How we handle complaints
The complaints process is managed by the Corporate Services Team which oversees all complaints received into the Council.
Where a complaint contains multiple elements that span across services, the Corporate Services Team will determine the principal elements of the complaint and allocate it to a Head of Service responsible for these to answer. The Head of Service will then take responsibility for drawing together responses to the remaining elements of the complaint from other services, in order to provide the customer with a comprehensive response that encompasses all aspects of their complaint.
The complaints process has three prescribed stages:
- The process begins with an informal (Stage 1) complaint.
- If the issues raised are not satisfactorily resolved, the customer can escalate their complaint to a formal (Stage 2) complaint.
- If the customer remains unsatisfied with the response they receive at Stage 2, they are able to escalate their complaint onto the final stage (Stage 3) of the complaints process.
If the customer remains discontent with the responses provided by the Council following all stages of the process, they are able to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman and, in the case of landlord duties, the Housing Ombudsman.
Most complaints are resolved at Stage 1:
- Stage 1 complaints in 2019/20: 92% resolved
- Stage 2 complaints in 2019/20: 8% resolved
Please note, the current three-stage complaint process was adopted in September 2020.
What we do as a result of a complaint
We have made improvements as a result of learning from complaints and looking to put things right, so they do not happen again. Improvements may take one or both of the following forms:
- providing additional staff training (for an individual or team as required)
- making changes to processes and procedures
We welcome engagement with residents so we can continually look at improving our services. To get involved please contact us.