint
The actions available to our Monitoring Officer are:
- take steps to prevent a future potential breach of the Code, including training, guidance and introducing or amending policies/protocols
- ask the Whips to address the issue raised within their political parties or with an individual Member
- mediate between the parties involved to resolve the issues
- seek an apology from the Member
- any other action capable of resolving the complaint
Where a complaint has been investigated, the options available to the Hearing Sub-Committee if it finds a breach of the Code of Conduct are:
- recommending to the Member’s Group Leader (or in the case of un-grouped members, recommend to Council or to Committees) that he/she be removed from any or all Committees or Sub-Committees of the Council or Shadow Portfolio responsibilities
- recommending to the Leader of the Council that the Member be removed from the Executive, or removed from particular Portfolio responsibilities
- instructing the Monitoring Officer to arrange training for the member
- that policies/procedures are amended
- that a briefing/information note be issued
- that an apology be given
- that the Member is censured in writing and a copy of the letter is published on the Council’s website
Making a complaint
You can make a complaint alleging a breach of the Members’ Code of Conduct online.
Before making a complaint, please read our Procedure for dealing with complaints regarding councillors and co-opted Members.
If you need advice or assistance in submitting a complaint please contact Sarah Cottam in Democratic Services (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0114 273 4015).
Withdrawing a complaint
You can withdraw your complaint at any time by writing to our Monitoring Officer:
Director of Legal and Governance
Sheffield City Council
Our Monitoring Officer will write to you confirming the withdrawal within 5 working days and will also inform the Member.
Where you have withdrawn a complaint, we reserve the right to pursue the issues raised.