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Make a formal complaint about most council services


The corporate complaints procedure is the Council’s mandatory route for complaints handling where other statutory procedures do not exist. The Council is obliged to have a formal complaints process in place and we take seriously all complaints we receive.

A complaint may be about the courtesy or attitude of a member of staff, a mistake that has been made, communication issues, failure in the way a service is delivered, the standard of performance or a delay in service provision.

The local authority will attempt to resolve any complaints as soon as reasonably practicable and within the specific timescales. Complaints are dealt with via a two stage process.

 

Stage 1

 

At Stage 1, the complaint will be investigated by the Head of Service with responsibility for the Service that is being complained about. 
 
You will receive a written acknowledgement of your complaint within 5 working days of the date we receive it, confirming the concerns that are to be addressed.  The acknowledgement letter will also advise you of the name and contact details for the Head of Service who will be dealing with the matter, and when you can expect to receive a response. 

We will always aim to provide you with a full written response within 20 working days of the date your complaint was made.  There may be some occasions when this is not possible, so we may need to extend the timescale slightly, but we will always ensure that you are kept updated about the timescale that we are working towards.

The Head of Service will investigate your complaint, and will gather evidence to establish what actually happened in the case. The Head of Service may contact you to find out more information, or may invite you to a meeting to discuss your concerns further.  This will enable them to make an assessment as to whether the correct process has been followed, and to consider whether any further action is required to resolve your complaint. The Head of Service will write to you setting out the findings of their investigation and any action that they will take to resolve matters.

We hope that we would be able to satisfactorily resolve your complaint at this stage of the process.  However, if at the end of Stage 1 you remain dissatisfied, you can contact the Complaints & Customer Care Team and request that your complaint is escalated to the next stage of the process, Stage 2.
 

Stage 2


If you are dissatisfied with the response that you received at Stage 1 of the process, you can ask us to escalate your complaint so that the decision can be reviewed. If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, we would like the opportunity to be able to work with you to look at any points from the Stage 1 investigation that you were not happy with, and to attempt to find a suitable resolution to the issue as quickly as possible for you.
To further investigate the matter at Stage 2 of the process, we will need to know:

  • what part of the complaint you feel was not handled well at Stage 1, or;
  • what you disagree with in your complaint response, and;
  • what further action you would like to be taken as a result of progressing your complaint.


We will aim to provide you with a further response within 20 working days from the date your request was received.

Any matters progressed to this stage will be investigated by the relevant Assistant Director. They will assess and overview the whole case and look at how the complaint was managed at Stage 1. As part of this process a decision will be made whether it is felt that the Council can take any further action, or alternatively if the original complaint decision is deemed to be correct and final.

If at the end of the Stage 2 process, you do not feel that suitable resolution has been found and you remain dissatisfied by the Council's final response, you can contact the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) for further advice. You can find out more about the LGSCO  here.

Stage 2 is the final stage of the Councils Corporate Complaint Process.

Please be aware that safeguarding, disciplinary, or legal proceedings may take precedence over complaints procedures and timescales.

 

Make a Complaint Online


You can make your formal complaint online by clicking here.
 

 

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