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Customer feedback and complaints policy

Complaint process - early resolution

The Council aims to resolve complaints at the earliest opportunity. Early Resolution is an opportunity for the Council to put things right and agree to undertaking actions which will lead to your complaint being resolved within a short time period, usually within five working days.

Not all complaints will be appropriate for Early Resolution (you will be advised in your acknowledgement whether your complaint will be reviewed at Early Resolution). It is important that you provide details relating to your desired outcome or what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint, so that the Council can consider what action(s) it could take to make things better for you. The Council will determine whether the complaint will be actioned using the Early Resolution process.

When will the Council consider Early Resolution?

Examples of when your complaint will be considered for Early Resolution are:

  • If your complaint can be resolved within the same day, for example by a member of staff returning your phone call.
  • If the Council recognises that there has been an error and it can quickly be put right.
  • If your desired outcome is something which can be easily achieved.

Your complaint may not be suitable for Early Resolution if:

  • A full investigation is required, for example interviews with staff, reviewing records and correspondence.
  • If your desired outcome is something which requires a significant change to service delivery.
  • The complainant/a number of complainants have submitted complaints relating to a similar issue and a coordinated response is required.

All complaints will be acknowledged within one working day. You will receive an acknowledgement providing you with a reference number and a response date. You will be informed as part of your acknowledgement whether your complaint will be considered under the Council's Early Resolution process for complaints.

Early Resolution will involve a Council Officer making contact with you (often by phone) to resolve your complaint within five working days of the Council receiving your complaint. The five working days will begin the day after your correspondence has been received, for example if you sent your complaint on Monday you would expect to hear from a council officer by the end of the day on the following Monday. If it is not possible for the action to be taken which leads to the resolution of your complaint within five working days, the Council Officer may decide to agree with you how they can resolve your complaint and provide you with a timescale.

If your complaint has been considered under Early Resolution and you are unhappy with the outcome, you can request that your complaint is considered at Stage 1 (Investigation). You will need to provide details of why you remain dissatisfied and what your desired outcome is. This will be given consideration to determine if it is appropriate for further investigation at Stage 1. The Council recommends that complainants submit their requests for consideration of their complaint at Stage 1 within 20 working days of being notified of the outcome of Early Resolution.