The Localism Act 2011 requires that the Fire Authority adopt arrangements for dealing with
complaints of breach of the Code of Conduct by Fire Authority Members.
The Clerk and Monitoring Officer to the Fire Authority will seek to resolve complaints swiftly
to the satisfaction of the complainant using local resolution whenever possible. Complaints
will only be referred for local investigation as a last resort in view of the disproportionate
amount of time involved and the limited sanctions available to the Finance and General
Purposes Committee under the new legislation.
Any person may make a written complaint to the Clerk and Monitoring Officer alleging
that a councillor has acted in breach of the Code of Conduct for Members.
Any such complaint should be sent (using the Complaint Form at page 9) to the Clerk
Monitoring Officer, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Authority, County
Hall Durham DH1 5UL
The following procedure will normally be followed on receipt of such a complaint.
2. Initial Notification of Complaint
2.1 Unless paragraph 2.2 applies the Member who is the subject of the complaint will as
soon as practicable after the complaint is received be informed in writing by the Clerk
and Monitoring Officer of the nature of complaint, which paragraphs of the Code of
Conduct have been allegedly breached and (unless the complainant has requested
and been granted anonymity) the name of the complainant.
2.2 The Clerk and Monitoring Officer may withhold this information from the Member
subject of the complaint if s/he considers that disclosure would be against the public
interest or might prejudice any future investigation, or where non-disclosure has been
specifically requested by the complainant for what the Clerk and Monitoring Officer
considers may be good reasons.
The Clerk and Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Independent Person may
apply the habitual or vexatious complaints policy (see page 6) to a complaint where
3. Initial Assessment
3.1 The Clerk and Monitoring Officer, in consultation with the Independent person where
appropriate, will as soon as reasonable, and normally within 20 working days of receipt
of the complaint, consider and decide if any action should be taken on it.
3.2 The Clerk and Monitoring Officer will decide either:
(a) that no action should be taken in respect of it
(b) to seek local resolution
(c) to refer the complaint for investigation
(d) to refer the complaint to the Finance and General Purposes Committee
3.3 Where the complaint is against a person who is no longer a member of the Fire
Authority, but is a member of another relevant authority, the Clerk and Monitoring
Officer may instead refer the complaint to the Monitoring officer of that other relevant
authority if s/he thinks it more appropriate to do so.