Complaints

This page explains how to make a complaint about a service you have received from the council within the last 12 months.

Report It

Our Report It tool 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.

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 you’re complaining 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.

We aim to reply within 10 working days and if we need longer we will let you know.

Make a complaint

Stage 2

We would expect the relevant service area to have issued a formal stage 1 response before the concern can be escalated to 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. Your complaint will be sent to the Complaints and Customer Manager who will carry out a review of your concern(s).

When making a stage 2 complaint, please explain why you are dissatisfied and what you expect from the review.

We aim to reply within 10 working days and if we need longer we will let you know.

Contact information for stage 2 complaints only:

Email stage2complaints@westminster.gov.uk.

Call us on 020 7641 1911.

Write to the Complaints Team, Chief Executive’s Department, Westminster City Council, 2nd Floor, 5 Strand, WC2N 5HR.

Complaining to the Local Government Ombudsman

If you’re unhappy with the way that the council has 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.

Complaints that we can't investigate

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

  • complaints relating to council housing services delivered by CityWest Homes (tenants and lessee services)
  • where there is an alternative right of appeal eg a planning appeal against a planning decision, School Admissions or exclusion appeals
  • an appeal against a Housing Benefit/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 ie 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 eg an allegation that the service area delayed in sending information about how to make an insurance claim against the council)
  • complaints about a member of staff that would more properly be dealt with through the council’s disciplinary code or through staff management or performance procedures
  • 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 Whistle Blowing procedure
  • complaints about Councillors or a co-opted member, as these are dealt with under a separate procedure (please contact the Head of Council, Cabinet and Committee Secretariat, Department of Legal and Democratic Services on 020 7641 3134 for more details)
  • 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 for any reason we cannot accept a complaint under the council’s complaints procedure, the complainant will be advised of this and be provided with any alternative option that might be available to them. Where alternative options are not clear, the complainant should be advised to seek their own independent legal advice (at their own cost). If you are unsure, you can seek advice from the Complaints Team on 020 7641 1911.


Last updated: 3 October 2017
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