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Complaints and compliments

Ashfield District Council is committed to continually improving the quality of, and access to, the services it provides. Whilst we strive to meet your needs, on occasions we may fall short of your expectations.

In such circumstances we would always encourage you to contact us at the earliest opportunity as we may be able to simply resolve or put the issue right for you.

Alternatively, we would also like to know where we are doing something well, as compliments, along with complaints, provide us with the opportunity to learn from feedback.

If you do feel that a complaint or compliment is appropriate, the Complaints and compliments policy, sets out fully how we will deal with complaints and compliments.

Making a complaint or compliment

You can send your comments by using our online form:

Make a compliment or complaint

Or alternatively you can contact us by:

Or in person or by post to:

Council Offices
Ashfield District Council
Urban Road
Kirkby in Ashfield
Nottingham
NG17 8DA

If you do feel that it is necessary to make a complaint it is extremely helpful if you can explain what you are concerned about and how you would like it resolved. Giving these details may mean we can rectify the issue for you in a much quicker timescale and to your satisfaction.

Complaints process

Complaints will be investigated as follows:

Stage 1: Formal response from a relevant manager

  • Your complaint will be acknowledged within five working days, if you have used our online form, you should receive this on completion of the form.
  • You should receive a response within 10 working days (from the first full day after we receive your complaint).
  • Where this is not possible, we will contact you explaining the reasons for the delay and give a date when you can expect a full response, however, this date must not exceed a further 10 days without good reason.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the response the complaint can be escalated to Stage Two. The request should contain new/additional information.

Stage 2: Review and response from the relevant Director

  • Your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days.
  • A full review will be undertaken and a response will be provided within 20 working days (from the first full day after the stage 2 request is received).
  • Where this is not possible, we will contact you explaining the reasons for the delay and give a date when you can expect a full response, however, this date must not exceed a further 10 days without good reason.

Stage 3: Referral to the Ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with how we have handled your complaint, then you may wish to complain directly to the relevant Ombudsman.

Both the Housing Ombudsman Service and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman are independent of all government bodies and can look into your complaint. They will usually only consider a complaint after it has been through our complaints procedure as they expect you to bring your concerns to our attention first and give us a chance to put things right.

Their details are:

Housing Ombudsman Service

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

  • Telephone: 0300 061 0614
  • Address: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry. CV4 0EH.
  • Website: www.lgo.org.uk.

Designated Person

(Tenants only)

For Ashfield District Council tenants, there is an additional and alternative stage, where you can ask for your complaint to be considered by a Designated Person. A Designated Person can be an MP, a local Councillor or a Tenant Panel. It is for you to decide who you would want to consider your complaint. The aim of the Designated Person is to help resolve complaints locally. There is no obligation on you to refer your complaint to the designated person. If you prefer, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman directly. In these circumstances the Ombudsman will only consider the complaint if eight weeks have passed since the stage two decision.

Complaints satisfaction

If you have made a complaint to us and we've responded we'd like to know how satisfied you were with how your complaint was handled and the outcome. You can do this through our online Complaints satisfaction survey form.

Unreasonable or unreasonably persistent complainants

On occasions, certain complaints can be difficult to resolve and can cause anxiety and distress to customers and employees. Whilst the aim of the Council is always to try to find a way to resolve matters, there are occasions when customers become unreasonable or unreasonably persistent in their actions to obtain the outcome that they want.

There is a need to ensure that these complaints are dealt with fairly. However, there is also a need to ensure that Council resources are used effectively, and that other customers or employees do not suffer any detriment as a result of their behaviour. There is a separate policy to deal with any unreasonably persistent complainants which can be found in the related documents section.