Agenda item

Feedback & Complaints Policy

This report is asking the Audit & Governance Committee to adopt the attached Complaints Policy.

[15 Minutes]


            This was a report asking Committee to adopt the Feedback & Complaints policy attached as appendix 1. The Interim Group Head of Law & Governance introduced the report. He explained the Council had always had a Complaints Policy within the Constitution. When the Constitution was reviewed, the opportunity was taken to review the Complaints Policy and remove it from the Constitution as it was an operational not a constitutional document. The review took account of guidance issued by the Housing Ombudsman and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. Guidance from the Housing Ombudsman made it difficult to continue with a one stream complaints process. The Housing Ombudsman Guidance stated that after the final stage (our Stage 2), the complainant should be given the opportunity to go to a Designated Person, which had now been built into the complaints process. Further the Housing Ombudsman required that before the Stage 2 decision was notified, that the complainant be given sight of the draft and the opportunity to comment. Two streams for Stage 2 of the complaints process had now been created, stream 1 would be for Corporate Complaints which would not change. Stream 2 would be for housing complaints, where the requirement to consult with the complainant be inserted. The Interim Group Head of Law & Governance went onto explain each of the appendices attached to the report.


A discussion then took place, and the following points were raised:

  • Whether the Designated Person could be a Councillor of any level, such as Town, Parish or County. The Interim Group Head of Law & Governance stated that this should be a District Councillor, as Housing was a District function.
  • The content of the policies and whether they contradict the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code – it was stated that the purpose of this review was to align the policies with the complaints handling Codes.
  • Would members of the public be able to choose which Councillor they approached as the Designated Person? The Interim Group Head of Law & Governance explained the Designated Person would be any Ward Councillor of the complainant’s choice.


            The recommendation was Proposed by Councillor Chace and Seconded by Councillor Goodheart.



The Committee


            RESOLVED that


            The Complaints Policy, attached as appendix 1, be adopted.


Supporting documents: