Complaints and compliments
Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
As a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, some Council officers will be providing support to our most vulnerable residents so this may mean your response is later than we would wish. We will keep you informed but please bear with us during this time.
If you would like to share general feedback with us, rather than a complaint, you can do this here. Please also let us know about good experiences you have had.
But if you are not happy, then neither are we. We try to get things right first time but know that sometimes things go wrong. When this happens, please tell us so we can put things right.
Our Commitment to dealing with your complaint
When you have told us about your complaint, we will:
Make sure the right person deals with your complaint
Let you know what to expect next
Give you a contact point
Look at your feedback and see what we can learn from it
Give you a written response to your complaint
Your right to escalate your complaint
If we cannot resolve your complaint, an Ombudsman service may be able to help you. This is an independent service and is free to use.
If you are a housing tenant or a leaseholder, you should contact the Housing Ombudsman with your complaint at www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk
For other complaints, you can contact the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman at www.lgo.org.uk
Some complaints are exempt from our complaints process or there may be an appeal process you need to use.
Our Complaints Policy tells you which complaints are exempt or where there is an appeals process that you can use.
The Council will deal with your complaint on either an informal or formal basis, but there are some exceptions, usually where there is an appeal process in place.
A complaint about the refusal of planning permission or non-determination of a planning application, as there is a statutory appeals process – www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/planningappeals
A complaint by a neighbour or third party about the granting of planning permission. This is because we have to give permission where an application complies with planning policy.
A complaint from a third party about a planning application under consideration. This will be forwarded to the case officer and treated as a comment on the application and can be made via – email@example.com
A complaint about housing benefit or council tax benefit, where there is a statutory appeals process - www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/sscs
A complaint about council tax banding - www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
A complaint about the issue of a penalty charge notice by our parking team - www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk
A complaint about a Right to Buy valuation for which there is a statutory process for review – https://righttobuy.gov.uk/apply/your-offer-letter/
A complaint where a customer or the Council has started legal proceedings or has taken court action.
A complaint about an issue that was known about for more than 12 months before the complaint was made to the Council, unless there is a good reason for the delay
A complaint about a Freedom of Information Act request, Environmental Information Regulations request, or Subject Access request under the Data Protection Act 2018 – https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
Any other instance where an alternative appeal mechanism exists
A complaint about the Council’s housing allocation policy
Making a complaint about a Councillor/Parish Councillor
If your complaint is about the conduct of a Member of St Albans City & District Council or Member of a Parish or Town Council, these are dealt with by the Council’s Monitoring Officer, Charles Turner, Solicitor to the Council.
Please email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Unreasonable Behaviour Policy
Most contact we have with customers is positive, but we understand that at times people may get frustrated when there’s a problem that needs to be put right.
Our policy sets out what we will do if a customer behaves in a manner that is threatening or abusive to our officers.