We encourage feedback to help us improve our services and the information we provide.

We want to provide you with a great service, but you might want to suggest improvements, or you might want to compliment us on getting it right. When something goes wrong, we would really like to hear your concerns.

Comments

You may wish to give us an opinion on our services, provide ideas for how we can improve our services, pose a question, or give a review on our website. You can do this via Contact a Service or give feedback online or talk to our Customer Service Team by telephone on 01480 388388 or use our Social Media channels.

Compliments

A compliment can be about a service, a team, or a member of staff.  We would like to hear about it if you have received excellent customer service, for example, staff have been helpful, professional, and clear in their advice.

Compliments will be shared as good practice and in the training of new staff. You can provide feedback via Contact a Service or give feedback online or talk to our Customer Service Team by telephone on 01480 388388 or use our Social Media channels

Complaints

We want to know if you are dissatisfied with our services. We encourage any customer who has a concern to first contact the relevant service, who will try to resolve the issue for you. You can Contact a Service or give feedback online or talk to our Customer Service Team on 01480 388388.

If the problem can be solved on the spot, then there may be no need for the issue to go through the formal complaints process. However, if the service is unable to resolve your complaint or you would like a formal response, please see the 'How do I make a complaint' section below. 

Council Tax and Business Rates

If you don’t agree with a decision regarding a discount, exemption or relief, you should contact council.tax@huntingdonshire.gov.uk or business.rates@huntingdonshire.gov.uk. If you still do not agree with their decision, you should contact the Valuation Tribunal rather than using the council’s complaints procedure.

Useful links:

Complaints may need to be dealt with under procedures such as:

How do I make a complaint?

If you have already contacted the relevant service and are unhappy with the response, then you can register a formal complaint in one of the following ways:

Make a Formal Complaint Online

Complaints
Pathfinder House
St Mary’s Street, Huntingdon
Cambs
PE29 3TN

Give us as much information as possible, as this will enable us to investigate your complaint quicker.

What will happen to my complaint?

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days of us receiving it. We aim to fully investigate and respond within 20 working days.

If we are unable to meet this timescale, we will write to you to let you know what action we are taking and when you can expect a response. At Stage 1, your complaint may be handled by a team member who was involved at any previous resolution stage.

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint you can request a review at Stage two in the council’s complaints process.

What do I do if I feel my complaint hasn’t been dealt with properly?

If you have already made a complaint and are unhappy with the response, then you can make a complaint about it to the Local Government Ombudsman. You can do this online or by telephone on 0300 0610 614. [PDF, size unavailable]

We manage complaints in two stages. At both stages, we aim to:

  • acknowledge a complaint within 5 working days;

  • fully investigate and respond within 20 working days. If we are unable to meet this timescale, we will contact you to explain what action we are taking and when you can expect a response.

Stage One - A service manager from the relevant area will manage the investigation and work hard to resolve the issue promptly. This may or may not be the manager/team member who was involved at any previous resolution stage.

Stage Two - If you remain dissatisfied after Stage One, the complaint will be passed onto the next stage, where it will be reviewed by a senior Officer or independent Officer. There may be instances when the council will advise you to escalate your concerns directly with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) following the Stage One response. This will be clearly explained to you and will only occur when the council is satisfied that you have had an opportunity to have your queries considered and all issues raised by you have been addressed.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO). They are the final stage for complaints about councils and they are a free service. The LGO will not usually investigate a complaint until the council has had an opportunity to investigate and answer it first.

We are committed to 'Becoming a more Customer Focused Organisation' as set out within our Corporate Plan. We want to provide you with a great service, but you might want to suggest improvements, or you might want to compliment us on getting it right. When something goes wrong, we would really like to hear your concerns.

Within their document, Guidance on Effective Complaint Handling for Local Authorities, the Local Government Ombudsman describes a complaint as:

"A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about a council service (whether that service is provided directly by the council or by a contractor or partner) that requires a response."

This is the definition that the council will use in our complaints handling processes. This could be dissatisfaction with any of the following:

  • customer service received

  • council employee’s behaviour

  • failure to respond

  • site facilities.

There are some situations that the council would not take through the complaints process and will not be recorded as a formal complaint, for example:

Requests for service or information

If a customer raises a concern with the council for the first time, it will be treated as a service resolution request. A service resolution request will not be classed as a formal complaint as the service area has not yet had the opportunity to deal with it. These are service requests, alerting us to work that needs to be done. These requests may however become a complaint if we do not deal with them appropriately.

Disagreement with the result of a process that has its own Appeal/Tribunal process

Appeal processes exist for a number of areas including benefit claims, Council Tax and Business Rates liability disputes, car parking fines, planning applications and housing reviews.

Complaints about the conduct of a councillor which will be dealt with by the Monitoring Officer.

Some complaints are expressions of dissatisfaction with the council or government policy as opposed to the council’s failure to live up to service standards. If the policy decision has been agreed by councillors following proper procedures as set out in the council’s constitution, the customer cannot make a formal complaint about it. However, the council will do its best to explain the policy and the reasons for it.

If the issue is more than 12 months old, it is likely it would be deemed too old to be investigated as a formal complaint, unless there is a good reason for the delay (for example, someone has been unable to lodge their complaint earlier due to incapacity, or where new information has come to light which could have affected the original investigation).

Issues that fall under the Freedom of Information Act or General Data Protection Regulation (including the right of access to personal data) which fall under the Information Commissioner’s Office

If the complaint is about an issue that is outside the council’s responsibility, where possible the council will signpost the customer. The council will not forward the customer’s details (due to issues around General Data Protection Regulation).

Information about all our services is available by searching our website and you can use the forms to request services. You can also use our online MyHuntingdonshire customer portal