Our monitoring officer

We're required to have a Chief Monitoring Officer.

The monitoring officer has defined statutory duties in respect of matters or legality, conduct and probity. The monitoring officer may not also be the head of paid service. They'll liaise as appropriate with the head of paid service in the discharge of their functions.

Our Chief Monitoring Officer

Our Chief Monitoring Officer is Kate Charlton. You can contact her:

  • by email: katecharlton@barnsley.gov.uk
  • by phone: (01226) 772279
  • in writing: Monitoring Officer, Barnsley Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2TA

Functions of the monitoring officer

Maintaining the constitution

The monitoring officer will maintain an up-to-date version of the constitution. They'll make sure this is widely available for consultation by elected members, employees and members of the public.

Ensuring lawfulness and fairness of decision making

After consulting with the head of paid service and chief finance officer, the monitoring officer will report to the Full Council (or to the Cabinet in relation to an executive function) if they consider that any proposal, decision, or omission would give rise to unlawfulness, or if any decision or omission has given rise to inefficient or dishonest administration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping the proposal or decision being considered.

Supporting the appeals, awards and standards regulatory board

The monitoring officer will contribute to the promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct through the provision of support to the appeals, awards and standards regulatory board.

Composition of panels

The monitoring officer will determine the composition of any panels being selected from the board, in consultation with the chairman of the board and in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions governing the matter that is the subject of the appeal.

Conducting investigations

The monitoring officer will determine whether or not a complaint under the ethical standards framework and member code of conduct should be explored following consultation with the independent person, and make arrangements for any complaint to be looked into accordingly.

Determining applications for dispensation

The monitoring officer will determine applications for dispensations from the code of conduct where the number of members otherwise precluded from taking part in a decision would impede the conduct of business or interfere with the political balance of the decision making body, following consultation with the independent person.

Access to information

The monitoring officer will ensure that decisions of the Cabinet together with the reasons for those decisions, as well as relevant officer reports and background papers, are made publicly available as soon as possible to persons requesting them. 

Offering advice on cabinet decisions

The monitoring officer will advise whether decisions of the Cabinet are in accordance with the budget and policy framework approved by the council. Decisions outside that framework will require approval of the Full Council.

Providing advice

The monitoring officer will provide advice on the scope of statutory powers and authority of the council or Cabinet to take decisions, issues relating to inefficient or dishonest administration, conduct and probity the budget and policy framework to all elected members.

Register of members interests

The monitoring officer will establish and maintain a register of interests of members and co-opted members of the authority. Further information is available under the 'documents relating to members of the council' section of the council's constitution.

Complaints about a councillor

You're entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from all members of the council. If you're unhappy with the actions of a councillor you can make a complaint.

The Members Code of Conduct outlines the expectations of councillors. Appendix 3 outlines the procedure for how members' code of conduct concerns and complaints will be considered. It's important to note that there are some types of complaint which won't be considered under this procedure.

The quickest way to tell us about your complaint is by completing our online make a complaint about a councillor form below. If your complaint is about a council service however, please use our complaint or compliment about a council service form instead.