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Complaints procedure

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently unable to accept complaint letters by post. For the interim period, complaints can be only submitted via email, online webform or telephone. If you do not have email or access to the webform, please ring 020 8215 3000 and a Customer Services Officer will be happy to take your complaint. Please note, however, that we can only currently provide a response via email. We will endeavour to provide a response via telephone if you do not have an email address.

If you are unhappy with our services, tell us. We want to know so we can try to put things right.

Specific service have their own complaints procedures. Please follow the links below to make a complaint:

However, there are times when an issue or a concern is not something we are able to consider as a complaint, such as:

  • requests for a service (eg reporting a faulty street light)
  • complaints relating to established council policy or the council’s implementation of government policy
  • matters for which there is a right of appeal (either within the council or via an employment tribunal), or a legal remedy (eg a penalty charge notice, parking ticket, school admissions, housing benefits, and planning applications);
  • complaints which fall within the statutory complaints procedures in operation within Adult and Children’s services
  • insurance claims
  • requests for the council to engage with a third party over a problem which the council may have some control/regulating function
  • complaints which the complainant has known about for more than six months before registering it
  • ombudsman complaints (except for those which the ombudsman asks the council to deal with through its complaints procedure)
  • complaints that have been allocated or investigated as members or MP’s casework
  • complaints from former and existing staff about human resources issues, including appointments, dismissals, pay, pensions and discipline
  • commercial or contractual matters, for example contracts for the supply of goods and services to the council
  • freedom of information, and data protection subject access requests, or complaints about the decision, the information provided or how a request was handled
  • complaints about restrictive contact arrangements, such as but not limited to, single point of contact arrangements and bans

Our complaints process has two stages

Stage 1 - complaint

Complete our online form to complain about a council service. We will respond to your complaint within 10 working days.

If you are submitting a complaint on behalf of another person, you will need to provide signed written consent from the person you are representing before we can take your complaint.

You can also make a complaint by telephone or in writing.

Review

Once you have received your answer, at stage 1, if you are still not satisfied, you may ask for a review.

You must ask for a review no later than 28 days from our initial stage 1 reply.

Within five days we will send you an acknowledgement and the date by which you should receive a formal reply, which should be within 30 working days. If we cannot meet this target you will be sent a progress report.

If you are still not satisfied with the response you can approach the Ombudsman or the Housing Ombudsman Service if your complaint is about housing.

Currently the Local Government Ombudsman has taken the decision to suspend services for all new investigations. Their webform and central telephone line will be suspended from the Wednesday 18 March 2020. At this time there is no expected timeframe as to when the service will re-commence.

They will continue to investigate complaints which have already been submitted to their service.

For further live updates on the situation the Local Government Ombudsman will update on the Local Government Ombudsman website.

Unreasonable behaviour

We aim to deal with complaints fairly and in line with our complaints procedure.

Occasionally, some individuals demonstrate unreasonable behaviour (thoughtless or persistent complaints or complaints made in a threatening way) and our persistent and vexatious complainants policy may be applied.

Persistent and vexatious complainants policy