We received 3,671 complaints (stages 1- 4) in 2011/12 compared to 3,879 in 2010/11. More than 80 per cent of those were resolved quickly and within ten working days.
The vast majority of complaints are dealt with effectively at stage one. However, we know we could do better and we are working to ensure that complaints are replied to in simple plain language and in full each and every time.
Stage three of the complaints process was changed in April 2007 and these complaints are now dealt with by a panel of councillors.
Changes from July 2012
A number of changes have been made to our customer complaints policy. From 23 July 2012, the main changes to our complaints policy are as follows:
1. Complaints must normally be made within six months of the service failure
2. If you are unhappy with a response you have received at stages one or two, you must ask for a further reviw within 28 days of receiving a response
3. If you accept compensation at stages one or two, this will be seen to be as a full and final settlement of your complaint and your complaint will not normally be escalated to stage two or three.
Why use our complaints e-form?
By using our e-form to complain your complaint will be directed to the right officer automatically and you will receive an email confirmation with a reference number. Using the e-form helps ensures we collect all the relevant information from you so that we can deal with your complaint efficiently.
Which forms to use
You should not use this form is you are appealing a penalty charge notice or if you are reporting a problem for the first time and the department has not had an opportunity to deal with your service request. See a list of forms you can complete
Your complaint will be automatically directed to the right department. You will automatically receive confirmation of your complaint if you provide your email address on the complaints e-form. Our target is to turn these around within 10 working days.
If you are making a service request and complete this complaint form, your complaint will be treated as a service request. If we then don't act on your request, you should submit a formal complaint using this form.
If you are not satisfied with the response at stage 1, you can ask for the complaint to be reviewed by a senior manager in that department - this is known as stage 2. Again, our target is to turn these around within 10 working days.
A panel of three councillors (known as the members’ panel) review stage 3 complaints.
Residents can send their complaints as written evidence for the panel, or they can appear before the panel in person. However, the councillor's panel will only be able to consider cases that have already been through stages 1 & 2.
However it should be noted that our complaints process is discretionary and not based on statute. This means we do not always have to proceed with a complaint if we believe there is sufficient justification not to do so.