Residents looking to complain about councillors will now have to take their concerns directly to Hounslow Council rather than speaking to an independent body.

The move to cut out the Standards Board for England has been welcomed by council leader Peter Thompson, who said it would allow Hounslow to 'take control' of its ethical standards and 'streamline' the process.

He added: "Naturally, we expect high standards of behaviour among our elected members, and we shall continue to make every effort to ensure that such standards are maintained.

"The majority of members will never find themselves subject to an investigation, but for the small number of cases where there is cause for concern, we will aim to deal with the allegations quickly and efficiently."

Before taking their seats all councillors agree to a code of conduct, pledging to maintain the high ethical standards the public expect from them.

If someone thinks that there has been a breach of this code, Hounslow Council may refer the allegations for investigation or decide to take other action.

Investigations themselves will also be managed by the council, except in cases where a conflict of interest means it would be more appropriately handled by the Standards Board for England.

After investigations the council's independently chaired standards committee will decide what action should be taken against the member.

The Standards Board will continue to provide guidance and monitor effectiveness to ensure results are consistent.

If you believe a councillor has breached the code of conduct, you should write to Terry Welsh, Borough Solicitor, at Hounslow Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, TW3 4DN.  Anonymous complaints would not normally be investigated.

The Members' Council's code of conduct is available at