Complaints, Comments and Compliments

Before you make a formal complaint

Often, matters can be quickly resolved by contacting the relevant officer or service directly. You can do this face-to-face, by telephone, email or in writing. 
If you are unsure about which part of the Council is responsible, please telephone the enquiry line on 020 7361 3000.

How to make a formal complaint

We aim to provide high quality services, but occasionally things go wrong. If you are not completely satisfied with the service you have received you may choose to make a formal complaint.

  • Remember to include contact details if you require a response
  • You should hear back from the complaints department within 10 working days

Make a complaint

See also:

Corporate complaints process

Stage one

If you are unhappy about the response to your initial complaint, you should tell the officer with whom you have been dealing, that you wish to take your complaint further. Or you might wish to complete our online form. Your complaint will be acknowledged. You should be sent a full reply within 10 working days.

Stage Two

If you are dissatisfied with the response to stage one, let us know. The head of the relevant section will investigate further and should send their response within 15 working days

Stage Three

If you are still unhappy, the relevant Director or Executive Director will review your complaint with input from the corporate complaints team. A response will be sent to you within 15 working days.

If having received a response from the Director or Executive Director, you wish to take the matter further you can take up your complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman or the Housing Ombudsman if your complaint relates to Housing Management, estate services or a repair.

We will not normally consider a complaint that is made more than twelve months after the individual first became aware of the issue they want to complain about. This is in line with good practice as operated by the Local Government Ombudsman. There are exceptions to this where the council accepts that such a delay was reasonable.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, and Housing Ombudsman

Still not satisfied with the way we have handled your complaint?

You can refer your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, and Housing Ombudsman. 
Address: Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Telephone: 0300 061 0614
Address: Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152 
Liverpool L33 7WQ 
Telephone: 0300 111 3000

Complaints that not managed through the complaints process

There are some occasions when a complaint is not dealt with under the corporate complaints process; for example:

  • Matters for which there is a statutory right of appeal
  • Complaints where legal proceedings, court or tribunal action is being taken (although related issues that are not subject to legal proceedings may be considered)
  • Employee complaints about terms and conditions of employment, working conditions or personnel issues which come under the employee complaint procedure
  • Matters which are subject to an insurance claim
  • Complaints that are submitted anonymously (although we may still investigate)
  • Reasonableness of service charges for leaseholders

If this is the case, we will explain this when you first contact us and tell you what to do next.  

Policy on the management of unreasonable complainants 

Are all complaints dealt with the same way?

Nearly all complaints are treated the same. There are, however, separate arrangements for dealing with complaints about Housing Management, Social Services, Schools, Parking Matters, Planning Applications and Housing / Council Tax Benefits. If you are unhappy with a decision about these services, the letter notifying you of the decision should explain how to complain.

Children’s Services complaints policy

Please visit Complaints, commments and compliments about Children’s Services.

Grenfell complaints process

Please visit the Grenfell complaints webpage.

Housing Management Complaints Process

Please visit the Housing Management Complaints and feedback webpage.

Complaints about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)

The Council’s Parking services will not put a complaint through the formal complaints process if the complaint concerns the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), a response to a Notice to Owner, or a Removal representation.

If you wish to make a challenge or representation against your PCN please visit ‘Manage your PCN'.   

Complaints about Sports Centres

Please contact the General Manager at Chelsea Sports Centre in the first instance. In the event that you do not receive a satisfactory response then the matter should be escalated to the Greewich Leisure Limited Partnership manager. Visit Greenwich Leisure Limited Website for contact details.

Complaints Reporting

We produce statistics to show the numbers of complaints we received at each stage of our complaints process. Where a complaint highlights the need for changes in working practice, systems, staff training or procedure the officer is required to highlight this and other learning points and work with the services concerned to make sure the necessary actions to bring about the change are carried out.

More information on our complaints and comments procedures​

Annual review of complaints 2016-17 [PDF] (file size 679.4 KB)

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