The Council has enacted its business continuity plans and is redeploying staff to priority services.

Please check our Coronavirus updates page for the latest information about Council services.

Make a complaint

Following our earlier decision to temporarily suspend refuse and recycling complaints due to the Covid-19 emergency, we will resume taking new complaints for refuse and recycling collections from Monday 6 July. More details about our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint are set out below.

Make a complaint and find out about our complaints procedure.

Before you start

If you would like to report an issue, make a request or an appeal, we don't log this as a complaint.

Please visit our Report It section instead. This is often the quickest way to get your issue resolved.

Some of our most common reports, requests and appeals are:

Report a missed bin collection

Request a new bin

Report graffiti

Appeal a parking fine

Appealing a planning application decision

Appealing a benefit award

Report a planning breach

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint as any 'expression of dissatisfaction' about the way in which we have provided a service for example:

  • Delay
  • Failure to provide a service
  • Staff behaviour
See an example of the difference between a complaint and a service request

A service request

If you report a missed bin, we will treat this as a service request, not a complaint.

We will then investigate and either:

  1. Collect the bin within 48 hours.
  2. Let you know why it wasn't collected.

A complaint

If you've reported a missed bin, and we've failed to collect it within 48 hours after telling you we would do so, we'd treat that as an official complaint.

How to make a complaint?

The quickest and easiest way to make a complaint, and stay up to date with its progress, is online.

You will need to register your details and create an account with us.

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within three working days. The relevant department will investigate your complaint and respond within 15 working days.

Other ways to complain

You can also submit a complaint via email, in writing, by phone or in person

complaints@tunbridgewells.gov.uk

Performance and Governance team, Town Hall, Mount Pleasant Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS

01892 554077

Please note we will register your details and create an account on your behalf.

Find out about the complaints procedure

Stage one

  1. You submit your complaint.
  2. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days. This is to let you know that we've read it and to let you know who is investigating your complaint.
  3. Your complaint will be investigated by the relevant Head of Service.
  4. We will respond to your complaint within 15 working days from the date of acknowledgement. This is our official response to your complaint. If your complaint is more complex, and we need more time to investigate we will let you know.
  5. If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint at stage one you can complain to the Chief Executive by escalating it to stage two.

Stage two

If the service hasn’t managed to resolve your complaint satisfactorily at stage one, you can then contact our Performance and Governance team.

  1. You tell us why you want to take the complaint further.

    Please note that we'll only consider new information and won't respond to the same things we've already responded to at stage one.
  2. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days.
  3. Your complaint will be investigated by the Performance and Governance team and reviewed by the Chief Executive (or one of his Directors).
  4. We will look at what went wrong and why the service wasn’t able to resolve your complaint.
  5. The Chief Executive (or one of his Directors) will respond to your complaint within 20 working days from the date of acknowledgement. If your complaint is more complex, and we need more time to investigate we will let you know.

What happens next?

If you have been through stage one and stage two and we haven’t managed to resolve your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaints about a Councillor

These complaints are treated differently. For advice and information relating to complaints about Councillors please visit our Councillor Code of Conduct page

Complaints about a Freedom of Information request

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have dealt with your request or disagree with the decision, you can request a review by the Council’s Monitoring Officer (which is separate from our Complaints Procedure).

We will respond within 20 working days and if you remain dissatisfied you can contact the Information Commissioner’s office:

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: www.ico.gov.uk

Complaints privacy notice

Details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it and who it might be shared with

What information do we collect from you?

We collect personal information about you such as your name and address. We will also collect any information relating to your complaint. Sometimes this might be sensitive information such as your gender, financial, family or health circumstances, if they are relevant to the complaint.

Why do we collect this information?

We collect this information to provide you with a service you have requested from us. You can withdraw your consent for us to use this information at any time, and we will stop using it. But please be aware that we may be unable to continue providing you with the service if you do so.

Who might we share your information with?

The information Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Complaints services collects will be stored by Maidstone Borough Council on our behalf. Maidstone Borough Council's privacy information can be viewed here.  It will also be stored by Abavus, our software providers. View Abavus's privacy information. We will not normally share your information with organisations other than those that we are contracted with (for example, our refuse collection service) without your consent.

What do we do with your information?

We use the information you provide to assess complaints. We won’t use it for any other purpose without your consent, or without notifying you first. We may give your information to other public authorities to enable them to deliver services, investigate or prevent crime, or to pursue a legal claim. We may also give it to other organisations or people outside of the public sector if they have a legitimate reason for using your information (such as pursuit of a legal claim against you).

How long to we keep hold of your information?

We will only keep your information for as long as we need it. Once we no longer need it, we will retain it for a set period (a retention period) but not use it. When the retention period expires we will delete your information from our records. If you would like to know the retention periods for our most common forms of information, please see our Retention Schedule or Record of Processing Activity on our website.

How can I access the information you hold about me, find out further information on privacy rights, or raise a concern?

You can access the information we hold about you at any time. If you would like to do this, have any queries or questions, or want to raise a concern about the way in which we are using your personal information, please contact:

Data Protection Officer
dataprotection@tunbridgewells.gov.uk
01892 554077
Data Protection Officer
Town Hall
Royal Tunbridge Wells
TN1 1RS

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