Complaints and compliments

At Barnsley Council we're committed to putting our customers first. We want to know about your experience of our services.

Please tell us when you think we’ve done a good job and when you think that we can do better.  

Your complaints and compliments can help us to improve the services that we provide to all of our customers.  You can read more about the feedback we received last year and how we're using it in our annual customer feedback report.

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are currently experiencing an increased volume of customer contacts which is having an impact on our ability to respond within our usual published timescales.

To support the services that need our help most, we have suspended the delivery of our complaints service. This includes the processing of all new and existing customer complaints from 24 March 2020 until further notice. Please don't submit a new complaint as this will not be dealt with. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times.

Please note, if the matter you are raising is regarding the welfare or safety of a vulnerable child or adult or public safety matter, please click on the links below which provide you with details on how you can report your concerns.

It is important that you take this action to ensure that the right service is informed of your concern.

Please don't use our complaints form or call us to report service disruptions due to COVID-19. You can see a full list of services that may have been disrupted, postponed or cancelled on our COVID-19 webpages.

If you want to tell us something

We understand that sometimes you can be unhappy with something we have or have not done, and you just want us to deliver a service to you (such as empty your bin) or to tell us about something (such as where there’s a pothole). You don’t have to use our complaints procedure to do this - you can complete one of our online forms to tell us about:

You can see all of our online report forms, or contact us using our online enquiry form.

If your complaint is about a school or Berneslai Homes you can:

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you are unhappy with something that we may have done or said, the way that we may have acted, or with a decision we have made. When you make a complaint we would like you to work with us to help us look into what you think has gone wrong, why, and how we can learn from it.

When you make a complaint we will:

  • Always treat your complaint seriously and with great importance.
  • Always make contact with you. A member of our Customer Feedback, Information and Improvement team will try to contact you within 3 to 5 working days (it sometimes may be longer, but we will always contact you).
  • Talk to you about it – what has happened, why it has made you unhappy and what you would like to see happen or changed as a result of your complaint.
  • Ask someone from the service to look into your concerns and provide you with a response.

We ask you to:

  • Take time to think about the complaint you wish to make and the outcome you would like. It might be helpful to make some notes about the key points you wish to raise and the examples you have to support what has happened.
  • Work with us to investigate your complaint. This may mean meeting with us, talking to us and sharing documents to support your complaint.
  • Make sure you tell us everything that you wish to make a complaint about. It may be too late to add more information after we have agreed your complaint with you.
  • Treat us with respect and dignity.

Customer complaints are really important to us and provide us with an opportunity to learn from and improve our services to you.

What is a compliment?

A compliment is when you are happy with something that we may have done or said, the way that we have acted, or with a decision we have made. Your compliments will be shared with the service, and if it is about a person we will ask their manager to let them know. We will always try to contact you to thank you for the compliment you have made.

How to make a complaint or a compliment

If you have a complaint or a suggestion it’s often easier to sort it out by talking to somebody in the service first.  If you’ve done this already, and are still not happy, you can ask us to look into the matter in more detail and give you a written response. 

The quickest way to tell us about it is online, by filling in our complaints and compliments form. You can use it to tell us about any council service.

If your complaint is about a potential breach of your personal data you can report it to us here.

Other ways to contact us 

You can also make a complaint or a compliment by: 

  • telephoning (01226) 773555 between Monday and Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • writing to us at Customer Services Feedback and Improvement Team, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG - please mark your envelope TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY

What happens next 

You can expect us to acknowledge your complaint within 3 to 5 working days (it sometimes may be longer, but we will always contact you), either by telephone, email or letter.  We’ll tell you how we are going to look into your concerns and what will happen next.  

If you would like to know more about what will happen when you make a complaint, view our complaints procedure

For children's social care complaints we follow a different procedure that you can read about here. 

Sometimes not all contacts we receive are complaints or compliments and we're unable to treat them as this. Where this is the case we will always tell you and if you don’t agree with us, please contact the Customer Feedback, Information and Improvement team and let us know.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman 

If you aren’t happy with how we’ve dealt with your complaint, you have the right to ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to look into the matter for you. 

Read more about what the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman will do and how to get in touch with them.  

Other complaints 

Find out how to make a complaint about other services and organisations here: