Improving our Service
At Derbyshire Dales District Council we take pride in the way we deal with our customers. We try and provide you with efficient and high quality services at all times.
We recognise that despite our best efforts sometimes things can and do go wrong. We want to know if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with our service so that wherever possible we can try to put things right.
This procedure sets out how we will –
- Respond to your concerns and complaints regarding our services, and
- Respond to requests for an internal review regarding - Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Publication Scheme
Our promise to you
We will investigate your complaint promptly and fairly. We will provide you with a full explanation of our investigation into your complaint. There may be occasions when we cannot do what you want but we will try to be as helpful as possible and give you as much information as possible.
What we mean by complaint
We treat a complaint as: an expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action; or dissatisfaction about the standard of service we have provided (or services provided on our behalf).
The Complaints Procedure is not an appeal system to question Council decisions. It is our way of sorting out your dissatisfaction with the services we have or should have provided.
We welcome all types of feedback but not all matters can be handled under this policy.
The following types of complaint are excluded from the procedure:
- Complaints which amount to a disagreement with a decision of the Council, rather than the way in which the decision has been arrived at or carried out;
- A planning or development control matter where a right of objection exists, unless the complaint relates to the way in which the matter was dealt with; Complaints that have a legal remedy;
- Complaints about the conduct of Councillors; or
- Matters for which there is a right of appeal or review: by a Government Minister;
- external tribunal or board; or within the Council
If you are unsure who should handle your complaint, please contact the Complaints Officer for Information
How the Complaints Procedure works
Stage 1 – Informal Complaint
We will first try to deal with 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 or service 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 then be referred to a line manager. You are entitled to speak to a line manager or supervisor and can ask to do this at any time. This person will then try to resolve the issue for you.
Stage 2 – Formal Complaint
This process is used if you are either not satisfied with the results of your informal complaint, or you wish to make your complaint formally from the beginning. If so, you should make it clear that you want your complaint to be referred to the Complaints Officer. They will ensure that your complaint is investigated and responded to by either the Departmental Director or the relevant Senior Manager, for the service area you have been dealing with.
The Complaints Officer will acknowledge your formal complaint within 5 working days of its receipt and will provide you with the name and contact details of the person dealing with your complaint. We aim to send you a full response within a further 10 working days. If we can't give you a full response within 10 working days, we'll contact you and explain why.
Submitting a formal complaint
- Complaint Form [Word 35KB] and post it back to us at the address below
Write to or phone the Complaints Officer by the following methods:
The Complaints Officer
Derbyshire Dales District Council
Phn: 01629 761 281
Stage 3 – Review of Formal Complaint
If you remain dissatisfied with the results of your complaint, you can then refer it to the Chief Executive, who will independently review the complaint.
The Chief Executive will send you a full response within 20 working days.
Step 4 – Local Government Ombudsman
Our complaints procedure ends at Step 3. However, if you are not happy, you can take things further by contacting the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is totally independent of the District Council and has a legal duty to investigate complaints about local councils.
Complaint Form (Word 76KB)