Next week (8 September), cabinet members will be asked to approve our annual review of the compliments, complaints and comments we received in the past year.
The 2020-21 Annual Customer Feedback Report provides an overview of what you had to say about our services between April 2020 and March 2021.
The report found that the number of complaints we received fell by more than 20 per cent year-on-year, and we are pleased to see a rise in how many compliments were made to our services. This year's report found that:
- We received 475 compliments in 2020-21, up from 369 in the previous year. The Environment and Transport business unit once again received the most praise.
- The number of complaints we received fell, decreasing from 275 in 2019-20 to 211.
The annual review also highlights how your feedback helped improve services and any learning identified through our complaints procedure.
As part of our commitment to putting our residents first, our teams used feedback in the past year to identify ways we can better deliver our services. This has been evidenced in the drop in the number of complaints made.
Significant improvements have been made to how we handle complaints, helping to ensure faster decisions for customers.
This year's report found that complaints were acknowledged faster and resolved within agreed timescales.
In terms of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman:
- They received 21 complaints in 2020-21, down from 41 in the previous year.
- Of these, 19 required the Ombudsman to undertake a formal investigation. Five cases were upheld, and three saw recommendations made to the council.
While the number of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman has increased, they were 100 per cent satisfied that we had successfully implemented their recommendations.
They also concluded that more work was needed by services at the heart of a complaint to reach a satisfactory result with the customer before it is escalated to the Ombudsman.
Councillor Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, said: "We have achieved many things as a council over the past 18 months, all underpinned by our passion for delivering excellent services for our residents.
"We are always looking for ways to improve what we do, with listening to and taking on board your feedback a crucial part of making our services better. We will use this report to continue exploring how we can improve our ways of working to best support you.
"We want out residents to have their voices heard. We will work with you to fully understand your complaint and reach a fair and swift resolution.
"Submitting your feedback is the best way to let us know your experiences of our services. Any resident wishing to compliment us or make a complaint can do so by visiting our have your say webpage."