Delayed response times due to coronavirus
We may take longer to respond to data protection requests, information requests, complaints, or feedback at this time, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
Contact our Corporate Governance Team to 'Have Your Say'; you can make a complaint, concern, comment or compliment (known as 'the 4Cs').
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.
- what to do if you're unhappy with how we handle your complaint
- in which circumstances our 4Cs procedure does not apply.
- how we improve our standards of service
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- planning permission decisions or conditions placed on a grant of planning permission
- school admission or exclusion appeals
- complaints about a school (we're not responsible; contact the school Head Teacher or Chair of Governors for details of the complaints procedure)
- penalty charge notices issued by our parking enforcement team
- fixed penalty notices for environmental crimes (including dog fouling)
- Anti-social behaviour issues
- Appeals regarding resident parking permits (ResPark)
- Parish councillor or a parish council conduct
- appeals against the exercise of a police power (via the Independent Office for Police Conduct)
- complaints about the independent Rent Officer (via the Valuation Office Agency)
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.
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.