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Making a complaint

Please select the location your complaint is about:

We aim to provide the residents of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent and their visitors with a quality Archive Service. Our standards of service, and the targets which the Archive Service staff aim to meet are set out in our charter. As a user of the Archive Service you can expect a quality service which is accessible, courteous, efficient, informative, professional and responsive. You can also expect assistance from the staff in how to use the reading rooms and how to identify records which will assist you in your research.

We aim to:

  1. produce documents for users within 20 minutes of request unless they are kept in out-storage
  2. answer simple postal or email enquiries within 5 working days and complex archival enquiries within 20 working days
  3. answer telephone calls promptly and courteously
  4. send out notifications of completion of reprographics orders within 6 working days
  5. respond positively to requests for talks and group visits
  6. provide written acknowledgement of a complaint within 3 working days and a response within 10

Stoke on Trent City Archives

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service which you have received by making a personal visit to Stoke on Trent City Archives, or if we have failed to meet our targets, then please let us know. 

You may either ask to speak directly and in confidence to Louise Ferriday, Archive Services Manager, telephone 01782 235421 or if you prefer use the 'Tell us what you think' leaflet which is available at the Archives reception desk, at enquiry points throughout the library and at all other City Council offices. Or use the electronic contact form on the City Council website: Feedback/Request form

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days. An officer, usually but not necessarily the Archive Services Manager, will investigate your complaint and provide you with a reply within 10 days. This is the Stage 1 process. 

If you are still not happy you can ask to have the matter investigated by an independent investigator within the council. This review will be conducted by a Complaint Investigation Officer together with a senior manager not involved with the original complaint. We will acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days and reach a decision within 20 working days. This is the Stage 2 process.  

To request a Stage 2 please outline by letter or email the reasons you are still dissatisfied and the outcome you require. This should be sent to 

The Customer Feedback Team
PO Box 634
Civic Centre
Stoke on Trent
ST4 1HH 

or email customer.feedback@stoke.gov.uk

If you have been through Stages 1 and 2 and are still not satisfied you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman

Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry
CV4 0EH 

or email advice@lgo.org.uk 

You can get more information on the Local Government Ombudsman by calling their advice line 0300 061 0614 or visiting the website.

Stoke on Trent City Archives is part of Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service. If your complaint relates to matters of Archive Service Policy it may be more appropriate to address your complaint to the Head of Archive Services

Joanna Terry
Head of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archives Service
Staffordshire Record Office
Eastgate Street
Stafford
ST16 2LZ

Your complaint will be handled under procedures put in place by Staffordshire County Council. At the first stage an officer in the relevant department will provide a response, at the second stage if the complaint is still unresolved a senior officer will investigate and respond, and at the third stage the Independent Corporate Complaints Officer will respond. 

We cannot put things right nor can we improve upon our services and practices if we do not know what the problems are. We aim to deliver the highest quality of services within our resources and we aim to use the complaints which we receive constructively in order to help us to make things better for you.  

Staffordshire Record Office

If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service which you have received either while making a personal visit to the Staffordshire Record Office or while using any of our customer services, or if we have failed to meet our targets, please let us know.

You may ask to speak directly and in confidence to Joanna Terry, Head of Archives and Heritage telephone 01785 278370 or if you prefer write to 

Joanna Terry
Head of Archives and Heritage
Staffordshire Record Office
Eastgate Street
Stafford
ST16 2LZ

or email joanna.terry@staffordshire.gov.uk 

If you are unhappy with our response you may contact Helen Riley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities who will arrange for the complaint to be reviewed by a senior member of staff. You can expect a reponse within 20 working days. 

Helen Riley
Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities
Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire Place 1
Stafford
ST16 2LP

or email helen.riley@staffordshire.gov.uk 

If you are still not satisfied you can ask for the matter to be reviewed by the Monitoring Officer who is the Corporate Complaints Officer. You can expect a response within 25 working days. 

Corporate Complaints Officer
Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire Place 1
Stafford
ST16 2LP

Finally, if having gone through all the stages of our complaints procedure you remain dissatisfied with the response you may contact the Local Government Ombudsman who offers a fully independent channel for appeal. 

The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry
CV4 0EH

or email advice@lgo.org.uk 

You can get more information on the Local Government Ombudsman by calling their advice line 0300 061 0614 or visiting the website.

We cannot put things right nor can we improve upon our services and practices if we do not know what the problems are. We aim to deliver the highest quality of services within our resources and we aim to use the complaints which we receive constructively in order to help us to make things better for you. 

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