Comments, compliments and complaints
We welcome feedback; comments, compliments and complaints from our customers. Feedback is recorded and handled in line with our customer feedback procedure and we aim to use the experience of our customers to improve our services.
How to make a comment, compliment or complaint
You may have suggestions and ideas about how we could improve services or you may wish to express disappointment, disagreement or observations without wanting to make a complaint. Feedback of this nature is recorded as a comment and we aim to reply within 5 working days, where possible.
You may wish to tell us about a service that has been good or a member of staff who has been helpful. Feedback of this nature is recorded as a compliment and we aim to acknowledge receipt within 5 working days, where possible.
You may want to tell us if the quality or standard of a service falls short of what you would reasonably expect. Feedback of this nature is recorded as a complaint. There are different procedures for dealing with complaints depending on which area of the council the issues relate to: adult social care, health and housing / public health; children’s services; all other council services.
We take all customer complaints seriously, including discrimination. Read about our approach to Equality and Diversity.
Staff are expected to take all reasonable steps to ensure complaints are dealt with fairly but there may be times when we need to take steps to manage difficult behaviours or repeated complaints. Our vexatious or unreasonable policy (PDF 272.1KB) sets out how we deal with complaints of this nature.
Common examples of complaints are:
- poor record keeping
- failure to take action
- failure to follow procedures or the law
- poor communication
- giving out misleading information
- failure to investigate
- the organisation not doing what it said it would
To make a complaint, in most cases you will need to have:
- complained to us within 12 months of becoming aware of the matter
- been directly affected by the matter (personal injustice)
Please note: our complaints procedure does not cover:
- request for services (for example, reporting a pothole or a missed bin collection)
- requests for information on our policies or practices (there is a separate procedure for requests that fall under the Freedom of Information Act)
- requests for explanations or disagreements with our policies or practices (this type of feedback can be shared with your local councillor)
- issues which affect most people in our area
- matters for which there is a right of appeal (for example, where we have an appeal process or an independent tribunal, or legal remedy is required)
- a complaint relating to a claim under public liability
- complaints about noise nuisance or anti-social behaviour
- complaints about schools
- complaints about councillors