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Compliments, comments and complaints

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils are committed to putting you, our customers first. That means we are always pleased to hear what you have to say about the services we provide.

By letting us know what you think - when we are doing a good job and when you think we can do better, you will be helping to improve the Council for everybody.

We welcome all feedback and if you are particularly pleased with a service we have provided, or with a particular member of staff or team please let us know. The Customer Services Team will ensure the appropriate person receives this compliment.

Making a complaint

If you need to complain about one of our services, we will do our best to put things right and make sure that the same thing doesn't happen again to you or to somebody else. Whenever you contact us with your feedback, good or bad, you can be assured we will:

  • Always listen to what you have to say
  • Treat you honestly, fairly and politely
  • Give you help and advice as quickly as we can
  • Respect your individual needs and your right to privacy
  • Keep you informed about what's happening
  • Take action, where appropriate, to improve our service to you
  • Address and respond to all Stage 1 complaints within 15 working days of their receipt and Stage 2 complaints within 20 days of receipt
  • Let you know if our response to your complaint is going to take longer than expected by contacting you to explain the situation and outline when you should expect a full response giving you a specific date
  • Acknowledge any compliments we receive within 3 workings days

How do I complain?

Contact us

If you believe we have done something wrong, failed in our service delivery or have not followed the correct procedures, please get in touch with our Customer Services Team, who will try to resolve your issue immediately. If you are not happy with the outcome of this first contact you will be asked to make an official complaint.

Making an official complaint (a stage 1 complaint)

When you make an official complaint we need to know:

  • your name
  • where and how we can contact you
  • the details of your complaint
  • what you want us to do to put things right
  • whether you have raised this issue with us before and if so who was dealing with it

If you have any reference numbers relating to the complaint (for example, council tax or housing benefit reference or a previous issue report) then please include these.

You can make a complaint using our online compliment, comment and complaint form or by contacting the Customer Services Team, who will be happy to log the complaint on your behalf. We will respond to you fully within 15 working days or inform you if further time is needed to investigate your complaint. You can also make a formal complaint to any member of staff, who will ensure that your complaint is logged correctly.

You also have the right to complain to your local councillor, who may then contact the officer concerned on your behalf. You will then receive a reply from the service team concerned telling you what action will be taken. Your local councillor will receive a copy of the same letter.

What do I do if I am not happy with the response?

Complaint review (stage 2 complaint)

If you are not satisfied with the answer you receive to your complaint, you should let us know as soon as possible. You can use the online compliment, comment and complaint form or contact the Customer Services Team, exactly as for a stage 1 complaint. Let us know that you are unhappy with the response of a previous complaint, and provide us with the reference number for that complaint if possible.

Your complaint will be investigated by the Chief Executive's office who will ensure that you receive a response within 20 working days.

What do I do if I am still not happy with the response?

If following a stage 2 complaints, you are still not satisfied with the response you have received, you should contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or in the case of a tenant complaint relating to council housing, the Housing Ombudsman Service.

You must have completed the above steps before contacting them as they will usually only investigate a complaint which has been through the Council’s internal complaints process.

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