Complain about a councillor

All councillors, including city, town and parish, must follow a code of conduct. You can submit a complaint or concern about a councillor if you think they are not following their code of conduct.

You cannot use the codes to complain about what a councillor does as a private individual. If you want to complain about the decisions or actions we have taken, you need to complain about the Council.

Submitting a complaint

To submit a complaint about a councillor, you will need:

  • details about the councillor, including name and council they are a member of
  • to have read the Code of Conduct and be able to tell us which part of the code the councillor has breached
  • to explain why we should withhold your details, if you want your complaint to be anonymous    
  • to provide a detailed explanation about the breach

The explanation should include:

  • specific examples of what happened
  • dates the alleged incidents took place
  • if there were any witnesses of the breach
  • any background information that could be relevant (such as letters or emails)

What happens next

Once we receive your complaint, we will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receiving it.

We will then assess the complaint, and decide what actions we need to take. We can:

  • take no action, if we find that the councillor has not breached the code
  • resolve your concerns without an investigation
  • ask an investigator to formally investigate your complaint
  • refer your complaint to the Governance Committee
  • refer your complaint to the police, if it is a criminal matter

If the councillor has breached the code, or if we refer your complaint to the Governance Committee, the Governance Committee will:

  • hold a hearing
  • review your complaint and decide if they agree that the councillor has breached the code
  • decide on any penalties

We do not deal with complaints about Essex County Councillors. You need to submit your complaint to Essex County Council

You can download the latest statistics for complaints against councillors.

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Last updated: 09 November 2022