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Complaints

 

Stroud District Council is committed to having a positive impact on our community by delivering our services with you at the heart of everything we do and providing excellent customer service.

 

As part of our continuing effort to improve our services to you, we rely on feedback from our community. We want to know when we get it right so that standards can be maintained or improved, but we also want to know when things don’t go well, so we can learn, improve and develop the services we provide to you.

 

Definition of a complaint

Tenant Services uses the Housing Ombudsman's definition of a complaint: "an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents”.

 

Is it a service request or a complaint?

Service requests and complaints are slightly different. It is important that we understand at the outset whether your dissatisfaction about a particular service is a complaint or a service request.

A service request is a contact from a customer that brings a matter to the Council’s attention for the first time, for example, if you report your neighbours for making a noise.

A complaint is where a customer expresses dissatisfaction about the standard of a service, actions, or lack of actions by the council and its staff. So, for example, if you report your neighbours for making a noise and we fail to investigate it, then we would handle this as a complaint.

 

Response times

Our response times for handling a complaint are as follows:

 

  • We will register and acknowledge your service request or complaint within 3 working days
  • Service requests and Stage 1 complaints will be responded to within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint. In most cases this will be a full response but if the issue will take longer to resolve, we will tell you the reason for the delay and when we will be able to respond.
  • Stage 2 complaints will be responded to within 20 working days from the date the request to escalate is received. In most cases this will be a full response but if the issue will take longer to resolve, we will tell you the reason for the delay and when we will be able to respond.

 

What happens if I remain dissatisfied after I receive the response to my Stage 2 complaint?

If you are unable to resolve your complaint through our complaints procedure, you can contact a designated person who could help you find a solution.  This can be an MP, a local councillor, or a Tenant Panel.  If they cannot help you, they can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman on your behalf.

 

Alternatively, if you have decided not to contact a designated person, you can register your complaint with the Housing Ombudsman 8 weeks after you have received the response to your Stage 2 complaint.

 

Complaint Handling Code

The Housing Ombudsman introduced a Complaint Handling Code in July 2020, which sets out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.  The Code acts as a guide for residents setting out what they can and should expect from their landlord when they complaint.  The requirements in the Code also provide residents with information about how to make a complaint and how to progress it through the landlord’s internal complaints procedure.

 

A copy of our self-assessment can be found here.

 

More Information

To find more information on our complaints process, you can read our ‘Have you made a complaint’ document:

 

"Have you made a complaint?"

 

A copy of our corporate complaints policy and procedure can be found on our website at www.stroud.gov.uk/complaints

 

Information on the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code can be found on their website:

 

https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/landlords-info/complaint-handling-code/

 

More information on how to register a complaint with the Housing Ombudsman can be found on their website:

 

https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/residents/make-a-complaint/

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