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Guide: Making a Complaint about a Devon County Councillor

Appendix 1

Councillor compaints process - public interest

When considering the public interest, the monitoring officer and independent person consider each of the following public interest factors set out below.

These factors are not exhaustive, and not all may be relevant in every case.

The weight to be attached to each of these factors, and the factors identified, will also vary according to the facts and merits of each case.

The seriousness of the breach, for example, has the member brought the Council seriously into disrepute? The more serious the breach the more likely investigation and referral for further consideration are required.

Has the member deliberately sought personal gain for himself or another person at the public expense? If there is evidence of this, it is likely that the complaint will be investigated and referred for further consideration.

Are the circumstances of the breach such that a member has misused a position of trust or authority and caused harm to a person? If there is evidence of this it is likely that the complaint will be investigated and referred for further consideration.

Was the breach motivated by any form of discrimination against the victim’s ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity? If a member’s conduct is motivated by any form of discrimination it is likely that the complaint will be investigated and referred for further consideration.

Is there evidence of previous similar behaviour on the part of the member? If so and the matter complained about is serious enough it is likely that the complaint will be investigated and referred for further consideration.

Is the breach such that an investigation or referral to the Standards Committee is required to maintain public confidence in elected members of Devon County Council? If so it is likely that the complaint will be investigated and referred for further consideration.

Is investigation or referral to the Standards Committee a proportionate response? Namely, would the cost of an investigation or consideration by the Standards Committee be regarded as excessive when weighed against any likely sanction?


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