Compliments and Complaints
At Three Rivers District Council, we aim to provide high quality services to our customers. On occasions, however, things can go wrong. We want to know when our services have gone wrong, so that we can put things right and learn from our mistakes.
The Council considers comments and complaints as opportunities for customers to provide valuable feedback, and for the Council to improve its services.
This procedure outlines the aims of the Council in dealing with complaints and sets out what the customer can expect when making a complaint regarding a Council service.
The Local Government Ombudsman
You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at any time about your complaint. The Ombudsman is an independent person appointed by the Government to look into complaints against certain authorities. You can complain directly to the Ombudsman, but in most cases before they can investigate a complaint, the Council must have had a chance to put things right first.
A booklet entitled "Complained to the Council?" which explains the Ombudsman service and how to complain to them is available from the Council's offices. The Ombudsman who investigates complaints about Three Rivers District Council is:
Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Tel: 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
Fax: 024 7682 0001
Complaints about Councillors
If you wish to complain about a Councillor see the Complaints About Councillors page.
Vexatious and Anonymous Complaints
Where we consider a complaint to be deliberately repetitious or vexatious, we may, at any stage of the complaints procedure, review a complaint and give a decision to this effect in writing. If this is the case, then no further correspondence will be entered into about the matter.
We understand that complaining can be difficult, but if you do not provide us with a contact name or address, then we will be unable to investigate your complaint.
Managing the procedure
The Council's Corporate Complaints Officer has overall responsibility for the procedure on behalf of the Chief Executive. The Corporate Complaints Officer will monitor the level of complaints across the authority and report them to our Management Board on a quarterly basis so that we can identify any trends, learn from our mistakes and improve our performance. Our Management Board consists of the Chief Executive and the two directors.
Every member of staff is responsible for being aware of what constitutes a complaint, and for taking ownership of the complaint in the first instance. This is to ensure that all complaints are registered with the appropriate Directorate Complaints Officer, and responses are monitored.
The Local Government Ombudsman states that:
"The remedy needs to be appropriate to the injustice, and should as far as possible put the complainant in the position he or she would have been in but for the maladministration."
Whilst we are looking into your complaint, we will always consider any practical solutions that could provide a suitable remedy. It would be helpful, therefore, if you would let us know at the outset, what you think the Council should do to put things right.
After we have completed our investigation into your complaint, we may write to you and ask that you complete a satisfaction form to comment on how we handled your complaint. These satisfaction forms will help us to monitor how we are performing.
We understand that making a complaint can sometimes be a frustrating matter, however we would ask that you treat our staff with courtesy and respect when we are processing your complaint. We will not tolerate any verbal or physical harassment of our staff, and anyone using threatening or abusive behaviour during the process, will have their complaint terminated immediately.
You can contact your local Councillor at any stage of the complaints procedure. If you are not sure who your local Councillor is then call the Council and we will tell you. We have produced a booklet called "How to contact your Councillor" which is available from all Council Offices.
You can also get free and impartial advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureaux.
Our Contact Details
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House
Telephone - 01923 776611
Fax - 01923 896119
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliments and Complaints (Council)Contacts