Council's complaints procedure

We have a two stage complaints process.

What happens after I make a complaint?

Stage one - Investigation by the complaints investigator or the specialist of the service area

After you've raised your complaint:

  • we'll acknowledge it within five working days (from the date of receipt) by email or letter; and,
  • provide you with a unique reference number for your complaint.

The complaint will be sent to the complaints investigator or the specialist of the relevant service area to investigate. They will compose a response within 20 working days of the complaint being acknowledged. If it is not going to be possible to do this we will contact you to let you know the reason why and keep you informed.

We aim to resolve any complaint at stage one. However, if you believe that the response received has not fully and satisfactorily addressed your complaint, you may take the complaint to stage two for further investigation.

You will need to tell us specifically where you believe we let you down in our stage one investigation before we can consider your complaint a stage two complaint.

Stage two - Investigation by the lead officer of the area to which the complaint relates

At stage two, the investigating officer is the lead officer of the service area to which the complaint relates

There may be the need to agree to extend the timescales where people are unavailable owing to sickness absence, annual leave, etc, or where we are waiting for an advocate or other specialist to be appointed.

If this is the case we will provide you with a written explanation and a new date.

Complaints about the attitude or behaviour of staff

Where the complaint relates solely to the attitude or behaviour of a member of staff it may be dealt with under our employment procedures.

The responding officer or investigating officer will consider with the member of staff's line manager whether the attitude or behaviour reveals a possible breach of our Human Resources policies. If it does, our normal disciplinary policies will apply.

Local Government Ombudsman

If after having followed our complaints process you are still unhappy with the response you have received, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman, or if in relation to a Housing Tenancy & Leaseholder issue the Housing Ombudsman. These are independent services set up by the Government to investigate complaints about most council matters.

It is unlikely that the ombudsman will investigate a complaint unless it has been through our complaints process.

Make a complaint

Complaint documents