Comments, compliments and complaints about Oxfordshire County Council
Have your say about the services we provide.
We provide a wide range of services across the county. Find out more about comments, compliments or complaints about one of the specific services below:
- Adult social care
- Children and young people social care
- County councillor's conduct
- SEN and disability complaints
All other services
We have a duty to listen to your concerns, and follow a Corporate Complaints Policy (pdf format, 253Kb) - it provides details of how we will handle your complaint.
In exceptional circumstances, when a person's behaviour becomes unreasonable then we may need to follow our Management of Unreasonable Customer Behaviour Policy (pdf format, 337Kb)
Use the form below to tell us if you're unhappy about any council service, or with the way you feel we responded to your concerns.
Before making your complaint
If you are reporting an issue for the first time – for example, telling us about a pothole – please report rather than raising a complaint in the first instance, by using the relevant service page or by speaking to our Customer Service Centre, as this will give us an opportunity to put things right.
With complaints, it is far easier to find out what happened and put things right if you tell us straight away. As time passes it becomes more difficult to investigate events fairly and fully – people’s memories fade, staff who were involved leave the Council, or records may no longer be available. For these reasons, we will normally only accept complaints made within twelve months of the incident or circumstances that led to the complaint.
If your complaint is older than twelve months, please contact us so that we can tell you about other ways that might still be available to solve your problem.
What the Council considers to be a complaint
A complaint can be many things, and some possible situations are listed below. For example, you could be dissatisfied about:
- the standard of service you have received from us
- our response to a request for service
- our actions
- the behaviour of a member of staff
- harassment, bias or unfair discrimination, for example, this could include anti-Semitism as defined under the internationally recognised definition. We promise to investigate and seek to put right any unfairness or unfair discrimination.
We do not mean
- An initial request for a service, such as reporting a faulty street light or a pothole. We have to have had the chance to provide the service or put something right, which we can only do if we have received a request or been told about a problem.
- Where a separate appeals procedure exists or a legal remedy is open to you, for example, planning applications, or schools admissions policy.
- When you are unhappy about policies set by Oxfordshire County Councillors, for example, a budget decision which changes the services available or how they are delivered.
- Insurance claims relating to alleged damage or injury – these will be dealt with by the Council’s insurance section.
- If your complaint is about policies set by other organisations.
When your complaint is about alleged serious misconduct by an employee of the Council. This will be dealt with through our internal HR procedures, as it would not be appropriate to deal with the issue through the complaints procedure – we will not provide details or the outcome of those internal procedures, but we will let you know once internal processes are complete.
Why make a comment or complaint?
Watch our short film about why complaining matters.
Most of us are quite good at complaining about things we can't change lots.
Woman1: Errm let me think.
Woman 2: My husbands smelly socks
Woman1: Lots of cues of people and people push in. oh I just guess my goats
Man1: I want a pizza with no cheese on it
Voice over: but what about those things your council can do something about
Old woman: Great big potholes in the road
Man1: the bin situation
Woman 2: this new recycling system they have bought in
Old woman:what's all these taxes for if nothing gets done.
Voice over: It's easy enough to say it out loud but have you ever actually made a proper complaint
Old man: Well who to
Old man2: No I dont think I have
Old woman: well I haven't my daughter has
Woman1: I just stamp my foot
Voice over: your local councils take pride in providing good value high-quality services for you but things aren't always perfect and we want to know about. It actually it's really easy you can make a complaint online
Old man1: I'm a technophobe. I can't cope with computers. I've tried
Voice over: but you can just as easily write a letter or simply phone
Old man1: Oh I can make a phone call.
Voice over: we want to hear when our service isn't up to scratch all you have to do is let us know
Old woman1: it's no good just whinging alone and it's um you know you need to really do something about it
Woman1: I'm going to complain.
Voice over: it's your voice use it
What happens after you make a complaint?
Once you contact us we will respond to you within three days. We usually contact you to find out more about your complaint and let you know how we will work with you to resolve it.
Most complaints are resolved at an early stage, and we aim to deal with your complaint efficiently to make sure you don’t have to wait long for a resolution or explanation.
In some cases, a complaint may take longer to resolve, depending on the issue. At all stages, we will discuss and keep you informed about how long the investigation will take.
Taking things further
The Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints about councils and other organisations in a fair and independent way – contact them if you think that we haven’t dealt with your complaint to your satisfaction.
Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
0300 061 0614
The Ombudsman's Annual Letter
Each year, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman issues an annual review in which he sets out the number of complaints he has dealt with concerning the county council and summarises the outcome in each case. The annual reviews are useful in learning lessons about the council's performance and complaint handling arrangements.
Comments, compliments and complaints about other councils
If you have feedback for a district council, visit their website: