Cannock Chase Council is committed to providing high-quality, accessible and affordable services to all of its Customers.
There are times when we do things well, but we accept that there may also be times when things go wrong and you are left unhappy or dissatisfied.
We value your feedback and want to hear from you whether you have a comment, compliment or complaint about our services.
If you would like to let us know about something you feel we have done particularly well, please access our feedback form from the link at the foot of this page.
This procedure sets out how we will respond to your concerns and complaints regarding our services.
What we mean by a complaint:
- if you are unhappy with a service we have provided or we have failed to provide that service
- if a member of our staff has been rude or unhelpful
- if we have not followed our own policies and procedures resulting in a negative outcome
The following will not be treated as a complaint;
- if you disagree with a decision of the Council, which has been taken in accordance with our policies and procedures
- where you have a right of appeal or review, whether internally to another person or body within the Council, or externally to some other person or body.
If your complaint relates to the Conduct of a Member(s) please use the following link - Complain about a Council Member
The Council will not deal with anonymous complaints unless they raise serious issues about the conduct of an officer, member or the Council, such as criminal or unlawful behaviour.
It is important that your complaint is made promptly to ensure that it can be properly investigated and so that we can provide a remedy if appropriate. We would expect a complaint to be made within 1 month unless there is a good reason for the delay. Complaints about incidents occurring more than 12 months ago will not normally be accepted.
How the Complaints Procedure works
We will first try to resolve your complaint informally.
If you are unhappy about the service you are receiving or have received, then the quickest way to let us know is by contacting the person you have been dealing with. If you have not been dealing with one specific person, then ask to speak to someone in the service area you are concerned with. You may be referred to a supervisor or manager if that person is unable to resolve the matter.
Stage 1 - Formal Complaint
If your complaint cannot be resolved informally, you may wish to make a formal complaint. You should only raise a formal complaint if you have already contacted the council about your concerns informally but remain dissatisfied with the Council’s response. You should state who you have previously raised your complaint with, what response you have received, why you are dissatisfied and what resolution you are seeking.
To make a complaint you can do this online by completing the form below, email firstname.lastname@example.org, by telephone on 01543 462621 or write to Complaints, Cannock Chase District Council, Beecroft Road, Cannock, WS11 1BG.
We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt and will provide you with a full response within a further ten working days. It is, however, important to note that there are some occasions when a full response cannot be provided within this timeframe due to the complexity of the issues raised. We will keep you informed should an extended timeframe be anticipated.
Stage 2 – Review
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your formal complaint, you can request that it is reviewed by a senior manager.
A request for a review must be made in writing to Council Complaints. It should include;
• A clear statement of your complaint
• The name of the person or people you have been dealing with at Stage 1
• clearly state why you are not satisfied with the response at Stage 1 and what you want to happen as a result of the review.
• If your complaint is about a matter which is more than a month old, the reason why you have not made the complaint earlier. Stage 2 complaints will not normally be accepted more than 3 months after a Stage 1 response has been provided.
• Your name
• Your address
• Your email address (If applicable)
• Whether you would prefer contact by post or email
You can make it in the following ways:
• If you have already complained in writing at Stage 1 you can ask the person dealing with it to pass it to Complaints
• You can use our formal complaints form, or email the details of your review request to email@example.com
• You can send it as a letter by post or deliver it by hand addressed to Complaints, Cannock Chase District Council, Beecroft Road, Cannock, WS11 1BG.
We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt and will provide you with a full response within a further twenty working days. It is, however, important to note that there are some occasions when a full response cannot be provided within this timeframe due to the complexity of the issues raised. We will keep you informed should an extended timeframe be anticipated.
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Our complaints procedure ends at Stage 2. However, if you are not satisfied with our response, you can take things further by contacting the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at www.lgo.org.uk. The Ombudsman is totally independent of the District Council and has a legal duty to investigate complaints about local councils. The Ombudsman will only usually investigate a matter once the Council’s own complaints process has been exhausted.
Whilst the majority of complaints will be under the jurisdiction of the LGO, there are some issues that need referring to the Housing Ombudsman (housing-ombudsman.org.uk), or jointly considered by the two Ombudsman. We will advise you which Ombudsman to go to when you receive our final Stage 2 response. Summaries of the complaints each Ombudsman deal with are found on their webpages:
- LGO - www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint/fact-sheets/housing/which-ombudsman-for-complaints-about-social-housing
- Housing Ombudsman - www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/useful-tools/fact-sheets/which-ombudsman-for-social-housing-complaints
Please note that complaints that a Councillor has breached the Code of Conduct for Members are dealt with under a different procedure that can be found under Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution at Constitution.
Unreasonably Persistent and/or vexatious complaints and unreasonable behaviour
Handling such complaints can place strain on time and resources and can be stressful for staff dealing with these complex and challenging issues. In order to counter this, we will decide how to manage direct communication with the customer if matters are repeatedly raised or widely escalated. We may decide to limit or cease further contact with customers if we consider they are behaving unreasonably by making persistent or vexatious complaints. We may also redirect email or other correspondence received to a single point of contact.
Unreasonable and unreasonably persistent complainants are those who, because of the nature or frequency of their contacts with an organisation, hinder the organisation’s consideration of their, or other people’s, complaints.
The Council will not tolerate rude, offensive, abusive, threatening or intimidating behaviours towards its staff or Councillors and will act where appropriate to report such behaviours to the Police and may restrict or prohibit access to Council premises or staff where necessary to protect Council staff, Councillors or other people using Council premises.