Complaints, compliments and feedback

Your Voice is our feedback policy, which sets out how we deal with complaints, compliments, suggestions and comments about the services we provide. You can use it to let us know how we're doing and how we can improve.

Please be aware that the Council may take longer to respond to any correspondence or complaints, due to staff shortages and the Council’s response to Coronavirus. Thank you for your understanding.

Making a complaint

There are different ways to make a complaint, depending on what your complaint is about. 

Complaints about councillors

Complaints about councillors

You can make a complaint about a county councillor or a city, town and community councillor if you think they have breached their code of conduct. You can find the Members’ Code of Conduct in section 18 of the  Council Constitution.

Examples of ways in which a councillor could breach their code of conduct include: 

  • behaving in a way that has a negative effect on the council’s reputation
  • using their position unfairly to gain advantage for themselves or someone else 
  • improper use of the council’s resources 
  • failing to declare an interest 
  • bullying behaviour 
  • not treating everyone equally 
  • revealing confidential information about someone without a good reason
How do I make a complaint about a councillor?

If you would like to make a complaint about a councillor, you must complain directly to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (external website).

You must tell the Ombudsman specifically what you believe the councillor has done that has broken the code of conduct, and you have to give some direct evidence of this. You may need to be interviewed as part of any investigation.

You must be prepared for your name and what you say in your complaint to be passed on to the councillor concerned, and to the council. It’s possible that it may become public knowledge.

You can get more detailed information about the complaints process on the Ombudsman’s website (external website).

Complaints about schools

Complaints about schools

Pupils, parents, guardians and members of the public can make a complaint about a school.

If you have concerns about any aspect of your education, or your child's education, you can often resolve them quickly by talking to a member of staff at the school, such as a teacher.

However very occasionally a concern may not get resolved in this way and you may consider making a complaint. You will need to complain directly to the school as the school is responsible for addressing your concerns through its complaints procedure.

All of Denbighshire’s schools have a complaints procedure. Contact your school to get a copy of their procedure.  This will help guide you through the process you need to follow.

Common concerns

It is not always clear who has a right to be involved in decisions about a child's education and other school matters.  The Welsh Government provides this guidance (external website) for schools, but it is also useful for parents and carers.

If you are concerned about bullying you should speak to a teacher at the school.  You can also ask to see the school's anti-bulliyng policy - every school has one of these.  Find out more about dealing with bullying.

Role of the Council

Denbighshire County Council has only a very limited right to intervene and cannot make decisions about your complaint. However if you feel that the school did not follow the procedure correctly you can contact us for further advice.

Complaints about a council service

Your Voice, our complaints procedure, is for complaints about council services and specific issues only. It is not for one-off requests for services. For general requests, try:

How to make a complaint about a council service

Make a complaint about a council service online

  • Call us on 01824 706000 or 0800 032 1099 (for complaints about social services)
  • Write to us at:
    • Your Voice, PO Box 62, Ruthin, LL15 9AZ 
    • Customer Connections, Russell House, Churton Road, Rhyl, LL18 3DP (for complaints about social services)
  • Tell a member of staff at a One Stop Shop or in Social Services (for complaints about social services)
  • Email ssdcomments@denbighshire.gov.uk (for complaints about social services)
What happens after making a complaint about a council service?

If you have made a complaint about a council service, these are the procedures we will follow:

Complaints about social services
Complaints about social services

If you have made a complaint about social services, this is the procedure we will follow:

Stage 1 – Local Resolution
  • We will listen to you and try to sort out the problem straight away. This will be within 10 working days.
  • If you feel we have sorted out your complaint we will write down what has been agreed and send it to you within a further 5 working days.
  • If we have not been able to sort out your complaint you can move on to stage 2
Stage 2 – Formal Investigation
  • If you are not happy with the result at Stage 1 and wish to move onto Stage 2 we will talk to you or your representative about your complaint.
  • We will write down your complaint and send it to you within 5 working days.
  • We will start the formal investigation when you return a signed copy of your complaint.
  • The Independent Investigating Officer will speak to the people involved to find out what’s happened; and
  • We will write to you and let you know what we have found within 25 working days of the start of the formal investigation.
Complaints about other council services
Complaints about other council services

If you have made a complaint about another council service, this is the procedure we will follow:  

Stage 1 Informal:

If possible, it is best to deal with things straight away rather than try to sort them out later. If you have a concern, please tell the person you’re dealing with and they will try to resolve it with you there and then.

If you feel you need to complain to a different member of staff, or a more senior officer, there is less chance of the complaint being resolved immediately, as they will need time to investigate.

If you raise your complaint with a member of staff but it can’t be answered straight away or within a short period of time, it will be referred to a member of staff from the service who will investigate. You will be told if this is the case and what will happen next.

We will try to resolve your complaint within 10 working days. If we require additional time we will contact you to let you know why and when we plan to respond to you.

Stage 2 Formal:

If you are unhappy with the stage 1 response you can escalate your complaint to stage 2. Please contact us within 28 days of receiving your stage 1 response. We will ask a different member of staff to investigate the issues.

This step of the process requires a more detailed investigation which can take up to 20 working days. If we require additional time we will contact you to let you know why and when we plan to respond to you.

When the investigation is completed we will contact you with our findings and let you know what actions we plan to take.

This is the final stage of our complaints process. If we are unable to resolve your complaint you may wish to contact the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales.

Complaints of a complex or serious nature may be considered at stage 2 from the outset.

If we don’t succeed in resolving your complaint, you can complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (external website). The Ombudsman is independent of all government bodies, and can look into your complaint if you believe you have been treated unfairly. You can get details of how to contact the Ombudsman on their website (external website).

Help making a complaint

If you would like some help to make your complaint, please let us know. Our staff are fully trained to help you. If you would prefer help from someone who doesn't work for the council, you can contact Complaints Wales (external website) for independent and impartial advice.

Compliments and feedback

We want you to tell us about the little things that niggle you about how we work, the things that make you think ‘wouldn’t it be better to do it like this?’

If you have an idea about how we could do something differently, we want to know about it.

Remember, if you don’t tell us about it, we can’t do anything about it.

You can also let us know about something we've done well, by paying us a compliment.

Give us your feedback online

  • Call us on 01824 706000
  • Write to us at: Your Voice, County Hall, Wynnstay Road, Ruthin LL15 1YN
  • Tell a member of staff at a One Stop Shop

What happens after giving feedback?

If you make a suggestion or have a comment, we will look into it and see if we can use your ideas to improve, so that we can deliver better services.

If you pay us a compliment, we will pass your comments on to the relevant staff.

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