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Complaints, Feedback and Compliments

Complaints, Feedback and Compliments

The Council strives to improve services by responding positively to all customer feedback, including complaints. 

If we have done something well we appreciate Customers taking the time to tell us.  Everyone likes to know that their work is appreciated and it helps us to know what our Customers think is important. Compliments will be passed onto the person concerned and his/her Manager.

If you are dissatisfied with the Council or its services we want to know about this as well.

A complaint could cover:-

  • A failure to provide information or give the correct information;
  • An unsatisfactory level of service, including delays and non-delivery of service;
  • A failure to follow the Council’s agreed policies and procedures;
  • The behaviour of staff or contractors employed by the Council including discrimination and/or harassment; and
  • Failure to fulfil statutory responsibilities.

 

Things we don't deal with under the Complaints Policy:

  • Parking Ticket Appeals;
  • Planning Application Appeals;
  • Housing Benefit Appeals; and
  • Complaints about Councillors.

 

Further information about what the Policy covers is available in the Council's Guide for Customers

As part of our commitment we have a Customer Feedback and Complaints Policy.

 

How can I provide feedback or make a complaint?

Feedback or complaints can be submitted by: -

 

Completed forms or letters should be sent to:

Democratic Services Officer,
Democratic Services,
Town Hall,
Duke Street,
Barrow-in-Furness,
Cumbria,
LA14 2LD.


 
The Complaints Procedure

Most complaints can be dealt with quickly and satisfactorily by ‘front-line’ staff who provide the service.  This is the first opportunity for a service to resolve a Customer’s dissatisfaction. 

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, your complaint will be recorded in the Complaints System and assigned to the Service Manager.  This is a Stage 1 Complaint.  A full written response will be provided within 10 workings days.

If you remain dissatisfied you should tell us why (Stage 2 Complaint).  The appropriate Manager will review the complaint.  A response will be made in writing within 20 workings days.

Should you remain dissatisfied, you have a right to ask for a review (Stage 3 – Executive Director or Director of Resources Review or in the case of Revenues and Benefits Complaints, the Assistant Director - Housing).  The Executive Director, Director of Resources or Assistant Director - Housing, will respond in writing within 20 working days.

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, please include their name and address.  If you are sending any documents or previous correspondence, please indicate whether or not you wish these to be returned to you.

We will investigate your complaint in a fair and equitable way to achieve a satisfactory solution to the problem.  However, if this is not possible or if you are unhappy with the Council's procedure, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman who may undertake an independent investigation on your behalf. 

What if I'm still not satisfied?

We aim to settle as many complaints as possible through our complaints procedure.  However if you feel you need to take your complaint further you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate your complaint.  You can complete an online complaint form via the Local Government Ombudsman website.  The Ombudsman is an independent person who investigates complaints about local Councils.

The Ombudsman contact details are: -

The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry  CV4 0EH

Telephone:- 0300 061 0614

Housing Ombudsman

If your complaint is about a housing matter such as rent, repairs, etc. it will be dealt with by the Housing Ombudsman and not the Local Government Ombudsman.

You can complain to the Housing Ombudsman directly, eight weeks after you have received the final response from the Council and not before then.

If you do not want to wait that long you can ask a ‘designated person’ to refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman once the Council’s complaints procedure has been fully completed.

The Housing Ombudsman will not consider complaints which are brought to their attention more than 6 months after you have exhausted the Council’s complaints procedure.  Please see below details of the Housing Ombudsman.

Housing Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
Harbour Exchange Square
London 
E14 9GE

Telephone:- 0300 111 3000

info@housingombudsman.org.uk

Ombudsman's Annual Letter

On an annual basis The Local Government Ombudsman writes to the Council's Chief Executive with their reflections on the complaints received against the Authority over the year. 

Below is the Local Government Ombudsman's Annual Review of Barrow Borough Council:-

Annual Review Letter - Year Ended 31st March, 2015

You can follow this link to access previous letters on the Local Government Ombudsman's web site.


Do you wish to make a complaint about the behaviour of a particular Member?

Code of Conduct for Borough Councillors - General Provisions

Barrow Borough Council has adopted the following Code dealing with the conduct that is expected of Members and co-opted Members of the Authority when they are acting in that capacity as required by Section 27 of the Localism Act 2011.

All Councillors have a duty to abide by the Code of Conduct, and sanctions can be taken against a Councillor who has been found to have breached any part of the Code.

Code of Conduct July 2012.

A failure to declare a disclosable pecuniary interest is a criminal offence.  A breach of the Code may lead to a complaint being made to the Council’s Monitoring Officer

Download the Complaints Form for Complaining about a Member.

Register of Members' Interests

The Council’s Monitoring Officer has a duty to maintain a Register of Members' Interests of Members and Co-optees of the Authority.  Councillors are obliged to keep their Register up-to-date and to inform the Monitoring Officer of any changes.

The Register is open for inspection by the public at the Town Hall, Barrow-in-Furness, during normal office opening hours.  Please contact the Democratic Services section for more information.  The Register is also published on the Council's Website via the following links:-

The Register contains those interests which must be disclosed by legislation (these are called Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) and those interests which the Council has also decided should be registered (Other Registrable Interests).

Complaints

If you feel that the Code of Conduct has been breached please contact the Council’s Monitoring Officer:-.

Monitoring Officer
Barrow Borough Council
Town Hall
Duke Street
Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria 
LA14 2LD

Tel: 01229 876312

Email: jwhuck@barrowbc.gov.uk