How to complain


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 we receive a complaint, we will acknowledge it within 5 working days – Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

What you can't make a formal complaint about

You cannot make a formal complaint about:

  • something you've already gone to court about
  • something you've already begun court 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 has already been considered under our complaints policy
  • 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A complaint can be withdrawn at any time by either: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If the complaint is withdrawn verbally, we will confirm the withdrawal in writing.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.

Our complaints procedure, and information on the complaints handling codes of the Housing Ombudsman and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, are:

  • shared every 6 months with subscribers of our main email newsletter for Thurrock residents
  • provided as links when we respond to complaints
  • available as printed documents within our main Town Hall building and local libraries

The Ombudsman services may be able to help you with your complaint via their dispute support advisers. Information can be found within the websites of the Housing Ombudsman and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.