Make a formal complaint

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Customer care

We aim to deliver all our services correctly first time. However we know that sometimes things go wrong, and when this happens you should tell us so that we can take the appropriate action.

What does a formal complaint mean?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction that requires a response about the standards of service, actions or lack of action, by the council or its staff.

For example where:

  • We have not responded to a service request or we have failed to deliver a service to you.

  • The service we delivered did not meet your expectation.

  • You were treated in an unprofessional manner.

We take formal complaints very seriously. Many issues can be resolved without the need to make a formal complaint and these can include:

  • Day-to-day service requests or faults (such as missed bins, noise complaints, fly tipping etc.) which can reported through our online report it system or by phoning our customer services team on 01684 295010.

  • Services provided by other councils or organisations.

If you need to make a general comment, give feedback or pass on any compliments please use our compliment us form.

Will you deal with all formal complaints?

Some formal complaints are dealt with under separate statutory procedures, these include:

  • Complaints about councillors. Please contact the council's monitoring officer on 01684 295010 or email

  • Allegations of financial impropriety or criminal activity by the council. Please contact the council's Section 151 officer and/or an internal auditor, monitoring officer or chief executive. You can do this on 01684 295010 or email

  • Where there is a separate appeals process, that appeals process should be followed e.g. licensing, planning or parking fines.

  • Complaints about national government policy.

How do I make a formal complaint?

Before using our formal complaints process, please try to contact the service or team at the council that has caused your dissatisfaction to see if an informal solution can be found.

The easiest and quickest way to make a formal complaint is to use our online formal complaints form.

Alternatively, complaints can be made in writing to:

Customer Services,
Tewkesbury Borough Council,
Public Services Centre,
Gloucester Road,
GL20 5TT.

We do not accept complaints over the phone, by email or social media.

We treat all complaints with respect and in confidence. Any personal data gathered as part of a formal complaint will be handled in accordance with the council's Data Protection Policy. We may share some personal data, where necessary, with third parties where it is appropriate for investigating and resolving a complaint.

How will you deal with my formal complaint?

Stage one - investigation by a service manager

We will send you an acknowledgement within two working days of receiving your complaint.

Your complaint will be passed to the relevant service manager for investigation. We aim to respond fully to your complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If your complaint requires a lot of investigation then we may take longer but we will always keep you informed.

Stage two - investigation by an independent head of service

If you are not happy with the response we have sent to you, you can ask us to review your complaint again. We will acknowledge your request for a second investigation within two working days

Your complaint will be investigated by an independent head of service who was not involved in the original investigation.

We aim to respond fully to your stage two request for a review as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If your request requires a lot of investigation then we may take longer but we will always inform you of this.


If you remain dissatisfied with how we have dealt with your complaint, you may contact the Local Government Ombudsman, which is an independent, impartial and free service. The ombudsman can investigate complaints about how the council has done something.

The contact details for the Local Government Ombudsman are as follows:

Online: using their complaint form.

Telephone: 0300 061 0614

(Calls to 03 numbers will cost no more than calls to national geographic numbers (starting 01or 02) from both mobiles and landlines, and will be included as part of any inclusive call minutes or discount schemes in the same way as geographic calls. Please note that calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.)

Text ‘call back’ to 0762 481 1595. Please send one message using the words ‘call back’ and they will contact you as possible- you should use their complaints form if you want to send them written information. You may be charged by your provider for sending the text message.

The lines are open:

Monday, 8.30am to 5.00pm

Tuesday, 8:30am to 5:00pm

Wednesday, 8:30am to 12:00pm

Thursday, 8:30am to 5:00pm

Friday, 08:30am to 5:00pm

You can also contact your ward councillor or Member of Parliament for advice.

Remedy for formal complaints

We will always try to put things right - and we will do this as soon as possible to minimise the inconvenience to you.

We will acknowledge the fault and apologise, explain what went wrong, what we will do to prevent it happening again and if appropriate, we will also provide a remedy in the form of:

Specific action- All lessons learned (including recommendations for improvement/staff training) should be considered and implemented by the appropriate team and any action resulting from the lessons learned should be fed back to the complainant.

Financial settlement/ refund- reimbursing the person affected (in full or in part) for actual, quantifiable financial loss which has directly resulted from the complaint.

Where it is felt that financial compensation is appropriate we will refer to the Local Government Ombudsman's latest guidance on Good Practice on Remedies. This will be used as a guide in determining the actual amount of financial settlement and these will be paid as soon as possible following the decision to pay.