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Fewer complaints to Cardiff Council

Fewer complaints to Cardiff Council

 

Complaints made to Cardiff Council fell by almost a quarter during 2016/2017 compared to the year before.

 

A total of 1,787 complaints were recorded between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, a 23.5% drop on the previous year when 2,335 complaints were recorded.

 

A new report, to be discussed by Cardiff Council's Cabinet at their meeting on November 2, shows this is the fifth year in a row that there has been a reduction in the number of complaints the council received.

 

Cllr Chris Weaver, Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, said: "Complaints provide valuable information about how we are performing and what our customers think about our services.

 

"Most people who complain tell us what we have done wrong and how we can do better.

 

"We use this information to improve our services, strengthen our relationships with customers and make better use of our resources."

 

Cllr Weaver added: It is encouraging to see a number of service changes that have emerged as a result of complaints "

 

He added: "I would like to thank the hard-working and dedicated staff who work in frontline services and those who manage complaints. Our success is down to their hard work and commitment and I thank them for the service they provide every day in Cardiff."

 

Cllr Weaver added: "Though this is a positive report, we are not complacent about the need to make further improvements."

 

A complaint is defined within the council as anexpression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, action or lack of action, by the council or its staff, affecting an individual customer or group of customers.

 

Complaints recorded under the complaints procedure do not include "first time" representations which are effectively requests for a service and are dealt with as such.

 

A new report of a pothole or missed bin for example would not be registered as a complaint but as a request for a service.

 

In the event the council failed to respond to the request appropriately, then that may generate a complaint.

 

A complaint can be registered via any council venue and should be forwarded to a complaints manager who will aim to acknowledge complaints within five working days.

 

At the end of an investigation, a response should be produced.

 

Complaints managers at the council record information about the number of complaints they have received and how quickly they acknowledged and responded to them. This information is then submitted to the corporate complaints team at the end of each quarter.

The team uses the information to ensure the council's complaints policy is being adhered to.

 

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales also looks at detailed information about complaints against the council and includes that in his annual report.

The Ombudsman closed 133 cases involving the council in 2016/2017 compared to 143 cases the previous year. Of these cases, four were accepted for further investigation of which three led to an Ombudsman report.

 

The Ombudsman received 43 premature complaints where the council had not had a reasonable opportunity to deal with the complaint itself.

 

Sixteen cases were declined because the Ombudsman was satisfied with the action proposed or taken by the council and 31 cases were out of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction.