Make a complaint

Complaints procedure

Any dissatisfaction with a council service is a complaint. You can make a complaint in the way that best suits you in person, by phone, by letter or by email – this may be directed straight to the service area, or via the customer contact centre.

Complaints are different from a request for service – for example a one-off contact to say that a bin has been missed could be a request for service, an ongoing situation with repeatedly missed bins is likely to be a complaint.

What happens after I make a complaint?

Stage one

We aim to provide a reply within 14 days. If we're unable to do this, we will let you know who is dealing with it and what to do if you're not satisfied with the outcome.

If you're unhappy with the response, please contact the department or individual who dealt with it. The majority of queries are usually resolved at this stage.

Stage two

If you're still not satisfied with our response, you can ask the Director of the service for an internal review. They will examine your complaint, look at how it was handled by our staff, the procedures followed and the reply given. They'll then write to you with their conclusions.

If you are still not satisfied with the reply you can then refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is an independent organisation. Their role is to investigate specific complaints about local authorities. The Ombudsman will usually only consider a complaint after it has been through both stages of the council's complaints procedure.

Their website includes a copy of the annual letter sent to each council summarising the number of complaints received and decided and a summary of decisions made by the LGO. 

Customer behaviour and incident policy

We've developed a customer behaviour and incident policy to deal with the small minority of cases where people pursue their complaint or request for information in a way that is unreasonable.

This can have a significant impact on our resources and on our ability to provide services to other customers. The policy sets out how we will deal with customers or requests that we believe to be unreasonable or vexatious.