We write to councils and some other authorities annually to feed back on their performance in dealing with complaints that we receive about them. These annual review letters include a summary of the complaint statistics we have recorded in the previous year.
The aim is to provide information to help improve complaint handling, and to inform the improvement of local services for the public. The data we provide includes:
- The number of complaints and enquiries recorded (broken down by topic)
- The decisions we have made
- The number of complaints investigated in detail which we have upheld
- The number of complaints satisfactorily remedied by the authority before the complaint came to us
- The proportion of our recommendations that have been complied with
We are always looking for ways to make the publication of our data as useful as possible for councils. Information about interpreting the data can be found on our website.
We publish performance data in two ways. Our interactive map publishes performance data for all English councils. It includes links to our published decision statements, public reports, annual letters and has information about service improvements agreed by each council, and the proportion of our recommendations complied with.
We also publish, in full, each annual letter we produce (we produce annual letters for some other authorities in our jurisdiction as well as all English councils). The publication of our annual letters coincides with an annual review report looking at the state of local government complaints, and the release of our data in spreadsheet format.
The data in our annual letters will not necessarily match the data councils hold. This is because we may record complaints slightly differently to councils, and we also record enquiries that have come to us before complaining to the council. We are always happy to hear feedback, however we are clear that our data is not for consultation and we are unable to accommodate requests for further information to the data we supply.
Annual letters are sent to the chief executive, the council leader, the chair of the relevant scrutiny committee and the dedicated link officer we have on file and any additional email addresses you may have advised us to copy correspondence to. They are issued in the summer and councils are given advance copies of their letters before we publish the data on our website.