How many complaints were received against Brentwood councillors in the last 4 years?
Can this number be broken down either into individual councillors or by political party?
What was (were) the subjects of the complaints?
How were they dealt with?
What was the outcome?
Also, please could you detail any compliments received, and break it down in a similar way.
Complaints against Members Received
2010 2011 2012 2013
2* 2* 4 14
*In 2010 and 2011 only information on once case per year is available, as the files on the other cases cannot be located.
Types of Complaints
Type of Complaint 2010 2011 2012 2013
Election Material 1
Conduct/Comments made to other Councillors/Officers 1 8
Non Declaration of Interests 1 1
Derogatory/Personal Comments 3
Planning and Development Committee – not following processes 4
Not responding to correspondence 1
The subject of the complaint was found to have breached the Code of Conduct and suspended from the Council, however the decision of the Standards Committee was rejected and an appeal upheld by the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Local Government Standards in England).
The subject of the complaint was found to have breached the Code of Conduct and received a censure.
One complaint was dismissed regarding derogatory/personal comments, whilst the other two were upheld (a breach in the code of conduct) and the subject of the complaint was asked to apologise. An investigation took place in relation to the complaint of non declaration of interests, however the case was not heard before the new regime was in place and therefore could not be considered.
Of all cases considered in 2013, only one case was found to breach the code of conduct, the others were dismissed. In relation to that particular case (Conduct/Comments made to other Councillors/Officers), the Member was asked to apologise.
Please note there are four further cases they have not been included in the above table as the Assessment Hearings have not yet taken place and will not take place until after this request is due.
Until July 2012, complaints received concerning elected Members were considered by the Standards Committee, however following the abolishment of the Standards Board for England and the introduction of the Localism Act 2012, the process was changed and from July 2012, complaints have been dealt with through the Complaints Against Members system.
I can advise you that the Council does not record the details of compliments made about Members.