Complaints Procedure

The Council wants to provide high quality services. If you are not satisfied with the Council’s service, or a particular action or inaction, you can complain. The Council will review its performance and processes and respond with a willingness to listen, learn and if necessary, change.
 
Most complaints can be resolved at the point of service delivery. When this is not the case you can make a formal complaint.
 
How do I make a formal complaint?
You can make a formal complaint in the following ways:
 
If you cannot use any of those methods you can call 01992 785577.
 
Please provide as much information as you can, such as:
  • the date you initially made your complaint to the service
  • any online reference numbers provided when you submitted your enquiry online
To complain about a councillor who has breached the Code of Conduct follow the complaints about councillors process.
 

What is not covered by the complaints procedure?

The Council cannot investigate:
  • a complaint about a policy
  • a complaint relating to matters for which there is a statutory right of appeal, for example: an appeal to a Council Tax tribunal, an ongoing Housing Review decision, or a planning decision
  • a complaint relating to a matter outside the Council’s jurisdiction
  • a complaint under the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act 
  • a complaint where legal proceedings, court or tribunal action is being taken 
  • a complaint relating to matters subject to an insurance claim
  • a complaint submitted anonymously 
 

The formal complaints process

There are two stages in the formal complaints process:
  • resolution
  • review
 

Stage 1 Resolution:

You will receive an acknowledgement that your complaint has been recorded as a Stage 1 formal complaint. This will give you details of the service investigator who will investigate your complaint. The service investigator will complete a meaningful and informed review of your complaint. A response will be sent to you within 10 woking days. 

If an officer has been named in a complaint they will not directly respond to you as it may compromise the impartiality and independence of the complaints process.
 
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction at the end of the resolution stage you can request a Stage 2 Review. 
 

Stage 2 Review:

The Head of Service or a nominated Senior Officer will conduct the review. They will seek to understand:
  • your continuing concerns
  • whether or not the Stage 1 Resolution process was undertaken fairly 
  • whether or not the Stage 1 Resolution conclusions were reasonable
They will identify any further practical remedies which may resolve your continuing concerns.
 
A response will be sent to you within 15 working days.  
 
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction at the end of the review stage you can bring the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman, or the Housing Ombudsman, for independent investigation.