Comments and complaints

Types of complaints

The public is entitled and encouraged to contact the Council and to receive replies. Contacts may comprise comments, representations on planning applications, criticisms of a policy which the Council has adopted, information useful to the Council, requests for services or formal complaints.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction that requires a response, about the standards of service, action or lack of action by the Council, its staff or a contractor or other organisation working on the Council’s behalf affecting an individual resident/customer or group of residents/ customers.

The following are not complaints:

  • comments, favourable or unfavourable, where you do not wish to take the matter further
  • reports of a single breach of a service standard, e.g. one missed collection of a dustbin
  • "statutory" representations in connection with planning applications, licensing applications, local development schemes and documents, or formal consultation exercises
  • representations concerning matters where you have a right to appeal, e.g. to the Magistrates' Court or to the Secretary of State, against a decision which the Council has taken or where a right to appeal has been exercised by someone else
  • concerns regarding matters which are the responsibility of another body, e.g. highways (West Sussex County Council) or health matters (NHS)
  • criticisms of a policy adopted by the Council
  • the supply of information concerning breaches of regulatory control, e.g. breaches of planning control or fly tipping
  • requests for services, an explanation of decisions taken or for information under, e.g. the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Data Protection Act 2018