How to complain

Our frontline staff will usually be able to resolve most issues. However, if that is not possible, you can follow our 3-stage complaints process.

Stage one: Complaint dealt with by a senior manager

Initially you may wish to informally contact a senior manager responsible for the area of work where you have a complaint. You can write to us by email or letter, or use our contact form. Alternatively, if you phone us and say you wish to make a complaint, you will be put through to the officer best able to deal with your concerns.

We will deal with your complaint efficiently and make every effort to resolve it. We will provide a written reply to emails or written informal complaints within 10 working days of receipt. This also applies to informal complaints made by phone that cannot be resolved at the time.

Stage two: Complaint dealt with by Management Team

If you are not satisfied with the response under Stage 1, please complete our formal complaint form (word doc) which we will forward to the relevant member of our Management Team. We will send you an acknowledgement of your complaint within three working days of receipt.

The member of Management Team will send you a detailed reply in writing within 10 working days, saying whether or not your complaint is upheld. If it is not possible to respond fully within this timescale they will explain why, and tell you when the response can be expected. The reply will also explain how you can take your complaint forward if you are not satisfied with our response.

Stage three: Chief Executive's review stage

This is the final stage in our complaints process, and is only possible when the Stage 2 process has been completed. If you are not satisfied with our Stage 2 response, you can make a written request within 20 working days of receiving your stage 2 response, asking the Chief Executive to review your complaint. To support your request, please tell us the reasons why you believe your complaint has not been properly resolved at stage 2, so that the stage 3 consideration can be focused on the specific outstanding elements of the complaint. Without this information, we will be unable to carry out a review. If your complaint concerns the Chief Executive, it will be reviewed by the Chair of the Authority.

We will acknowledge Stage 3 requests within three days of receipt, and send a detailed reply within 20 working days. If it is not possible to respond within this timescale we will explain why, and when the response can be expected.

What happens next?

We will aim to resolve any problems as quickly and fully as possible, and will respond to complaints within the timescales shown above. If your complaint is upheld, we will send you a written apology and an explanation of any action we are taking to prevent a similar thing happening again.

What if I am still not satisfied?

The reply you receive from the Chief Executive will set out your right to contact the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LG&SCO). If your complaint was made because you consider the Authority had not followed its procedures correctly and may have caused you an injustice, visit Home - LG&SCO or telephone 0300 0610614.

Unreasonable complaint behaviour

If a complainant takes up an unwarranted amount of our resources, or pursues a reasonable complaint in an unreasonable manner, we have a policy which identifies situations that amount to unreasonable complainant behaviour, and explains how we will deal with them. It also helps a complainant pursue their concerns in an effective way.

Occasionally, your complaint will be dealt with under a different procedure. For details see Other Complaints Procedures