We take complaints very seriously and deal with them quickly and efficiently. We are committed to providing excellent customer service but we realise that sometimes things can and do go wrong. We want to know if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with our service so that wherever possible, we can try to put things right. We value your role in helping us to improve our services.
We will investigate your complaint promptly and fairly. We will provide you with a full explanation of our investigation into your complaint. There may be occasions when we cannot do what you want but we will try to be as helpful as possible and give you as much information as possible.
To learn more about making complaints, please move along the multiple links under the title of this page.
The complaints procedure is not an appeal system to question Council decisions. It is our way of sorting out your dissatisfaction with the services we have or should have provided.
Formal Complaints in Writing
If you wish to make a formal complaint you will need to put this in writing. This is to make sure we have got the correct details of your complaint before investigating it.
Help With Filling in the Form
If you would like any help or advice on filling in the form please get in touch with an officer in the relevant service area or the Complaints Officer.
You can remain anonymous when making an informal complaint. But if you want to make a formal complaint, you will need to provide your contact details. This is so we can carry out a proper investigation and let you know the results. We understand you may find it difficult to complain but you need not worry as making a complaint will not result in you being given a poorer service. We genuinely want to know when things have gone wrong and your complaint may result in a better service for future customers.
Please be assured that all complaints against the Council are treated in the strictest confidence and details are only shared with those who need to know. All personal details will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and only used in relation to investigating your complaint.
What we mean by a complaint
We treat a complaint as: an expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action; or dissatisfaction about the standard of service we have provided (or services provided on our behalf).
The Complaints Procedure is not an appeal system to question Council decisions. It is our way of sorting out your dissatisfaction with the services we have or should have provided.
We welcome all types of feedback but not all matters can be handled under this policy.
The Council Complaints Policy does not cover:
- Requests for Council services, such as reporting an abandoned vehicle or graffiti. These may become complaints if they are not dealt with correctly or quickly enough;
- Requests for information or explanations of Council policy or practice. However, we will acknowledge and record comments against a Council policy so they can be reviewed;
- Complaints that have a legal remedy;
- Complaints about the conduct of Councillors; or
- Matters for which there is a right of appeal or review: by a Government Minister; external tribunal or board; or within the Council.
Please remember that the complaints procedure is not an appeal system to question Council decisions. It is our way of sorting out your dissatisfaction with the services we have or should have provided.
How the complaints procedure works
We will first try to deal with your complaint informally. If you are unhappy about the service you are receiving or have received, then the quickest way to let us know is by contacting the person or service you have been dealing with. You are entitled to speak to a line manager or supervisor and can ask to do this at any time. This person will then try to resolve the issue for you.
The easiest way to make a formal complaint is to fill out our online complaint form.
Formal Stage 1
This process is used if you either not satisfied with the results of your informal complaint, or you wish to make your complaint formal from the start. If so, you should make it clear that you want your complaint to be referred to the Complaints Officer. They will ensure your complaint is investigated and responded to by the relevant Senior Manager, for the service area you have been dealing with.
We will acknowledge your formal complaint within four working days and will send you a full response within a further 15 working days.
Formal Stage 2
If you are not satisfied with your Stage 1 response, you have the opportunity to move to Stage 2 of our Corporate Complaints Procedure. At this stage, your complaint will be referred to the relevant Head of Service for the service area you have been dealing with. We will acknowledge your formal stage 2 complaint within four working days and will send you a full response within a further 15 working days.
Formal Stage 3
If you remain dissatisfied with the results of your complaint, you can then refer it to the Head of Corporate and Customer Services, who will independently review the complaint. We will acknowledge this request within four working days and you will receive a full response within a further 15 working days. If it is not possible to meet this deadline, we will offer an explanation and advise you of an estimated date of response.
If you're still not happy
Our Complaints Procedure ends at Stage 3. However, if you are not happy, you can take things further by contacting the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). The LGO is completely independent of the District Council, and has a legal duty to investigate complaints about local councils. The Ombudsman will usually only consider a complaint after it has been through the Council’s Complaint Procedure.
Telephone: 0300 0610614 (Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm)
Send a letter: Local Government Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Fax: 0247 682 0001
Comments and compliments
Your compliments and comments will help us to improve our standards.
We are committed to the delivery of good quality customer services to our customers. It is, therefore, important to us that people can give us their views about the Council and the services it provides.
Your compliments will help us to improve our standards when we know:
- You have been especially pleased with one of our services, our staff or one of our contractors.
- You have found our performance equal to, or better than one of our published standards.
We will always welcome any comments where:
- You have an idea as to how we can improve our standards or services, to the benefits of the people of the District.