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How we will deal with your complaint

Stage 1

We want to try to deal with your complaint informally if we can. You should contact the relevant service team or ask our Customer Advocates Team to do this for you. The service manager or a senior colleague will look into the problem and let you know within 10 working days how they may be able to help.

Our focus at Stage 1 is on putting things right; you wouldn't usually receive a written response at this stage unless you ask for one. If you are still unhappy, you can ask for a formal investigation of your complaint under Stage 2 of the complaints procedure. You should do this within 28 days of receiving your response. It would be helpful to set out why you are unhappy and any issues you feel we have failed to address.

Stage 2

Your complaint will be passed to a senior manager to carry out an investigation. That person will not have had any prior involvement in investigating your complaint.

We'll send you a letter to acknowledge that your complaint has moved to Stage 2 and then send you a full response. The target response time is 15 working days. If more time is needed to complete the investigation of your complaint we'll still contact you within the 15 working days to let you know what's happening.

If you aren't happy with the response you can write to the Office of the Chief Executive within 28 days, requesting we investigate your complaint under Stage 3 (the final stage) of our complaints procedure.

Stage 3

The Chief Executive will appoint a colleague to investigate your complaint on their behalf. That officer will not have had any prior involvement in dealing with your complaint and will not be employed in the service area that is being complained about.

That person will respond to you directly with their findings. We'll send you a letter to acknowledge that your complaint has moved to Stage 3 and tell you the name of the person who will be dealing with it. We'll then send you a full response within 20 working days. If more time is needed to complete the investigation of your complaint we'll still contact you within the 20 working days to let you know what's happening.

If you aren't happy with the response you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to take up your complaint.

Equal opportunities

We are committed to treating everyone fairly and with courtesy and respect. We realise that everyone is different and that your needs might be different. However, everyone should receive the same quality of service from us. Please let us know you need additional support to make a complaint.

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