How to make a complaint about a service you have received from the council within the last 12 months.
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.
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.
We aim to reply within 10 working days. If we require longer we will let you know.
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.
Your complaint will be sent to the Complaints and Customer Manager who will carry out a review of your concerns.
When making a stage 2 complaint, please explain why you are dissatisfied and what you expect from the review.
We aim to reply within 20 working days. If we require longer we will let you know.
Contact information for stage 2 complaints only
Email: [email protected].
Write to the Complaints Team, Finance & Resources, Westminster City Council, 16th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.
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.
How we handle complaints
Through the complaints process, we aim to recognise where we get things wrong, and let you know what we are going to 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 detriment 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 was about housing management (tenant or lessee services) then 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 a co-opted member are are dealt with under a separate procedure from general council complaints.
For more details on this procedure please contact the Committee and Councillor Support Manager on: 07971 920521.
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 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, i.e 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 Committee and Councillor Support Manager for more details) - to make a complaint about a Councillor, please email [email protected]
- 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).
Find out more information on our corporate complaints policy and procedure:
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
Telephone: 0800 587 0072 or 0207 361 2661
Email: [email protected]
Children’s Social Services
Customer Relationship Team for Children’s Services related complaints:
Telephone: 0207 745 6501
Email: [email protected]
Published: 22 January 2021
Last updated: 1 November 2023