East Devon District Council

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Policy Complaints policy

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19. Complaints not covered by this policy

Certain types of issues and complaints fall outside of the council's complaints procedure because:

  • there are other processes more suitable for dealing with them such as statutory appeal or tribunal process
  • they are outside of our control
  • they are separate legal or regulatory requirements covering these services

 Examples are:

  • a complaint that has been previously investigated and responded to
  • a complaint that is being or has been, investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman
  • matters of law or central government policy
  • harassment by neighbours
  • complaints from staff about human resource issues such as recruitment, dismissals, pay, pensions and discipline (these are dealt with separately under our human resources policies)
  • freedom of information requests, or complaints about the decision, the information provided or how a request was handled (these are dealt with under the Freedom of Information Policy)
  • commercial or contractual matters, for example contracts for the supply of goods and services to the council (complaints about the negotiation of council leases, or the disposal of council land should be dealt with through this policy and procedure, as such complaints are within the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman)
  • complaints that have already been decided by a court or independent tribunal are not covered by our procedure, but complaints about the implementation of a court or tribunal’s decision may be investigated, for example the recovery of council tax after a liability order has been obtained
  • Services for which there are alternative statutory appeal or tribunal processes, including: appeals against the refusal of planning permission or planning enforcement, parking appeals, complaints about registered housing providers, housing benefit appeals, homelessness decisions, acceptance on housing waiting list, council tax and housing benefit calculations, a complaint that has been previously investigated and responded to and complaints about councillors

Where the subject of a complaint is covered by specific regulatory procedures, it must be dealt with through those procedures.  However, when a customer is unhappy about the way that an appeal or tribunal matter was handled, for example a delay in preparing the council’s submission to a tribunal or appeals panel, this should be dealt with under this complaints procedure.  If the complaint is about the attitude of staff when handling an appeal or tribunal matter this falls under the council's complaints procedure.