Councillors must observe our code of conduct.
If you feel a councillor has broken any of the rules in the Code of Conduct for councillors [246kb], you can complain to the council’s monitoring officer.
How to complain about a councillor
You can complete the Make a complaint form.
You do not have to use the complaints form, but your complaint should include all the information requested on the form.
What your complaint must be about
A named councillor (or councillors) who was, at the time of the action you are complaining about, an elected or co-opted member of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and who was behaving in such a way that it directly contravened the Code of Conduct.
You can also make a complaint or a compliment by:
- telephoning (01226) 787898 between Monday and Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. You can leave a message if the office is closed and we’ll get back to you
- writing to us at Customer Services Feedback and Improvement Team, PO Box 679, Barnsley, S70 9GG – please mark your envelope TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY
- sending a text to 07786525880
contacting 800201226 if you use Typetalk
Complaint leaflets and forms are also available in Braille, large print and on tape/cd. If these formats or in a language other than English, please contact our Customer Services team using the contact details on this page.
The type of behaviour covered by the Code of Conduct
Broadly, the code requires councillors:
- Not to discriminate unlawfully
- To treat others with respect
- Not to bully anyone
- Not to intimidate anyone involved in an investigation or proceedings about someone’s misconduct
- Not to do anything to prevent council employees being unbiased
- Not to disclose confidential information
- Not to stop anyone getting access to information they are entitled to by law
- Not to damage the reputation of their office, or the council (where the conduct is linked to their public role)
- Not to use their position improperly to their own or someone else’s advantage, or a disadvantage
- Not to misuse the council’s resources, or allow them to be used improperly for political purposes
- To declare financial interests at meetings
- To leave a meeting where they have declared a financial interest in the matter being discussed
- To register certain financial and other interests (a copy of the register is available for public inspection)
What will happen to your complaint
The council has an agreed procedure. In the first instance, the monitoring officer will consider the complaint and decide one of the following:
- To take no action
- To arrange for the monitoring team to make an initial assessment of the complaint. The team will usually be made up of the monitoring officer, the Chief Executive and, where appropriate, the person appointed as an ‘Independent Person’
- To refer the complaint to the police
Normally, the monitoring officer will not take any action on a complaint if it is considered that one or more of the following applies:
- The person complained about is no longer a councillor
- The monitoring officer considers that the complaint does not relate to behaviour in the member’s official capacity as a councillor
- The matter being complained about happened more than 12 months before we received the complaint
- The matter being complained about came to the complainant’s notice more than six months before we received the complaint
Where the matter is referred to the monitoring team, the team may decide to:
- Take no action
- Try to resolve the matter informally
- Arrange a hearing before a panel of councillors drawn from the Licensing and General Purposes Committee
- In more complex cases, ask for a formal investigation into whether there has been a breach of the code