Complaints, comments and compliments

Service information

Let us have your views

Blackburn with Darwen Council is committed to providing consistently high quality services, and although the majority of the time our services are provided to a high standard, occasionally things go wrong.

Our aim is to provide you with an excellent customer service experience.  To help us achieve this, it is essential that we are a listening Council and we encourage you to provide us with your feedback.
This will help us to:

  • Continuously improve the standard of service
  • Understand when things have gone particularly well
  • Put things right when they have gone wrong
  • Learn from our mistakes

Your views really do count and will assist in providing the best possible service to all our residents.

Comments and suggestions

Do you think we could do better? 

The Council welcomes all comments or suggestions that you would like to make on our services. We encourage people to do this as it helps us to identify where services may need to be improved. You can contact the service directly if you wish to do this or use the online feedback form to set out your comments and suggestions in writing.

You will receive an acknowledgement for your feedback and passed to the service manager to further consideration.

Compliments

Did we get it right? 

We are always pleased to hear from customers using our services who want to compliment a particular member or service they receive. If you send us a compliment we will acknowledge it and send a copy to the staff or service manager concerned so they will know their work is appreciated.  You can contact the service directly or use the online feedback form.

Complaints

Did we get it wrong? 

If you aren’t happy with a service that you have (or haven’t) received from the Council then we want to know about it.

You can make a complaint to the Council if you think:

  • We did not deliver a service on time;
  • We gave incorrect information;
  • We wrongly or inconsistently applied a council policy;
  • We failed to consult properly with, or listen to you on issues that affect you;
  • You receive a poor quality or inappropriate service; or
  • You are unhappy with the actions or conduct of a member of staff.

NB. The above list is not exhaustive.

You can provide us feedback by:

  • using the online feedback form on this page;
  • telephoning the corporate complaints team on (01254) 585367;
  • emailing us at: ‘feedback@blackburn.gov.uk’;
  • writing in:

    Corporate Complaints Manager
    Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
    Town Hall
    King William Street
    BB1 7DY

What we cannot investigate under the policy

There are also matters we cannot deal with under the corporate complaints process, these are:

  • Where a statutory right of appeal exists such as parking tickets, housing benefit or planning;
  • When you have received a court decision or there is a right of redress in law;
  • Complaint about the conduct of a councillor - these are dealt with by the standards committee.  Please contact the Monitoring Officer on:
    Telephone: 01254 585642
    Email: david.fairclough@blackburn.gov.uk
  • Complaints about social care services should be directed to:
    Customer care manager,
    Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council,
    Adults’ and Children’s social care,
    PO Box 478, Blackburn, BB2 9BR
    Phone: 01254 585755
    Email: lynda.henderson@blackburn.gov.uk
    Download the Customer care procedure for Adult social care.
    Further information on making complaints about Adult social care.
    Download the Customer care procedure for Children’s social care.
  • School complaints
    These should be addressed directly to the school.

    Your first step should be to make a complaint directly to the school following its complaints procedure. If your complaint remains unresolved by the teaching staff or the Headteacher, we anticipate that the complaint will go to the school’s governing body or trustees as part of the school complaints process. Details of how to complain to the school governors or trustees are available at Directgov.

    If you have already followed the school’s own complaints procedure or if there are reasons why you cannot use that procedure - for example, you feel your complaint has not been or will not be given a fair consideration due to a conflict of interest - you can forward your complaint to the Department for Education, using their online school complaints form.
  • Complaint about a healthcare service - If your complaint is about a GP, community nurse, occupational therapist or dentist, you will need to contact the Primary Care Trust’s complaints manager on 01254 282131. Complaints Manager, Primary Care Trust, Guide Business Centre, School Lane, Blackburn BB1 2QH.

How to make a complaint

We will always try to deal with the problem as quickly as possible and to do this we would ask you to contact the service that you are unhappy with. They may be able to put things right there and then or at least look into the issue and come back to you.  If you have tried this approach or don’t feel that it is appropriate to contact the service involved directly, you can ask for your complaint to be investigated formally. 

The Council operates a 2 stage process when dealing with formal complaints which is in line with the corporate complaints policy.  During stage 1 of the process, your complaint will be passed to a complaints coordinator for the department concerned. They will ensure that a full investigation takes place and the service manager or the head of that service will give you a full response to your complaint. All complaints are treated in the strictest of confidence.

We aim to acknowledge any complaints we receive within 3 working days and you should receive a full response to your complaint at this stage within 15 working days. If the complaint takes longer to investigate we will keep you informed.

What If I am still unhappy?

If you are not happy with your stage 1 response then you can request that your complaint be escalated for a corporate review at stage 2 of the complaints policy.  This has to be requested within 28 days of your stage 1 response.  Sometimes it won’t be appropriate for a complaint to be reviewed again, for example if the decision has been made due to legal reasons.  If this is the case we will contact you to let you know.

If it is appropriate to proceed, a full impartial investigation will be carried out by the Corporate Complaints Manager, who will provide recommendations for a resolution to the department concerned (as appropriate/necessary), and an outcome for you.  Your final response from the Council will be signed off by the Chief Executive or his nominated deputy, and you should expect a response within 30 working days.

And if I still remain dissatisfied?

Hopefully we will have been able to resolve your complaint by this stage, but if you remain dissatisfied you can go to the Local Government Ombudsman who will carry out an independent investigation. There is a separate leaflet available which sets out the details of the Ombudsman’s service and this leaflet is available from all Council front desks. You can also get a copy of the leaflet from the Local Government Ombudsman’s website at www.lgo.org.uk.

The address for the Ombudsman is:

The Local Government Ombudsman
P.O. Box 4771
Coventry. CV4 0EH
Tel number: 0300 061 0614 - Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm
Website: www.lgo.org.uk  

Confidentiality

Any complaint processed through the procedure will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and Freedom of Information Act.

Contact details

Mail Corporate Complaints Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Town Hall, King William Street, Blackburn. BB1 7DY
Phone Number(s) 01254 585367
Fax Number(s) 01254 585111 / 585101
E-mail feedback@blackburn.gov.uk
Extra Information

Service available 9 -5 pm. Monday to Friday.

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