Compliments and Complaints

Compliments and Complaints

Tell us when you are not happy with our services

Corporate Complaints Procedure

We aim to provide high-quality services for all members of the public and we try to get things right first time. We accept that things can sometimes go wrong and we need to know when you are not happy with our services.  When you tell us what you are not happy with, we can try to put things right.

We treat all complaints seriously and deal with complaints positively. By learning from complaints we can identify service improvements going forward, and avoid repeating mistakes.  This makes a better service for our customers in future.

How to make a complaint

The information here is about the council's Corporate Complaints Procedure.  For other council complaints procedures, please see the Related Pages section - use Your Local Services for reporting matters such as missed bin collections and litter.

Make a complaint about a council service.

Make a complaint about Your Homes Newcastle.

Speak to Complaints Line staff by phoning 0191 278 7878 and asking for ‘Complaints’.

Write to us at:
Complaints at Newcastle
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne

You can read our full Corporate Complaints Procedure 

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What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you tell us you are not happy. For example, if:

  • we do not deliver a service on time,
  • we give you the wrong information,
  • you receive a poor-quality service,
  • compared to others, you were treated unfairly under a council policy, or
  • you have a complaint about a member of staff.

A member of staff will determine if your concerns fall under the Corporate Complaints Procedure and at what Step of the procedure they are.

What is not a complaint?

The council receives some complaints or concerns about matters which we would not normally handle as formal complaints. For example, a customer is requesting a council service for the first time, rather than complaining about the council’s response to an earlier request. This would be handled as a request for service and not a complaint.

Council staff work within the law and within the council's own policies and procedures at all times.  You cannot complain to us about the law, or about council policy normally. However, you can complain about council policy if you feel that, compared to others, you have been unfairly treated under a council policy.   

By law, we need to deal with some complaints in a different way. If so, we will tell you and give you more information. 

We do not accept complaints about matters which are a budget decision.  Once the council budget is approved, it becomes council policy.  Residents can only complain about a policy - as stated above - if, compared to others, you were treated unfairly under a council policy.  This includes new or increased charges included in the approved budget.

For more information about what is not treated as a complaint, please read Appendix 1 of the council's Corporate Complaints Procedure.

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Three step procedure

There are three steps to our Corporate Complaints Procedure.

Step 1 is where we try to deal with your complaint informally.  Often, we can resolve the matter on the spot and settle your complaint without you needing to do anything else.

Step 2 of the procedure is where we acknowledge receipt of your complaint in three working days. A senior manager investigates, takes any necessary action and sends their reply out in 15 working days, or explain why it might take longer.  We will try to make sure that the same or similar complaint does not happen again.

Step 3, also called a Complaint Review, takes place if you let us know that you are still unhappy with the handling of your complaint.  You should write saying what you think was wrong about the handling of your complaint at Step 2, and what outcome you would like as a result of reviewing your complaint. The Corporate Complaints Officer will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in three working days. They will review the complaint and send out their reply in 25 working days, or explain why it might take longer.

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Can I complain on behalf of someone else?

The council accepts complaints from third parties who have the customer’s permission to act on their behalf in making a complaint.  This can be any person or organisation such as a friend or relative, councillor or MP, solicitor, Citizens Advice or Advocacy Centre North.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

You can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman about your complaint at any time. However, the Ombudsman usually gives the council the opportunity to investigate first, so try to complete the council's complaints procedure first. You can contact the Ombudsman at:

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Phone: 0300 061 0614
Fax: 0247 682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 481 1595

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Who else can I contact about complaints?

For complaints about how your council house is being managed please contact Your Homes Newcastle (YHN).  YHN is responsible for managing Newcastle City Council's housing stock. They deal with:

  • repairs;
  • rent issues;
  • estate management;
  • Newcastle Homes lettings; and
  • neighbourhood disputes.

Managing Unreasonable Customer Behaviour Policy

We are committed to providing excellent customer service. In a minority of cases, people unfortunately pursue their complaints or requests for information in an unreasonable way.  Sometimes this can have a negative impact on the handling of their complaint or request, and also on our resources and our ability to provide services to our other customers.

Our Managing Unreasonable Customer Behaviour Policy aims to deal with unreasonable customer contact, as well as to:

  • define unreasonable customer behaviour
  • define vexatious requests
  • make considerations before the council takes action
  • give options for action so everyone knows what they can expect
  • explain how we review and record incidents from customers who behave in an unreasonable way.

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Did you know?

You can let us know if we have done well

Have we exceeded your expectations? Or did a member of our team go above and beyond to meet your needs?

We would love to hear more - please fill out our compliments form so we can celebrate and share this good work.

Jubilee Awards Newcastle City Council

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