Pages in Complaints procedure
4. Who is informed of your complaint?
Your Ward Councillor or the appropriate Executive Member or Chairman of the relevant Council Committee will be informed of your complaint and the outcome of the investigation.
Failure to reach a satisfactory solution through the formal complaints procedure means that you still have the right to refer the matter to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. To find out more, follow the link to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's website at the bottom of the page.
The council has a code of conduct that applies to officers of the council and elected Members. This is to ensure standards of behaviour and professionalism. The Chief Executive’s Department can supply you with more information on this if required.
If, when you register your complaint, it is clear that the matter refers to another partner organisation then we shall refer you to the person best placed to help you .
You may direct complaints to your local elected councillor or to your Member of Parliament. Your councillor will decide whether to respond directly to you or ask the relevant officer of the council to do so on their behalf. In the latter case the complaint will then be dealt with in accordance with our complaints procedure.
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is independent of Government or local councils and provides impartial, confidential and free investigation of complaints about local authorities.
For example, whether a council gave you incorrect information, made a decision in the wrong way, treated you unfairly, did not follow its own rules or the law or took too long to do something.
Before the service can investigate a complaint, the council must be given an opportunity to answer the complaint. The Ombudsman prefers to take up complaints that have been through the council’s own complaints procedure. In Reigate & Banstead that means the complaint should have been through both stages of the formal procedure.
There are certain matters that the Ombudsman Service cannot investigate and information on this is provided on their website. More information on their complaints procedure is available here (Local Goverment and Social Care Ombudsman website).
The Ombudsman does not usually criticise the merits of a decision which has been properly taken simply because someone may disagree with it. He or she will, however, look at the way the decision was made.
The Ombudsman publishes an Annual Review of councils' performance each year. The most recent review can be found on the Ombudsman's website, available through the link here: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman - Reigate & Banstead Annual Review . Full details on how to contact the Local Government Ombudsman can be found at Contact us (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman website).
Freedom of information and the Data Protection Act
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act entitles anybody to ask a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (including Government departments), for any recorded information that they keep.
Guidance on making a FOI request can be found at Freedom of information (Gov.uk website).
If you have made a FOI request and have not been satisfied with the Council’s response, you can complain using our complaints procedure. If after following our complaints procedure, you want to take your FOI complaint further, you can contact the Information Commissioner by following the guidance at Information Commissioner's Office website.