Clevedon Town Council
Complaints Policy and Procedure


Our aim:

Clevedon Town Council is committed to providing a quality service for its residents and visitors, working in an open and accountable way that builds the trust and respect. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our members, customers and stakeholders, and in particular by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right.

Therefore, we aim to ensure that:
• making a complaint is as easy as possible;
• we treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response;
• we deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially;
• we respond in the right way - for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc;
• we learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures.

We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally, and dealt with quickly. Our aims are to:
• resolve informal concerns quickly;
• keep matters low-key;
• enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred.
An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. However, if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed.

Preamble Purpose: The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant's satisfaction.

Clevedon Town Council’s responsibility will be to:
• acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
• respond within a stated period of time;
• deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
• take action where appropriate.

A complainant's responsibility is to:
• Raise a complaint informally with a members of staff within a reasonable timescale or bring their complaint, in writing, to Clevedon Town Council’s attention normally within 8 weeks of the issue arising;
• explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date;
• allow a reasonable time to deal with the matter;
• recognise that some circumstances may be beyond Clevedon Town Council control.

Formal Complaints Procedure
Stage 1

In the first instance, if you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you should write to the Town Clerk. In your letter you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and the remedy you are seeking.

You can expect your complaint to be acknowledged within 4 working days of receipt. You should get a response and an explanation within 15 working days.
If your complaint concerns a Councillor, rather than a member of Clevedon Town Council staff, you should write formally to the individual concerned.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint then you can write to the Chairman of Clevedon Town Council and ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed. You can expect the Chairman to acknowledge your request within 4 working days of receipt and a response within 15 workings days.
If your complaint concerns a Councillor and you are not satisfied you can write to the Chairman of the Clevedon Town Council giving details of your complaint and any action taken to date.

Clevedon Town Council aim is to resolve all matters as quickly as possible. However, inevitably some issues will be more complex and therefore may require longer to be fully investigated. Consequently, timescales given for handling and responding to complaints are indicative. If a matter requires more detailed investigation, you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, and when a full reply can be expected and from whom.

Final Stage

If you are not satisfied with the subsequent reply from the Chairman of Clevedon Town Council, then you have the option of requesting a review by the Town Council at their next meeting.

Or if it involves a Councillor you can write to the Monitoring Officer, North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare.