Annual summary of complaints dealt with under the Council’s formalised procedure 2018/19 for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (20 minutes)
Consideration was given to a report which set out the complaints under the Council’s formal procedure in the year 2018/19. The Chief Executive and Services together dealt with 204 complaints under the procedure and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) made preliminary enquiries about 7 complaints relating to the Council and began an investigation into 2 of these for the year ended 31 March 2019.
This year saw an increase of 15 complaints in the number of complaints received from the previous year (189 in 2017/18). The number of complaints increased slightly this year after a decrease last year. The number remains relatively stable, despite the increase in housing and population in the borough.
Heads of Service continue to be encouraged to escalate a complaint to the Chief Executive if required, in the interests of efficiency and the Council continues to signpost complaints to the LGSCO as recommended. Complaints are also occasionally raised via social media channels including Twitter and Facebook which continue to be monitored by both CSU and the Communications Team. They respond to Twitter enquiries and monitor Facebook messages, directing complainants to the complaints process where necessary.
The consistency of complaints reporting suggests that the complaints process continues to work effectively. Where necessary, trends are identified and managed by individual Services. The Complaints and Communications Officer will continue to work closely with Services to identify ways to effectively manage and resolve complaints.
That the annual report be considered and endorsed.