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How to make a complaint about a service you have received from the council within the last 12 months.

Our Report It page is the fastest way to let us know if you experience a problem such as noise, dumped rubbish, missed recycling or rubbish collection, or planning issues.

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Complaints procedure

Stage 1

If you want to make a complaint about the service you've received from the council, you’ll need to tell us what your complaint is about so that we can direct you to the right team.

When you make a complaint to the council, it goes directly to the manager of the department that you’re complaining about. This means that problems can be resolved quickly.

Make a complaint

If you are a Westminster Housing tenant or leaseholder and wish to make a complaint about your housing service, you can also contact the housing contact centre on 0800 358 3783 or visit one of our housing service centres to make your complaint in person.

Complaints will be acknowledged within 5 working days. We aim to reply within 10 working days from the day of acknowledgement. If we require longer, we will let you know.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the stage 1 response, you can appeal to the Chief Executive by making a stage 2 complaint. We would expect the relevant service area to have issued a formal stage 1 response before the concern can be escalated. Stage 2 complaints must be made within 12 months from the stage 1 response.  

When making a stage 2 complaint, it is helpful if you can explain why you are dissatisfied and what you would like as the outcome.

Complaints will be acknowledged within 5 working days. We aim to reply within 20 working days from the day of acknowledgement. If we require longer, we will let you know.

Contact information for stage 2 complaints only

If you are a council tenant or leaseholder and wish to take your stage 1 complaint about a Housing Management issue to stage 2 please email [email protected] or telephone the housing contact centre on 0800 358 3783.

For all other council services please email: [email protected].

Alternatively, you can write to the Corporate Complaints Team at Finance and Resources, Westminster City Council, 16th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.

How we handle complaints

Through the complaints process, we aim to recognise where we get things wrong and let you know what we will do to put them right. This will include actions to fix the problem and may include compensation where appropriate. This will depend on the extent of any service failures and the impact caused.

You are entitled to have a representative deal with your complaint or accompany you to any meetings. You can also let us know how you would like us to communicate with you about your complaint.

Complaining to the Local Government Ombudsman

If you’re unhappy with the way that we have handled your stage 1 and stage 2 complaints, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.  This is an independent national service that investigates complaints against councils. 

If your complaint concerns housing management (tenant or lessee services), you should contact the Housing Ombudsman

The stage 2 response will indicate which ombudsman you should contact, or if in doubt, click on the links provided, and the ombudsman websites will explain if they can assist.

Complaints about councillors or co-opted members

Complaints about councillors or co-opted members are dealt with under a separate procedure from general council complaints.

If you believe a councillor or co-opted Member has breached the Members’ Code of Conduct, please complete this form and return to [email protected].

For more details on this procedure, please contact the Committee and Councillor Support Manager on 07971 920521.

Adult and Children's Social Services

Adults Social Services and  Children’s Social Services each has its own statutory complaints procedure.  For more information on either of the two statutory complaints procedures please contact:

Adults Social Services

Children’s Social Services

Customer Relationship Team for Children’s Services related complaints:

Council communications

If you have a complaint about any communications issued by the council (such as posters, flyers, social media posts, newsletters, leaflets, magazines, e-newsletters, and so on) then please go through the usual council complaints procedure set out above.

If you have any general comments or questions about council communications, please contact us: [email protected]

Complaints that we can't investigate

There are certain types of complaints that we can't investigate, these might include:

  • where there is an alternative right of appeal, for example a planning appeal against a planning decision, School Admissions or exclusion appeals.
  • an appeal against a Housing Benefit or Council Tax decision
  • an appeal against the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (parking ticket) or recovery action taken after the issue of the ticket.
  • a matter that has already been heard by a Court or tribunal, including the council’s Benefit Review Panel
  • a matter where the customer or the council has started legal proceedings or has taken court action (this does not include cases where the customer has simply threatened legal proceedings against the council)
  • complaints more than 12 months old, for example, where the issue was known about by the customer but not reported to the council within 12 months may not be accepted, unless there is a good reason for the delay.
  • complaints that involve insurance claims against the council (although there may be some aspects of the complaint that could be investigated concurrently, for example an allegation that the service area delayed in sending information about how to make an insurance claim against the council)
  • complaints from members of staff relating to personnel matters.
  • allegations of fraud or corruption that would more properly be dealt with by the council’s Anti-Fraud procedures or whistleblowing procedure.
  • Personal data and Information requests.
  • complaints about a council policy (the customer should be advised to contact their local Ward Councillor or write to the relevant Cabinet Member)
  • criminal actions

The above list is a general guide and not exhaustive.

If we decide not to accept a complaint, an explanation will be provided to you, setting out the reasons why the matter is not suitable for the complaints process and the right to take that decision to the Ombudsman. You will be provided with any alternative option that might be available to you.

Complaints Policy

Find out more information on our corporate complaints policy and procedure:

Complaints policy 2024 PDF, 197.08 KB, 7 pages

Complaints Annual Review 2022/23

Complaints Annual Review 2022/23 PDF, 524.37 KB, 19 pages


Published: 22 January 2021

Last updated: 9 May 2024