As an organisation we welcome feedback and are committed to learning from any feedback, positive or negative. We take all feedback (complaints, compliments, suggestions and representations) received seriously. This page details how we deal with any feedback that we receive.
You can provide feedback yourself, or a family member, friend or representative can contact us.
There are a number of ways you can provide feedback:
- Via our feedback form
- Via our Customer Services Team 0345 045 5200 (Minicom 01480 376 743)
- In writing to: New Shire Hall, Emery Crescent, Enterprise Campus, Alconbury Weald, Huntingdon, PE28 4YE
- Via your County Councillor
- For Data Protection Complaints email firstname.lastname@example.org, 01223 699 137 or write to the Data Protection Officer at the above address (See section 3 for more information)
- For all social care complaints, you can raise your concerns with a social care representative (See sections 1 and 2 for more information)
Help providing comments
If you need assistance in providing feedback, please contact our Customer Services Team (0345 045 5200). If you would prefer to discuss this in person, you can also be supported to provide feedback at our main office receptions, or in our libraries where staff can support you in completing the online form.
Confidentiality in the feedback process
We will maintain the confidentiality of all personal information and only disclose it to other relevant parties with your permission or if we are otherwise legally obliged to do so. However, if we are informed of anything that makes us think that an individual is unsafe or at risk of being harmed, we will pass this on to the appropriate authority or service for action. Having your personal details helps us work with you in the best way through our feedback processes, however if you wish to make the complaint anonymously, please discuss this with our Customer Service Team. If you are raising an issue on behalf of someone else, we reserve the right to inform that person that you have contacted us.
What happens when you provide feedback
We will let you know that we have received your feedback, if you do this online we will let you know immediately. If you do not provide this online we will acknowledge your feedback within 3 working days.
Once we have received your comments we will review them and determine whether your feedback is a complaint, compliment, suggestion or representation. Further information is provided on each of the categories below.
What is a complaint
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with Cambridgeshire County Council that you believe needs resolution.
In particular a complaint is:
- Where a service is delayed or is unsatisfactory
- Where we have not delivered our statutory responsibilities
- Where you are unhappy with an employee’s attitude or behaviour
- Where you believe we have demonstrated poor customer service
- Where you are unhappy or are concerned with how we have handled your personal information. See section 3 further information on Data Protection complaints
- Where you are dissatisfied with how we have delivered policies, or where you are unhappy with a policy
- Where this relates to a service provided within the last 12 months (unless it is an issue you have only been made aware of in the past 12 months)
The complaints procedure should not be used in the following circumstances:
- Safeguarding concerns (these should immediately be referred to 0345 045 5202)
- A request for a service
- A request for information or clarification of policy or procedures
- Issues relating to individual schools which should go directly to the schools themselves
- A professional disagreement by a partner organisation
- Legal action, compensation or judicial review
- An appeal against a decision
- School admissions appeals
- Reporting a highway issue for the first time
- Complaints about a County Councillor
- Complaints about an MP
What happens when I complain? What can I expect?
If you make a complaint online you will immediately receive confirmation that your complaint has been logged by the Council. If you do not provide feedback online we will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days. This confirmation will explain the appropriate deadlines to resolve your complaint. If your complaint is about children’s social care or adult social care, we will contact you separately to confirm the process and timelines that we will follow and which officer will be dealing with your complaint. (See sections 1 and 2 for more information)
Our processes follow three stages which are set out below.
Three stage complaint procedure
You can ask for a senior manager to investigate your complaint. You can do this by contacting the person who responded to your initial complaint at Stage 1. This senior manager will investigate and aim to respond within 10 working days. If they are not able to provide a full response within the timescale, they will contact you and give a date by which you can expect a full response.
If the senior manager’s Stage 2 response does not satisfy you, you may ask the Chief Executive to review your case. The Chief Executive, or delegated senior officer, will investigate and aim to respond within 10 working days. If they are not able to provide a full response within the timescale, they will contact you and give a date by which you can expect a full response. The Chief Executive’s or delegated senior officer’s decision will be the final response from the Council.
