We aim to provide high-quality services for all members of the public when dealing with complaints. We accept that things can sometimes go wrong and we need to know when you are not happy with our service.  When you tell us what you are not happy with, we can try to put things right. In future, we can try to get it right first time. We will treat all complaints seriously and deal with your complaint positively. We see any complaints as an opportunity to improve our services.

For all enquiries regarding Council Tax, please see the Council Tax Team's Contact Us page. In the first instance, you must always contact Council Tax with your enquiry either by phone, online enquiry form or post. 

Please use our Envirocall online form for environmental requests such as missed bin collections, potholes, dog fouling  and overfilled litter bins.

Go to our bus lane PCN enquiries webpage for more information on how to either appeal or to pay your PCN (Penalty Charge Notice).  You cannot make a complaint about a PCN as you have an appeal route open to you.

On this 'Making Complaints' page you will find:

Dealing with complaints - our aims

We are committed to putting you first and providing quality customer service. This includes dealing with any complaint you may have. We will:

  • Deal with complaints quickly and fairly.
  • Tell you what is happening with your complaint and do everything we can to help you.
  • Do our best to treat the information you give us in confidence.
  • Explain our decision.
  • Use complaints to review and improve the way we provide services.

If you make a complaint, it will not affect your rights to receive or use a council service.

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How to make complaints?

You can complain using an online form, by phone, in person, by phone, or by letter as follows. Please:

  • complete our online form
  • phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Complaints" from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 4.30pm on Fridays. For customers with hearing difficulties, please use our minicom: 0191 211 4944.
  • visit any of our council offices, Library and Community Hubs in person (please check their opening days and times before you visit), or
  • write to:
    Complaints at Newcastle
    Newcastle City Council
    Civic Centre
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 8QH

When you contact us, please give us your name and address - including your postcode - and your phone number. If you prefer, you can ask a friend or relative to speak or write to us for you.

If your complaint is about a member of staff, you should complain to their manager. Please say what the member of staff said and what the member of staff did that you feel was wrong.

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

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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, or
  • you have a complaint about a member of staff.

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. You can complain if you feel that, compared to others, you have been unfairly treated under a council policy.  Please read on to find out about the Steps of the Corporate Complaints Procedure. In addition, we have included our detailed Corporate Complaints Procedure here, which includes a separate list of what is not a corporate complaint for ease of reference.

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Step 1 - Informal Complaints

We will try to deal with your complaint informally.  This means that you should phone or take your complaint to the office or person who dealt with your enquiry. Our staff will do their best to settle your complaint without you needing to do anything else.

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Step 2 - Formal Complaints

If you have spoken to the relevant officer about your complaint but they have not been able to put things right, or you are not happy with the result, the next step is for you to make a formal complaint.

At this stage, we need the details in writing. You can complete the online complaints form or phone 0191 2787878 and ask for 'Complaints'.  You can go to a Library and Community Hub (please check their opening times) or you can write a letter to us and send it to:

Complaints at Newcastle
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne

Please ask a member of staff if you need help to write your complaint or fill in the online form.  Again, if you prefer, a friend or relative can fill in the form for you. If you them to act on your behalf in relation to a complaint you want to make, we will ask you for your signed authority for them to do so.

We will write to you within three working days to let you know we have received your complaint. We will give you a reference number and the name of the senior manager who will investigate your complaint. This information will make it easier for you to contact the person dealing with your complaint if you need to.

The senior manager will:

  • investigate your complaint;
  • take any necessary action; and
  • make sure they send a written reply within 15 working days.

If your complaint needs more investigation, and we cannot send you a written reply within 15 working days, we will write to you and let you know when you will receive a written reply.

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Step 3 - Complaints Review

If you have been through Steps 1 and 2 of the complaints procedure and you are still not happy with the results of the investigations, you can ask the Corporate Complaints Officer to review your complaint. The Corporate Complaints Officer will write to you within three working days to let you know:

  • we are reviewing your complaint;
  • approximately how long it will take us to carry out the review; and 
  • when we will send out a written reply.

We aim to complete Step 3 complaints within 25 working days.

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Local Government Ombudsman

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman about your complaint at any time. However, the Ombudsman usually gives the council the opportunity to investigate first. 

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at:

Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771

Phone: 0300 061 0614
Fax: 0247 682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 481 1595
Website: www.lgo.org.uk

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Is there anyone else who can help?

Apart from asking for help from a friend or relative, you can contact an independent person or organisation, for example:

  • your local councillor;
  • your MP;
  • a solicitor;
  • Citizen's Advice Bureau; or
  • Advocacy Centre North.

If you know your Ward name, find your councillor here.  To find out your Ward, enter your postcode here.  Find out who your Newcastle MP is here. Visit the Citizen's Advice Bureau website for information about their services. Visit the Advocacy Centre North website for information about their services.

You can contact your councillor at any time about your complaint.  The councillor will normally ask the senior manager dealing with your complaint to provide details of why you complained and what they have done to put things right.

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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).

Your Homes Newcastle
YHN House
Benton Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Phone: 0191 278 8600
Website: www.yhn.org.uk

Your Homes Newcastle is responsible for managing Newcastle City Council's housing stock. They deal with:

  • rent issues;
  • estate management;
  • Your Choice Homes lettings; and
  • neighbourhood disputes.

You can get advice about making a complaint at your local community housing office.  To find your nearest community housing office, visit YHN's website.  [You can use Newcastle City Council's complaints online form for complaints about your council home's repairs and maintenance only - all other YHN complaints should be made directly to YHN.]

Contact us

If you wish to make an appointment to discuss a complaint please contact the Corporate Complaints Office by:
Email: complaints@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Complaints"
In writing to:

Complaints at Newcastle
Newcastle City Council
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne

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Comments and suggestions

As well as learning from complaints, we want to know any comments or suggestions you may have to help us improve our services. You can do this by telling a member of staff about your comment or suggestion or by putting your comment or suggestion in writing.

Persistent and Vexatious Complaints Policy

From time to time staff experience regular contact from customers about the same issue. In order to address the problem, the council has introduced a Persistent and Vexatious Complaints Policy (pdf, 50Kb).

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Help and feedback on our website

You can use our Help and feedback page to make a comment or suggestion about our website.

Page last updated: 
10 October 2018
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