Complaints and compliments

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We want to hear about your experience. 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.

Complaints

You can send general complaints or complaints about a specific service.

Report a fault on a highway

You need to use the online fault reporting tool if you want to report a problem on a highway such as:

  • street light faults
  • potholes
  • drainage
  • traffic signal faults
  • verge maintenance

You cannot request an insurance claim form for damage to your vehicle using the highways complaints form. For more information read our guidance on how to make a claim for damage to your vehicle.

How to make a complaint

You can complain about the highways and transportation service using the complaints form.

This form is only for complaints about the service you have received from us for:

  • highways (excluding reporting problems)
  • driver diversionary schemes (Including speed awareness courses)
  • young person's and 16+ travel passes

Responses

Once reported, you will receive an acknowledgement or courtesy call within 72 hours from a member of our highways staff. We aim to resolve your complaint within 20 working days at the latest. If your complaint will take longer we will keep you informed of the progress.

Your borough and district councils are responsible for:

  • dog waste
  • fly-tipping
  • household waste bin emptying/ collections
  • litter
  • street cleaning
  • roadside waste bins

How to make a complaint

We are responsible for the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Kent.

You can make a complaint online about:

  • our HWRC policy (i.e. restrictions on vehicles, commercial waste, pedestrians etc.)
  • HWRC voucher scheme eligibility
  • the level of service provided at HWRC

Responses

Once reported, we aim to resolve your complaint within 20 working days at the latest. If your complaint will take longer we will keep you informed of the progress.

Report or track a fault on a public right of way

You can use the online fault reporting tool to report a problem on a public right of way such as:

  • broken stiles
  • overgrown vegetation or fallen trees
  • damaged or dangerous path surfaces
  • damaged or missing signposts
  • obstructions preventing use.

You can also use the tool to track an existing fault.

How to make a complaint

You can complain about the Public Rights of Way and access service using the complaints form.

Responses

We aim to resolve your complaint within 20 working days at the latest. If your complaint will take longer we will keep you informed of the progress.

Apply for a bus pass

We offer a variety of bus pass applications, including:

How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint online about:

  • the cost of the YPTP/ 16+ travel pass
  • the renewal process for bus passes
  • eligibility for the concessionary bus passes

Responses

Once reported, we aim to resolve your complaint within 20 working days at the latest. If your complaint will take longer we will keep you informed of the progress.

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.

Step 1

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:

  • fill in our online form
  • email: complaintsteamadults@kent.gov.uk
  • call: 03000 41 04 10
  • write to: Adult Social Care Complaints Team, 3rd floor Invicta House, County Road, Maidstone ME14 1XX
  • text relay: 18001 03000 41 04 10

You can also read our:

Responses

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 1

Contact us with details of your complaint:

  • fill in our online form
  • write to Kent Children's Social Services, Customer Care, Kroner House, Eurogate Business Park, Ashford, TN24 8XU
  • call 03000 41 03 04
  • email cscomplaints@kent.gov.uk
  • text 0786000 8025, start your message with the word complaint.

We can help you put your complaint in writing or give you advice.

Responses

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.

Step 2

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.

Complaints about schools and academies

Schools and academies deal with complaints themselves. These are not the responsibility of the Council.

Each school and academy is required to have its own complaints procedure which should be available to parents, pupils and members of the public. In most cases you should be able to find the complaints procedure on the school or academy’s own website; otherwise you can ask the school for a copy. The complaints procedure will focus on resolving concerns as early as possible.

Complaints procedures may vary, however they generally include progression through the following stages:

Stage 1

Raise your complaint with a staff member (though not if they are the subject of the complaint).

Stage 2

Progress your complaint to the head teacher or Head of School if you are not satisfied with the first response.

Stage 3

Progress your complaint to the Chair of Governors.

Stage 4

Progress your complaint to the Governing Body’s complaints appeal panel.

If your complaint is about the headteacher write to the Chair of Governors for the school.

If you go through all 4 stages and are not happy with the response, you can write to the Secretary of State for Education about a maintained school or to the Education Funding Agency if you are dealing with an academy. You will need to list the steps you have already taken and the responses you have received. For a complaint about a maintained school write to:

The Secretary of State
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
London SW1

You can also submit a form online.

This complaints and appeals procedure relates to the Government’s free early education and childcare schemes for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. If you are a parent with a complaint that relates to other aspects of early years or childcare, contact our childcare advice line.

