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Types of complaints we cannot look at

The corporate complaints procedure will generally deal with complaints where there is no alternative specific council process, statutory or legal procedure available. As such, certain types of complaints will not be dealt with by this policy. 

The following are examples of complaints which are covered by different procedures or processes:

Highways complaints

We have a specific process that can be used by people to report highways defects. Notifications of a road defect are a request for service and are not a complaint. All defects are inspected and assessed in accordance with our highway safety inspection code of practice policy. The corporate complaints procedure will not override the categorisation and inspection process unless we consider that there is sufficient reason to do so.

The corporate complaints procedure will not deal with the following complaints. You will need to refer the following type of issue to Report It.

  • A first-time notification of a defect.
  • A request for an update on the progress of a defect that has been previously reported.
  • Notification that the condition of a previously reported defect has deteriorated.
  • Defects that have not been repaired but have been categorised and the associated timescale for repair has not been exceeded.
  • Disagreement with the categorisation of a defect following inspection.
  • Requests to re-open a closed report.

Report It also contains useful information about how highways defects are dealt with.

Should any correspondence be sent to the complaints and customer feedback inbox about the above issues then you will receive an email to advise that you will need to refer the matter to Report It .

General highways matters

General dissatisfaction with a council decision that has been made in line with policy or that is in respect of a council action that affects a community rather than one individual such as local highways issues will not be dealt with under the complaints procedure unless in exceptional circumstances.

Timescale

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

Blue badges

There is an appeal process to address applications that have been refused.

Schools

All schools are responsible for having their own complaints procedure in place and any concerns must be directed to the Head Teacher or Governing Body. Details should be on the school’s website.

School placements

An appeals process is available for parents who are dissatisfied with the school place offered to their child. Details of this can be found on the school admissions appeals webpages.

Schools – unauthorised absence penalty notice

There is no automatic right of appeal in respect of the issue of the issue of penalty notices however representation can be made about this. Please see our education welfare webpages for more information.

Penalty charge notices

There is a specific process that you need to follow should you wish to challenge the issue of a PCN. The penalty charge notice webpages have advice on how you can do this.

Planning

You will be expected to exercise your right to object in respect of any planning or development control matters.

Claims against the council for damage

Complaints about the outcome of a claim will not be addressed by the corporate complaints procedure. We do not assess the claim, nor do we determine the outcome of the claim. These decisions are made by the third-party claims handlers and any concerns relating to the handling of the claim or the decision by the insurers would need to be referred to that organisation. If you wish to make a claim for damages you will need to complete the online claim form

Councillors

Complaints about the conduct of councillors must be referred to our monitoring officer. Details of how to do this can be found on our county councillor section of the website.

Decisions reached by council, cabinet or a committee

Decisions with regards to council policy, expenditure or future plans and infrastructure schemes are taken by full council, the cabinet or various formal committees made up of elected councilors. Any concerns would need to be addressed directly to the Cabinet Office.

Claims for compensation

The claimant will be directed to our insurance services.

External contractors - lighting, household waste and recycling centres

The contactor will be given the opportunity to respond to any initial complaints about the service it provides. However if the matter is still not resolved after this, then we may be able to further investigate.

Borough councils and district councils

Please check your local borough council or district council website for how to complain about bin collections, anti-social behaviour, certain planning matters, council tax and environmental concerns.

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