Your complaint will be co-ordinated by the Customer Relations Officer. They will work closely with senior management from the department concerned. It is the Council's aim to resolve all complaints at this stage. An acknowledgement will be sent informing you of the procedure.
The Council's aim is to provide you with a full reply within 10 working days of receipt of your Stage 1 complaint. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated to Stage 2.
Your complaint will be co-ordinated by the Customer Relations Officer. A full investigation will be made by an independent Head of Service plus a Councillor. If your complaint is found to be justified, the Council will take appropriate action to remedy the situation as quickly as it can.
An acknowledgement will be sent upon receipt of a Stage 2 complaint. The Council's aim is to provide you with a full reply within 20 working days of receipt of your Stage 2 complaint.
If you are still not satisfied you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to carry out an
independent examination of your complaint. Further information can be found on the Local Government Ombudsman (external link) website or by calling the LGO Advice Team on 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602
Why do we need a complaint procedure?
Wealden District Council aims to provide good quality services on every occasion but sometimes things can go wrong. The purpose of the complaint procedure is to find out what went wrong and try to put things right for the future. If you are dissatisfied with the standard of service, the actions or lack of action by the Council, its employees or anyone providing services on behalf of the Council, we would like you to let us know so that we can put things right. The complaint procedure helps us to do this. Your complaint will be:
- Recorded in the register of complaints and acknowledged;
- Dealt with as quickly as possible;
- Handled courteously and fairly;
- Investigated fully.
The complaint procedure is intended to deal with specific situations such as mistakes, delay or inefficiency.
Some things which can be dealt with more effectively in other ways are not treated as a complaint.
Examples of those are listed opposite so please think carefully about whether your situation falls into one of those categories before seeking to use the complaint procedure explained later in this leaflet.
Things which we do not treat as a complaint
A complaint against the Council needs to say what the Council itself has done wrong.
- In general, complaints about bin collection, litter, neighbours, noise, food establishments etc will be treated as requests to do something about them, i.e. requests for service.
- Disagreement with a planning permission, enforcement decision or other regulatory activity. (As the law currently stands, a planning decision is binding and there is no right of appeal, except by the recipient to the Planning Inspectorate.)
- Where there is some other legal remedy or statutory right of appeal, for example in respect of certain planning, housing and taxation matters.
- Disagreement with a policy or decision lawfully made by the Council. These will be monitored by the Directorate concerned and, in appropriate cases, reported to the relevant Councillor(s).
- Complaints which allege financial impropriety or criminal activity. These will be dealt with by the Chief Executive or a Corporate Director providing evidence to substantiate the allegation is supplied with the complaint.
Complaints that a Councillor has breached the Code of Conduct for Members should be referred to:
The Assessment Sub Committee
c/o The Monitoring Officer
The Standards Committee
Wealden District Council, Pine Grove,
Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 1DH
To make a complaint against a Councillor, follow the guidance on making a complaint about the conduct of a Councillor or phone the Council's Monitoring Officer, Trevor Scott, or Democratic Services on 01892 602437.
How do you make your complaint?
You can make your complaint by telephone, in writing, email, using our online complaints form online complaints form or in person. It will help us to deal with your complaint if you explain briefly and accurately:
- What you are complaining about;
- When it happened (or should have happened);
- Why and how you think we should have done things differently;
- What you think the Council should do to put things right.
We will respond to your complaint as quickly as possible and aim to reply fully within ten
working days. If your complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by the first investigation (Stage 1), you can ask for an independent Head of Service plus a Councillor to review how your complaint was dealt with, (Stage 2 in the complaint procedure).
Putting things right
If your complaint is found to be justified, the Council will take appropriate action to remedy
What happens if you are still not satisfied?
If the Council is not able to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to carry out an independent examination. Further information can be found on Local Government Ombudsman (external link) website or by calling the LGO Advice Team on 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602
Download this information: Complaints Procedure Leaflet: Could we have done better? (pdf)