Hiding complaints - deceiving the public

 6th June 2021


The Council produce quarterly reports detailing corporate performance. These are presented to Councillors and published here.

The reports present a rosy picture with regards to Customer complaints:


Q1 2020/21 "Whilst the Council has delivered against its corporate target; it was achieved with significantly lower complaint numbers."

Q3 2020/21"The trend with complaints and compliments is like that experienced during Quarter 1"

Jane Swift, Customer Experience Operations Manager, Council Lead for Complaints and Customer Feedback.

Annual report to the Audit Committee


Where the LGSCO feels it is appropriate, a public interest report is issued. These reports are designed to encourage wider improvement in public services, to raise public awareness and to hold public bodies to account.

Annual review 2020

"The LGSCO Annual Review letter is therefore misleading and the Audit Committee may wish to consider whether any response is necessary. "

There was a 20% increase in the number of complaints received across the CYP directorate compared to the previous year

Education complaints have increased by 27% compared to the previous year. The increase is due to a higher number of Special Educational Needs (SEN) complaints. 113 complaints were received in 2019/20 compared to 91 in 2018/19

Complaints relating to SEN are usually complex complaints with multiple concerns that require investigation and response. 49% of SEN complaints were responded to within 20 working days, this is an improvement of 19% compared to 2018/19 when only 30% of SEN complaints were responded to on time.


Where a complaint is escalated to stage 2 or adjudicated on by the LGSCO the Customer Rights Team will agree an action plan to implement improvements that have been identified as a result of the complaint. Action plans will also be produced from complaints where there is learning that can be shared across teams












Judith Mobbs March 2021 

"No further complaints will be accepted from you – existing complaints will be responded to and we will of course continue to liaise with the LGSCO as required. Emails relating to existing complaints can be sent to customerrights@suffolk.gov.uk"

LGSCO 20010207

  1. Mr C complained to the Council. He said it had informally refused his request for a reassessment but needed to provide a formal notification for him to start the appeal process.
  2. The Council refused to consider his complaint as he was undertaking mediation. Mr C therefore complained to the Ombudsman.
  3. Since raising his complaint with the Ombudsman, the Council has issued him with a formal notification detailing its reasons for refusing his request for a reassessment.


LGSCO 20000639 "Mrs X escalated her complaint to Stage 2 on 8 July 2019 and the Council did not respond until 22 November 2019. This exceeds the maximum timescale of 65 working days and is evidence of delay. This delay is fault by the Council."

LGSCO 20005345 "The Council’s failure to consider Mr B’s complaint under the statutory complaints procedure is fault. Because of the Council’s fault, Mr B was denied his right to have his complaint considered under the statutory procedure."