Last updated: 17 November 2023
Next review: 12 January 2024
If you wish to complain about a council service or give us a compliment, please use the online form.
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 and without giving us any information about yourself (such as your name and address and contact details) we will not be able to process your complaint or issue a response. You will not be able to track the case. If we do not have enough information in the form to enable us to process your complaint, we will close it down. We will not take action to resolve it.
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 missed bin collection
- Order a waste or recycling bin
- Report a housing repair
- Report a pothole
- Report a faulty street light
- Report a street cleaning issue
- Report fly-tipping
Report a noise or nuisance
- Report a noise nuisance
- Report a smoke or bonfire problem
- Report light pollution
- Report anti-social behaviour (ASB)
Report a business related issue
If you wish to contact us regarding the following services, please use the email below:
- Property licensing, pub licensing or any other types of license, email: Licensing@walthamforest.gov.uk
- Market traders or street trading, email: Street.email@example.com
- Safety standards in food outlets, email: Food.Safety@walthamforest.gov.uk
Report an issue relating to a private rented property
Private Sector Housing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a planning enforcement issue
Planning enforcement: email@example.com
Alternatives to lodging a complaint about Council Tax or Business Rates reductions and grants
- Manage your council tax online
- Apply for a council tax discount or exemption
- Contact us about your council tax
- Contact us about business rates, grants and reliefs
We send an acknowledgement to you within three working days of receiving your complaint. This applies to all complaints. When you log your complaint using our online form, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement with the reference of your complaint.
Our corporate complaints procedure
Stage 1 - Responding to your complaint
Stage 1 complaints are investigated by the service area that you are complaining about. We have 20 working days from the date of receipt of your complaint to investigate and give you a response.
Responses to Housing Landlord Services Complaints and Statutory Social Services Complaints in relation to Children’s Services are issued within 10 working days. However, we can extend this to 20 working days if the issues are complex
Escalating your complaint to Stage 2
If you're not happy with the response to your Stage 1 complaint, you can ask us to escalate your complaint to Stage 2.
Stage 2 complaints are investigated by the corporate Complaints Team on behalf of the Council's Chief Executive.
Stage 2 complaints can be logged using our complaints online form.
When you complete the online 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.
The Council has 25 working days to investigate and respond to Stage 2 complaints, or 20 days if the complaint relates to Housing Services.
Statutory Social Care Complaints Procedure
Complaints about social services are investigated under different procedures.
Adult Social Care Complaints procedure
Children’s Social Care Complaints procedure
- Find out more about making a complaint about Children's Social Care
- If you are a child or young person and want help with making a complaint, you can ask for an advocate to assist you. For more information, visit the POWhER / Barnardos website.
- You can get other help and support from the Voice and Influence Service
There is one stage of investigation for Adult Social Care Complaints, and three stages of investigation for Children’s Social Care Complaints.
Stage 1 complaints for both Adult and Children’s Services are investigated and responded to by the service area involved with the complaint.
Once the Stage 1 investigation is completed, we will let you know how you can escalate your complaint if you remain dissatisfied. This information will be given in our Stage 1 response.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS)
If you are not satisfied with the council’s response after completing the corporate or statutory complaint procedures, you have the right to escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman.
Once your complaint has been through the relevant stages of our corporate or statutory complaints procedures, we will let you know which ombudsman service you should contact. You can use this information if you wish to escalate your complaint further. We will give you information on how to escalate your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Housing Ombudsman Service.
The ombudsmen services usually require that a complaint has been through all stages of the relevant procedure before they accept it for investigation.
Compliance with the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code
The Council is required to carry out a self assessment exercise to check if its complaints procedure is compliant with the Housing Ombudsman’s complaint handling code for social landlords.
Landlords are also expected to publish the result of their self assessment using the HOS’s prescribed assessment form. We completed this Self assessment in September 2022.
Complaints about data protection
Complaints about Data Protection, such as breaches in data protection and confidentiality, are not 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 use our online complaints form.
If you are still not satisfied with our response regarding 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 data complaint contains issues related to service delivery, it will 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.
Complaints about schools
We don't investigate complaints about schools. Please contact the school directly with your complaint.
You can find information about the complaints for schools on the Government website.
Sometimes, we will not be able to deal with your complaint through our complaints procedure. This is usually due to statutory or legal reasons, or because there are separate and independent processes that apply, and which are separate from the corporate complaints procedure. Please see a list of exceptions.
Other ways to contact us and support available
We would prefer you to submit your complaint using our online form, as this is the easiest and quickest way of contacting us.
However, if you do not have access to a computer or the internet, or have difficulty with using our online form, you can complain using the following methods:
- By letter to:
The Complaints Team
Town Hall Complex
- By attending one of our Libraries and asking for assistance with completing the online form.
- By phoning our Resolution Centre on telephone number 020 8496 3000.
- By emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- By asking a friend, family member, third party, or advocate to complain on your behalf. They can do so as long as you give them your written consent to represent you.
Unreasonable complaints and unreasonable behaviour
We will do our best to deal with your complaint according to our complaints procedure. Where we find that your complaint or your behaviour is not reasonable, we will apply our Policy for dealing with unreasonable behaviour. We will do this as a last resort, and not before we have tried all reasonable and established processes for dealing with the issues you complain to us about.