Complaints and feedback
Please note: We are committed to respond to all formal complaints within 10 working days however, in order to focus on providing our frontline services the response timeline for new complaints has been extended to 20 working days.
If there is any further delay, the complaints team will be in touch with you and provide you with a short update.
We are committed to putting you, our customers, first.
That means we always want to hear what you have to say about the services we provide.
By letting us know what you think - when we are doing a good job and when you think we can do better - you'll be helping us to improve the council for everybody.
Three ways to tell us what you think:
- pay us a compliment
- provide general feedback
- make a formal complaint
Please note: There are separate processes for:
- giving feedback about children and adult services. Please visit: Complain, comment or compliment children and adults services
- making a complaint about, or requesting a review of, our handling of a Freedom of Information request. Please visit: Review a Freedom of Information request
The purpose of a compliment is to let us know if you're particularly happy about a service you've received or a member of staff who has provided a service that's impressed you.
We'll share the good news, and you'll help improve the service by increasing motivation and confidence levels. Generally we won't reply to compliments.
This is an opportunity for you to give us your general views on a service we've provided, including areas where we could improve.
We'll read your comments carefully and, where appropriate, consider where we could make changes to improve. You can tell us whether or not you want a response to your feedback.
You can make a complaint when you're not satisfied with our standard of service, action, lack of action, or decision we've taken.
You shouldn't make a formal complaint through this process when you:
- want us to sort out an issue or problem you consider to be our responsibility. Instead you should report a problem to us.
- have a complaint with non-council services, organisations or individuals. You may want us to enforce something, such as a food hygiene issue, but your complaint isn't actually about a council service.
- want to appeal a decision. Instead, you'll find information about making an appeal in the relevant area of the website, for example Council Tax, planning, housing, benefits, school admissions.
There is further information about what constitutes a complaint in our customer feedback and complaints handling policy (PDF).
How we'll handle your complaint
If you make a complaint, we will:
- let you know we've received it within three working days
- ask the relevant service manager to investigate and provide a response within ten working days
- apologise if a mistake has been made and provide an explanation about what's gone wrong
- suggest how to put things right
- give you a chance to escalate your complaint if you're not happy
For more information about how we will handle complaints, you can read our full customer feedback and complaints handling policy. We have introduced a new policy which came into effect on 1 January 2020. If you made a complaint or comment before then, the pre-January 2020 policy is relevant to your case.
- Customer feedback and complaints handling policy (PDF)
- Customer feedback and complaints handling policy - pre-January 2020 (PDF)
When dealing with a complaint, we have a right to be treated fairly and with respect. We also expect the demand on our time and resources to be reasonable, and proportionate to the seriousness of a customer's complaint.
There are some circumstances in which the improper conduct of a customer means we will not continue dealing with a complaint. You can read more information about this our customer behaviour policy (PDF).