Comments, compliments and complaints

You can:

  • make a comment - leave us feedback, which might be a suggestion about how we can improve something or something you have noticed that we could do differently
  • give us a compliment - we like to hear when we have done something well so we can share this with our teams and make sure we learn from our successes too
  • make a complaint - if you are unhappy with the service you have received from us, please let us know and we will investigate what happened, to see if there is anything we can do to resolve it and improve our service for other people

Any complaints will be dealt with in accordance with our policy.

This summarises the process we follow for dealing with general complaints.
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This complaints procedure applies to complaints about West Northamptonshire Council’s service delivery, including complaints about its staff. It does not apply to complaints about the conduct of Councillors, for which there is a separate procedure managed by the Monitoring Officer.

Stage 1

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days.

The complaint will be investigated by a senior member of staff, who may ask you for more information in the course of dealing with your complaint.

We will provide a written response within 20 working days. If this is going to take longer, we will contact you to let you know when you can expect to hear from us.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the outcome at Stage 1, you can ask for a review of your complaint. You must do this within 20 working days of the response you have received at Stage 1. This review will be carried out by an independent senior manager who will review the Stage 1 response and provide a written response to the Stage 2 complaint.

We will acknowledge your Stage 2 complaint within three working days and tell you who will be conducting the review.

We will provide a written response within 20 working days. If this is going to take longer, we will contact you to let you know when you can expect to hear from us.

If you are still unhappy

If you remain dissatisfied after Stages 1 and 2, you have the right to ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to investigate the matter. The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about how the Council has done something or failed to do something.

While they do not usually criticise the merits of a decision which has been properly taken simply because someone may disagree with it, they will look at how a decision was made.

The Ombudsman will not usually consider a complaint until the Council has had a chance to resolve the matter through its own procedure.

Their contact details are:

For more detailed information about this procedure, how we deal with complaints and the processes that will not fall under this procedure, please see our Customer Comments, Compliments and Complaints Policy.

To see what we expect from you when you want make a complaint, there is information in our Unacceptable or Unreasonable Communications and Behaviour Policy.

Our aim is to bring a swift and satisfactory resolution for people who have feedback or complaints about adult social care to help improve our performance for all service users, their families and carers
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Contact us online

Make a complaint or give feedback via our online form.

Telephone us

0300 126 7000 (9am to 5pm)

Write to us

Compliments, Comments and Complaints Team
North/West Northamptonshire Council
One Angel Square
Angel Street
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Email us

What happens next?

We will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of receiving it
  • tell you who will be dealing with your complaint and how long it may take us to look into the situation
  • keep you informed of how things are going and if things are likely to take longer than we agreed we will discuss this with you
  • give you an opportunity to talk it through after we have responded if you are still not happy, and we will agree the best way forward

It is our aim that all children within the county are safe and that each of them has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
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We are committed to delivering a high quality service to children, young people, their families and carers.

However, sometimes we don’t get things right first time or you might feel that we could have given you a better service. We welcome everything you have to tell us, both the 'good bits' and the 'bad bits', so that we can continue to learn and improve.

If you're a child or young person, you can give your feedback via our children's rights page.

Contact us online

Make a complaint or give feedback via our online form.

Telephone us

Write to us

Compliments, Comments and Complaints Team
West Northamptonshire Council
One Angel Square
Angel Street
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Email us

[email protected]

What happens next?

We will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of receiving it
  • tell you who will be dealing with your complaint and how long it may take us to look into the situation
  • keep you informed of how things are going and if things are likely to take longer than we agreed we will discuss this with you
  • give you an opportunity to talk it through after we have responded if you are still not happy, and we will agree the best way forward

We are committed to continuously improving our services so if you have a complaint about our Highways, we would like to hear about it.
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Making a complaint

If you have a complaint to make, the first step is to make us aware of the problem so that we have an opportunity to resolve the situation. This can be done by reporting a highway problem online or by emailing [email protected].

If you are unable to resolve the matter informally and wish to take it further and register a formal complaint, please use our online form:

What might be complained about?

Some examples of complaints:

  • an unwelcome or disputed decision
  • concern about the quality or appropriateness of a service
  • delay in decision making or provision of services
  • delivery or non-delivery of services
  • quantity, frequency or change of a service
  • attitude or behaviour of staff
  • refusal to answer reasonable questions
  • giving misleading or unsuitable advice

Time limit for making a complaint

Our aim is to put things right if they go wrong as quickly as possible, therefore there is a one-year time limit for making a complaint.

However, the time limit may be extended if it is still possible to consider the complaint effectively and efficiently or if there are other circumstances which may enable resolution of the complaint.

The Head of the Service and the Senior Officer for Improvements will take the following factors into consideration when deciding if a complaint should be accepted outside the one-year time limit:

  • is it a genuine issue of vulnerability?
  • if an investigation were to be conducted, what would be the benefit to the customer and what could we as an organisation learn from it?
  • is there likely to be sufficient access to information or individuals involved at the time the problem occurred to enable an effective and fair investigation to be carried out?
  • other special factors

What happens next?

The complaints process can be explained using the following steps:

  • Recording your complaint: the person receiving your complaint will record it. This enables us to monitor the number and type of complaints which assists us in improving our services.
  • Acknowledging your complaint: whenever possible your complaint will be dealt with at the first point of contact. If this is not possible your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days and you will be given the details of the person looking into the matter along with a reference number.
  • Responding to your complaint: the person responsible for responding to your complaint will contact you, where necessary, to agree the best way to deal with your particular complaint. Our aim is to give you a full response within 10 working days. If for any reason we cannot do this, we will let you know when you can expect to receive a response. In any event we would endeavour to respond within 20 working days.
  • Room for error: if we have made a mistake we will apologise and try to put things right. We will explain what actions we intend to take as a result of your complaint.
  • Your right to respond: on receipt of a response you have up to 20 working days in which to decide whether to accept or reject the actions/ recommendations we have stated to resolve your complaint.

How will we put things right?

If we have made a mistake we will apologise and tell you what action, we will take to ensure the same situation does not arise again for you or future customers. The apology would be given by the manager on behalf of the relevant service area.

If a mistake has resulted in financial loss to you, the question of compensation will be considered on an individual basis. As the Local Authority is publicly funded we must make certain that it meets only justifiable and deserving claims.

Services and areas not covered by this policy

Parking Services

Complaints about this service are managed by the statutory appeals process.

Penalty Charge Notices including bus lanes

  • Road Traffic Act 1991 - Any Parking Penalty Charge Notice issued prior to 30 March 2008 is issued under this act.
  • Traffic Management Act 2004 - Any Parking Penalty Charge Notice issued from 30 March 2008 is issued under this act.
  • Transport Act 2000 – Any bus lane Penalty Charge Notice issued from 1 February 2021 is issued under this act.

School travel assistance

If your application for transport is refused then you should follow the appeals process that is in place.

Insurance claims

If a third party claim for damage or injury is made against the council’s insurers, then there is no further redress through the complaints procedure in relation to an unsuccessful claim. The claimant would need to seek independent legal advice.

Complaints about the conduct of contracted services employees

Complaints of this nature would need to be directed to the relevant company or organisation.

Why information is on a different website
We are in the process of adding information to this new unitary council website. Some pages will give you a link back to a previous council website to help you find what you need. Read more about the changes.