Proposed changes to Havering Council's Complaints Policy

Closed 24 Mar 2023

Opened 22 Feb 2023

Feedback updated 25 Apr 2023

We asked

Havering Council carried out a consultation activity from February to March 2023 seeking residents’ views on proposed changes to  Havering's Complaints Policy.

We asked residents and service users for their views on how we can improve the way we deal with complaints by proposing an update to our customer contact definitions. 

Alongside this we are proposing to merge all of our policies into one easy to understand process that reduces the number of stages, allowing us to focus on what matters most – getting it right first time.

Our proposed Six Aims to achieve this are:


  1. Start off right
  2. Fix it early
  3. Focus on what matters
  4. Be fair
  5. Be honest
  6. Learn from complaints and improve service delivery across the organisation

You said

31 responses were received to the consultation, of which 17 (55%) stated they had made a complaint to the Council.


  • The overwhelming majority (100%) of respondents agreed with our ‘Getting It Right First Time’ approach, and 90% felt our proposed Six Aims show a commitment to this approach.
  • 90% said they felt our proposed changes were fair and reasonable.
  • 71% said they felt our proposed customer contact definitions are easy to understand.
  • The majority of respondents (49%) would prefer an officer reviews and signs off their complaint, 16% would prefer the Lead Member for the topic of their complaint and 35% said they do not place any importance on this, as long as they receive a full response to their complaint.
  • Almost half of respondents (45%) expect to receive a response within 15 days, 16% within 20 days and 39% of respondents expect a response within 25 days.  Of the respondents who had previously made a complaint to the Council, 59% expect a response within 15 days, 6% within 20 days and 35% within 25 days.

We did

The survey results, along with feedback from authorising bodies and other local authorities, are being reviewed and will be included in a report to inform our new Complaints Policy.


We are reviewing our Complaints Policy to improve how we deal with complaints as the council currently has several disparate, out of date policies. This can be a challenge to navigate and understand the correct and most efficient way to raise a concern.​ We found that most people who didn’t complain decided against it as they felt it wouldn’t make a difference. However, some also noted other reasons such as a lack of understanding of our complaints process and language or technological barriers.

We are proposing a change from the current three-stage policy to reduce the number of stages, allowing the council to focus on what matters most - getting it right first time. We want a simpler and more streamlined way of handling complaints providing a full response from capable, well-trained staff.

Why your views matter

We would like to hear your thoughts on our proposed changes. Please take a look at the definitions and help us by completing this survey before Friday 24 March 2023.

What happens next

Your feedback will be included in a report which will be used to shape the new policy and will be made available in summer 2023.


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