Your council

Make a complaint or suggestion

Contact our Corporate Governance Team to 'Have Your Say'; you can make a complaint, concern, comment or compliment (known as 'the 4Cs').

Raise a complaint, concern, comment or compliment

Dealing with your feedback

We've set out how we deal with:

Our 4Cs procedure is for 'individual customers' (residents and service users) who live, work, visit or travel within the City of York Council area and receive one of our services directly or through another organisation, including council employees who are residents and service users (not using this procedure in their capacity as an employee).

If you find it difficult to make a complaint yourself you can ask someone you trust to help you. If a friend, relative, voluntary agency (or your local councillor or Member of Parliament (MP) acting as your advocate) provides help, you must supply written consent for them having access to your personal information. Citizens' Advice can also help you make a complaint.

If you're raising a concern, comment or complaint you will not be treated unfairly as a result.

Find out:


How we deal with comments

Our Corporate Governance Team will contact you to thank you within 10 working days of receiving your comment. If you've made a suggestion to improve what we do a manager will let you know within 20 working days how we'll put your suggestion into practice, or explain why we can’t.

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How we deal with compliments

Our Corporate Governance Team will contact you to thank you within 10 working days of receiving a compliment from you about the standard of service you experienced. The council employee or service to whom the compliment refers will be informed within 20 working days, and will use your compliment to maintain or improve our standard of service.

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How we deal with complaints and concerns

A complaint or concern is a way of letting us know that you're not happy with a particular service. A complaint or concern may be about a delay, lack of response, or about the standard of service you've received.

Please let us know if:

  • you think we've done something wrong
  • we've not done something that we said we would do
  • you're not satisfied with a particular service, or set of services that we provide

We have 2 grades for dealing with complaints set out in our Policy and Procedures for Complaints, Concerns, Comments and Compliments (known as 'The 4Cs Toolkit').

Each complaint is assessed and graded based on the issues raised, and:

  • severity and complexity
  • risk to the customer, other customers and the council
  • history of similar complaints
  • likelihood of future similar complaints

We'll also consider:

  • the outcomes the complainant wants to resolve the complaint
  • who is best placed to effectively respond to the complaint
  • the complainant’s views of how the complaint should be dealt with

At any point, if we agree with your complaint we will:

  • apologise and explain what went wrong
  • provide the service you are entitled to receive
  • change our process, where relevant, so that the mistake is not repeated

Unreasonable or unreasonably persistent complaints

Where a complaint is deemed to be deliberately unreasonable or unreasonably persistent, we may, at any stage of the complaints procedure, review the complaint and give a decision without a formal investigation.

If a complaint is substantially the same complaint as has been made by the same complainant within the previous 12 months, we may decide not to investigate. 

In each of these circumstances you'll be informed in writing of our decision.

Anonymous complaints

We understand that it might be difficult for you to complain because you're worried that it could result in a poorer service to yourself or your household.

Please be assured that we treat all complaints against us in strictest confidence, and that it is your right to complain.

Please note that we don’t always investigate a complaint when it is made anonymously.

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If you're unhappy with how we handle your complaint

Contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) if you're not satisfied with our complaints procedure. If it's more appropriate to refer you to the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS), rather than the LGSCO, we'll let you know. Please be aware that neither the LGSCO nor the HOS will look at the merits of your complaint, but they may investigate how we've dealt with it.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) makes final decisions on complaints that we have not resolved. They'll look into your complaint if you believe:

  • there's been injustice or hardship because we have not acted properly
  • we have given a poor service, and not put things right

See details of previous ombudsman decisions about City of York Council.

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When our 4Cs procedure does not apply

We intend, where possible, to deal with all complaints using our '4Cs' procedure. The only exceptions are for statutory and legal reasons, such as a complaint that has already been heard by a court or tribunal, or a complaint where the customer or the council has commenced legal proceedings or has taken court action.

Our '4Cs' procedure is not applicable to services which have specific procedures governing their complaints and appeals, such as:

Any complaint relating to social care services will be investigated using the relevant statutory procedure through the Corporate Governance Team. For more information please contact the Corporate Governance Team.

Any complaint relating to the conduct or behaviour of our employees, contractors or partners will be investigated using the relevant council procedure, for example, Human Resources. We'll advise you where this is the case, but we will not advise you of any outcomes; if you're a member of staff contact your manager or HR Advisor in the first instance.

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How we improve our standards of service

Your complaint or concern will be dealt with properly and our response will be clear, outlining what we've done, and what we're unable to do. On a regular basis, we'll evaluate all comments, compliments, complaints and concerns we receive and make any recommended changes in processes or service provision where the nature and level of 4Cs indicates that this is appropriate.

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Also see

Corporate Governance Team - Have Your Say

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 554145