Comments, compliments and complaints policy

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. For clarity, a customer is any individual, group of individuals or business that requests or receives a service from the Council.

The procedure is intended to allow the council to formally manage corporate complaints, comments and compliments through the Customer Relations Team.

The council’s Director of Resource and Support Services champions this area of work for the Authority whilst the Customer Relations Officer is responsible for overseeing the implementation of corporate procedures for complaints resolution.

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 a significant mechanism by all council staff to help drive through the Council Plan which underpins the council’s commitment to delivering high quality and community-driven services.

Details of the procedure will be made available and publicised on the Council’s intranet, website, at the induction process for Members and staff, in the council’s internal policies and procedures, and at all Customer Service Centres.

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 customers’ right to refer a complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for further investigation if not satisfied with the resolution offered by the council.

A complaint made under this procedure will not prejudice the standard of service the customer will receive across the council’s usual services.