Complaints FAQs

  1. How can I make a complaint about a council service?
  2. What is a complaint?
  3. What can I complain about?
  4. Who can complain?
  5. When can I expect a response to my complaint about the Council?
  6. Is there an independent, impartial organisation that can investigate my complaint against the Council?
  7. Why are there separate complaints procedures for Social Work’s Adult and Children’s Services?
  8. I complained about Social Work Services but the timescales and process are different. Why is this?

How can I make a complaint about a council service?

See our make a complaint page.


What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.


What can I complain about?

You can complain about things like:

  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
  • failure to provide a service
  • our standard of service
  • council policy
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • our failure to follow proper procedure

Your complaint may involve more than one council service or be about someone working on our behalf.


Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service.


When can I expect a response to my complaint about the Council?

There are two stages within the Complaints procedure.

We aim to resolve complaints quickly. We will give you our decision at Stage One in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.   If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next.

When using Stage Two we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days. We will discuss your complaint with you and give you a full response as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If our investigation will take longer, we will tell you and agree revised time limits and keep you updated on progress.


Is there an independent, impartial organisation that can investigate my complaint against the Council?

We will make every effort to resolve any problems or complaints that you may have about the Council or any of our services. However, on the rare occasions when people remain dissatisfied they can ask the Scottish Services Ombudsman to look into the matter.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about public services in Scotland. This includes complaints about Scottish councils. If you remain dissatisfied, you can ask the SPSO to look at your complaint. The SPSO will only consider complaints which have completed all stages of the Council's complaints procedure so you should contact the Council in the first instance. The SPSO cannot normally look at complaints:

where you have not gone all the way through the council's complaints handling procedure more than 12 months after you became aware of the matter you want to complain about, or that have been or are being considered in court.

More information can be obtained from the SPSO below:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street
Edinburgh
EH3 7NS

SPSO
Freepost EH641
Edinburgh
EH3 0BR

Freephone: 0800 377 7330
Fax: 0800 377 7331
Web: http://www.spso.org.uk/complaining-spso

If you are a factored homeowner in one of our high rise blocks and you remain unhappy with the Council's response, you can take certain complaints to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber).

Tel: 0141 302 5900
Fax: 0141 302 5901
Email: HPCAdmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk
Web: http://www.housingandpropertychamber.scot/home

If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or the Care Inspectorate.

The Care Inspectorate has several offices around Scotland. Please refer to:

Tel: 0845 600 9527
Fax: 01382 207 289
Email: enquiries@careinspectorate.com
Web: http://www.careinspectorate.com/

If you are a Falkirk Council tenant, and have concerns about our performance, you can raise it with the Scottish Housing Regulator as a Serious Performance Failure.

Tel: 0141 305 4199
Fax: 0141 221 5030
Email: spf@scottishhousingregulator.gsi.gov.uk
Web: http://scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk


Why are there separate complaints procedures for Social Work’s Adult and Children’s Services?

Social Work Services were required to change their complaints handling procedure so a separate procedure is published. 

From 1 April 2017 this now brings their procedures in line with the rest of the Council. The main principles and timescales are the same.


I complained about Social Work Services but the timescales and process are different. Why is this?

If you complained before 31 March 2017, this will be handled under our old complaints procedure. This gives us more time (20 days) to reply to complaints that are classed as Stage 1 complaints. If you are unsure if this affects you, please contact the officer or manager dealing with your complaint, or email us at complaintsofficer.sw@falkirk.gov.uk.