We want to hear about your experiences of our services. Complaints and compliments can help us improve the services we provide to all customers. We will investigate all the complaints we receive and respond as quickly as possible.
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Raise the issue directly with the person you have been dealing with, or their immediate manager. Most problems can be resolved this way.
If you need to take your complaint further, contact the corporate director of the service you have been dealing with:
If you are still not satisfied, you have the right to take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. Complete the form on The Local Government Ombudsman website or call their advice line on 0300 061 0614.
You can expect an acknowledgement within 3 working days and a full reply within 20 working days. If your complaint raises complex issues that cannot be answered within 20 working days, we will keep you informed of progress until we can fully respond.
If you call or visit one of our offices, our staff will try to help you by answering your query or getting the details needed to investigate it. They will call or write to you with the outcome of the investigation.
Your councillor may be able to help resolve your complaint by pursuing it with the relevant service for you.
You can make a complaint about our services whether you use them or not and will not be disadvantaged in any way by making a complaint or comment. You can also complain if you have been affected by our actions or decisions.
You can either complain on your own behalf or with the help of someone else such as a relative, carer, friend or advocate. We may need to seek consent from you to ensure you agree to the complaint being raised by someone else on your behalf. A member of the complaints team can assist if you need help to make a complaint or require an advocate.
If you have a private arrangement with a social care organisation or provider you will need to raise your complaint with them.
We are only required to deal with complaints about events that happened in the past 12 months. Our complaints procedure cannot change decisions made by a court of law.
Speak to the person you are dealing with or their manager (most problems are sorted out this way), or tell us about the complaint by:
You can also read our:
We will acknowledge your complaint to confirm we have received it and a member of the complaints team will contact you to discuss a plan of action to deal with your concerns. This initial communication will normally take three working days. We aim to respond to most complaints within 20 working days, but additional time is required to investigate more complex complaints. We will keep you informed of any delays in the process. You can expect your complaints to be listened to, to be investigated fairly and responded to.
If we have not been able to resolve your complaint, please contact the complaints team using the contact methods above to see if anything further can be done. However, if you are not happy with the response, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) to review the way we have dealt with your complaint.
Anyone who funds their own care, including those using a direct payment, has the right to refer their complaints to the LGO.
To contact the LGO:
This complaints procedure is for children, young people and those closely connected with them.
If we can't handle your complaint under the statutory complaints procedure we will record your views as a representation, make sure you are listened to and place your concerns on record.
We are only required to deal with complaints about events that happened in the past 12 months. Contact us for advice if your complaint is before then.
Contact us with details of your complaint:
We can help you put your complaint in writing or give you advice.
We will then look into the issues and try to help, and you will receive a written reply from a senior manager. We aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days, and by 20 working days at the latest. If your complaint will take longer we will keep you informed of the progress.
If you aren't satisfied with the first response to your complaint, you have the right to take it further. Read how to take your complaint further.
If you are worried about your child's learning or welfare at school, speak to your child's class teacher or head of year first.
If you are not satisfied with the teacher's response, arrange to speak to the headteacher. If this isn't practical, you can make a written complaint.
If your complaint is not resolved, the next stage is to approach the governing body of the school. Ask the school for a copy of its complaints procedure. All complaints to the governing body must be in writing.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the governing body you can contact either the Department of Education or Ofsted depending on the type of complaint. Read more about taking a complaint further on GOV.UK.
To complain about our response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act or related legislation:
Send full details of your complaint asking for an internal review to the Head of Paid Service, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.
If you are still unhappy, you can raise the matter with the Information Commissioner:
Our county councillors all adhere to the Kent Code of Conduct for Members.
Complaints alleging that councillors have breached the code of conduct are reviewed by a Monitoring Officer and an Independent Person. They decide if any action should be taken and if the matter should be referred to the Standards Committee.
They will not deal with complaints about things that are not covered by the Kent Code of Conduct for Members. Your complaint must state why you think the councillor has not followed the Kent Code of Conduct for Members.
To send your complaint:
Our Annual Complaints, Comments and Compliments Report for 2013/14 (PDF, 406.4 KB) shows the number of complaints we received between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. It also shows the number of complaints acknowledged and responded to within the agreed timescale.
Annual letter from the Local Government Ombudsman
The Local Government Ombudsman provides feedback to us on the cases against the council it receives.
Read our annual letters from the Local Government Ombudsman: