The majority of complaints made against Lancashire county councillors last year were judged not to have breached the authority’s code of conduct.

Nine complaints were lodged during 2023 and fault was found in only two, although an investigation into one of the matters is yet to conclude.

The figures were presented to a meeting of County Hall’s audit committee, which heard the most common reason a member was called into question was for allegedly failing to respond to emails or other correspondence.  None of the three instances where such a complaint was made was upheld by the county council.

The other complaints dismissed were over claims of an offensive social media post, a breach of data protection and rude and disrespectful behaviour.

But the latter two categories accounted for the two upheld complaints.  In the data protection breach, it was decided no further action was required, because the issue had been resolved by the county councillor in question amending a social media post with personal information. The Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed their actions were “appropriate and sufficient”.

The upheld charge of rude and disrespectful behaviour was also not deemed to require any further action, as the member concerned apologised to the complainant.

The nine complaints are each thought to relate to different councillors from the 84 elected members. Eight of the complaints lodged in 2023 were from members of the public, while one came from a parish councillor.

County councillors for complaints not upheld or resolved informally remain anonymous. Those taken to a conduct committee, after a formal investigation,  are usually named if they are sanctioned.

The audit committee heard the conduct committee had been convened only once in the last nine years.

Josh Mynott, county democratic and member services manager, said the number of complaints received was a reflection of the fact “our members are generally well-behaved”.

He added that where any “trends” emerged – as in the case of data protection-related complaints last year – the authority sought to address the issue and “learn lessons”.

To that end, new data protection training has recently been rolled out to members.