Complaints Procedure

Stratford-on-Avon District Council seeks to provide quality, cost-effective services. This page explains how to make a complaint, and tells you how we will respond.

The authority defines a complaint as:

"An allegation that through action or inaction the council, or any of its staff, failed to deliver a service in accord with the council's policy or agreed standards of service."

Dealing with a complaint is not in itself an appeal against a decision made by the council or its duties. For instance, criticism of a planning decision or an appeal against a parking fine would not be treated as a complaint, unless it is with regards to not following correct procedure.

If your complaint relates to the actions of a third party and you are requesting a service from the council to investigate - for example you wish to complain about hygiene standards in a food business or you believe an operator is breaching license or planning conditions - please contact the relevant service directly, use the search tool to find help with your concern, or call the council on 01789 267575.

How long does it take to get an answer?

We will normally write to you within one working day of receiving your complaint in order to acknowledge receipt and to let you know how it will be dealt with. In most cases we will then write to you within 15 working days from this acknowledgement to answer your complaint.

While the council has explicit target timetables for dealing with complaints, it is acknowledged that given the complexities of some complaints, a resolution may not be possible within these times. If this is the case you will be kept informed of progress and the anticipated timetable for resolving the complaint at the earliest possible stage.

Where a complaint is received which relates to the actions of any council officers who are acting in an enforcement capacity, the council may decide to suspend investigation of the complaint until the enforcement case has been closed. This is to avoid the use of this complaints procedure to fetter the council's legitimate enforcement activities. Where this decision has been made you will be advised accordingly.

How to make a complaint

You can submit your complaint by using our online form, or you can write a letter of complaint to the department providing the service at:

Elizabeth House
Church Street
CV37 6HX

What happens after you've made a complaint?

All relevant facts will be gathered and the appropriate manager will review the information and determine the outcome of the complaint. He/she will then write to inform you of this outcome, which will be one of three judgements:

  • Justified and corrective action required; complaint upheld and action is to be taken to correct it
  • Justified; no corrective action required; complaint upheld but no further action to be taken
  • Unjustified complaint rejected.

What happens if you're not satisfied with the result?

If you are not satisfied with the manager's conclusion you may ask the council to reconsider it. The review will be carried out by either the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive or Head of Service that line manages the manager and they will normally write to you within five working days.

The Council also has a policy in place to help ensure that corporate comlaints are pursued in a reasonable manner (Unreasonable Behaviour Policy).

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Contact: The Customer Services team

Last updated on 11/11/2022