Complaints about council members

Members of the Council (both elected and appointed) must abide by a Code of Conduct which governs their behaviour and actions when carrying out their roles and duties as members of the local authority.

How to make a complaint

If you have a complaint about a Member, and you consider that he or she has breached this Code, you should send a completed complaint form to the Council's Monitoring Officer, Mr Martin Walker.

Mr Martin Walker
Administration Department
Wandsworth Council
The Town Hall,
Wandsworth High Street,
Wandsworth, SW18 2PU

Email: mwalker@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Download a complaint form and guidance.

Role of the Monitoring Officer

The Monitoring Officer will check the admissibility of the complaint; for example, the complaint must relate to an alleged breach of the local Members' Code of Conduct and it may be necessary to contact the complainant to clarify this.  The Monitoring Officer will acknowledge receipt of any admissible complaint and will inform the Member who is the subject of the complaint; normally, the subject Member will be told which paragraph of the Code of Conduct a complaint relates to, and the identity of the complainant.

The options available to the Monitoring Officer regarding an admissible complaint, following consultation with at least one of the Independent Persons and an elected Member from each of the political groups serving on the Standards Committee, are:

  • To reject the complaint and to take no further action other than explaining this decision to the complainant in writing and reporting his decision to the next Standards Committee meeting.
  • To contact the complainant and the subject Member and for the Monitoring Officer to determine whether some "informal" and immediate action would be the most appropriate response; for example, for the Member to make an apology or to offer an explanation. Following any such "informal" action the Monitoring Officer would take no further action other than reporting the outcome to the next Standards Committee meeting.
  • To refer the matter for formal investigation by the Monitoring Officer or another officer he or she nominates, and subsequent consideration by the Standards Committee.

The Monitoring Officer will, whenever considered to be appropriate and practicable, seek resolution of admissible complaints without formal investigation.

Complaints referred for investigation

If the complaint is referred for investigation, a Council officer with appropriate skills and experience, or exceptionally, a person from outside the Council (such as the Monitoring Officer of another authority or a consultant with appropriate skills and experience) will be appointed to investigate the complaint.  The investigating officer will prepare a report and when it is finalised, send a copy to the complainant and subject Member.  The report will be considered by the Standards Committee which comprises elected Members and two Independent Persons from the local community.

If the report finds that there is no, or insufficient, evidence of a breach of the Code and the Standards Committee agree with the conclusion, then the Monitoring Officer will advise the complainant and subject Member of the outcome and no further action will be taken. In the event that the Standards Committee considers that there has been a potential breach of the Code, then a hearing will be arranged.  Where a hearing by Standards Committee members is to take place, this will normally be within three months of the investigation report being completed.