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Chiltern District Council
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if there is a problem

If you want to complain about the way we have done something or if there is something we have failed to do, please let us know. First of all, please speak to the member of staff who has been dealing with you and tell them about the problem. They may be able to sort it out straight away. However if you consider that your complaint cannot be resolved by speaking to the member of staff you have been dealing with, you have the right to make a formal complaint straight away.

Making a formal complaint

If you are not happy with the response you get from the member of staff you can complain to the Head of the Service that you have a complaint about. He or she will investigate your complaint.

You can complain using the attached form, in person, by phone or by e-mail. If you want to complain in person please make an appointment. If you need help to fill in the form please let one of the contacts know. You can also visit the Council Offices, Amersham where a Customer Services Officer can help you fill in the form. Alternatively you may contact the Administration Manager, Corporate Services, for help. Details on how to contact the Council are set out at the end of this page

How long will it take?

We aim to reply to all correspondence, including complaints, in ten working days. If we cannot do this we will send you a card or a letter within that time telling you when you can expect to receive a reply. If we are not able to reply in ten days, because your case needs investigating, we will aim to do so in 21 working days.

What if you are still not happy?

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask the Chief Executive, who is in overall charge of all services, to investigate your complaint. He may ask a senior member of staff to carry out the investigation on his behalf. When the Chief Executive has considered your case he will take a final decision.

You can write to the Chief Executive - the Chief Executive will only look at your complaint if you have already made a complaint to the division you have a problem with.

Support

You can have a friend, relative or someone from an organization such as the Citizens' Advice Bureau help you make your complaint and be present at any meetings we have with you.

Please contact us promptly

If you think that something has gone wrong, please let us know as quickly as possible. If you delay, it may be hard for us to find out what happened and we may not be able to help you.

Special needs

If you or a person you are representing need an interpreter or want the information translating into another language, or on to audio tape, please let us know when the complaint is first made.

Complaints Concerning Information Requests

If you are unhappy with a response to a request for information, you may seek a review as follows:

• The Council's Complaints Form should be used;

• The completed Complaints Form should be sent to the person who originally responded to your information request;

• Where possible, the review will be conducted by a different and more senior Officer;

• The reviewing Officers will notify you of their decision in writing within 15 working days;

• Unless your complaint is upheld in full, you will be informed of your right to ask the Information Commissioner to take the final decision.

Note - The Local Government Ombudsman has no power to investigate complaints about the handling of Information Requests