How will your complaint be dealt with?

We will try to resolve the complaint at the first point of contact.

If it is not possible to resolve the complaint quickly, or if it is clear that we need to investigate it in more detail, we will refer it to the relevant department for investigation. The Council provides a two stage corporate complaints process.

Stage 1

The Head of Service whose area the complaint relates to will normally be responsible for making sure the investigation is handled properly.

You can expect to receive an acknowledgement of the investigation within five working days. Once the investigation has been completed, a written response will be sent to you outlining our findings. You should receive this within 20 working days.

The Head of Service may also refuse to investigate a complaint if they believe that the customer has not provided sufficient information to conduct an investigation or for any other reason set out in the Complaints Policy.

Stage 2

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint at Stage 1, you can write and ask us to reconsider the outcome detailing your reasons why.

A Complaints Investigation Officer, who is independent of the service area, will undertake a final review on behalf of the Chief Executive. They will look into the initial investigation and make sure it was carried out properly and effectively.

Your Stage 2 request will be acknowledged within five working days and we aim to provide a full response within 30 working days.

Putting actions on hold during the investigation

Any actions we are taking that may have given rise to the complaint - for example Council Tax recovery proceedings - may be put on hold until we have finished the complaint investigation.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If, after our final review, you are still unhappy with the result and wish to take your complaint further, you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and ask them to consider your complaint.

The Ombudsman is a free, independent service that looks into complaints about councils.

You can contact the Ombudsman at:

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Phone: 0300 061 0614
Fax: 0247 682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 481 1595