Complaints policy and procedure
What is a complaint?
3.1. A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, however made, which requires a response and may be raised by anyone who has been affected by the council's action, lack of action or about the standard of a service affecting an individual, resident or group of residents. This may be services delivered by the council itself or another organisation delivering services or acting on behalf of the council.
What is considered a complaint:
- Incorrect or poor delivery of a service
- Failure to follow a policy, procedure or legislation that affected the outcome for the complainant
- An employee (or any of our contractors or agents) has behaved inappropriately
- Refusal to provide a service
What is NOT considered to be a complaint:
- Initial requests for service or information. For example, the first report of a missed bin is a request for service
- Requests for information
- Reports (complaints) of Anti-Social Behaviour / Hate Crime
- Staff grievances
- Whistleblowing reports
- Matters of law or central government policy (these should be directed to local a local MP)
- Complaints about services provided by other organisations, such as Herts County Council (although we will try to signpost you to someone who can help)
- Issues where you or the council have started legal proceedings
- Issues that have already been decided by a court or independent tribunal
- An attempt to re-open a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision
- Disagreement with a decision where an appeals process is offered, or a statutory right of appeal exists. Some examples are listed below, although this list is not exhaustive:
- Planning consent
- Enforcement decisions
- Council tax decisions
- Licensing decisions
- Parking appeals
- Housing Benefit appeals
- Housing application appeals
- Insurance claims
- Disagreements relating to commercial matters and negotiations.
- Vexatious complainants (Please refer to section 18)
3.2. If for any reason we decide not to deal with a complaint under this policy, we will explain why in writing.