How we deal with complaints

When you make a complaint about our service(s), we handle it in line with our Compliments, Comments and Complaints policy. There are three possible stages to your complaint, and how it is handled.

Stage One

At the Councils, each service area has a Corporate Manager who is responsible for it. Your complaint will automatically be triaged to the Corporate (or Deputy) Manager of the service area that you have complained about.

They will contact you, to acknowledge your complaint, within five working days. From the day you submit your complaint, we have ten working days to provide a full response to you.

If we do not agree with your complaint, we will provide you with a full explanation.

Stage Two

If you do not agree with the response you receive from us in Stage One, and you are unhappy with it, you can ask that it is reinvestigated as a Stage Two complaint.

You will need to let us know what you think we did not consider, or what you were unhappy with.

At Stage Two, your complaint will be investigated by our Customer Liaison Officer (who is independent from the service you have complained about). They will re-examine all the information, and they will then provide you with an impartial response.

They will contact you within five working days, to acknowledge your complaint. From the day your complaint is submitted, we have 20 days to provide a response to you.

Stage Three

If you are still not satisfied with the reply you receive, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman . They are independent from us - and all local government.

Normally, before they consider your case, they will ask whether there is an opportunity for the complaint to be resolved without their involvement.

You can approach the Local Government Ombudsman at any time, but they will expect that you have already exhausted our complaints procedure.

You may also wish to contact your local branch of Citizens Advice, who will always assist where they can.

Contact the Local Government Ombudsman

You can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman via their website:

Complain to the Local Government Ombudsman

You also have the option to phone 0300 061 0614 instead, if you would prefer.

Each year, the Local Government Ombudsman publishes a report about every Council.

Their 2022 reports showed that, in 2021/22, the LGO:

  • made decisions on three complaints received in Babergh - and upheld one of those
  • made decisions on five complaints received in Mid Suffolk - and upheld one of those

You can access the respective reports online:

  1. Babergh District Council's annual reviews (access reviews as far back as 2007)
  2. Mid Suffolk District Council's annual reviews (access reviews as far back as 2007)

Housing Ombudsman

If you are a Council tenant who wishes to pursue a complaint further, you need to contact a 'designated person' and ask them to resolve the complaint for you. The Housing Ombudsman define a designated person as an MP or Councillor.

If your designated person is not able to resolve the complaint, they can then refer it to the Housing Ombudsman. 

Complaints to the Housing Ombudsman do not have to be referred by a designated person. However - if they are not - there must be at least eight weeks from the end of our complaint process, before the complaint can be considered.

Contact the Housing Ombudsman

Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code

In April 2022, the Housing Ombudsman updated their Complaint Handling Code.

We, as landlords, must now complete a self-assessment on our compliance with their Complaint Handling Code.