Warwick District Council accepts that occasionally things can go wrong. If they do, we need to know so that we can put them right and learn from them.
Before making a complaint, you may wish to try and resolve the matter informally by talking to the staff you were dealing with on the query. However, if you are still unhappy you can make your complaint by submitting a complaint form.
The Council aims to investigate and report on complaints within 20 working days. However, there are certain complaints that will be prioritised, investigated and reported on within 5 working days. These are:
- Homelessness, either currently or imminently;
- Children and young people up to 21 years of age or 25 if disabled; and
- Where the particular circumstances identify vulnerability and/or a need for urgency.
The stages of investigation are:
- Stage 1 - internally by an officer from the department the complaint is about;
- Stage 2 - if unhappy with the outcome of the stage 1 investigation the complainant can ask the Chief Executive for an investigation by an officer from outside the department;
- If unhappy with the conclusion of the stage 2 investigation the complainant can progress the complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman or Information Commissioner, as set out below.
The majority of complaints will be because of dissatisfaction with a service, policy or officer of the Council. This process is also used to investigate any allegations of discrimination by the Council, along with breaches of the Data Protection or Freedom of Information Acts.
There are different considerations for complaints about Council officers which will be explained to the complainant when the complaint is made.
When the Council accepts that an error has been made, the overriding principle will be, where possible, to try and return the complainant to the position they would have been in if there had not been a mistake or error by the Council.
Some matters are excluded from this complaints policy to enable effective service delivery and for legal reasons. These are:
- if there is a statutory recourse for the matter e.g. the right to appeal a Licensing Panel decision to the magistrates;
- if this is the first time the Council became aware of the matter with regard to the provision of service e.g. a bin having not been emptied; or
- any complaint regarding a Councillor, which must be submitted to the Monitoring Officer as set out below.
Local Government Ombudsman & Information Commissioner
If Warwick District Council does not resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, you may take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. However if the Council has not resolved your complaint regarding Freedom of Information or Data Protection you need to contact the Information Commissioner.
Complaints about councillors
Since May 2008 it has been possible to complain to the Council's Standards Committee that a Councillor has not observed the statutory Code of Conduct for Members (103kb, PDF).
A complaint should be made in writing on the attached complaint form (PDF).
If you feel that a Councillor has broken the law or one of the Council's local protocols, this should also be reported in writing to the:
Warwick District Council
Royal Leamington Spa
You can also visit the Standards Committee page of the website for more information.
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