Complain about a council service

Our two-stage complaints process

If you've already reported the issue to us and it's not been resolved satisfactorily or if you feel the matter needs further investigation, please follow our two-stage complaints process.

Please remember that the more information you are able to give us, the easier it will be to investigate your complaint.

If you have a complaint about a councillor, please see our page on complaints about a councillor.

Stage one

The first thing to do is to contact the section responsible by completing the complaints form

You can also contact us by telephone, letter, email, or in person. If you prefer, a member of staff will write down the complaint for you.

At stage one, an appropriate officer will investigate the complaint, which is normally the service manager, and will send a full response within 20 working days.

The 20 working days start from the date we receive your complaint.

If the investigation is likely to take longer due to its complexity, the investigating officer will keep you informed of progress throughout the 20 working day time frame, and until the matter is dealt with.

To progress your complaint to stage two, please contact us within 20 working days after receiving our stage one response. This is to ensure that staff involved have all of the information readily available and that your complaint is still fresh in their mind to help with further investigation. If this timescale is not met it, we will still investigate your stage two complaint.

Stage two

At stage two your complaint will be passed to the chief executive to arrange for an independent senior officer (usually a director or head of service) to carry out an investigation.

The independent investigator will try to make contact with you, in the early part of their investigation, in order to scope the review of your complaint. They will also speak to the officer who handled your stage one complaint.

The investigator will prepare a report on their findings for the chief executive and a draft response to you. The chief executive will then send a response to you within 20 working days, except where matters are likely to take more time to investigate or resolve due to the complexity of the complaint.

If your complaint is complex and our team need more time to complete their investigations, the investigating officer will keep you informed of progress throughout the 20 working day time frame, and until the matter is dealt with.

Download our complaints policy and charter to find out more.