Complaints or feedback about the Council
Oldham Council is committed to providing consistently high quality services, and although the majority of the time our services are provided to very high standards, occasionally things do go wrong.
We welcome feedback from our customers and complaints are a valuable source of information to help us to:
- Continuously improve the standard of services
- Understand when things have gone particularly well
- Put things right when they have gone wrong
- Learn from mistakes
The council treat all complaints very seriously and they are recorded and reported on.
Make a complaint or give feedback
To make a complaint, contact the Complaints Team, or complete the online form:
If you don’t feel able to make a complaint yourself, you could ask a friend or relative to help.
How the Council will deal with your complaint
The Council provides a fair, consistent and structured approach to dealing with your complaint.
When you make your complaint, you will receive acknowledgement within 5 days (usually in the format in which you made your complaint e.g. letter, email, or phone).
In many cases, a complaint is very straightforward. It’s the council’s aim to make sure you get a response as soon as possible – in some cases we can respond to people immediately or on the on the same day.
If the complaint is more complex, you might be asked to agree a statement of complaint, and working towards a resolution will take a little longer. A statement of complaint is just a synopsis of the issues raised that makes it more straightforward for the complaint investigator to ensure that everything involved in the complaint is fully understood and agreed by everyone involved.
At this point, the complaints team will arrange for an investigation to take place. The Complaints Team will ensure that the appropriate person within the council provides you with a final response after it has been investigated.
On rare occasions, you may feel that the final response issued by the council still does not take account of your concerns. You can still get in touch with the complaints team to discuss your outstanding concerns. If your response from the council is final, you can also get in touch with the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). The Local Government Ombudsman looks at complaints about councils after the complaint has already been investigated and responded to by the council. It is a free service. Their job is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry, CV4 0EH
Phone: 0300 061 0614 (LGO Advice Team)
Some parts of the council have a different complaints system that they must use. You can use the Complaints Team contact details above to make any complaints, and you can also use the links below to view information specific to the different complaint areas:
- School complaints
- Children and families services
- Councillor complaints
- First Choice Homes Oldham
- Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Where possible the council will look at all complaints in the way described above. Some exceptions apply due to statutory and legal limitations such as:
- A Town and Country Planning Appeal against a refusal of Planning Permission
- A complaint where the customer has commenced legal proceedings or has taken court action but not cases where a customer has simply threatened to start legal proceedings against the Council
- A complaint has already been heard by a court or tribunal, including the Revenue Services Review Board appeal mechanism
- A complaint about Social Services Provision covered by statutory procedures, (i.e. Section 7B of the Local Authority Social Services Act, 1970 as amended by Section 50 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act,1990)
- A school admission or exclusion appeal
- A staff complaint about a personnel matter, including appointments, dismissals, pay, pensions and discipline (but not from staff as service users)
- A complaint about a penalty charge notice by the Parking Control Service (except administrative issues) and the recovery process thereafter
- A complaint against the refusal of disabled badges for parking exemption.
In these instances, you will be informed as to the Appeal Process.
Aggressive or persistent complainants
The Council is committed to dealing fairly and honestly with complaints and ensuring that other service users, officers or the Council as a whole do not suffer as a result of the rare instances in which a complainant becomes aggressive or persistent.
The Council will write to aggressive complainants to inform them that their behaviour is unacceptable.
Council staff will not tolerate aggressive behaviour, bad language, racist, sexist and discriminatory comments.
The Council understands that sometimes people find it could be difficult to make a complaint.
Please be assured that all complaints are treated in the strictest confidence and that it is your right to complain.
If you do not provide us with a contact name or address it will not be possible for us to get back to you with the outcome of the investigation, but on most occasions anonymous complaints are still brought to attention of the relevant service for consideration.
The Council aims to handle all complaints fairly and honestly regardless of who makes the complaint.
All members of the community are treated equitably and bias will not be shown to any particular individual or group.
English is the Council's principal language, however we will provide information in other formats and languages if appropriate on request.