Alert Section

Concerns and Complaints


Flintshire County Council is committed to dealing effectively with any concerns or complaints you may have about our services.   We believe in treating people fairly and with respect, and listening to our conscience and acting with integrity.

We aim to clarify any issues you may be unsure about.  If possible, we will put right any mistakes we may have made.  We will provide any service you are entitled to which we have failed to deliver.  If we did something wrong, we will apologise and, where possible, try to put things right for you.  We aim to learn from our mistakes and use the information we gain from complaints to improve our services.

The information below is to help guide you through our complaint process.

Requesting a service e.g. report a fault, missed bin etc.

If you are approaching us to request a service, e.g. reporting a missed bin collection, a faulty street light or dog fouling etc., then the complaint process is not relevant.  Please visit the relevant area of our website where you can submit an online form direct to the service.  

If you make a request for a service and then are not happy with our response, you will be able to make your concern known as we describe below.

Complaint about a council service

Informal resolution
If possible, we believe it is best to deal with things straight away.  If you have a concern, please raise it with the person you are dealing with.  They will try to resolve it for you there and then. 

How to express a concern or complain formally
You can express your concern in any of the following ways:

  • Ask for a copy of our form from the person with whom you are already in contact.  Tell them that you want us to deal with your concern formally.
  • Complete our online form
  • Email us at customerservices@flintshire.gov.uk
  • Get in touch with Customer Services on 01352 703020 if you want to make your complaint over the phone.
  • Write to us at: Flintshire County Council, Customer Services, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NR.

What happens next?

STEP 1

  • We will formally acknowledge your concern within 5 working days and let you know how we intend to deal with it.
  • We will ask you to tell us how you would like us to communicate with you and establish whether you have any particular requirements – for example, if you need documents in large type.
  • We will deal with your concern in an open and honest way.
  • We will make sure that your dealings with us in the future do not suffer just because you have expressed a concern or made a complaint.

Normally, we will only be able to look at your concerns if you tell us about them within six months.  We may exceptionally be able to look at concerns which are brought to our attention later than this.  In any event, we will not consider any concerns about matters that took place more than three years ago.

If you are expressing a concern on behalf of somebody else, we will need their agreement to you acting on their behalf.

Investigation
We will aim to resolve concerns as quickly as possible and expect to deal with the vast majority within 10 working days.  If your complaint is more complex, we will:

  • Let you know within this time why we think it may take longer to investigate.
  • Tell you how long we expect it to take.
  • Let you know where we have reached with the investigation, and
  • Give you regular updates, including telling you whether any developments might change our original estimate.

Putting Things Right
If we did not provide you with a service you should have had, we will aim to provide it now, if that is possible.  If we did not do something well, we will aim to put it right.  If you have lost out as a result of a mistake on our part, we will try to put you back in the position you would have been in if we had done things properly.

If you were entitled to funding and we did not provide it, we will try to refund the cost. 

STEP 2
If we do not succeed in resolving your complaint, you may ask us to escalate your complaint to Step 2.  You can ask the person who has dealt with your complaint or contact Customer Services.  We will ask you to tell us why you are dissatisfied with the response you have received and what outcome you are hoping for.

We will tell you who we have asked to look into your concern or complaint and we will aim to respond within 20 working days.  If your complaint is more complex, we will:

  • Let you know within this time why we think it may take longer to investigate.
  • Tell you how long we expect it to take.
  • Let you know where we have reached with the investigation, and
  • Give you regular updates, including telling you whether any developments might change our original estimate.

If we escalate your complaint, we will let you know what we find.  If necessary, we will produce a report.  We will explain how and why we came to our conclusions.

What happens if I don't agree with the outcome of my complaint?
If we do not succeed in resolving your complaint, you may complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.  The Ombudsman is independent of all government bodies and can look into your complaint if you believe that you personally, or the person on whose behalf you are complaining:

  • Have been treated unfairly or received a bad service through some failure on the part of the service provider.
  • Have been disadvantaged personally by a service failure or have been treated unfairly.

The Ombudsman normally expects you to bring your concerns to our attention first and to give us a chance to put things right.  You can contact the Ombudsman by:

  • Phone: 0300 790 0203
  • Email: ask@ombudsman.wales
  • The website: www.ombudsman.wales
  • Writing to: Public Services Ombudsman for Wales  

Complaint about the Welsh Language

Any complaints relating to the Council’s compliance with the Welsh Language Standards or a failure on the Council’s part to provide a bilingual service will follow the Council's complaints procedure.

Complaint against a School

If you have a problem with a school you should be able to sort it out through an informal discussion with relevant staff at the school.  If you can't resolve a problem informally, the school should have a formal complaints procedure that you can follow.  Please visit the school complaints area of our website for more information.

Complaint against Social Services

Complaints against Social Services are managed separately.  More information about the process can be found on the Social Services area of our website.  

Advocacy organisations who can support you to make a complaint

Our staff will aim to help you make your concerns known to us.  If you need extra assistance, we will try to put you in touch with someone who can help.  You may wish to contact advocacy services who may be able to assist you:

Advocacy Services North East Wales 

  • Email: Advocacy@ASNEW.org.uk
  • Phone: 01352 759332
  • Write to: 1st Floor Offices, 42 High Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1BH

You can also use this concerns and complaints policy if you are under the age of 18.  If you need help, you can speak to someone on the Meic Helpline:

Or contact the Children’s Commissioner for Wales:

What we expect from you

In times of trouble or distress, some people may act out of character.  There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a concern or a complaint.  We do not view behaviour as unacceptable just because someone is forceful or determined.

We believe that all complainants have the right to be heard, understood and respected.  However, we also consider that our staff have the same rights.  We therefore expect you to be polite and courteous in your dealings with us.  We will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour, unreasonable demands or unreasonable persistence.  We have a separate policy to manage situations when we find that someone’s actions are unacceptable.