Our complaints policy
What to expect when you complain
When you contact us about an issue, we will always aim to see if we can put it right or resolve it at first point of contact.
If we can and no further action is needed, we will not record your contact as a complaint.
A good example of this would be a customer complaining about toilets being dirty, and a staff member resolving the problem straight away.If however, your complaint can't be resolved at first point of contact, it will be formally recorded and handled in line with the below procedure:
The easiest way to submit a complaint is using our online form.
You will receive an immediate acknowledgement email and our customer services team will review and log your complaint on our system, which will pass it to the correct team to deal with as a stage one complaint.
If your complaint is not a complaint we can deal with through the complaints process, our customer services team will email you.
Once your complaint has been passed to the service team, an officer within that team (often a team leader or service manager) will investigate and normally send a full response within 20 working days - if you have complained via the online form this will be to your email address.
If your complaint is complex, or we need to wait for information from third parties to resolve your complaint, and it will take longer than 20 days to respond to you in full, the team will email you to let you know when you can expect a full response from us.
If you cannot fill in the online form, or if you are in correspondence with one of our team and want to submit a formal complaint directly, you can do so by email to either the officer concerned, or to email@example.com.
You can also make a complaint in person or on the telephone and the officer you speak to will take down details of your complaint and pass it to the customer services team to log and process as above. Alternatively you can write to customer services team, District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YU.
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can ask for your complaint to be investigated again as part of a stage two complaint.
To ask for your complaint to be investigated as part of a stage two complaint, please contact us within twenty working days of receiving our stage one response. This helps to make sure that staff involved have all the information readily available.
Stage two complaints are investigated by an officer who has not been directly involved in your case (this will be an assistant director or the performance review officer), on behalf of the chief executive officer who reviews and signs off responses to stage two complaints.
We will normally send a full response within 20 working days. If your complaint is complex, or we need to wait for information from third parties to resolve your complaint, and it will take longer than 20 days to respond to you in full, the investigating officer will contact you.
If the complaint is complex, of a serious nature or requires external specialist advice, external support may be appointed. The investigating officer will let you know if this is required.
If your complaint is about the chief executive officer of the council, it will be passed to the monitoring officer to investigate.
All complaints are treated in confidence and are covered by the relevant council's privacy notice.
Outcomes and remedies
When we have considered your complaint, we will contact to you to let you know the outcome of our investigation, which wil either be that we have upheld your complaint, partially upheld your complaint or your complaint has not been upheld.
If your complaint is partially or fully upheld we will apologise and we will work to put things right where we can.
The council may also consider alternative remedies that must be proportionate and reasonable to the circumstances of the complaint, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman
If you are still unsatisfied with our stage two response, you can refer the matter to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman who may carry out an independent investigation of the complaint.
The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman does not handle complaints unless you have been through our internal complaints procedure first.
The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman can be contacted at the following address:The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH