Adur and Worthing Complaints Procedures

John Clark made this Freedom of Information request to Worthing Borough Council

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Worthing Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: John Clark

27 March 2012

Dear Worthing Borough Council,

Information request to Clarify aspects of Adur District Council
Complaints Procedures
and
Information request to Clarify aspects of Worthing Borough Council
Complaints Procedures

Identical requests for Information are sent to each Adur and
Worthing Council because currently they are jointly operating in
some aspects of council business.

The year 2005
On 19 December 2007, Worthing Borough Councils, Information Officer
Peter Kerrigan provided me with a copy of the then current Councils
Complaints Procedures.

These Complaint Procedures were contained in a Worthing Borough
Council document called A CORPORATE PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH
CUSTOMER COMMENTS, COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS which
was dated DECEMBER 2005 and was version (v8)

The opening paragraph of this document reads as follows:

This document explains how Worthing Borough Council deals with
customer comments, compliments and complaints. It is detailed
procedural notes for the guidance of staff. A separate more
'customer friendly’ leaflet is available for distribution to the
public.

Peter Kerrigan also provided me with a copy of the above mentioned
'customer friendly’ leaflet which was called comments, compliments
& complaints which was the large print version because I was known
to be dyslexic.
Page 9 of this document was the Comments, compliments or complaint
form
Page 11 of this document was an equalities monitoring form

The year 2010

A new Joint Customer Feedback (comments, compliments and
complaints) process was agreed and adopted by the Joint Strategic
Committee on 23 March 2010
The Title of the document actually adopted and approved is “Adur &
Worthing councils Comments and complaints Feedback Procedure” and
it came into effect on 1 September 2010
A copy of the procedure was placed on the intranet for staff who
could also ask for a hard copy
Staff trained for these new procedures took place during the
summer.
New Customer Feedback leaflets were delivered to Council Offices
and new on line forms were to be in place by the first week in
September.

The New Procedures can be seen at:
http://www.worthing.gov.uk/your-council/...

The major change is the removal of all the following 3 time
restrictions.

We will not consider a complaint more than three months after the
alleged incident took place.

We will not consider a complaint at Stage 2 of this procedure if
the customer does not request a further investigation within three
months of the completion of Stage 1.

We will not consider a complaint at Stage 3 of this procedure if
the customer does not request a further investigation within three
months of the completion of Stage 2.

Contrary to the Approved Procedures, Worthing website
http://www.worthing.gov.uk/contact-us/co...
“Please note that complaints will not be considered after 3
months.”

the same is true of the Customer Feedback leaflet for Worthing and
Adur both say:
http://www.worthing.gov.uk/contact-us/co...
http://www.adur.gov.uk/docs/corporate/cu...
“Please note that we can only accept complaints within three months
of the incident.”

Recently, these time restrictions were brought to the attention
staff at a Worthing Borough Council office and later an Adur
District Council office. At both offices staff wanted to check the
Comments and complaints Feedback Procedures to find out if the
identified time restriction were correct. In both cases staff
failed to find the Feedback Procedures on their intranet.

Information requests from both Adur District Council and Worthing
Borough Council

Request AW1 Where on the councils Intranet were each councils joint
Feedback Procedures initially located.

Request AW2 Where on the councils Intranet were each councils joint
Feedback Procedures currently located

Request AW3 Should the sentence Please note that we can only accept
complaints within three months of the incident. be present in each
councils Customer Feedback leaflet.

Request AW4 If the response request AW3 is not no, then I would
like a copy of the minutes of the council meeting where the
inclusion of this time restriction was adopted and approved.

Information Requests for Adur District Council

Request A1 I would like a copy of the current “Large Print”
Customer Feedback leaflet

Request A2 I would like a copy of the of the “normal print”
Customer Feedback leaflet which immediately preceded the current
version

Request A3 I would like a copy of the of the current Equalities
monitoring form

Request A4 I would like a copy of the Procedure which immediately
predates the current Comments and complaints Feedback Procedures

Information Requests for Worthing Borough Council

Request W1 was the CORPORATE PROCEDURE v8 which immediately
preceded the current Feedback Procedure

Request W2 If the response request W1 is not yes, then I would like
a copy of the Procedures which immediately preceded the current
procedures.

Request W3..I would like a copy of the current “Large Print”
Customer Feedback leaflet

Request W4 I would like a copy of the of the “normal print”
Customer Feedback leaflet which immediately preceded the current
version

Request W5 I would like a copy of the of the current Equalities
monitoring form

Request W6 Should the sentence “Please note that complaints will
not be considered after 3 months.” be present on the Worthing
Borough Councils Website

Request W7 If the response to request W6 is not no, then I would
like a copy of the minutes of the council meeting where the
inclusion of this time restriction was adopted and approved.

Yours faithfully,

John Clark

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Worthing Borough Council

27 March 2012

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