Parents' complaints and appeals

If you find it hard to get an early education and childcare place:

  • Contact our childcare advice line. We can provide a brokerage service to support you to find a place.
  • Where a place cannot be found, you can complain in writing to us, and we will submit the complaint or you can fill in our online form.

If you need to appeal because you wish to change your child’s setting after headcount week, or who wish to increase their universal hours after headcount week:

  • Contact our childcare advice line. We will help you decide if you have grounds to make an appeal.
  • Submit a formal appeal through our childcare advice line by providing us with the necessary information and evidence. Your appeal will be acknowledged within 2 working days. A decision to uphold or not uphold an appeal is made within 20 working days, unless more time is needed to collect further information. We will keep you updated if this is the case.
  • If your appeal is not upheld submit a complaint. Fill in our online form, email or by telephone us.

If you wish to complain about the way the free early education and childcare place is being delivered:

  • Approach your childcare provider, first by informal discussion and then if necessary through the provider’s formal complaints procedure.
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of making a complaint to the provider, contact our childcare advice line. You can expect to receive advice on any limitations we may have in hearing a complaint and support to make a complaint. You can make your complaint in writing or by telephone through our childcare advice line or fill in our online form. You should expect to receive a response within 20 days but in more complex cases a longer response time may be required. We will keep you updated if this is the case.

For all the above, if you are not satisfied with the way the complaint has been dealt with by us or believe we have acted unreasonably you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. Complaints are normally only considered when the local complaints procedures have been exhausted.

Provider complaints

For childcare providers with a complaint relating to the delivery of the free early education and childcare entitlement.

Step 1

Take up your complaint directly with the Head of Service. We will aim to sort out the problem as quickly and as easily as possible. Depending on the complexity of the complaint, this could take up to 20 working days.

Write to either:

  • Early Years and Childcare Service for complaints relating to the general administration of the funding or relating to the withdrawal of funding from a provider
    • Alex Gamby, Head of Early Years and Childcare, Kent County Council, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ.
  • Management Information for complaints relating to the systems and processes used for the counting and payment calculation for funded children
    • Katherine Atkinson, Head of Information and Intelligence, Kent County Council, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ.

Step 2

If you remain dissatisfied you can escalate your complaint by writing to the Divisional Director or fill in our online form. When we receive your complaint we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 3 working days
  • aim to resolve your complaint or appeal within 20 working days, providing a full account of its findings and any actions resulting from the investigation
  • inform and update you where this timescale cannot be met

Step 3

If you are not satisfied with the way the complaint has been dealt with by us or believe we have acted unreasonably you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

To complain about our response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act or related legislation:

Step 1

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.

Step 2

If you are still unhappy, you can raise the matter with the Information Commissioner:

If you suspect a Data Protection breach, please email details to dataprotection@kent.gov.uk

Our county councillors all adhere to the Kent Code of Conduct for Members.

Step 1

Read:

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.

Step 2

To send your complaint:

Step 1

Raise the issue directly with the person you have been dealing with, or their immediate manager. Most problems can be resolved this way.

Step 2

If you need to take your complaint further, contact the corporate director of the service you have been dealing with:

Step 3

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.

Responses

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.

Compliments

Do you know someone at Kent County Council who has done a good job and deserves to be recognised for their work? Tell us about them.

You can also send us general comments that aren't specifically a complaint or compliment.

Website feedback

You can give us feedback about this website by clicking on the faces at the bottom of a page. You can tell us what you thought of the page and if you found the information you were looking for. We use this feedback to improve the site.

Customer feedback performance

Our Annual Complaints, Comments and Compliments Report for 2017/18 (PDF, 252.3 KB) shows the number of complaints we received between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. 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 letter from the Local Government Ombudsman 2016/17 (PDF, 91.8 KB)

Complaints relating to the fluency duty (Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2016)

To make a complaint under the Fluency Duty Code of Conduct, you should use our normal complaints procedure.

Public authorities are subject to the fluency duty in relation to all of their staff who work in customer-facing roles.

For the purposes of the fluency duty, a legitimate complaint is one about the standard of spoken English of a public sector member of staff in a customer-facing role. It will be made by a member of the public or someone acting on his or her behalf, complaining that the authority has not met the fluency duty.

A complaint about a member of staff's accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality would not be considered a legitimate complaint about the fluency duty.