Complaint numbers down
THE number of complaints made by residents about Halton Borough Council fell last year according to the most recent figures.
The corporate services policy and performance board will be presented with a report detailing analysis of criticism of the council by Runcornians and Widnesians during the 2016-17 financial year.
A report to a meeting on Tuesday, September 5, said 79 corporate complaints were received by the local authority over the 12 months.
It represents a reduction from 125 made in 2015-16 and 102 in 2014-15.
The level has now fallen to a similar level as those received in 2013-14.
The report said complaints are attempted to be resolved through two stages internally with the council, before being passed onto the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) if matters are not concluded to a complainant’s satisfaction.
Of the 79 complaints received in 2016-17, 73 were resolved at the first stage and six proceeded to the second.
A total of 33 of the complaints were in connection with the council’s waste management.
More than 40 of the complaints referred to service quality and the report said the majority of these related to missed bin collections.
It said: “As this is a service that affects residents as a whole, it is not unexpected that this is an area that can cause a significant number of complaints.
“In most cases though, the service was able to ● contact the individual and have the issue resolved within a day or two of the complaint being received.
“There were a relatively small number of complaints concerning staff conduct and in all cases the situations which led to the complaint being made were subject to discussion with individuals concerned.
“However, such complaints raised no specific concerns in relation to either service provision or identified training requirements.”
The report said 23 complaints were upheld, with 32 ‘partially upheld’, with the majority of the latter relating to missed bin collections. The document added: “Analysis of the complaints the council receives provide essential information to help shape and develop services.
“They complement the wide range of consultation exercises that the organisation undertakes.
“Collectively the council uses this information, along with that resulting from routine interaction with residents, to help improve the services we provide or commission.” ● Runcorn Town Hall
Municipal Building in Widnes