How to complain

Tips for making a complaint

We would like to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions to help improve our services or if you are particularly pleased with our work. If something has gone wrong do tell us straight away so that we can put things right as quickly as possible.

You have a right to complain and we are here to help you, so don't be afraid to ask.

If you are unhappy with a decision you should first check with the service to see if there is an appeal procedure. We have separate appeal procedures for areas such as:

  • homelessness decisions
  • acceptance on housing waiting list
  • council tax support calculations
  • housing benefit calculations
  • parking fines
  • school admissions or exclusions
  • community care charges

You cannot use the complaints process for:

  • 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

There are times when a 'complaint' is not a complaint. For example, if you tell us a street light is not working, this will be recorded as a 'service request'. If the street light has not been repaired within a reasonable time and you have to contact us again, then it will become a 'complaint'.

All reports of service request failures will be handled as complaints.

Unreasonable behaviour

We aim to deal with complaints fairly, but sometimes individuals behave unreasonably. This can result in those individuals putting unnecessarily excessive demands on time and resources while a complaint is being looked into. The document below sets out our procedure when this happens.