The number of complaints against councillors in York this year has been revealed.
Altogether, 14 complaints have been made between May 2022 to May 2023.
They range from a councillor accused of making offensive statements on the York Press website, to one alleged to have prematurely thrown away flowers left at a grave.
Of the 14 complaints, eight were levelled against City of York Council members and six against parish councillors.
Eleven were concerned with issues of disrespect or disrepute, and three for not declaring an interest.
Six of the complaints have been closed, and eight are ongoing.
Five of those complaining were parish councillors, three were from CYC councillors, four were from members of the public, and the origins of the remaining two have not been revealed.
The figures are revealed in a report to the joint standards committee of York council, meeting next Thursday (20 April).
That agenda also contains an update from the council’s deputy monitoring officer Frances Harrison.
She reveals that one of the ongoing complaints is now under investigation by a city council lawyer.
Here are the current complaints:
York councillor complaints
|City or Parish||Date received||Nature of complaint||Status|
|CYC||12/08/22||This complaint is as a result of ongoing matters at the Parish Council. The complainant alleges the councillor’s behaviour is not in line with the code of conduct.||Complaint assessed and will progress to investigation. Parties notified|
|CYC & Parish||15/03/23||The complainant alleges the councillor breached the code of conduct by not declaring an interest at a town council meeting and did not leave the room when the agenda item was discussed and voted on||This complaint is currently being assessed by the monitoring officer|
|CYC & Parish||15/03/23||The complainant alleges the councillor has not responded to resident queries or provided evidence to back up any claims the councillor made in public||Referred to assessment sub-committee to determine whether complaint should progress to investigation|
|CYC & Parish||24/03/23||The complainant alleges the councillor breached section 3 paragraph 1 of the code of conduct and has used social media to disrespect a parish council||This complaint is currently being assessed by the monitoring officer|
|CYC||23/05/22||The complainant alleges the councillor breached the code of conduct in a comment made online. The complainant alleges the comment breached sections 5.1 and 6 of the code||This investigation has been delayed by staff sickness absence. Due to difficulty identifying mutually convenient dates for interviews, witness evidence is now being collated via written questions|
|CYC||21/01/23||The complainant alleges the councillor made false accusations and offensive statements via the comments section on the York Press website therefore breaching the code of conduct by failing to treat others with respect, bringing the council into disrepute and attempting to bully and intimidate.||Assessment sub-committee determined a breach of the code was found and agreed to seek informal resolution by way of a written apology. Parties notified and complaint will be closed if informal resolution is accepted
Informal resolution was not accepted, complaint referred to a second JSC sub-committee for further review
Assessment sub-committee determined no breach of the code was found. Parties notified and complaint closed
|CYC||22/02/23||The complainant alleges the councillor was disrespectful by prematurely throwing away flowers left at a grave||Assessment sub-committee determined no breach of the code was found. Parties notified and complaint closed|
Cllr Martin Rowley, chair of the joint standards committee, said in the report: “This was the first municipal year in which the new model code of conduct was used to assess a deal with complaints.
“However, there were still some outstanding complaints which needed to be dealt with by the old code.
“Staffing issues led to some unavoidable delays, but these now seem to be resolved.
“I believe we have laid down a ‘blueprint’ for future committees to follow which is both robust and workable.”