Ryedale District Council


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Comments, compliments and complaints procedure

Because your views on our services are important, we have a Comments, Compliments and Complaints scheme in place, so you can tell us what you think about our services.

If you are pleased with a service we provide or the way a member of staff has dealt with you or if you have an idea or suggestion that could help us improve our services, we would like to know.

We are committed to providing efficient and effective services to the people of Ryedale. Our aim is to provide services of high quality on a basis that is fair to all. We also want to make sure our services meet the needs and wishes of the people who use or are affected by them.

The full comments, compliments and complaints procedure guide is available to download (PDF, 6 pages, 844kb).



  • We are committed to putting you first and providing a quality customer service
  • Your complaint will be investigated and dealt with as quickly as possible; we aim to respond to all complaints within five working days
  • The Council reserves the right to extend the response timescale when considered appropriate by the Chief Executive
  • The Council also retains the discretion to vary the complaints procedure when considered appropriate
  • We will treat in confidence all information you give us and we will keep you informed and do everything we can to help and explain our decision to you
  • Your rights to Council services will not be affected in any way if a complaint is made


Most of the contacts we have with you are enquiries or comments rather than complaints. The Complaints Procedure does not cover:

  • requests for a service
  • requests for information
  • requests for an explanation of, or an appeal against a decision made by the Council 
  • provision of information about an issue or problem
  • complaints which need to be referred to the Council’s insurers
  • referrals to or appeals about decisions made by the Council, a committee, sub-committee or an employee where an appeal process is in replace or a remedy is available by appealing to a committee, a tribunal, Minister of the Crown or by proceedings in a court of law

The Council can only investigate complaints about the services under its direct control. For example, please note that complaints about health services should be directed to the NHS and complaints about schools, colleges, social care and roads should be directed to North Yorkshire County Council.


In any organisation things occasionally go wrong. When this happens we need to know why you are unhappy with the service you have received, so we can try to put things right and ensure that this does not happen again in the future. We take all complaints seriously and see all complaints as an opportunity to improve our services.

There are two types of complaint:

1. A complaint against a Member of the Council (a Councillor) in relation to the Code of Conduct for Councillors

If you have a complaint or concern about the conduct of a Member of the Council in relation to the Members Code of Conduct (PDF, 18 pages, 352kb), you can submit a complaint using our Complaint Form: Code of Conduct for Members (PDF, 8 pages, 186kb). Before completing the complaint form you are advised to read the Arrangements for Dealing with Allegations of Breach of the Members' Code of Conduct document (PDF, 4 pages, 74kb).

2. A complaint or an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about standards of service, actions, or lack of action by the Council or its employees

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about standards of service, actions, or lack of action by the Council or its employees affecting a customer or a group of customers. Complaints will be dealt with under the Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure when we are notified that the Council has:

  • done something badly or in the wrong way
  • done something we should not have done
  • failed to do something we should have done
  • treated you unfairly or discourteously
  • discriminated against you
  • acted in a way that is contrary to our policies or procedures

Stage 1: Initial Assessment and Prompt Resolution

All complaints should be made in one of the following ways:

  • by completing the online Local Government Ombudsman website
  • telephone our Customer Contact Centre on 01653 600666 and ask to speak to the Senior Customer Advisor
  • via your Local Councillor, all contact details are on our Find your Councillor Webpage
  • via a relative, friend or organisation with your written permission

If you don't want to contact the Service Unit involved direct then please address the complaint to the Customer Services Lead, the Council’s designated Complaints Officer.

To make sure your complaint is made to the correct service and dealt with promptly, please try to include as many details as possible including dates, times, the nature of the complaint, any officers involved and whether you feel the complaint is as a result of direct discrimination.  A friend or relative can act on your behalf if you wish. When making the complaint, please ensure you keep details of who you made the complaint to, again including dates and times if possible.

Most complaints are of a simple nature requiring remedial action either immediately or within five working days. We will inform you when you make your complaint of what action we will take and when. If it's not possible to resolve it within five working days you will be kept informed of progress until remedial action is complete.


Stage 2: Formal complaint

If you are not happy with the outcome, then your next step is a Formal Complaint. At this stage the complaint needs to be in writing and it will be passed to a Lead Officer from our Senior Management Team. Please include all the information from your original complaint including any reference numbers, dates and names, describe outstanding issues and the action you have requested to resolve your complaint. The Lead Officer will carry out a further investigation and will give a written reply within five working days or will inform you when and how your complaint will be dealt with if resolution is going to take longer.

Stage 3: The Local Government Ombudsman

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome you may contact the Local Government Ombudsman and ask for an independent investigation to be carried out. The Ombudsman is not part of the Council and the service is free of charge. Please bear in mind that the Ombudsman will normally only consider your case after it has been through the Council’s own Complaints Procedure.

Please visit the Local Government Ombudsman website and complete their online form, or write to;

Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771

Telephone 0300 061 0614
Fax: 024 7682 0001
Text: 'call back' to 0762 480 4299

Copies of the leaflet can be obtained from Ryedale House, Malton.

Alternatively you can access the Local Government Ombudsman website.



Contact us

Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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