Rise in number of corporate complaints received by Hartlepool Borough Council

Hartlepool Borough Council director of finance and policy Chris Little
Hartlepool Borough Council director of finance and policy Chris Little

Council bosses have seen a rise in the number of complaints received compared to this time last year.

A report brought before the Hartlepool Borough Council finance and policy committee showed for the first half of 2018/19 16 corporate complaints were received, six more than the same point last year.

Of those complaints received seven were upheld or partly upheld.

However council bosses said although they were disappointed at the increase, there was no pattern in the complaints.

Chris Little, director of finance and policy, said: “Although the overall increase in corporate complaints is concerning, there is no pattern in the nature of the complaints received and therefore no specific action in respect of overall trends is necessary.

“Action has been taken in relation to specific complaints where these have been upheld or partially upheld.”

The council also approved plans to extend the amount of time to give a response on corporate complaints from 20 to 25 working days, to allow them to deal with more complex issues.

Mr Little said: “This change has been made to reflect the increasingly complex nature of the complaints being received which take longer to investigate.

“Our view was having a bit more time to deal with them and investigate them will reduce in less going to the Local Government Ombudsman.”

The report added the amended timescale is in line with the other North East authorities.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service