From 5 November 2012, Torbay Council has a new two stage complaints procedure. Details of the new Procedure can be found below.
Torbay Council defines a complaint as a customer letting us know they are unhappy;
- The quality and/or standard of service provided,
- The quality of information and/or advice given,
- The Council’s failure to comply with procedures, rules, statutory obligation or published service standards.
This definition encompasses a wide range of issues that can be considered as a complaint. However, the Council’s Complaints Procedure excludes situations where an officer nearest to the point of service delivery resolves the query within 48 hours, such as a missed refuse collection or a telephone call not being returned immediately.
How to make a complaint
A complaint can be made by using our online complaints form, by emailing the service area concerned, in person, by phone, by completing our complaints form -printable version or by letter. The complaint will be passed directly to the service you are unhappy with, as they are in the best position to put things right quickly.
To help us deal with a complaint effectively you need to tell us:
- What the problem is
- How and when it occurred
- How it has affected you
- What you would like us to do to put things right
If you wish to make a complaint regarding the Mayor, a Torbay Councillor, a Brixham Town Councillor or an Independent Co-opted Member for breaching the Code of Conduct please complete the following form and return to The Monitoring Officer c/o Democratic Services.
For more information please visit the Councillors' Behaviour, Interests and Standards page.
How we deal with your complaint
There are two stages to the Council’s Complaints Procedure but we endeavour to resolve most problems as quickly and easily as possible.
In some instances your complaint may be handled differently and we will inform you if this is the case. Your complaint may be handled differently if:
- There are legal proceedings.
- You have a separate right of appeal e.g. where a planning decision is involved or a decision about Housing Benefit entitlement etc.
- Your complaint concerns Children’s Services and comes under the Children’s Services Complaints and Representations Policy.
More information about complaints which do not come under the scope of the Council’s Complaints Procedure can be found at Appendix A of the Procedure.
Many problems can be put right straight away however if this is not possible the relevant service area will aim to provide you with a response to your complaint no later than 10 working days after your complaint being received. If this is not possible, the timescale may be extended by an additional 10 working days and you will be informed.
If you are not happy with the Stage 1 response and wish to take your complaint further you should write to Information Compliance, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR or email email@example.com within 30 working days of the date of the response giving details of the issues you are still unhappy about and what you think we should do to put things right. The Information Compliance team will arrange for a Senior Officer within the relevant department to carry out an investigation. The Information Compliance Team will then review the investigation and respond to you with a final response no later than 30 working days after receiving your Stage 2 request. If we are unable to meet this deadline, you will be informed.
If you feel the problem is still not resolved
If you are still not satisfied after we have investigated and reviewed your complaint, then you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. A leaflet produced by the Ombudsman entitled 'Complaint about the Council?' is available at our Connections offices. Alternatively you can contact the Ombudsman direct at:
Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771,
PO Box 4771,
- Web: www.lgo.org.uk
- Tel: 0300 061 0614 - Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5pm
- Text: ‘call back’ to 0762 480 3014
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