We aim to provide the best possible services to all local people.
When this doesn't happen, the complaints and compliments policy aims to make sure we put things right when needed in a timely way and continually improve our services.
Our aim is to provide a consistent process for handling all types of feedback, both positive and negative.
How we receive your complaints and compliments
We want to make the process accessible to everyone. You can contact us by completing our complaints and compliments form:
It helps if you tell us of any issue as soon as possible after it arises, but you should definitely do so within three months.
We don't deal with anonymous feedback, but you can ask for an issue to be dealt with in confidence.
Dealing with your complaint
We will acknowledge within three working days and take the complaint through a two-step process:
- A reply by the relevant service manager. An assessment of the complaint is made and resolved if necessary
- Investigation by a corporate director
Our complaints and compliments policy sets out the procedure we follow when we receive a complaint or compliment. This policy ensures that we deal with feedback from our customers fairly and consistently, and gives customers an opportunity to have their issue reviewed objectively. It also means we can monitor all feedback regularly and make sure we meet our service standards.
What we do to put things right
- Apologise for an issue that has been substantiated
- Provide an explanation and ensure that all points raised are answered fully and clearly
- Take all necessary action to put things right where applicable
- Consider payment of compensation where our customer has suffered injustice as a result of what we have or have not done
- Ensure that the same problem won't happen again by improving the service and monitoring the outcomes of change
Certain types of complaints aren't dealt with under the complaints and compliments policy, including:
- Requests for a service or provision of information
- Complaints that are essentially criticism of or disagreement with council policy or decisions properly taken
- Any matter where a right to object or appeal exists, unless the complaint relates specifically to the way the matter has been administered
- Complaints which could reasonably be the subject of court or tribunal proceedings or which need to be referred to the council's insurers
- Any matter that falls within the council's disciplinary procedure
- Complaints about a councillor's conduct
- An appeal made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or Data Protection 1998
- An appeal made under the environmental information regulations
The local government ombudsman
You can refer an issue to the ombudsman at any time, although the ombudsman won't normally begin an investigation unless the council has had the chance to resolve the matter. You can complain via the ombudsman website.