How to complain

Overview

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the council, our staff, or those acting on our behalf, affecting any individual, groups of individuals or businesses.

A complaint may not always be necessary, or the best way of resolving a difficulty. Before making a formal complaint, consider contacting the relevant service area directly. This may be a quicker and easier way to sort out the problem.

We don't insist on you using the word "complaint" for a matter to be handled as a complaint.

When a complaint is made, we will acknowledge it within 5 working days of receipt. 'Working days' are Monday to Friday excluding public holidays, starting from the first full working day after we receive the complaint.

What you can't make a formal complaint about

You cannot make a formal complaint about:

  • something you've already gone to court about, or could have gone to court about
  • something you've said you intend to begin, or have already begun legal proceedings about
  • something that has its own appeal process, such as parking fines or school admissions
  • something that involves a potential insurance claim
  • something that is being, or has been investigated by an independent ombudsman
  • employment matters or grievances, if you are a council employee

If your complaint is rejected, we will:

  • inform you of the decision and provide you with an explanation
  • inform you of your right to take the decision to the Ombudsman

Making a complaint

You can make a formal complaint if you're dissatisfied about something that's not listed above.

You should make your complaint within 12 months. We can refuse to accept a complaint about something that happened more than 12 months ago, but we would only do this after proper consideration of all circumstances.

Go to make a complaint.

Withdrawing a complaint

A complaint can be withdrawn at any time by either:

  • the person who has raised it
  • the person directly affected if somebody else has made the complaint on their behalf

If the complaint is withdrawn verbally, we will confirm the withdrawal in writing.

Our complaints policy

The pages of this section are our complaints policy.

When resolving complaints, we make sure any remedy we offer reflects the extent of any and all service failures, and how the individual was affected as a result.