Complaints about County Councillors and Town/Community Councillors
All County Councillors, Town/Community Councillors and Co-opted Members are required to abide by the Code of Conduct for Councillors adopted by their respective councils, which conform to the mandatory requirements of the Model Code of Conduct issued by the National Assembly for Wales. A copy of Pembrokeshire County Council's Code of Conduct is contained in Part 5 of the Constitution and town/community councils will have their own Code of Conduct or are bound by the Model Code as contained in the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (Wales) Order 2008, available on www.legislation.gov.uk
Enforcement against breaches of the Code is the sole responsibility of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (Ombudsman). Neither a principal authority nor a town/community council can investigate an allegation that an elected representative has breached the Code of Conduct. Complaints relating to an allegation that a councillor has breached the Code can be sent to the Ombudsman electronically via his website or email, or by letter or telephone (contact details: 1, Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed, CF35 5LJ; www.ombudsman.wales Tel: 01656 641150; email@example.com ). The Ombudsman also publishes guidance on his website on how to bring a complaint.
If the Ombudsman investigates an allegation of a breach of the Code and concludes that a breach has occurred he will forward a report of his findings to the County Council's Standards Committee for their determination as to whether there has been a breach of the Code and if so what would be an appropriate sanction. Options available are no further action; censure and suspension for up to 6 months. If the Ombudsman considers that the breach is of a serious category then the report may be forwarded to the Adjudication Panel for Wales who have the power to disqualify a councillor.
For complaints made to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales regarding alleged breach by a Councillor of the Code of Conduct, a copy of the complaint should also be forwarded to the Monitoring Officer.
Complaints which contain an allegation of a contravention by the authority of any enactment or rule of law will also be referred to the Monitoring Officer by the relevant complaints contact officer.
Rhian Young, acting Monitoring Officer
Tel: 01437 775595