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Complaints About Services

Regarding the provision of one of our services

Torridge District Council is committed to providing high quality services.

From time to time there will be occasions when our service, or the way in which it is provided falls short of your expectations. We aim to minimise such occurrences but when this happens we need you to tell us, so we can try to put things right.

When we receive a complaint we promise to:

  • take it seriously
  • treat you with courtesy
  • investigate fully and promptly
  • provide you with a full explanation
  • put matters right as far as we can
  • respect your right to take your complaint further if you are not satisfied with the outcome.

The following explains how to complain and how we will deal with your complaint.

We have defined a complaint as:

"An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the Council or its staff".

We do not mean -

  • reporting a missed refuse collection (although such reports are monitored and should be reported to the service)
  • where there is an appeals procedure within the Council, i.e. an independent tribunal, or a legal remedy such as planning appeals, and legal reviews of homeless decisions.
  • where there is a separate independent process in place such as for the challenge of Parking Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's).
  • where a complaint has already or is in the process of being heard by a court, tribunal, other statutory board / organisation or legal entity.
  • Complaints against the conduct of a Councillor. There is a separate process and form for dealing with these types of complaints.

Stage 1 - Contact the Complaints Co-ordinator

We want to try and solve the problem as quickly as possible so in the first instance we we will ask an officer from the relevant service, or the complaint co-ordinator, to reply to you


You can visit, telephone, email or write to the complaints co-ordinator's: 01237 428959/428789 or email:  Complaints@torridge.gov.uk A complaints form can be found on the right-hand side of this web page.

Stage 2 - Relevant Strategic Manager, Complaint Co-ordinator or Council Solicitor

If you feel your complaint has not been dealt with adequately at Stage 1 please ask for your complaint to be reviewed under stage 2.

Local Government Ombudsman

If you are still not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

The Local Government Ombudsman investigates cases where injustice may have resulted from maladministration.

This is when you may feel the Council :

  • took too long to do something
  • did not follow its own rules or the law
  • broke its promises
  • treated someone unfairly
  • gave wrong information
  • did not make a decision in the correct way
  • did not provide a service or benefit that someone was entitled to or delayed providing this service

Contact the Local Government Ombudsman at:

PO Box 4771 
Coventry CV4 0EH

Telephone : 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
Website: www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint

The Local Government Ombudsman has recently introduced a new procedure called 'Council First' which builds on the improved complaint handling by councils and requires complainants to go through both stages of our complaints procedure before the Ombudsman will consider the complaint. However, where urgent action is required, there is an exception to this general requirement for complaints about homelessness.

The Local Government Ombudsman has a leaflet called Complaint about the Council? How to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman (see right).

You can obtain a copy by telephoning or writing to the address above, or you can download it from the Ombudsman's web site (www.lgo.org.uk). Copies are also available from all Council offices

If you have an enquiry about the Local Government Ombudsman's service you can telephone their Advice line as above.

The Council has adopted policies for dealing with unreasonable complainant behaviour and unreasonably persistent complainants.