Let us know
We welcome your feedback and encourage your comments or suggestions about any of our services. It may be that your suggestion helps to change the way a service is delivered.
Have we got it right?
If you think we’ve done something well, we’d love to hear from you. We want to learn from your feedback and use it to help us make improvements to our services. We will pass on all compliments to the service or member of staff concerned.
Do you feel we have got it wrong?
We want to hear from you if you think we have
- Done something wrong or badly
- Not done something we should have
- Treated you unfairly or unprofessionally
- Been too slow to act
Complaints relating to the fluency duty (the standard of spoken English of a member of our staff in a public facing role) will be dealt with under this procedure.
What do we ask of you?
If you make a complaint or pay us a compliment please give us as much detail as possible about the service including dates, times and names of the people you dealt with if known. If making a complaint, please also let us know what you would like us to do to put things right.
If you are making a complaint for someone else, you will need their permission first. Please include your name, address and contact details as we cannot deal with any anonymous complaints.
What can you expect from us?
We want to settle all complaints quickly. If you have contacted us with a complaint, there are two stages to our process.
Please make your complaint to the person dealing with the query or one of our Customer Service Advisors. Many issues can be resolved with an explanation, action or apology.
If you aren’t satisfied, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated using our formal complaints procedure.
We will acknowledge complaints within three working days.
Your complaint will be fully investigated by a manager within the relevant service area.
You will get a full reply within ten working days.
If you are not happy with the result of the investigation, you can ask for your complaint to be progressed to the final stage.
A senior manager who has not previously been involved will review the full details of your complaint.
You will get a full response explaining the outcome within ten working days.
Every effort is made to keep within the above timescales but in the event of more complex enquiries, this might not be possible. If more time is needed before replying, you will be kept informed of the delay.
Not all issues can be dealt with under this process such as complaints about:
Councillors - Complaints regarding elected Members are dealt with by our Monitoring Officer who will investigate allegations of misconduct.
Request for service - An initial request for a service will not be treated as a formal complaint.
Complaints about other people – complaints about others such as noise nuisance will be dealt with as a request for service.
Complaints about a member of staff’s accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality would not be considered a legitimate complaint about the fluency duty.
Criminal matters – Matters of a criminal nature will be forwarded to the Police.
Employment issues – These are dealt with in accordance with our Personnel Handbook.
Staff misconduct – Complaints concerning members of staff will be dealt with through our disciplinary procedure, the outcome of which will remain confidential.
Partner organisations – We will forward any complaints regarding our partners or their services to the appropriate manager.
Council decisions – Complaints about certain decisions may be made and while they will be explained, they won’t be investigated under our complaints procedure. The Council has a number of separate appeal or statutory procedures for some of the services it provides such as:
- Planning application and enforcement decisions
- Environmental complaints
- Car park fine appeals
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax Discount Scheme decisions
- Statutory notice decisions
- Homeless decisions and housing waiting lists
This list is not exhaustive and if your complaint falls under one of these separate appeals processes, you will be given advice how to make your appeal.
Anonymous Complaints – We will treat all feedback confidentially. If complaints are received anonymously, we will not investigate them under this procedure.
In a small minority of cases, customers persist unreasonably with their complaints or complain just to try to make life difficult for the Council instead of genuinely trying to sort out a problem.
If these vexatious or unreasonably persistent complaints affect our ability to do our work or provide a service to others, we will apply our policy for dealing with such cases.
If you have followed this procedure but still think you’ve not been treated fairly, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. This service is not run by us and is free of charge.
The Ombudsman is there to deal with the way in which a decision is made, not with the merits of our decision:
Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Phone: 0300 061 0614
- Please note that calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.
- The service is available from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
You can contact the Ombudsman at any time, but you should give us the chance to look into the matter first by going through our own complaints system.
The Local Government Ombudsman cannot deal with complaints about Housing Associations - these are dealt with by the Housing Ombudsman Service.
How else can you get in touch?
You can speak to our Customer Services team who are happy to talk to you about any aspect of our services. You can contact us as follows:
Write to us
At the Hub, Green Street.