Mark Whitehead 21 June 2023

Rise in complaints because of cuts, says research

Rise in complaints because of cuts, says research image
Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Complaints taken up by councils have increased because of cuts in budgets, according to new research.

Technology company Quadient said Freedom of Information requests found 10% of all complaints made in 2022 were escalated to the next stage.

It said councils already facing drains on their resources need to balance reduced budgets with the cost of dealing with citizens’ issues.

Councils were fighting to find an extra £2.4bn this year to meet unforeseen challenges, the company said, and the amount needed is set to increase as inflation continues to rise.

It warned that ongoing budget constraints and wider economic pressures are likely to be contributing to the mishandling of complaints, as already stretched teams lack the necessary resources.

Phil Jones, Quadient's business development director, said it was worrying that the number of complaints escalated had increased so much.

'This illustrates that local councils are struggling to deal with complaints effectively and quickly, leaving citizens still angry and wanting more.

'If local councils can’t control this level of escalation, then they will only see dissatisfaction rise.

'This will mean more time and resources spent on escalated complaints, and less on the services their communities need.'

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