How we deal with Complaints
Our Complaints Process:
We will always try to resolve complaints on the spot by talking through problems with you, without the need to go through our formal complaints procedure. This can save a great deal of time, distress and cost.
If we are unable to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction then we will tell you how to proceed within the formal procedure outlined below.
Formal - Stage 1
A complaint will be progressed under Stage 1 of our formal complaints procedure when:
- We can’t resolve the problem informally;
- You tell us that you want to make a formal complaint;
- We believe it is necessary to use the formal procedure to resolve or respond to the complaint.
Complaints at Stage 1 will be investigated by a Head of Service, or appropriate Manager, from the service you have complained about.
We will acknowledge your complaint on receipt, and confirm our understanding of the complaint. We will try to provide you with a full response within 10 working days of receipt of your complaint. If this is not possible, we will write to you to let you know why there is a delay, and the estimated time it will take to provide a full response. The full response will advise you how to progress to Stage 2 if you are still unhappy.
Formal - Stage 2
You can ask us to review your complaint at Stage 2 if:
- You are unhappy with how your complaint was handled at Stage 1;
- You are unhappy with the response you have received.
We need to know which part of the complaint you feel wasn’t handled well, and what action you would like to be taken.
Stage 2 complaints will be investigated by an independent Senior Officer appointed by the Chief Executive, who will review how your complaint was dealt with.
At the end of the review, and within 15 working days of receipt of your request, the Senior Officer will write to you with the outcome of the investigation and any actions resulting from it.
If your complaint has progressed through both stages of the Council’s complaints procedure, and you are still not happy with our response, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to review our investigation.
The Local Government Ombudsman is an independent body, whose purpose is to provide impartial and prompt investigation and resolution of complaints of injustice through maladministration by Local Authorities.
Note: The Ombudsman is unlikely to investigate your complaint unless you have given us the opportunity to consider your complaint under our procedures.
Local Government Ombudsman (external link)
How to make a complaint
Use our online form if you want to make a complaint
For further information, please refer to our Corporate Complaints Procedure (.pdf, 46kb)