Skip Navigation

Compliments, complaints, suggestions and opinions - West Dorset District Council

West Dorset District Council aim to provide high quality services to all of our customers, but we recognise that we may not always get it right. When this does happen, we promise to investigate complaints promptly and fairly.

If you wish to make a complaint or a comment on any aspect of the contact you have had with West Dorset District Council, for example regarding an action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us, or by a person or body acting on our behalf, you may wish to make a complaint or comment.

Our Customer Charter

Customer Charter - West Dorset District Council (PDF, 254kb) (opens in a new window)

Let us know your comments if:

  • You have received exceptionally good service
  • You have a suggestion on how to improve our services
  • You have been treated unjustly

We would like to know, because:

  • If we have done well, we would like to promote the same good practice in all council services
  • If the reasons for our actions are unclear we would like a chance to explain what we have done
  • If we have been at fault, we will make sure you get a full explanation and an apology. Where possible, we will also attempt to correct the matter

What is a complaint?

Complaints may fall into different categories:

  • The attitude of an employee of the council
  • Failure to provide a service to an acceptable standard
  • Delay in responding to an enquiry or a request for service
  • Failure to follow the council's policies, rules or procedures
  • Not making the best use of council resources
  • A risk concerning health and safety issues

What is not a complaint?

  • The first request for action or for a service
  • A first request for information or explanation an appeal relating to a planning decision
  • A review request under freedom of information or other area where a formal statutory process already exists
  • A claim or a contractual dispute with the council

What to do if you want to make a complaint

Putting your complaint in writing helps us to be clear about the problem. It also allows us to keep a record of all the points you raise.

You can complain to us in writing or by completing the Online Complaints and Feedback Form (opens in a new window).

Alternatively you can complain by telephone and a member of the customer contact centre will be happy to log your complaint on our system, or you can call into reception and log your complaint with one of the customer contact centre advisors.

Once a complaint has been made we will:

Try to deal with the complaint on the spot where it is straightforward and easily resolved. We will also ensure that we investigate what led to the complaint to see whether there are any actions we can take to avoid a similar problem arising again.

For more complex complaints we will carry out a thorough investigation and, where we have made a mistake, we will try to put it right.

We will acknowledge receipt of a complaint either by email or in writing within 10 working days advising you or who is dealing with the complaint. Where we have to seek further information on a complaint we will advise the complainant when a response can be expected.

Where the complaint is about something outside the council's control, where we can, we will advise how the issue can be best taken up and with whom.

If you are still unhappy

In the event that you are still unhappy, you can ask for your complaint to be referred to the Customer Services Supervisor and Digital Access Champion who will ensure that the complaint will be investigated by the appropriate Director or Head of Service.

We aim to give you a response to this escalation within 15 working days.

Contact Details

Complaints - Customer Services Centre
West Dorset District Council
South Walks House

South Walks Road




After that if you are still not happy with the response you have received you can ask for the complaint to be dealt with by the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will aim to give you a response within 15 working days

At both of these stages all comments should be made by letter, email or using the  Online Complaints and Feedback Form (opens in a new window)

Chief Executive

West Dorset District Council

South Walks House

South Walks Road




Local Government Ombudsman

If you remain dissatisfied, you may wish to pursue the issue with the Local Government Ombudsman, who will conduct a full investigation.

The ombudsman is an independent national service that investigates complaints against councils. It can only deal with cases of possible misadministration and, in general, will only investigate a complaint after you have been through the council's complaints procedure. For this reason it is helpful to keep copies of all correspondence regarding your complaint.

The Local Government Ombudsman, The Oaks, No 2 Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry CV4 8JB.

Website: Local Government Ombudsman (opens in a new window)

Powered by GOSS iCM
Feedback Form