We have made an unswerving commitment to customer service and strive to provide a high-quality service at all times. Please tell us if you think we got things wrong and we will try to put things right. We also would like to hear from you if you think we have done a good job.
Our complaints procedure tells you how to make a complaint and what we will do to try to resolve it. We define a complaint as 'an expression of dissatisfaction about our services or the services of our contractors'.
Please contact the service department you are unhappy with. Explain what has happened and what you would like the Council to do to put things right. We will try to resolve your complaint at this stage.
You can complain by letter, telephone, fax or email or by using our online complaints form.
If your complaint relates to a planning application or decision (and you are not the applicant or agent), we will investigate to see whether it falls under this complaints procedure or not. We will let you know the outcome within 10 working days.
If we are not able to resolve your complaint at Stage 1 you can ask the Head of Department to review it. He or she will investigate and let you know the outcome within 20 working days.
If the Head of Department is unable to resolve your complaint, you can ask for it to be reviewed by a Complaints Panel (made up of three District Councillors who have not previously been involved in the matter). You will have an opportunity to see and comment on the documentation about your complaint before it is sent to the Panel. The Panel will normally meet within 21 days and its decision will be notified to you in writing within 10 working days. This is the final stage in the Council's Complaints Procedure.
If you are a council tenant and your complaint is about something we have done in our role as landlord please see how you can contact a ‘designated person’ for help in resolving your complaint. If at the end of our complaints process you feel the matter has not been resolved you should contact the Housing Ombudsman.
If we have not been able to resolve your complaint and you are still unhappy, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate. The Ombudsman may decide not to look into a complaint until we have had a chance to investigate it first.
Not all disputes can be dealt with under our Complaints Procedure.
This is usualy because there is another course of action which can be taken, for example, where a separate right of appeal exists (such as in planning decisions, determinations of housing benefit or decisions about the amount of council tax you pay).
Other examples of disputes which would not be dealt with under this procedure include disagreeing with a decision of the Council or one of its committees, cases involving legal proceedings or where you have already made a claim for compensation which has been referred to our insurers.
We take complaints about equal opportunities, discrimination or harassment very seriously. Such complaints will be dealt with by the Head of Department in the first instance.