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Comments, compliments and complaints procedure

Complaints performance

The current complaints handling procedure was introduced by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) and all Scottish Councils are now required to handle and report complaints in the same way and to publish the outcomes of complaints, trends and actions taken.

Complaints closed from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2018

Annual total of complaints closed
Resource 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Community and Enterprise

305

256 209
Education 87 122 185
Finance and Corporate 62 86 213
Housing and Technical 961 388 249
Social Work 221 235 192
Totals 1636 1087 1048

The number of complaints closed reduced by 34% between 2015/16 and 2016/17, and reduced further 4% between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

You Said, We Did

When you complain, we listen and act. 

Below are some examples of how we do this, and how comments and complaints help us improve the services we provide.

Community and Enterprise Resources

What their customers said

A resident received the council’s neighbour notification letter in relation to a nearby planning application. The resident was in contact with the Planning service regarding the application as they wished to make a representation (objection) to it. One of the points raised related to the failure of officers to let the resident know that they, or their neighbours, could seek independent planning advice from Planning Aid Scotland. If they did this they may have had a better understanding of the Planning application process and the proposals in question.

What we did

Following on from this, the Planning Service considered the matter and as a result has made a change to the wording in the neighbour notification letter that is sent to properties adjoining the application site. This now includes a reference to the service available from Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) and details of how they can be contacted.

How we expect our service to get better

In addition, it is recognised that in some cases that customers will become aware of a Planning application through an advertisement in the local press or by visiting the council’s Planning Portal. As a result the front page of the Portal has been updated to include a link to the Planning page on the council’s website which describes what are material planning matters in determining an application, and what are not.  As well as a reference to the service provided by PAS.

Finance and Corporate Resources

What their customers said

A customer arrived to uplift copy marriage certificates to find office closed on Saturday 18 March – customer has not been made aware of office closure.

What we did

An apology was given, procedures reviewed and staff reminded of procedures. Team briefings emphasise need for better communication between staff and customers.

How we expect our service to get better

Appointments will now be logged on a booking system together with customer contact details and if a similar situation should arise then customer can be contacted in advance.

Housing and Technical Resources

What their customers said

A service user was unhappy that they were not advised when their repair would be carried out.

What we did

Housing and Technical Resources investigated the areas of concerns raised. They identified that there was an issue with communication regarding when the repair would be carried out and apologised to the customer.

How we expect our service to get better

The resource has reminded staff of the procedure of advising customers of when their repair will be carried out.

Housing and Technical Resources

What their customers said

A customer complained that they had signed for a new lock up and had been unable to get access.

What we did

An apology was given, and robust procedures put in place to ensure lock ups are inspected, emptied and in working order prior to allocation.

How we expect our service to get better

We will continue to monitor complaints through service/management reports and regular meetings of complaints group.

Social Work Resources

What their customers said

A service user was unhappy with the level of communication and support given relating to their case.

What we did

Social Work investigated the areas of concerns raised. They identified that there was an issue with communication channels and apologised to the customer for the unsatisfactory level of communication. It was agreed that development work would be carried out with staff.

How we expect our service to get better

Improved communication with customers will ultimately lead to a higher quality and more efficient service being provided.