Compliments and complaints
If you've experienced help or had especially good service, you can compliment our staff. Just fill in the form and let us know.
The City Council aims to provide good-quality, cost effective services, but recognises that, at times, things can go wrong. If they do, we need to know so we can put them right and learn from them.
Below we explain the procedures available to you if you consider that we have failed:
- to provide a service
- to be courteous
- in our standard of work
- in our administration of procedures
- to adhere to our rules or regulations
- to provide you with correct information
- to treat you fairly and promptly
What should I do if I am unhappy with one of your services?
The best way to sort out a problem is by raising the issue with the person you have been dealing with or their immediate line manager. This is called local resolution. At this stage we think those people who deliver the service are best placed to resolve an issue.
We can usually sort out mistakes and misunderstandings quickly and informally at this stage.
If you have been unable to resolve your complaint at the informal stage then you can move to the next stage as set out below.
To raise a formal complaint:
- Fill in the online complaints form and you will be given a reference number for your complaint.
- You can also request a printed copy of the complaints form from our Customer Service Center by telephone on 01962 840 222
- In writing to Winchester City Council, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hants, SO23 9LJ
We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days, then investigate and respond within ten working days.
- If you feel that your complaint has not been resolved at stage one, you can contact the Chief Executive Office at email@example.com with the reference number you were given at stage one. You will need to set out why you are not satisfied and what you expect from a further review. You will receive a response within ten working days.
If you have been through all stages of our complaints procedure and feel your complaint has still not been resolved, you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Housing Ombudsman to review your complaint. Please see further information and contact details for each of these free services below.
As soon as court action is indicated, threatened or initiated, the council will suspend its response to a complaint until a legal process commenced or a decision is determined.
Local Government Ombudsman
If you have been through all stages of our complaints procedure and are still unhappy, you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to review your complaint.
The Ombudsman investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service.
The Ombudsman expects you to have given us chance to deal with your complaint, before you contact them. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time, it may decide to look into your complaint anyway. This is usually up to 12 weeks but can be longer for social care complaints that follow a statutory process.
About the Ombudsman
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about councils and some other organisations providing local public services. It also investigates complaints about all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) for people who self-fund their care.
- Visit the Ombudsman website
- Call us on 0300 061 061
- Write to us at Housing Ombudsman Service, PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0WH
The Housing Ombudsman Service deals with disputes between landlords and tenants in England. The service was established under the Housing Act 1996 with jurisdiction over more than 2,000 landlords. Under the Housing Act 1996, all housing associations (RSL’s) must belong to the service by law. This includes any landlord who has taken over the management of council housing, such as whg and WATMOS.
The Housing Ombudsman Service aim’s to provide a fair and effective way of dealing with complaints against member landlords from their tenants. The service, will try to remedy the situation by either asking the landlord to change their way of working or offering financial redress.
Visit the Housing Ombudsman website www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk for more information.
You may involve your local Councillor(s) at any stage of the complaint procedure and seek their advice and guidance. If you wish, the Councillor(s) will handle the complaint on your behalf. Details of the Councillors and the Wards they represent can be obtained from the Committee Services Section at the City Offices on (01962) 848 264 or through the 'Members' page on this site.
There is a separate procedure to follow if you think that a local Councillor has acted incorrectly. If your complaint is about the way a local Councillor has acted, please refer to the Code of Conduct.
Unreasonably Persistent Complainants and Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour Policy
In general, dealing with a complaint is a straightforward process, but in a minority of cases people pursue their complaints in a way that can impede the investigation of their complaint or can have significant resource implications for the authority.
This policy has been formulated to deal with the very small number of complainants whose frequency of contact with the authority, insoluble and persistent complaints, or unacceptable behaviour makes it necessary for special measures to be taken. You can read the policy in full. (pdf, 188kb)
Complaints recieved for services provided on behalf of the South Downs National Park Authority
Initially the complaint needs to be made to Winchester Complaints procedure:
https://www.winchester.gov.uk/about/contact-us/complaints after Stage 2.
It will be processed in-line with the SDNPA Complaint policy and procedure link below: