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Complaint Policy and Procedure

A guide to the Council’s corporate complaint procedure and policy


  • How to complain
  • How we deal with complaints
  • What to do if you’re still not satisfied

We strive to deliver the best possible value and service to our residents and visitors to the borough and to deliver that service right first time.

We understand the value of any complaints we receive as they give us the opportunity to put things right but also to monitor our services and make changes where we need to.

How to complain

If the issue you are reporting is regarding a Waste & Recycling Collection which has been missed within the last 48 hours, the quickest way for us to resolve this for you is to register the missed collection via this link Report a missed waste or recycling collection.  This will ensure that Colchester Borough Council collects your missed materials within 2 working days.

Report a missed waste or recycling collection
If you remain dissatisfied and wish to continue to submit an official complaint, you can do this by clicking on the ‘Submit an official complaint’ section below.  We will contact you with the outcome of your complaint within 4 weeks of receiving it.

If you feel there is something else we have done wrong or badly or have failed to do something, the first thing you should do is contact the relevant service or officer you have been dealing with. You should ask them to put things right for you or explain what went wrong.

Contact our Services

Submit an official complaint

If you have already contacted our Services to try and resolve your issue, using the section above, and remain dissatisfied with their response, you may decide that you want to submit an official complaint to us.

Submit a complaint

What is a complaint?

  • Dissatisfaction with our policies
  • Failure by the Council or its employees to respond to a reported problem
  • Failure to provide adequate standards of service
  • Delay or failure to provide a service
  • Dissatisfaction with a Council employee’s behaviour or attitude

Read our Complaints Policy

What is not a complaint?

  • Informal, day to day issues that can be easily resolved
  • Reporting a problem or requesting a service first time
  • A request for information or explanation of policies or procedures

Read our Complaints Policy

How we handle complaints

We have a 2 Stage process for handling official complaints, which allows for more senior levels of management to review the situation if complainants are still not satisfied.

Stage 1:

Submit your complaint with as much information as you can including dates, times, any officer name(s), etc. We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 days and forward it to a manager or officer that deals with the service the complaint is about. The investigation will be done by someone who has not been involved already and will send you the outcome within 4 weeks of receiving your complaint. If longer is needed, we will notify you of this and a date that we will respond to you by. Where appropriate, your complaint may be reviewed by an officer or manager in another department.

Stage 2:

If you disagree with our response, you can submit an appeal and your complaint will be reviewed by a member of our Senior Management Team. You must give us the original complaint reference with your appeal, which will be on all our correspondence sent to you. If you don’t provide this, your complaint will be considered a new complaint and will be handled accordingly. We will send you the outcome of the Stage 2 review within 4 weeks or, if more time is needed, write to let you know when a response will be sent.

Read our Complaints Policy

What to do if you’re still not satisfied

If you have followed both stages of our complaints process and you are still not satisfied, you can ask the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman to review your complaint.

Go to their website

Telephone: 0300 061 614

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