Laura Sharman 30 October 2013

How to complain about your local council

How can you make a complaint against your local council?

While local authorities strive to deliver a good and fair service, there will be times when things go wrong. If you feel your council has failed to deliver a service, has not followed correct procedure or has made a mistake you are entitled to make a complaint.

Your first point of call should be complaining directly to the provider of the service in question - you can find out the contact details using the Government’s search function. If this fails to resolve the issue, you should contact the council’s complaint officer who will investigate further.

What if I’m still not happy the complaint has been resolved?

If you feel the service provider and council have failed to resolve your complaint effectively, the next step is to involve the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). The LGO provides a free, impartial service for those who feel their council has failed them.

It can investigate the way in which a service was delivered, the way a decision was made or when a service was not provided at all. Please note, the LGO will only look into a complaint if the council has had the chance to resolve it first.

The LGO’s decision is final and it will not conduct another review unless new evidence comes to light. If you are unhappy with the LGO’s ruling, the final step would be to call for a judicial review at the High Court.

The LGO also sends every council an annual review outlining their performance in dealing with complaints made about them to the Ombudsman.

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