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Feedback and complaints

The council has a corporate complaints procedure, which ensures that complaints, compliments and comments are dealt with quickly, fairly and consistently.

If you wish to make a complaint or offer a compliment or comment, you can do this by completing the online form.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when one or more members of the public tell us they were dissatisfied with:

  • the standard of a service;
  • the behaviour and/or attitude of staff;
  • a refusal, failure, delay or lack of a service by the council or its staff;
  • a failure to follow council policies and procedures.

What is a compliment?

A compliment is when one or more members of the public tell us they were satisfied with:

  • any aspects of the council;
  • the standard of service;
  • the behaviour and/or attitude of staff;
  • the quality and proficiency of spoken English language used by staff in the provision of a service
  • services provided by the council or its staff.

What is a comment?

A comment is when one or more members of the public tell us how we might do things differently.


How the complaints procedure works

Stage 1 - local resolution

At stage 1 your complaint will be dealt with by the line manager responsible for the service that you're complaining about. We will try to find a way of putting things right and look for a mutually agreeable resolution as quickly as possible.

We will complete stage 1 within 10 working days wherever possible.
 

Stage 2 - investigation

If you're not satisfied with our response at stage 1 and want to take the matter further then you must let us know within 20 working days of us completing stage 1.

A senior council officer who is not responsible for the service you're complaining about will investigate the complaint. We aim for this to happen within a maximum of 25 working days, although this may be extended to 65 working days if the case is complex.

We'll tell you who is leading the investigation, how to contact them and when the investigation will be completed. At the end of the investigation we'll write and tell you what we've decided about your complaint, and why.

In some instances the council might refuse to undertake a stage 2 investigation, for example where it has already admitted that something was done wrong and offered a reasonable resolution. In these cases you would still have the right to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
 

Stage 3 - review by the Corporate Complaints Manager

If you're still not satisfied after the Stage 2 investigation you can ask for a review by the Corporate Complaints Manager. A request for a review must be received within 20 working days of the date on your stage 2 decision letter.

You can write to the Corporate Complaints Manager at the following address: Corporate Complaints Manager, Legal and Democratic Services, PO Box 503, Town Hall, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FX.

The role of the Corporate Complaints Manager in undertaking a review is to ensure that the stage 2 findings, conclusions and recommendations are reasonable. This review will be completed within 25 working days.
 

Local Government Ombudsman

If you're still not satisfied after the review, or if the council refuses to progress your complaint to stage 3 of the complaints procedure, you have the right to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.