Investigating atmospheric pollution

This section describes what the Council does when it receives a pollution complaint.

Depending upon the nature of the complaint, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council may have a duty to investigate it in accordance with the provisions of the law.

It is possible that, as an outcome to that complaint that legal action will be taken against the person about whom the complaint is made.

It is therefore a serious matter for the complainant, the person being complained of and the Council.

It is often not possible to investigate a complaint without the evidence of the person being affected by the pollution (the complainant).

Further, it is not unlikely that that evidence will need to be presented to a court at some later date, and that the person who provided the evidence to the council will need to appear, in person, in court to act as a witness.

It is usually not possible therefore for the council to investigate a pollution complaint made by a person who wishes to remain anonymous.

However, we do not actively seek to release complainant's details during the early stages of an investigation though it may, of course, be obvious to the person being complained of who has complained due to the particular situation.

Any information provided to the authority will be kept either in files or on computers and may be released at a later date to any person who is able to obtain it through legal means (the person about whom the complaint is made, for example, may be able to obtain information under some circumstances).

We will, of course comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

What we will do

  • We will be courteous, professional and consistent in approach.
  • We will try our best to respond to your complaint within 4 working days and in all cases will respond within 10 working days.
  • We will give you the name and contact details of the person dealing with your complaint.
  • We will offer advice and assistance about pollution problems and make you aware of alternative action that you may take.
  • We will keep you informed of the current situation regarding your complaint.
  • We will try to find practical solutions to the problem.
  • We will take the appropriate legal or informal action as and when required.
  • We will ask our customers what they think of our service.
  • We will review our service regularly.

What you can do

  • Be polite and courteous when dealing with council staff and the person about whom you are complaining.
  • Explain the problem to the person causing the pollution.
  • Keep a record of all conversations and letters.
  • Carefully complete any records that you are asked to by council staff investigating your complaint - for example a written record of the dates and times of any pollution incidents.
  • Accept that investigating a pollution complaint takes time and the council's resources are limited.
  • Be prepared to support the investigation and any subsequent action - in court if necessary.
  • Let us know in advance of events that are likely to be a serious problem.
  • Tell us of any changes in circumstances.
  • Accept that sometimes we may be unable to resolve the problem.
  • Be prepared to compromise.
  • Tell us what you think about our service
  • Let us know if you are unhappy with the outcome or if you think we are not meeting our standards.