Agenda item

Update on Corporate Complaint Improvement Actions

The committee is recommended to note progress updates on corporate complaints learning actions and in-year performance for MEQs as requested by the Committee.



The Head of Transformation explained that the purpose of the report was to respond to the request from the committee in October 2022 to provide an update on improvements to corporate complaints handling as detailed in the Corporate Complaints Annual Report 2021-22 and an in-year progress update regarding Member Enquiry (MEQs) performance.


Members expressed concerns regarding the repeated missed bin collection for some residents over a number of months and stated that they expected that the issues be identified and addressed appropriately.


Dissatisfaction was expressed by Members regarding the MEQ system, which they did not consider to be intuitive and easy to use. They used the Council’s website to submit service requests as they found this to be more responsive to the immediate needs of the resident. The MEQ system they considered to be useful to ascertain the reasons why a service request had been necessary.


Members accepted that not all service requests or MEQs could be responded to immediately or within the deadline. However, they did not consider some of the holding responses to be informative or proactive. When the responder did provide a further update, the quality of the response was sometimes poor and uninformative. These were the main reasons why Members rejected the response.


Members were of the view that customers should be informed of the reason for the delay, the need to send a holding response, the timeline when to expect the full response and what action will be taken. The officers involved in the MEQ system and those who provided related training be advised of this and the guidance be amended to include this information.


ACTION: Head of Transformation/Digital Services Training Officer


The Director of Environment and Operational Services reported that as a result of the information extracted from the high levels of data received a full-service review had been initiated. With regards to parks and cemeteries, he accepted that there were issues in this service area and explained that these were down to insufficient management and business support, particularly where managers were carrying out administrative work rather than managing the staff and operations. The pandemic had and continued to have to some extent, an impact on service provision, particularly in some areas such as waste collection for a number or reasons. The poor quality of the responses had been recognised and was acknowledged and was being addressed with further training. Continuous service review and improvement was critical to the work of the Council, including the use of advances in information technology. He advised that all Members used the Council’s website to report missed bins and similar service requests as this was a speedier way to resolve the issue.


The Director of Environment and Operational Services welcomed the suggestion regarding the possible use of information technology including bar codes on individual bins. He acknowledged that it was not ideal that the only way to obtain a resolution to the long standing or repetitive issues such as those referred to by the Member earlier, asked that Members emailed him directly and he would investigate and respond.


Members asked that their dissatisfaction with the Place Department especially regarding mould in residential properties and the effect on residents. Members asked that a quarterly update / progress report on Council Housing Repairs Service be brought to the General Purposes Committee by the Place department and that the Executive Director and Director(s) attend the meeting to explain the reasons for the performance of their department and service areas. This methodology applied to all Council departments.

ACTION: Executive Director Place/Governance Team


The Head of Transformation advised that monitoring of complaints was no longer centralised but had been devolved to the individual departments.


AGREED that the progress updates on corporate complaints learning actions and in-year performance for MEQs as requested by the General Purposes Committee.

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