How we will deal with your complaint

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with our services. Please let us know if you:

  • receive a service which is not as good as we have promised
  • feel we have done something wrong, or not done something we should have
  • believe that you have been treated unfairly or discourteously


All complaints will be investigated thoroughly and fairly. We aim to acknowledge all correspondence within three working days and fully respond within ten. If the matter is complicated, we may need longer to fully investigate. We will tell you if more time is required.

The manager involved may also bring your comments or complaints to their team meeting to be reviewed.

Our complaints procedure:

  1. Contact the feedback team via who will refer the matter to the manager of the service concerned. If you are unhappy with their stage 1 response 
  2. Contact the feedback team via who will refer the matter to the relevant head of service. They will either investigate or appoint another person to investigate and respond to your complaint.
  3. If you are dissatisfied with the head of service's response, you may want to contact the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is unlikely to consider your complaint unless it has been fully investigated by us first (to head of service level) and we have responded to you.

Exclusions from our complaints process

Matters excluded from this complaints definition are:

  • ordinary contacts between the council and the public to report a minor breach of service, such as one missed collection of a dustbin
  • matters which are the responsibility of another body, e.g. highways (Bucks County Council)
  • anonymous complaints
  • requests for information or an explanation of council policy or practice
  • complaints about an issue that was known about for more than 12 months before the complaint was made to the Council, unless there is a good reason for the delay
  • those which have gone past the initial complaint stage and are likely to be the subject of legal proceedings
  • matters affecting all or most of the Council’s customers
  • complaints by an employee about a personnel matter (which are dealt with under the Council’s personnel procedures)
  • complaints about the Council’s recruitment process
  • objections from a third party about a planning application under consideration by the Council (which will be added as representations to the application)

Complaints about matters that have a statutory or separate appeals process, ie:

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is an independent body appointed to review the actions taken by councils.

The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service.

  • Website:
  • Telephone: 0300 061 0614
  • Text ‘call back’ to 0762 481 1595