Complaints process

What complaints we can't investigate

Complaint exemptions

There may be times when we cannot investigate your complaint through our corporate complaints process. This is usually due to statutory or legal limitations, or because there are other independent appeal processes or procedures that you should follow instead.

Examples of some of these are:

  • Where there are ongoing legal proceedings about the same matter
  • When there are safeguarding concerns or issues. In these cases, we’ll refer the matter to our adult or childrens safeguarding teams 
  • Complaints about live procurement processes that are subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015
  • Complaints that involve matters that would usually be investigated by the Police; for example, allegations of theft, allegations of racial harassment, or allegations or sexual harassment, or where the matters being complained about have already been investigated by the Police
  • Allegations of fraud - these are dealt with by the Council’s Fraud Team
  • Complaints about policies and decisions made by elected members, as these don’t fall within the remit of the complaints process. However a complaint about the way in which the policy or the decision has been implemented by the Council does.
  • Where you have a separate right of appeal. An example could be when you disagree with a decision on a benefit application, or a decision about liability for council tax, or a decision on a housing or homelessness application.
  • Complaints about the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) by the Parking Control Service and the recovery process, except for complaints about administrative issues, which are dealt with through the complaints procedure. Information about the independent appeal process is provided in the PCN.
  • Where the complaint has already been heard by a Court of Law or tribunal for example, the independent tribunal service for benefit applications; or when the complainant has a right of appeal to an independent tribunal, for example, when challenging a decision on benefit applications and liability for council tax
  • Complaints about school admissions or exclusion appeals, please see the school complaints procedure page for information on these. However, the complaints procedure can be applied to look into the administrative process used to reach the decision.
  • Complaints by members of staff or ex-members of staff regarding personnel matters, such as appointments, dismissals, pay, pensions and discipline. These are usually dealt with under HR procedures. Similarly, complaints about HR matters, such as appointments, made by members of the public who have applied for employment with the Council.
  • Claims for damages to property or personal injury. These are dealt with as insurance claims. When the issue happened over 12 months before you reported it or complained about it, find out how to make a claim on our council insurance claims page
  • When you disagree with a planning application decision, there is a separate process for appealing this, you can find out about this on our planning applications decisions page
  • If you wish to complain about a Councillor, you can find otut more on our concillors conduct page, there is a separate process for this. You can make your compaint using our online form.
  • When your complaint is about noise, or anti-social behaviour, you will need to make a complaint via our enforcement teams. You can find out more on our noise problems and reporting page, or on our anti-social and nuisance behaviour page.  You can report anti-social behaviour using our online form