The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)
If you remain dissatisfied with the response from the Council after your complaint has been considered at all three stages of our standard complaints process, we recommend that you contact the Local Government Ombudsman who adjudicates on the effectiveness of local authority complaints:
Local Government Ombudsman,
PO Box 4471,
Telephone: 0300 061 0614
What is a compliment
A compliment is an expression of praise or gratitude about an individual, a service, or a policy.
What happens when I make a compliment, what can I expect?
We will let you know we have received your compliment and we will pass on your compliment to the individual and/or the service it relates to.
We will report on the number of compliments received by service area to our Senior Management Team and elected members.
What is a suggestion
A suggestion is an idea or plan put forward for consideration.
What happens when I make a suggestion, what can I expect?
We will let you know we have received your suggestion, if you do this online using our eform we will do this immediately.
We will pass on your suggestion to the service it relates to who will consider your ideas. We will let you know whether we have made any changes as a result of your suggestion.
What is a representation
A representation is a comment or complaint about County Council policy or procedure (rather than how we have applied a policy or procedure). A representation can also be made about allocation of resources or the nature or availability of services. We understand that the term ‘representation’ isn’t well known, so we will tell you if we think your comment or complaint is a representation as well as outlining the timescales and processes we will follow.
What happens when I make a representation? What can I expect?
We will let you know that we have received your representation, if you do this online we will do this immediately. If you do not provide this online we will acknowledge your comments within 3 working days.
We will show your representation to the Director responsible for the relevant subject area for them to consider. If your representation relates to a policy set by another organisation we will advise you who you need to contact.
If the Director feels that the policy, legislation or funding decision should be changed, they can take it forward for further consideration and will advise you of our next steps. Please note: Cambridgeshire County Council’s elected members will then have the final decision on whether it is changed.
If the Director feels that the policy, legislation or funding decision is appropriate and should not be changed, we will let you know the reason for this decision, explaining that this is the Council’s final decision on this representation at this time. However, if we receive a significant number of similar representations, and it is within our power and responsibilities, we will consider re-investigating the concerns raised again.
We will present information on the number of representations and policy areas to our senior management team and elected members.
How we will keep in touch
If you provide your feedback online we will communicate with you by email, unless you tell us otherwise.
If you provide your feedback via email, we will continue to use this to communicate with you, unless you tell us otherwise.
If you write to us and prefer us to write rather than email, we will write back.
If you phone us or provide feedback face to face we will record your comments and respond to you using your preferred method of contact.
We will do our best to respect the method you have requested, if we are unable to do this, we will tell you the reasons for this.
Customer handling policy
The vast majority of complaints are handled effectively through the procedures outlined in this Feedback Policy.
Very occasionally, however, customers may be pursuing complaints and other issues in ways which we believe are unhelpful.
Our Customer handling policy describes how we may deal with customers where the customer is unreasonably persistent or otherwise acts unreasonably. This policy, together with guidance for staff on the relevant procedures, helps us deal with customers in ways which are consistent and fair.
The way we deal with complaints relating to how we handle your personal information under Data Protection is outlined under law (for example, the General Data Protection Regulation).
As a result, where a complaint relates to Data Protection matters your complaint will be reviewed and responded to by the Council’s Data Protection Officer (DPO).
Where a complaint covers more than one area, if there is any Data Protection elements to your complaint this will be investigated separately from your main complaint. We will endeavour to ensure you are given one comprehensive response but depending on the matter concerned we may need to issue a separate response to your Data Protection complaint.
How will your complaint be handled?
Your complaint will be investigated by the Information Governance Team within Cambridgeshire County Council and will be responded to within one month.
Where your request is complex, legislation allows us to extend this period for up to a further two months. If we need to apply this extension, we will inform you within one month of receipt of your original request. Once the investigation is complete this will be reviewed by the Data Protection Officer before the final response is issued to you.
Where you have exercised any of your rights under Data Protection law in your complaint, these will be responded to as part of your complaint.
Where can I get additional support?
If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you can contact the Information
Commissioners Office (ICO) who oversees compliance with Data Protection laws within the United Kingdom. They can be contacted via: