Complaints / Compliments
When you express your concerns or complain to us, we will usually respond in the way outlined below. However, sometimes you may have a statutory right of appeal (e.g., against a refusal to grant you planning permission) so, rather than investigate your concern, we will explain to you how you can appeal.
We have separate information that explains our procedures for handling Social Care Services Complaints and Compliments.
If you are approaching us for a service for the first time, (e.g., reporting a faulty streetlight, requesting an appointment etc.) then this policy doesn’t apply. You should first give us a chance to respond to your request, you can tell us about most problems online.
Normally, we will only be able to look at your concerns if you tell us about them within 6 months. This is because it is better to look into your concerns while the issues are still fresh in everyone’s mind. We may exceptionally be able to look at concerns which are brought to our attention later than this. However, you will have to give us strong reasons why you have not been able to bring it to our attention earlier and we will need to have sufficient information about the issue to allow us to consider it properly.
If you would like a representative other than your local County Councillor, solicitor, Member of the Senedd (MS) or Member of Parliament (MP) to act on your behalf, we will require confirmation that you have given permission to deal with your affairs.
If your complaint covers more than one body (e.g., Housing Association and Council regarding noise nuisance) we will usually work with them to decide who should take a lead in dealing with your concerns. If the complaint is about an organisation working on our behalf, you may wish to raise the matter informally with them first. However, if you want to express your concern or complaint formally, we will look into this ourselves and respond to you.
If possible, we believe it is best to deal with things straight away. If you have a complaint, please raise it with the person you are dealing with. They will try to resolve it for you there and then. The Complaints Team is notified of all complaints and will assist with co‐ordinating a response. At this stage, we will aim to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible and within 10 working days. If there are any lessons to learn from addressing your complaint, the member of staff that dealt with your complaint will draw them to the Complaints Team’s attention. If it is not possible to resolve your complaint at this stage, you can then ask for a formal investigation.
If you were not happy with the response given at Stage 1, you should contact the Complaints Team directly.
If your complaint is straightforward, we’ll usually ask somebody from the relevant service area to look into it and respond to you. If it is more serious, we may use someone from elsewhere in the Council or in certain cases we may appoint an independent investigator.
We will aim to resolve / respond to concerns within 20 working days. However, if your complaint is more complex, the investigating officer for your case will update you and explain why we think it may take longer to investigate and tell you how long we expect it to take.
The person who is investigating your concerns will firstly aim to establish the facts. The extent of this investigation will depend on how complex and how serious the issues you have raised are. In some instances, we may ask to meet you to discuss your concerns.
If we formally investigate your complaint, we will let you know what we have found. We’ll explain how and why we came to our conclusions. If we find that we got it wrong, we’ll tell you what and why it happened. If we find there is a fault in our systems or the way we do things, we’ll tell you what it is and how we plan to change things to stop it happening again. If we didn’t do something well, we’ll aim to put it right.
We take your complaints seriously and we hope that our system will help you to sort out any problems quickly and successfully. However, if we do not succeed in resolving your complaint, you may complain to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.
The Ombudsman expects you to bring your concerns to our attention first and to give us a chance to put things right. The Ombudsman is independent of all government bodies.
The contact details for the Ombudsman are below:
Address: The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, 1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed, Bridgend, CF35 5LJ
Tel: 0300 790 0203
There are also other organisations that consider complaints, for example, the Welsh Language Commissioner.
We can advise you about such organisations.
The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 established a legal framework to impose duties on certain organisations to comply with standards in relation to the Welsh language by way of sub-legislation (Welsh Language Regulation Standards).
Any complaints in relation to the Welsh language or services provided through the medium of Welsh will follow the same approach identified throughout this policy. All Welsh language complaints are reported in the council's annual Welsh language standards report.
All the information relating to Carmarthenshire County Council's implementation of the standards and annual reports can be viewed online here.
You are welcome to express your concerns or complain to us through the medium of Welsh.
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