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Home / Advice & Benefits / Customer Services / Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure


Adult Social Care Complaints

Adult Social Care complaints need to follow the statutory complaints process. Please visit the Adult Social Care complaints page| for more information.


Children's Social Care Complaints

Children's Social Care complaints need to follow the statutory complaints process. Please visit the Children's Social Care complaints page| for more information.


Complaints regarding Councillors

The Standards Committees is responsible for considering complaints that a Member may have breached the Code of Conduct. Please visit the Member’s complaints page| for more information.


General Complaints

All complaints will be investigated. If you are unhappy with our services, we will look carefully at the issues you have raised.  We will respond to you in writing within three working days of receiving your complaint.


Stage 1: The Service Unit

We believe that the people who can best deal with a complaint are those that provide the service. The relevant Service Unit will investigate your complaint and try to resolve the complaint as soon as possible. Sometimes it may take longer but we will respond to your complaint within 10 working days of you contacting us.


For contact details for the relevant department please go to the A-Z or complete a Comments, Compliments and Complaints form|.


Stage 2: The Service Director

If you are unhappy with the explanation you receive about your complaint, you can forward it onto the Service Director of the Service Unit concerned (advice on how to this will be supplied with your response to Stage 1), who will investigate your complaint. They will respond within 10 working days.


Stage 3: Executive Director

If you are still dissatisfied with the response from the Service Director, you can request that the Executive Director for the service reviews your complaint (again, advice on how to this will be supplied with your response to Stage 2). The Executive Director will arrange for a review of the case and will send you their findings within 10 working days.


The Local Government Ombudsman

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you may refer your complaint to The Local Government Ombudsman.


In most cases, before the Ombudsman can investigate a complaint, the Council must have had a chance to answer it through their own complaints system.


For further information, pick up a leaflet from Bournemouth Borough Council reception points or libraries.


Or call the Ombudsman Advice line directly on 0300 061 0614 or visit their website|


The Housing Ombudsman Service

Complaints from tenants will be dealt with through the Council’s complaints procedure. However the Local Government Ombudsman no longer deals with complaints from tenants about their landlords. Instead these complaints are referred to the Housing Ombudsman Service.|

If the Council cannot put things right, the next step is to contact a designated person -an MP or a local councillor.

Designated persons are there to help to resolve disputes between tenants and the Council. They can do this in whatever way they think is most likely to work.

If the designated person cannot help they can refer a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Complaints to the Ombudsman do not have to be referred by a designated person, but if they are not there must be at least 8 weeks from the end of the Council’s complaint process before the Ombudsman can consider the case.

More information can be obtained from the Housing Ombudsman’s website:|.

The Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Housing Ombudsman Service

81 Aldwych



Telephone : 0300 111 3000 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9:15 to 17:15)

Fax : 020 7831 1942

Email :|


Vexatious and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants

Vexatious and unreasonably persistent complainants are rare. However, when they do occur, they can take up a disproportionate amount of time and resources. The vexatious and unreasonably persistent complainant’s process forms part of the Council’s complaints policy and sets out how the Council will handle these complainants to minimise any disruption to the Council service delivery.

Where the process is applied restrictions in contact are put in place to minimise disruption to officers and services. The restrictions are generall around limiting contact to a single person and single method such as written. Any restrictions put in place are monitored and a review is undertaken after 6 months



Related Information


Postal Address Customer Services Centre,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone 01202 451451
Minicom 01202 454974
Email Enquiries