Ryedale District Council

Complaints procedure

Because your views on our services are important, we have a Comments, Compliments and Complaints scheme in place, so you to tell us what you think about our services.

If you are pleased with a service we provide or the way a member of staff has dealt with you, we would like to know. If you have an idea or suggestion that could help us improve our services let us know.  

Ryedale District Council is committed to providing efficient and effective services to the people of Ryedale. Our aim is to provide services of high quality on a basis that is fair to all.  We also want to make sure our services meet the needs and wishes of the people who use or are affected by them.

The full procedure guide for dealing with comments, compliments and complaints is available to download from the bottom of this page.

How do I make a comment or a compliment?

  • by completing the Comments, Compliment, Complaints Form available at Ryedale House
  • telephone the Customer Contact Centre on 01653 600666 and ask to speak to the Business Support Team Leader or Manager
  • email us feedback
  • by letter to the Business Support Manager, Ryedale District Council, Ryedale House, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 7HH
  • by fax on 01653 699889
  • via your Local Councillor, all contact details are on our Find your Councillor Webpage
  • by completing the online Corporate Comments, Compliments and Complaints Form

Our promise to you

  • We are committed to putting you first and providing a quality customer service
  • Your complaint will be investigated and dealt with as quickly as possible; we aim to respond to all complaints within five working days
  • The Council reserves the right to extend the response time-scale when considered appropriate by the Chief Executive
  • The Council also retains a discretion to vary the complaints procedure when considered appropriate
  • We will treat all the information you give us in confidence. and we will keep you informed and do everything we can to help and explain our decision to you
  • Your rights to Council services will not be affected in any way if a complaint is made

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What is not a complaint?

Most of the contacts we have with you are enquiries or comments rather than complaints. The Complaints Procedure does not cover:

  • requests for a service
  • requests for information
  • requests for an explanation of, or an appeal against a decision made by the Council 
  • provision of information about an issue or problem
  • complaints which need to be referred to the Council’s insurers
  • referrals to or appeals about decisions made by the Council, a committee, sub-committee or an employee where an appeal process is in replace or a remedy is available by appealing to a committee, a tribunal, Minister of the Crown or by proceedings in a court of law

The Council can only investigate complaints about the services under its direct control. For example, please note that complaints about health services should be directed to the NHS, and complaints about schools and colleges and roads should be directed to North Yorkshire County Council. 

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In any organisation things occasionally go wrong. When this happens we need to know why you are unhappy with the service you have received in order that we can try to put things right and ensure that this does not happen again in the future. We take all complaints seriously and see all complaints as an opportunity to improve our services.

There are two types of complaint:

1. A complaint against a Member of the Council (a Councillor) in relation to the Code of Conduct for Councillors

If you have a complaint or concern about the conduct of a Member of the Council in relation to the Code of Conduct for below, you can submit a complaint using our complaint form Complaint Form: Code of Conduct for Members form below. Before completing the complaint form you are advised to read the Arrangements for Dealing with Allegations of Breach of the Members' Code of Conduct document below..

2. A complaint or an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about standards of service, actions, or lack of action by the Council or its employees

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about standards of service, actions, or lack of action by the Council or its employees affecting a customer or a group of customers.  Complaints will be dealt with under the Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure when we are notified that the Council has:

  • done something badly or in the wrong way
  • done something we should not have done
  • failed to do something we should have done
  • treated you unfairly or discourteously
  • discriminated against you
  • acted in a way that is contrary to our policies or procedures

Stage 1: Initial Assessment and Prompt Resolution

All complaints should be made in one of the following ways:

If you don't want to contact the Service Unit involved direct then please address the complaint to The Business Support Manager, the Council’s designated Complaints Officer. Ryedale District Council addresses, telephone numbers and directions to the Council's offices are available on the Contact Us page.

To make sure your complaint is made to the correct service unit and dealt with promptly, please try to include as many details as possible including dates, times, the nature of the complaint, any officers involved and whether you feel the complaint is as a result of direct discrimination.  A friend or relative can act on your behalf if you wish. When making the complaint, please ensure you keep details of who you made the complaint to, again including dates and times if possible.
Most complaints are of a simple nature requiring remedial action either immediately or within five working days. We will inform you when you make your complaint of what action we will take and when. If it's not possible to resolve it within five working days you will be kept informed of progress until remedial action is complete.
What do I do if I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint?
Stage 2: Formal complaint

If you are not happy with the outcome, then your next step is a Formal Complaint. At this stage the complaint needs to be in writing and it will be passed to a Head of Service from our Senior Management Team. Please include all the information from your original complaint including any reference numbers, dates and names, describe outstanding issues and the action you have requested to resolve your complaint.  The Head of Service will carry out a further investigation and will give a written reply within five working days or will inform you when and how your complaint will be dealt with if resolution is going to take longer.

Stage 3: The Local Government Ombudsman

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome you may contact the Local Government Ombudsman and ask for an independent investigation to be carried out. The Ombudsman is not part of the Council and the service is free of charge. Please bear in mind that the Ombudsman will normally only consider your case after it has been through the Council’s own Complaints Procedure.

Please visit the Local Government Ombudsman website and complete their online form, or write to;

Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771

Telephone:  0300 061 0614
Fax:  024 7682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 480 4299
Copies of the leaflet can be obtained from Ryedale House, Malton.
Alternatively you can access the Local Government Ombudsman website.


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