How we handle your complaints

We aim to give the best possible service at all times, but sometimes we make mistakes and do not get it right.

Our Standards

At Gloucester City Council, we pride ourselves on the way we treat you and how efficiently we help you with any of the city council’s services. We want you to feel confident that your issues will be dealt with promptly, patiently and courteously. Help us to improve and maintain our standards.

We want to be the best council for you, so we value your feedback.

What We Can Help With

We aim to give the best possible service at all times, but sometimes we make mistakes and do not get it right.

We will investigate any problems and, where possible, review our processes to help improve your experience.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the:

  • Councils actions or lack of action 
  • standard of service received

This is where the responsibility for the action, or the service provided, rests with the council or person or body acting on behalf of the council. 

The following will not be treated as complaints in their first instance: 

  • initial requests for service for example, fly-tipping or a missed bin collection
  • initial reports of faults or defects unless they concern work that the council has carried out. 

We will not exclude these requests but will deal with them as normal work requests. 

If the original request was not actioned or completed a repeat work request will follow the complaint procedure.

How to Complain

You can make a complaint by email, post or phone. 

You'll need to provide:

  • your full name
  • contact details
  • what service you are complaining about
  • what happened, when it happened 
  • any supporting documents or photos
  • what you want to happen to put things right

Email: heretohelp@gloucester.gov.uk 

Post: Gloucester City Council, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ

Phone: 01452 396 396

What Happens Next

The Stages of the Complaint Process

Stage 1 - Acknowledgement and Action

Report your complaint using one of the methods previously mentioned. We will acknowledge your complaint verbally or in writing within 1 working day advising who will be dealing with the complaint. 

If you require your complaint to be reviewed by someone not previously involved with your case please specify at that the time of reporting and we can arrange this for you. 

We aim to investigate your complaint as soon as possible and you should receive a response within 10 workings days. 

However, sometimes a complaint may be complex and may involve other council partners. In this instance you will be contacted to advise of the delay and will be informed of the amended response date and the proposed action being taken. 

Once a response has been given this stage is complete. We may contact you to obtain feedback about the way the complaint was handled. 

This information will be used to review the process and help us make improvements and provide important monitoring data. 

Stage 2 - Appeal

If you are not satisfied with the response given you can ask for a more senior manager or director to look at it. We will acknowledge your appeal verbally or in writing within 1 working day advising which manager or director will be reviewing the complaint. 

The manager will respond within 10 working days but will advise you if more time is required and give you an estimated response date. 

Once a response has been given this stage is complete. 

If you're not satisfied

Stage 3 - Ombudsman 

If you are still not satisfied with the response you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. 

This service is independent of the council and free charge.

www.lgo.org.uk

Post: The Local Government Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH

Phone: 0300 061 0614

Persistent or Vexatious Complaints

We want to treat complaints positively and, where possible, leave customers feeling satisfied with their experience of making a complaint to us. A complaint can be regarded as vexatious where it has been considered and found to be unjustified, but when the person making the complaint is not prepared to accept the conclusion and persists in making the same, or a substantially similar, complaint.

Continuing to respond to such complaints can take up a significant amount of resources in time and money and can thereby detract from the service that can be provided to others.

If a manager considers that a complaint has become vexatious the manager can ask their director for support in dealing with the complaint.
The manager, in consultation with their director and with advice from their legal team, may decide not to pursue the complaint any further. The person making the complaint will be notified of this decision.

Confidentiality and Anonymity

Gloucester City Council is fully committed to compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act Legislation.

The council will therefore aim to ensure that all employees, elected members, contractors, agents, consultants, or partners of the council who have access to any personal data held by or on behalf of the council, are fully aware of and abide by their duties and responsibilities under the Act.

We will treat all customer information as confidential. Names and addresses will not be published or disclosed outside the council or our partners.

We will not accept anonymous complaints.

Appeals, Reports and Reviews are Different

How to Appeal a Decision

We cannot treat a complaint as a challenge or an appeal against a benefit decision, planning decision, parking fine or environmental crime penalty charge notice. 

Read about how to:

How to Report a Problem

Read about how to:

If you want to report a problem about another service contact us by phone: 01452 396 396 or email: heretohelp@gloucester.gov.uk 

How to Report Fraud

We have a confidential reporting process for fraud and corruption. See our anti-fraud and corruption policy for more information on how to make a report. 

Read about how to report business rates fraud or benefit and council tax fraud.

How to Report a Problem as a Whistle Blower

We have a confidential reporting process for reports of 'wrong doing'. See our Whistle blowing policy for more information on how to make a report.

How to report a Councillor

Complaints about a Councillor who allegedly has not followed the Council’s code of conduct, must be made to our Monitoring Officer. Read about how to complain about a Councillor

How to Request a Review of a Freedom of Information Response

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive, you can request an internal review which will be carried out by someone who was not involved in the original decision. Read about how to complain or appeal a Freedom of information response

If you remain dissatisfied with the internal review outcome, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office under Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner is independent and will investigate your complaint with a view as to whether the council has applied the law correctly in your case. You can contact The Information Commissioner's Office by:

Post: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Phone: 0303 123 1113

Website: https://ico.org.uk/

If You Need Help

If you or someone you know, cannot understand English and or needs this information in a different format for example, large print, Braille or an audio version please call 01452 396 396