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.

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.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is when you're unhappy with something that we may have done or said, the way that we may have acted, or with a decision we've made. When you make a complaint we'd 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'll:

  • always treat your complaint seriously and with great importance.
  • always make contact with you. A member of our Customer Resolution team will try to contact you within three to five working days (it sometimes may be longer, but we'll always contact you).
  • talk to you about it – what's happened, why it's made you unhappy and what you'd 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'd 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's 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've 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're happy with something that we may have done or said, the way that we have acted, or with a decision we've made. Your compliments will be shared with the service, and if it's about a person we'll ask their manager to let them know. We'll always try to contact you to thank you for the compliment you've made.

How to make a complaint or a compliment about a council service

If you've 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 compliments and complaints form below. You can use it to tell us about any council service. 

If your complaint is about a potential breach of your personal data, you should report a personal data breach to us.

Complaints about a councillor

You're entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from all members of the council, however, if you are unhappy with the actions of a councillor you can make a complaint.

The Members Code of Conduct outlines the expectations of councillors and appendix 3 outlines the procedure for how members' code of conduct concerns and complaints will be considered. It's important to note that there are some types of complaint which won't be considered under this procedure.

The quickest way to tell us about your complaint is by completing our online make a complaint about a councillor form below. If your complaint is about a council service however, please use our complaint or compliment about a council service form instead.

Other complaints 

If your complaint is about a potential breach of your personal data, you should report a personal data breach to us.

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

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 choose one of the links below which provides you with details on how you can report your concerns.

It's important that you take this action to make sure that the right service is informed of your concern.

You can find out how to make a complaint about other services and organisations here: 

Other ways to contact us

You can also make a complaint or a compliment by: 

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

What happens next 

A member of the Customer Resolution Team will review the contact you have made.   We'll then contact you to advise on the action that will be taken from the information you've provided. If the action being taken is different to that of which you have requested (e.g. a complaint) an explanation will be provided.  If you want to discuss how we've handled your contact please let the Customer Resolution Team know as soon as possible.

Please note where you've requested to make a complaint it may be that there are different ways, which are not the complaints process, for your concerns to be handled.  For example -  if you're requesting an action to be taken the service responsible for this may be able to address the matter without you having to use the complaints process. 

We aim to contact all customers whose contacts are to be accepted as a complaint within 3 to 5 working days from receipt of contact.  However should you not receive contact from us within this timescale please be assured that any contact we receive will be considered and processed at the earliest opportunity.

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. 

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.