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Lib Dems back More Complaints Please!

April 28, 2014 12:40 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
Hazel Watson

Hazel Watson

Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrats are calling on the County Council to make it easier for Surrey residents to complain about the services that the council provides.

This follows the recent publication of the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee Report More Complaints Please!

Cllr Hazel Watson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on Surrey County Council, said: "Surrey County Council needs to fundamentally change its policy and the implementation of its approach to complaints. It must welcome complaints as a way of engaging with residents to improve services, making the complaints process more user friendly. The process needs to be made simpler, more accessible and with speedier outcomes.

"The County Council claims to welcome complaints, but if a Surrey resident wishes to complain, finding how to do so on the Surrey County Council website is not as easy as it could be. Then the resident has to select the relevant service area to complain about. Different council services have different timescales for the council to respond.

"There is room for improvement, given that the County Council does not meet its own response targets in all cases. For example Children's Social Services in 2012/13 only responded to 47% of complaints within 10 working days, and 71% within 20 working days. This just isn't good enough.

"There is also evidence that many complaints are valid in the case of Adults Social Care in 2012/13 as 62% of all complaints made were upheld in full or in part, suggesting that service improvements are required.

"Although the Council monitors satisfaction with the way in which complaints were handled the information about the results is difficult to find. However in relation to Adults Social Care in 2012/13 only 13 people returned complaints feedback surveys, which is a very low response. More emphasis needs to be placed on assessing the success of resolving complaints not just by statistics but also by customer satisfaction.

"Complaints at the moment are buried in the County Council's bureaucracy, they should be a much higher priority and should be monitored more closely by all councillors, not just by a small committee once a year."

ENDS

Motion to Surrey County Council AGM 6 May 2014

Mrs Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:

'This Council notes the recent publication of the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee report More complaints please!In the light of this report, Council agrees to fundamentally change its policy and the implementation of its approach to complaints in order to welcome complaints as a way of engaging with residents to improve services, making the complaints process more user friendly by making it simpler, more accessible and with speedier outcomes.'

House of Commons, Public Administration Committee report More Complaints Please! (pdf)

SCC Audit and Governance Committee report - Complaints Performance Report 2012/13 (pdf)