How to make a complaint

Making a complaint

When things go wrong, we aim to put things right quickly and without fuss. A formal complaints procedure is available if we are unable to resolve a customer's complaint on an informal basis.

You can make a complaint if we:

  • do something wrong
  • fail to do something we should have done, or
  • do something we should not do
  • provide a poor standard of service.

It is not treated as a complaint when:

  • you are asking for a service, for example by reporting a faulty streetlight or a pothole
  • you are appealing against a decision which, although it is not the one you wanted, has been properly formed.

Complaints about conduct

These are dealt with under our code of conduct for staff or through disciplinary procedures. It may be necessary for the line manager or another senior officer to contact you for further information on the matter.

You will be advised at the time you make your complaint, which elements of your complaint can be dealt with.

We take complaints against staff very seriously. We can't always keep you informed of the progress of an investigation or tell you of the specific outcome of any disciplinary action taken. We will tell you what action has been taken to resolve your complaint.

We also have a policy for "unreasonable" or "persistently unreasonable" complainants.

Any person showing:

  • aggressive behaviour towards staff
  • threats of abuse
  • threats of actual physical harm
  • a person presenting the same issue (or with minor differences) repeatedly.

How to make a complaint

To make a complaint, use the submit a complaint button. You can also make a complaint by email, telephone, letter, or in person at the council office dealing with the issue.

If you are unsure how to proceed, please contact our Corporate Complaints Team.

The Complaints Procedure

If you make a complaint, you:

  • will not suffer any penalty or discrimination as a result
  • will have your complaint acknowledged, taken seriously, investigated
  • will receive a reasoned, courteous and honest response
  • can expect us to try to understand things from their point of view
  • will be advised of any appropriate sources of free advice and advocacy provided outside the council.

In order for us to give proper consideration to a complaint and to be clear about appropriate resolutions, we ask you to:

  • tell us clearly what has gone wrong with as much factual information as possible
  • give us the information we ask for
  • tell us what you would like us to consider doing to put things right
  • make any special needs known to us as soon as you can
  • remain calm and treat our staff in a courteous way
  • remember that we are trying to help.

Stages of complaints

Stage 1

Your complaint will be acknowledged within three working days

The Nominated Complaints Officer will let you know which Service Manager is investigating your complaint.

Following a full investigation, you will receive a reply (within 20 working days).

Stage 2

The response at stage 1 will include confirmation of who you should contact if you remain unhappy.

A Head of Service will review all the information available. You will receive a service response and confirm what actions will be taken as a result of the complaint.

If you remain dissatisfied after Stage 2, you will be advised who you can approach. Normally this will be the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO)

Website: ‚ÄčLGSCO

Call: 03000 610614

Write: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH.