Many council decisions are described in law and/or in council policy. This ensures the council is as consistent as possible with the way it considers requests for service and that public money is spent appropriately.
When we review a complaint, we look at how we should have done things in accordance with the law and/or procedures, and compare that against how we actually dealt with the issue you raised. We might find fault if there is a difference between the two.
If we find a fault, we then look at what the impact of the fault was to see whether your situation would be different if we had dealt with the matter in accordance with legislation and procedures. If there is an impact to you then we will look to see how we can address this impact. We will also look to learn from the complaint and consider whether we should do things differently in future.
As a public funded organisation, the council does not offer large sums of financial compensation to resolve a complaint. We therefore, usually look to see if we can restore you to be in the position you would be in as if the complaint had not occurred.
When your complaint is considered, officers must always consider government legislation and council policy – if the service has followed these procedures then it is unlikely any complaint can be upheld or that you will get a different response by making a complaint.
There are three stages to our complaints procedure but we hope that most problems can be resolved quickly at the first stage.
Contact the person or office responsible for providing the service you are dissatisfied with. They are in the best position to put things right quickly. If you are not sure which service to contact please get in touch with the Corporate Customer Standards team, who are part of the Customer and Exchequer
Service, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will forward your complaint to the appropriate service.
We will deal with your complaint fairly and as informally as possible. Many problems can be put right straight away - if this is not possible we aim to reply within 6 working days.
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your complaint at stage 1, tell the person you have dealt with that you wish to have the complaint looked at by the appropriate senior manager.
The senior manager will arrange for your complaint to be investigated and we will aim to give you a written reply within 15 working days. If we need longer to look at your complaint we will let you know.
If you are still unhappy about the way in which we have handled your complaint so far, you can ask the council's Corporate Customer Standards Officer (CCSO) to review it. The CCSO will aim to give you a written reply within 20 working days, after carrying out the review. If we need longer to look at your complaint we will let you know.
If you are still not happy
If you are still dissatisfied after we have investigated and reviewed your complaint then you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman and ask them to investigate your concerns.
The Local Government Ombudsman publish an annual report for each council on a yearly basis;