How our complaints procedure works
Do you have a complaint against the council?
By 'complaint' we mean any situation in which you are:
- not satisfied with the service you have received from us
- not satisfied by our response to a request for a service
This does not include routine requests for services (for example reporting everyday problems) or initial requests for action (such as reporting a noise nuisance or a council house repair) - matters like these should be directed to the service concerned.
Step-by-step guide to our complaints procedure:
If you have contacted the office responsible for the service you received and you have been unable to resolve the issues, you can make a formal complaint. This can be made in a variety of ways. You can:
- use our online form
- send us a letter or
- if you don't want to write you can telephone us and ask a member of staff to record the complaint for you
When contacting us you need to make it clear that you are making a complaint and not just passing on information or making a comment.
You will need to supply your name and address so that we can reply to you. A telephone number is also helpful in case we need further information. You also need to give details of your complaint.
Your complaint will be investigated by the relevant service manager and you will usually be advised of the outcome within ten working days. If this is not possible, we will let you know that we need more time to investigate your complaint and we will aim to do this within 12 weeks.
For all complaints that cannot be dealt with immediately, we will send out an acknowledgement within three days of receiving the complaint and tell you who is dealing with it.
If you are still unhappy with the response you receive you can ask the Chief Executive or a member of the corporate management team to review your case.
Your District Councillor is there to represent you and, if you wish, you can ask him or her to help you. Names and contact details of councillors are available at Your Councillors.
You could also contact an advice agency, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau. Details can be obtained from our offices, local libraries or the telephone directory.
If you want to take the matter further, what you need to do depends on whether or not your complaint relates to council housing or any other issue.
Complaints by council tenants about council housing
If you have a complaint about your Council Housing* you can refer your complaint to a 'designated person'. Designated persons are specified in the Localism Act 2011and they are:
- a member of the House of Commons (an MP)
- a local councillor - this does not have to be a member for the Ward where you live
- our Complaints Panel - please contact our Tenant Involvement Co-ordinator if you wish to refer your complaint to the Complaints Panel
The designated person can take the following action:
- try to resolve your complaint locally
- refer your complaint directly to the Housing Ombudsman with your written consent or
- refuse to take your complaint on board
The Housing Ombudsman will send a copy of their decision to the designated person as well as the complaint.
*please note that complaints about allocations of social housing should still be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman - see below.
All other complaints
You may contact the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will normally expect the council to have had an opportunity to consider your complaints before he investigates it. A leaflet is available at our offices or you can find details:
- online at the Local Government Ombudsman website
- by telephoning 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
- by writing to The Local Government Ombudsman, PO Box 477, Coventry CV4 0EH
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service without going through a designated person but you must wait for eight weeks from the date after your complaint has gone through Step 2 of our internal procedure.
Housing Ombudsman Service
London WC2B 4HN
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
We will write or telephone some of our customers when their complaint has been closed to ask for feedback on our complaints procedure. The aim of this survey is not to look at the complaint again but to check that the procedure for dealing with complaints works effectively, is fair and to identify any improvements needed. The best way to make continuous improvement is to listen to residents who have made a complaint so please help us by completing a survey if you are asked for your views.
If you would like any further information about any aspect of the Council's Complaints Procedure, please contact the Head of Customer Services:
- telephone 01884 234371
- email email@example.com or
- write to Customer Services, FREEPOST SWB 31014, Mid Devon District Council, Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton EX16 6PP
Please note that the Head of Customer Services cannot answer queries with regard to individual complaints which are dealt with by staff within the appropriate service.