The Council recognises the right of its customers to complain and indeed welcomes complaints as a valuable form of feedback about its services. Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is committed to using information gained from complaints to help drive forward improvements to services and to better meet the needs of customers
The procedure is intended to allow the Council to formally manage corporate complaints, comments and compliments through the Customer Relations Officer.
It is intended that the Council's Head of Customer Services champions this area of work for the council and the Customer Relations Officer will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of corporate procedures for complaints resolution and that the deadlines for responses detailed in this document are met.
This procedure defines the process for complaints, how the Customer Relations Officer is kept informed, the timeline for dealing with complaints and corporate ownership of the procedure.
The importance of a robust complaints procedure should be seen as an important mechanism by all Council staff to help drive through and deliver the improvement programme which underpins this Council’s priority of achieving excellence.
Details of the procedure will be made available and publicised on the Council’s intranet, its website, at the induction process, in the Employees’ Handbook and through leaflets available at Council points of contact with the public.
The Council understands that many complaints will be dealt with informally at the time they are first raised to the satisfaction of the person complaining. If the customer is not satisfied, the procedure then gives an opportunity for the complaint to be fully investigated.
The procedure does not prejudice the customer’s right to refer a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman for further investigation if they are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the Council
In the short term, the Council may see an increase in the number of complaints which it actually deals with and this will be as a result of publicising the procedure combined with the better recording and monitoring systems put in place. Numbers, however, are likely to decrease as actions and process changes are put in place to reduce the complaints received.
Last updated 8 January 2019