We would like to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions to help improve our services or if you are particularly pleased with our work.
If something has gone wrong do tell us straight away so that we can put things right as quickly as possible.
Remember you have a right to complain and we are here to help you so please don't be afraid to ask.
Our aim is to give confidence to our customers, residents and visitors that we process complaints fairly and consistently and in line with our Customer Charter.
Our complaints procedure does not deal with every type of complaint. If you are unhappy with a Council decision you should first check with the department concerned if there is an appeal procedure. The Council operates a number of separate appeal procedures covering areas such as:
There are times when a 'complaint' is not a complaint, for example if the Council are informed that a street light is not working this will be recorded as a 'service request'. However, if the streetlight has not been attended to within a reasonable time and gives the customer, resident or visitor cause to contact the Council again then this will become a complaint.
The Council is committed to dealing with complaints fairly and in line with our complaints procedure. Occasionally we encounter individuals who demonstrate unreasonable behaviour. This behaviour can result in individuals placing unnecessarily excessive demands on the time and resources of our staff whilst a complaint or issue is being looked into.
This document linked below details the Council's procedure for the management of unreasonably persistent complainants and unreasonable behaviour:
As a service provider we welcome your comments on how we can improve our service to you. No matter how small you think your suggestion seems we welcome your comments, even if it is just to say 'thanks'.
If you want to comment on our services please contact the Customer Liaison Team using any of the following methods:
When contacting the Customer Liaison Team, try to explain the problem briefly so that they can assign your comments to the right department.
Please be advised that you do not have to make a complaint in writing, although it is best to keep a note of whom you spoke to and when.
The complaint link next to each service on the Contact Us page will lead you directly to a complaint form that can be submitted on-line (if you're not sure which service to select then you may use the General Enquiries complaint form). Alternatively paper copies of the form are available from Council Offices or you may write to us using the FREEPOST address as above:
Please Note: You can use the General Enquiries complaint form to make a complaint about any of the Council's services but please ensure that you include name of the department concerned on the form.
Adult Social Care uses a statutory complaint process, which is separate to that used for all other council services. Should you wish to make a comment, complaint or a compliment, please contact the Complaints Manager on 01375 652643. Or write to:
Adults, Health & Commissioning
Civic Offices, New Road
Essex, RM17 6TJ
Children's Social Care uses a statutory complaint process, which is separate to that used for all other council services. Should you wish to make a comment, complaint or a compliment, please contact the Complaints Manager on 01375 652643. Or write to:
Civic Offices, New Road
Essex, RM17 6SL
Please see our information on how 'Designated Persons' can help resolve housing complaints locally.
All schools have their own complaints procedures that you will need to use. Please contact the Headteacher regarding all school process related complaints.
We aim to uphold high ethical standards among Councillors and Co-opted members of the Council. If you feel there has been a failure to uphold the standards then our procedure for Complaints about Councillors will explain how you can complain.
Thurrock Council positively welcomes feedback on the way the Council is implementing both the specific and general duties under Race Relations Legislation. If you would like to make a complaint, comment or would like to speak to someone about race equality or any other diversity issues, please telephone 01375 652472.
The Council has also adopted a separate procedure for members of the Council's staff to raise concerns in confidence about issues such as serious malpractice (i.e. the safety or proper care of clients), fraudulent or dishonest practice. If members of staff have such concerns then our Whistleblowing procedure will explain what you can do. Members of the public who have these kinds of concern should use the Corporate Complaints procedure set out on this page.
The Council's complaints process has three stages, these are detailed below:
An officer within the department mentioned within your complaint will answer your complaint within 14 calendar days.
If you remain dissatisfied with the response you may request that it be escalated to the next stage of the complaints process, known as stage 2, providing this request is made no later than 28 days from our initial reply.
A senior officer within the same department will answer your complaint within 28 calendar days. If you remain dissatisfied with the response you may request that it be escalated to the final stage of the complaints process, providing this request is made no later than 28 days from our initial reply.
The Council may invite you to attend a meeting with a member of the Corporate Complaints Team and the senior officer who responded to your complaint before consideration is given to further investigate at stage 3.
Complaints made about members of staff are automatically entered at stage 2.
A senior officer within the Corporate Complaints Team will assess your complaint to determine if it warrants an independent investigation. If this is the case we will provide a response within 28 calendar days. If it is decided that nothing further is to be gained from a stage 3 investigation, you will be advised of this and of the next options available to you.
Councillors can be contacted through the Council's Member Services department (01375 366322) or via their page on the 'Thurrock's Councillors' section of this web site.
If you are still not satisfied with how your concerns have been dealt with you have a right to refer it to the Local Government Ombudsman who will contact you directly and look into your complaint.
A leaflet on how to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman can be obtained from the Council. Alternatively, there is an online version available from the Local Government Ombudsman website: www.lgo.org.uk.
The Ombudsman will only look at how a council has dealt with a complaint (not the decision reach about it) and will ask you to give the Council a fair chance to do this fully before involving them. This means that you will have to go through the council's three-stage procedure before writing to the Ombudsman.
Thurrock Council encourages local people to get involved and be heard. You can put your views, ask questions or present petitions to the appropriate committee meeting - Telephone 01375 652022 for further details - or you can talk to your local councillor.
This information is also available on audio cassette in both English and other languages and as a large print leaflet. Please telephone 020 8430 3040 for more information.
We hope you have found this information to be useful. If you have any suggestions to improve it contact Thurrock Council's Corporate Complaints Co-ordinator on 01375 652500 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.