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Complaint process exceptions

There are some cases where we can’t put your complaint through our corporate complaints procedure

Last updated: 1 December 2021

These exceptions are usually due to statutory or legal limitations, or because there are other independent appeal processes or procedures that you can follow instead. Examples include: 

  • Where there are ongoing legal proceedings about the same matter
  • When there are safeguarding concerns or issues. In these cases, we’ll refer the matter to our adult or children safeguarding teams.
  • Complaints about live procurement processes that are subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
  • Complaints that involve matters that would usually be investigated by the Police; allegations of theft, allegations of racial or sexual harassment or abuse; incidents or allegations of hate crime; or where the matters being complained about have already been investigated by the Police.
  • Allegations of fraud, as these would be dealt with by the Council’s Anti-Fraud Team.
  • Complaints about policies and decisions made by elected members, as these don’t fall within the remit of the complaints process. However a complaint about the way in which the policy or the decision has been implemented by the Council does.
  • Where you have a separate right of appeal. An example could be when you disagree with a decision on a benefit application, or a decision about liability for Council Tax, or a decision on a housing or homelessness application.
  • Complaints about the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) by the Parking Control Service and the recovery process, except for complaints about administrative issues, which are dealt with through the complaints procedure. Information about the independent appeal process is provided in the PCN. 
  • Complaints about the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) by our Neighbourhood Management Teams, as there is a separate appeal process for these and information is provided in the FPN.  However, if the complaint is about the administrative process of FPNs, for example, a delay in dealing with an appeal or a lack of response to an appeal, that will be dealt with through the complaints procedure.
  • When the complaint is about noise nuisance or anti-social behaviour as there are separate procedures for investigating such matters in the first instance.  However, matters connected to the administrative process for such matters, for example, a failure or delay to investigate the nuisance or anti-social behaviour, would be reviewed under the corporate complaints procedure.
  • Where the complaint has already been heard by a Court of Law or tribunal for example, the independent tribunal service for benefit applications; or when the complainant has a right of appeal to an independent tribunal, for example, when challenging a decision on benefit applications and liability for Council Tax.
  • Complaints about the independent Rent Officer Service
  • Complaints about school admissions or exclusion appeals. See the school complaints process However, the complaints procedure can be applied to look into the administrative process used to reach the decision.
  • Complaints by members of staff or ex-members of staff regarding personnel matters, such as appointments, dismissals, pay, pensions and discipline. These are usually dealt with under HR procedures. Similarly, complaints about HR matters, such as appointments, made by members of the public who have applied for employment with the Council.
  • Claims for damages to property or personal injury. These are dealt with as insurance claims. In these cases, you should contact The Insurance and Risk Manager, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4JF. 
  • Complaints about damage caused to vehicles or personal property by our waste contractor while collecting waste or recycling or while cleaning the street, as these are dealt with as insurance claims against our contractor in the first instance.
  • Complaints about damage caused to vehicles through bad or reckless driving by third party motorists, as the Council has no control over motorists’ behaviour.
  • When the issue happened over 12 months before you reported it or complained about it.
  • When your application for planning permission has been refused and you disagree with the decision. There is a separate appeal process for this.
  • Complaints about a councillor – there is a separate procedure for dealing with this type of complaint.  
  • Complaints about schools: schools have their own independent complaints procedures, which they are obliged to follow.  Therefore, customers should be directed to contact the school directly.   
  • Complaints about Adult Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services, where special procedures apply by law.  These are referred to as Statutory Social Care Complaints and there is a separate procedure set out for them. 

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