Annual customer feedback report

Key facts about complaints

‘The best authorities use complaints as a barometer of external opinion and as an early warning of problems might otherwise stay unseen. They take that a step further and use critical feedback to drive a sophisticated culture of learning, reflection and improvement.’ Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman

  • We received 70 stage one complaints last year, of which 13 were not investigated because they were either withdrawn by the customer or were not about services provided by the council. This was a significant drop on last year, when 69 complaints were investigated.
  • Following investigation, 22 stage one complaints were either upheld or partially upheld. In the previous year 14 stage one complaints were upheld or partially upheld, so this is a significant increase on 2021/2022. Twenty-six complaints were not upheld. This is because, while the customer was not happy with the service they received, or the decision the council made, teams had delivered the services or decisions in line with policy, and poor practice or injustice was not evident.
  • Four complaints progressed to stage two. Of the four stage two complaints, one was upheld, one was partially upheld, and two were not upheld. In the previous year, nine complaints progressed to stage two, and five were upheld or partially upheld, so this is a significant improvement on the previous year.
  • Waste and street scene (29%), revenues and benefits (14%), planning (14%) and building control (13%) received the most complaints. Complaints about planning dropped significantly, compared to last year, when 36% of all complaints were planning related – the planning team processed 1,245 planning applications in the same period, so planning complaints represented 0.8% of the team’s caseload. Operational services also received a spike in complaints linked to the roll out of the new blue bag scheme.
  • 76% of stage one complaints were responded to within the target timescales. Where responses were not issued within 20 working days, customers were kept informed of progress. Stage two complaints were either responded to within the target timescale, or customers were kept updated if the investigation was going to take longer.