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Types of complaints we cannot look at

There are certain issues that the Corporate Complaints Procedure cannot address. It is not the intention of the Council to prevent citizens from making a complaint by excluding certain types of complaint from the procedure.

These exclusions are applied because a more appropriate mechanism is available or whereby the Corporate Complaints Procedure cannot change a decision where there is no evidence to support that it has not been properly made.

We will signpost you to the appropriate online portal on the county councils website where appropriate. If the issue is the responsibility of another organisation, we will, where possible, find the relevant contact details and provide these to you.


Highways inspections are carried out in line with the Highways Safety Inspection Code of Practice and defects are assessed and prioritised for repair in accordance with this.

The identification of a defect that requires repair is decided using this policy and the scheduling of identified repairs is based on order of priority. The complaints procedure is unable to influence the outcome of the inspection process nor can it escalate the repair of lower priority repairs above more urgent defects that are awaiting action. The following issues will not be dealt with under the Corporate Complaints Procedure:

  • A request for a service or to ask us to do something - this can be about a wide range of highways related issues including potholes, overgrown hedges, traffic issues, requests for gritting and drainage problems. Report It lists all available subjects that you can contact the council about
  • An update on an existing matter that has been reported but has not been dealt with and are within timescales
  • Updates to an existing report in that the condition or situation has deteriorated
  • Defects that have been identified as non-urgent but not yet repaired
  • Requests to open a closed report
  • Concerns about the quality of SCC highways works that have been carried out. A report will need to be made in order that an inspector can visit the location and assess
  • The outcome of a highways inspection based on disagreement only and where no evidence has been provided to indicate that the inspection has not been carried out properly

Street lighting

Any complaints that the Council considers are directly in relation to street lighting will be initially referred to Eon.  Under the requirements of the contract between Eon and Staffordshire County Council, Eon are required to respond initially to complaints about the service they have provided. This is because they complete the necessary preliminary works, design and delivery.   

In the event that a response has been issued by Eon and the complainant remains dissatisfied then they refer their concerns to the Council. The Council will then escalate the complaint to Stage 2 and carry out a review of the complaint investigation and response provided by Eon.


The citizen will be expected to exercise their right to object in respect of any planning or development control matters that are the responsibility of the Council.

Children’s Social Services

Complaints about certain functions under children’s social services are covered by The Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure (England) Regulations 2006. Further details about this procedure will be provided if a complaint has been assessed to meet the criteria for investigation under this process. 

Adults Social Services

Complaints about adult social care fall under The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009. 

Further details about this procedure will be provided if a complaint has been assessed to meet the criteria for investigation under this process.

Blue badges

There is an appeal process to address applications that have been refused however concerns about the application process may be considered under the Corporate Complaints Procedure.


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 can be found 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.  

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 to the Council’s County Manager for Education.  

Assisted transport

If a complaint is about the refusal to provide a pupil with assisted transport, the parent has the right to access the appeals procedure.  

Penalty charge notices

An appeals process is available should the motorist wish to challenge the issue of the PCN. 

Claims against the Council for damage and personal injury

These will need to be reported to the claims pages 

Complaints about the outcome of a claim will not be addressed by the Council. This is because matters regarding liability are addressed by a specific claims process and there is an alternative route available to you if you are unhappy with the decision. Information on what action you can take with regards to this is set out on our highways claims webpage. You will be provided with information on the next steps available when the outcome of the claim is determined and communicated to you.  

Complaints about the length of time taken for the Council to provide information to the third-party insurers may be considered and these complaints will be assessed on an individual basis.  Complaints about the handling of claims that are still within the 90-day timescale will not be accepted under the Corporate Complaints Procedure


Complaints about the conduct of councillors must be referred to the Council’s Monitoring Officer.  

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 councillors.  Citizens cannot use the Corporate Complaints Procedure to make a complaint about a decision reached by elected councillors following proper procedures.  Any concerns would need to be addressed directly to the Cabinet Office.

Claims for compensation

The claimant will be directed to the Council’s Insurance Services.


Complaints from current or ex-employees of the Council that are about personnel and/or employment issues such as dismissals, pay or discipline will be directed to the Council’s HR department

Local borough and district councils

The County Council cannot investigate the service provision, actions or decisions made by local borough or district councils. Responsibility is held by these organisations in respect of bin collections, council tax and the majority of planning issues



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