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Durham County Council

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Making a complaint


We are committed to putting our customers first. However, if you are unhappy with any of our services, this page tells you how to make a complaint so we can do our best to put it right for you.

What information do we need when you make a complaint?

Please include the following details:

  • The service and /or person you are concerned about.
  • The date, time and location of the problem and the effect this may have had on you or others.
  • What you expected to happen.
  • Your name, address and contact details.
  • Any other information you think may help us to investigate your concerns.

What happens with your complaint?

If we cannot resolve it immediately we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days.
  • Give you a complaint reference number.
  • Let you know how long we think it will take to respond to your complaint.
  • Investigate and provide you with a response.

What happens if you are unhappy with our response?

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your complaint we will consider an independent investigation by our corporate complaints team. 

If we believe there is no value in an independent investigation then you will be advised to contact the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). 

What isn't a complaint?

There are some situations that are not dealt with under the complaints process:

  • Reports of problems such as a pothole or a faulty street lights.
  • Application for a service.
  • Explanations of policy or practise.
  • Requests for information - please see our page on Freedom of Information..
  • Where a service has a right of appeal - please use the relevant appeals procedure eg planning appeals.
  • A complaint that has been heard by a court or tribunal.

Services with a different complaint process

To make a complaint about other services, please use the specific information below:

Complaints relating to Council staff

If your complaint relates to the conduct of a Council employee, we will deal with this with appropriate advice from Human Resources and Internal Audit. We will then carry out a thorough investigation of the issues raised.  However, where this is progressed through our disciplinary policy details must remain confidential between the Council and the employee and so we may not always be able to share details of the outcome with you.