Compliment, Comment or Complain
Brentwood Borough Council values your opinion and the compliments, comments and complaints that we receive help us to improve and develop our services.
We would like to assist you, should you wish to provide us with a comment, compliment or complaint about any Council service.
Compliments and Comments
Please tell us if you are happy with the service you have received or if you have a suggestion as to how a service could be improved. You can do this by completing our online form, which will be sent directly to your chosen department. A reference number will be provided for you to quote in any further correspondence. Please select the department you wish to contact from the list provided on our Contact Us Online web page.
We understand that occasionally problems may arise and you may feel dissatisfied. Most concerns can be resolved by contacting the service direct and we encourage you to did this before proceeding to a formal complaint. If you are unhappy about a Council service, please complete our online form, which will be sent directly to your chosen department. A reference number will be provided for you to quote in any further correspondence. Please select the department you wish to contact from the list provided on our Contact Us Online web page.
Is there a time limit for making a complaint?
We will not normally consider a complaint that is made more than six months after the individual first became aware of the issue they want to complain about. This is in line with good practice as operated by the Local Government Ombudsman. There are exceptions to this where the Council accepts that such a delay was reasonable.
You can request the issue to be dealt with as a formal complaint by using the online form provided below.
To make it easier for us to resolve your complaint, please provide us with as much information as possible, including the date you initially reported your complaint to the service and, if applicable, the online reference number provided when you submitted your complaint online.
Formal Complaint Process
Please note: the Council would not usually consider a complaint through its complaints procedure where there remains an outstanding route of appeal or other judicial process.
Stage 1: Resolution
You will receive an acknowledgement advising that your complaint has been logged as a Stage 1 formal complaint and this will provide you with details of the service investigator that will undertake the investigation into your complaint.
The service investigator will complete a meaningful and informed review and a response will be sent to you within 10 working days. If an officer has been named in a complaint it will not be appropriate for them to respond to the complaint as it will raise questions regarding impartiality and independence of the complaints process.
Stage 2: Review
If your complaint is not resolved your satisfaction you can request a Stage 2 Review. Requests for reviews must be made within 10 working days of receiving the Stage 1 response. You must explain why you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage 1 investigation and what you think the Council can do to put matters right.
Your complaint will be reviewed by a Senior Manager who was not involved in the original complaint. The Senior Manager will not reinvestigate the complaint but will focus on understanding the continuing concerns and whether the Stage 1 Resolution process was undertaken fairly and that the conclusions reached were reasonable. We aim to notify you of the outcome of the review within 15 working days.
If the Senior Manager reviews the complaint and decides that nothing further is to be gained from a Stage 2 review, you will be informed and advised of the next options available to you.
Please note: if it is not possible to complete Stage 1 or 2 within the specified timescales, you will be contacted and informed when to expect a response.
What happens if you are still dissatisfied once your complaint has been through our complaints process?
If we are unable to resolve your problem and you are still dissatisfied with your response the matter can be brought before the Local Government Ombudsman, or the Housing Ombudsman, for independent investigation.
Managing persistent or unreasonable complaints
The majority of individuals who contact the Council communicate in a polite and reasonable manner. The Persistent or Unreasonable Behaviour Policy outlines how we manage the relatively few individuals whose actions we consider unreasonable. The Council may not progress complaints or comments from customers managed under this policy.