Comments, compliments and complaints procedure
Our standards for handling complaints
Due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on council services, we are applying extensions to our timescales for complaints handling. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.
In light of the current situation, we would encourage you not to submit a complaint to our offices if it is about the following matters:
- delays with processing complaints
- delays with complaint responses
- matters which are likely to resolve themselves within the next few weeks/months
- delays in service delivery which are the result of organisations having to cope with COVID-19 and which are non-essential
- the issue is the result of our organisation having to cope with COVID-19 related issues and the knock-on effect across communities
If there are areas when the service you have received from us has fallen below expectation or our response to your complaint has taken us longer than the stated timescale, we do appreciate your patience and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
If you make a complaint we will work to these standards:
- treat all complaints seriously, whether they are made online using our complaints form, a complaints card, by phone, letter or email
- treat you with courtesy and fairness at all times
- aim to meet the timescales set down within our procedures and if, for any reason, we require further time we will tell you the reason why and let you know when we will be able to reply in full
- address all the points made in your complaint in our response to you
- provide a full explanation about how we arrived at our decision about your complaint
- provide an apology where there has been a failure or delay in our service
We will not treat you less favourably than anyone else because of your:
- gender (sex)
- colour or race: this includes ethnic or national origin or nationality
- gender identity
- marital status or civil partnership: this includes family status, and responsibility for dependants
- pregnancy or maternity
- sexual orientation or
- religious or political beliefs
- provide appropriate help, if you need help to make your complaint. This may include putting you in touch with a suitable agency which can help you
- deal with all complaints confidentially and in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998
- use the information from your complaint to review and improve the way in which our services are provided
Unreasonable behaviour of complainants
We are committed to dealing with complaints fairly and in line with our complaints procedure. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals makes it very difficult for us to deal with their complaint. In a small number of cases the actions become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our employees or our process.
When this happens we have to take action to protect our employees. We consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others.