Formal corporate complaints

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Informal resolution

Most concerns that are raised with the council can be resolved without you needing to make a formal complaint. These include requests for service such as missed bins, noise concerns etc. which can be raised directly with the service involved or logged using our ‘Report It’ forms.

Please check before you make a complaint to see if there is a form available.

Some concerns need to be logged through an alternative process, such as:

If you are not sure whether or not your concern should follow an alternative process, please email complaintsandcompliments@rbwm.gov.uk and we will be able to advise you.

If the problem continues or you do not feel the issue has been resolved by local resolution, then you can log a formal corporate complaint.  

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Formal corporate complaints process

If logging a service request or talking to the team involved has not resolved your issue, we may be able to progress it under the formal corporate complaints process.  This is a two-stage internal process, with a third independent stage.

We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days and will let you know if we can progress your concern under Stage one of the formal corporate complaints process.  If we cannot, we will let you know and advise you if there is another way for your concern to be looked at.

Stage one

A complaint at stage one will be passed to a manager in the service that the complaint relates to for an answer. The council will aim to reply within 20 working days from the date your complaint has been acknowledged by the compliments and complaints team, or to let you know within this time if the reply will take longer and the reason why.

Stage two review

If you're not satisfied with the outcome you received at stage one, you may have a right to ask for a review of your complaint at stage two. If you wish to do this, you should let us know what you feel has not been answered in your stage one response. If we progress your complaint at stage two, the Director for the service the complaint is about will review the complaint and reply within 20 working days or advise you if the reply will take longer.  

In some situations we may refer you directly to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) rather than take your complaint to stage two.  If this happens, we will let you know why.

Stage three – Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Review

If you have been through both stages of our formal corporate complaint’s procedure, or we have referred you after stage one and you are still unhappy, you can ask the LGSCO to review your complaint. The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service.

You can speak to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at any time, but they would normally expect you to have given us a chance to deal with your complaint before you contact them. 

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time, the LGSCO may decide to look into your complaint anyway.

Making a complaint to the council

You can make a complaint about our services in any of the following ways: