Appendix A - Assessment Criteria

Initial Tests

1. The complaint is about the conduct of a Councillor or lay or co-opted member of a council within the Council's area;

1.2. The Councillor was a councillor at the time of the incident giving rise to the complaint;

1.3. The Councillor was a councillor at the time of the complaint; and

1.4. The matters giving rise to the complaint would, if proven, be capable of breaching the Code of the relevant local authority.

2. Sufficiency of information

Has the complainant provided sufficient information to allow the Sub-Committee assessing the complaint to understand the issues complained about? If insufficient information is provided, the Sub-Committee will not normally proceed with assessment of the complaint.

3. Seriousness of the Complaint and proportionality

3.1. Does the complaint appear, on the available information, to be trivial, vexatious, malicious, politically motivated or 'quid pro quo'?

3.2. Other than in particularly serious cases a complaint will not generally be referred for investigation if the Councillor has offered an apology, or if the view is taken that the complaint can reasonably be addressed by other means.

3.3. Given the public interest in financial and other resources being used efficiently referral for investigation is generally reserved for more serious complaints where alternative options for resolution are not considered by the Sub-Committee to be appropriate. A complaint may be regarded as serious in its own right or when considered in conjunction with a series of incidents/complaints.

4. Length of Time Elapsed

Except in exceptional circumstances a complaint will not be referred for investigation when it is made more than 20 working days from the date upon which the event giving rise to the complaint took place.

5. Multiple Complaints

A single event may give rise to similar complaints from a number of complainants. These will generally be treated as a single complaint with multiple complainants.