Complaints, Comments and Compliments
How to make a complaint?
If you would like to make a complaint you can contact the Complaints Co-ordinator for advice about the process:
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01200 414485
- Post: Complaints Co-ordinator, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Council Offices, Church Walk, Clitheroe, BB7 2RA.
Ways to complain:
- in person
- by telephone
- in writing, by letter or e-mail
- download the complaints form
- using the online complaints form
The most convenient way to make a complaint is using the online complaints form. The Council requires a complaints form to be completed for all formal complaints. This is to ensure all necessary information is included and so complainants can express themselves in their own words. However, reasonable accommodations will be made where this presents difficulties.
Alternatively you can contact your local councillor and raise your complaint through them. If you do not know who your local councillor is or how to contact them you can find their details on the councillors page.
If your complaint is about a councillor see Complaints about Councillors.
The Local Government Ombudsman states that up to 12 weeks is usually a reasonable time for complaints that do not have a statutory process to follow. Our process intends to handle complaints more quickly but please note that some cases may take longer than the aims detailed in each stage below. This is particularly relevant for complex cases and where complaints occur alongside periods of annual leave or sickness absence.
Once you have made your complaint the Complaints Officer will confirm receipt of your complaint and begin an initial assessment. This assessment is intended to set out the scope of the complaint, outline potential remedies the complaints process could deliver and detail the next steps. This stage is intended to be completed as soon as practicable and we aim to respond within 5 working days.
Where a satisfactory resolution cannot be agreed in stage 1, or where further investigation is required, your complaint will progress to stage 2 - an investigation by the relevant service manager. We will aim to deal with complaints at this stage within a further 15 working days, and where this is not possible we will keep you informed of progress to let you know when a response will be ready. Once the investigation is complete we will send a formal response with the outcome. This will include details on how to progress to the next stage if desired.
If you are still not satisfied by the Council’s response the final stage of our process is a review by the Chief Executive or a Director. This review constitutes a further investigation independent of the relevant service area, typically conducted by the Complaints Officer. This independent investigation and the service manager’s investigation are reviewed by the Chief Executive or a Director who will then write a formal response to the complainant. We will aim to deal with complaints at this stage within a further 20 working days, and where this is not possible we will keep you informed of progress to let you know when a response will be ready.
Where it is determined that a satisfactory outcome is unlikely following stage 3 the Council, with the approval of the Chief Executive or a Director, may choose to refer the complaint directly to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman following stage 2.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Stage 3 is the final stage in the Council’s complaints process and should complainants remain unsatisfied after this stage is complete we advise that the next stage is to refer your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. Please note that complaints can be to the Local Government Ombudsman at any time; however, it is likely that the Ombudsman will only investigate complaints when the authority has had the opportunity to carry out its own investigation.
The Ombudsman will investigate the way your case has been handled, or the council's failure to do something but does not question a council's decision because you do not agree with it.
You can make a complaint through the Local Government Ombudsman website www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint
Or, the Ombudsman can be contacted at:
Tel: 0300 061 0614
Fax 024 7682 0001
Text 'call back' to 0762 480 3014
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771