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Complaints about services

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If your complaint concerns waste or recycling collections, please email For other matters we can resolve quickly, please email  or call 01237 428700.

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 waste & recycling team - details above)
  • 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 see Complaints About Councillors 

Stage 1 - Contact the Complaints Co-ordinator

If your complaint concerns a waste or recycling collection or a waste / littering related matter please email  or call 01237 428700.

For other complaints 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 investigate your complaint and reply to you within 28 days.

You can submit your complaint online by using our Online Complaints Form - you will receive an email acknowledgment and copy of your complaint for your records following submission.

You can also telephone, email or write to the complaints co-ordinator's: 01237 428743 or email:  A complaints Pamphlet can also be downloaded here:  TDC Complaints Pamphlet Updated Feb 2023 (PDF) [240KB]  and a complaints form here:  TDC Blank Complaints Form (Word doc) [33KB]

Stage 2 - Relevant Senior Management Team Officer or Complaint Co-ordinator

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. . You will need to specify what issues have not been answered satisfactorily or why you remain dissatisfied.

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.

Contact the Local Government Ombudsman at:

PO Box 4771 
Coventry CV4 0EH

Telephone : 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983

The Local Government Ombudsman has a procedure called 'Council First' which 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.

Further details on how to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman can be found via this link How to make a complaint to the Ombudsman Link

Last Reviewed January 2024 - Next update as required

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