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Complaints and compliments

Complain about a council service or send us a compliment.

Last updated: 12 October 2022

If you wish to complain about a council service or give us a compliment, please use the online form.

Before you log a complaint, please read the information below, as these forms can be better suited to what you would like to tell us about.

If you want to report the following, you can do this directly to the relevant team. Please follow the links below instead of using the complaints form:

Report a noise or nuisance

Report a business related issue

If you wish to contact us regarding the following services, please use the email below:

Report an issue relating to a private rented property

Private Sector Housing: propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk 

Report a planning enforcement issue

Planning enforcement: planning.enforcement@walthamforest.gov.uk

Alternatives to lodging a complaint about Council Tax or Business Rates reductions and grants

Logging complaints through our online portal

When you log your complaint through the online portal, please follow the registration process to create an account.  If you choose to log your complaint without registering your details, we might not be able to process your complaint or issue a response, and you will not be able to track the case

Acknowledgement

We send an acknowledgement to you within three working days of receiving your complaint. This applies to all complaints.

Stage 1 - Responding to your complaint

We will send a response within 20 working days from receiving your complaint.

Responses to statutory social services complaints in relation to children’s services are issued within 10 working days.

Escalating your complaint to stage 2

If you're unhappy with the first response to your complaint, then you can escalate this to a stage 2 complaint using the complaints online form.

When you complete the form, please tell us that it’s a stage 2 complaint and provide the reference number of the original Stage 1 complaint. This will speed up the process of logging and acknowledging your complaint.

Stage 2 complaints are investigated by the Council’s corporate Complaints Team on behalf of the Council’s Chief Executive.  The Council has 25 working days to respond to Stage 2 complaints. 

Please note:

There is no Stage 2 escalation process for Statutory Social Services complaints about Adult Social Care. When the Stage 1 process is completed, you can escalate your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO)

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Housing Ombudsman Service

If you remain dissatisfied with the council’s response after completing the corporate or statutory complaint procedures, you will have the right to escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman.

In the early part of 2022, the Housing Ombudsman Service revised its complaints handling code. The revised code came into effect on 1 April 2022.  Landlords are expected to carry out a self-assessment against the code to ensure that their complaints handling is in line with the code’s requirements. Landlords are also expected to publish the result of the self-assessment using our LBWF Self-Assessment Form re Complaints Handling Code.

We'll tell you which ombudsman to contact as part of our response to your complaint.

Complain about data protection

Complaints about Data Protection, such as breach in data protection and confidentiality, will not be dealt with under the two stages of the corporate complaints procedure. They will instead be investigated and responded to in one stage by our Data Protection Officer. If you wish to make a complaint about data protection issues, you can:

Submit your complaint through the complaints online portal

If you remain dissatisfied with our response in respect of your personal data, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. If you wish to pursue such a complaint, you can contact their office via their helpline: 0303 123 1113. You can obtain further information about them via the Information Commissioner website. You will be provided with information about the escalation process when we respond to your complaint.

If your complaint also contains issues regarding other service, those issues will continue to be dealt with under the two stages of the corporate complaints procedure, or the statutory social care complaints procedure, depending on the service complained about.

Complain about a school

We don't investigate complaints about schools. Please contact the school directly with your complaint. GOV.UK has set out the complaints process for schools. 

Sometimes a complaint can’t be dealt with using the council’s complaints process.

This is usually due to statutory or legal reasons,exceptions to the council complaints process.

Policy for dealing with unreasonable behaviour (PDF)

Help with completing online forms

If you don't have a computer, you can use a self-service PC at any library in Waltham Forest to log your request/report.

Staff there can help you to log in and create a MyAccount.