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Make a general complaint, comment or compliment

Make a general complaint

You will need to read the information set out in types of complaint we cannot look at and the information below before you submit your online form or email to the customer feedback and complaints Inbox. This sets out important information in respect of issues that are outside the complaints process and the alternative methods that you will need to use to raise these matters.

We define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction about an action or lack of action or about the standard of service, whether the action was taken, or the service was provided by ourselves or a person or body acting on our behalf. We will assess the information you have provided in your complaint and decide how best to manage your concerns in a fair and proportionate manner.

The use of the word ‘complaint’ does not mean that an expression of concern will automatically enter the complaints process and we will not generally accept a complaint under the Corporate Complaints Procedure under the following circumstances:

  • Where the complaint has been assessed as general dissatisfaction with a decision or action which is in line with a Council policy
  • Action or lack of action that affects more than one individual, such as local highways maintenance
  • Concerns which have not directly impacted on the complainant or whereby the person complaining is not the person primarily affected by the issues raised
  • Where the complaint is about a disagreement in respect of a decision or service and there is no evidence to demonstrate that that the correct process has not been followed
  • The complaint is a suggestion for improvement in respect of a service that we provide
  • First time report of an issue
  • Issues which occurred over 12 months prior to the complaint being made – this will be assessed on an individual basis

We will forward any concerns that require a response to the relevant service or signpost to online services for first time requests for services/notification of an issue.

Corporate Complaints Procedure

Informal resolution

This is the initial stage of the Corporate Complaints Procedure and generally covers straightforward issues that can be easily resolved and require little or no investigation, for example where an on-the-spot apology or explanation can resolve the concerns raised.

Where possible, every attempt should be made to deal with issues quickly and informally and at the point of service delivery. Informal resolution will normally be carried out directly by the relevant service area and it is expected that informal resolution should take a maximum of 10 working days. Should the complainant not be satisfied with the outcome of the Information resolution, they can make a request for further consideration under the Corporate Complaints Procedure.

Formal complaints

We will assess whether a complaint meets the requirements to be investigated under the Corporate Complaints Procedure. Some examples of what types of issue warrant a formal investigation include:

  • Evidence of inadequate standard of service
  • Treatment by or attitude of a member of our organisation
  • Evidence that the appropriate procedure or policy has not been properly applied or followed properly
  • Instances whereby poor communication have resulted in a failure to provide a service or that the expected standard of service has not been met
  • Matters that have not been resolved via the initial stage of the process (Informal Resolution)
  • Where the issues raised are serious or complex and will require a detailed investigation (staff interview/file and records review)

Stage 1

You will receive written confirmation if your complaint is to be investigated under Stage 1. This will include details of:

  • What matters will be investigated
  • The name of the allocated investigating officer
  • Details of the timescale

The allocated investigating officer is allowed 20 full working days to investigate the complaint. This timescale starts from the day on which it has been decided that a complaint can enter the corporate complaints procedure at Stage 1 and when the complaint is sent to the allocated investigating officer.

Stage 2 - Review

The purpose of a Stage 2 Review is to provide an opportunity to identify where you feel the complaint was not adequately investigated at Stage 1 and you will need to provide evidence to support your request. A Stage 2 will not:

  • Re-investigate the stage 1 complaint
  • Take place based mainly on your disagreement of the findings of the stage 1 or whereby you have been unable to provide a good reason or sufficient evidence to dispute it

If we do not think that a Stage 2 Review is appropriate, we will write to you to tell you why and advise the steps you can take should you be unhappy with this decision.

You will receive written confirmation if your complaint is to escalate to Stage 2. The complaint will be passed to a senior manager within the our organisation and they are allowed 25 full working days to complete the Stage 2 Review. The timescale begins when it is decided that a stage 2 Review will take place and is sent to the senior manager.

This will be the full and final response to your complaint, and you have the right to take your complaint to the local government and social care ombudsman should you remain dissatisfied.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If your complaint has been through all stages of our complaints procedure and you are still unhappy, you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to review your complaint. 

The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service. The Ombudsman expects you to have given us chance to deal with your complaint, before you contact them. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time, it may decide to look into your complaint anyway. This is usually up to 12 weeks but can be longer for social care complaints that follow a statutory process.

Please note that on occasion there are complaints the LGSCO cannot or will not be able to investigate. In such circumstances, the LGSCO will explain clearly if this is the case and the reasons why this decision has been given.

Website: The Local Government and Social Care ombudsman

Telephone: 0300 061 0614


The corporate complaints procedure will not address complaints that are about issues which occurred over 12 months prior to the complaint being made.


Make a complaint online

You can fill out our online form which will be directed to the relevant department for you.

Make a complaint by email

You can email us along with attachments and supporting information.

Make a complaint by phone

Call: 0300 111 8000
Mini-com users: 01785 276207

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