Complaints Procedure

Our Aim

Seaton Valley Community Council is committed to providing a high standard of service to all of its customers – we will always try to do the best we can with the resources we have available, but sometimes we make mistakes. However, we aim to learn from those mistakes and the complaints procedure is seen as a very important part of our continuous improvement programme. Should you be unhappy in any way, then please tell us.

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint is – “An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, action or lack of action by the Council, Councillors or its staff, affecting an individual, user or group of users.”

How to Complaint

If you are unhappy about a service that we have or have not provided, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, then this is a complaint and the following initial courses of action should be taken:

  • Ideally, you should always try to take up your complaint through the relevant officer at the Council Offices in Seaton Delaval. This will give him/her or another member staff the chance to put the problem right as soon as possible. You can make your complaint in person or in writing. Alternatively, someone else, such as a friend or your local Councillor, can do this for you on your behalf.
  • If the matter cannot be resolved at this stage, please ask to speak to the Council’s Clerk, who will then initiate Stage 1 of the Complaints Procedure as detailed below.

Complaints Procedure – Stage 1

The nominated Officer who is responsible for overseeing complaints at this stage is the Council’s Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer

Write to: The Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer, Seaton Valley Community Council, 20 – 22 Astley Road, Seaton Delaval, NE25 0DG

  • A written acknowledgement will be issued by the Council upon receipt of the complaint;
  • An investigation into the complaint will be carried out by the Clerk
  • A written response will be issued within 10 working days together with details of any additional investigation that may be required if it is likely to take longer than 10 days

Complaints Procedure – Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with how your initial complaint has been handled, or with the outcome under Stage 1, you should then fill in an official complaint form, which is available by contacting the Council Offices at Seaton Delaval.

  • You will receive an acknowledgement that your complaint has been received;
  • A Sub Committee consisting of 3 members of the Council will be formed and they in turn will fully investigate the matter. The Sub Committee will consider the evidence collected by the Clerk to support their investigation and arrange to meet you to discuss the situation to clarify points of information;
  • The Sub Committee will then consider all of the information it has at its disposal before make a binding decision on the outcome of the complaint
  • You will receive a written response to your complaint within 21 working days of your Stage 2 complaint being made.