Complaints about council services

Reporting an issue versus making a complaint

Sometimes we need to be notified of issues in the area. For example, a pothole in the road, or a broken street sign. The quickest and most efficient way to tell us is to report it online.

Reporting online means that the issue will go directly to the right team. For example, a report about a missed waste collection will go immediately to the recycling and waste team.

Complaints, in contrast, require investigation. If you make a complaint about a broken streetlight, it will go to the service manager. This will then take up to 10 working days to investigate and respond.

Please only make a complaint where the issue is persistent and has not been resolved. 

Stage 1 – make a complaint

When you are unhappy with our services you can make a complaint. The service will investigate your complaint and aim to reply within 10 working days. You will be told when a reply will take more than 10 working days and given a date to expect a reply.

North Somerset Council is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office for the purposes of processing personal data. 

The information you provide will be held and used in accordance with UK and European data protection law. For further details on how we use your personal information in the delivery of customer services, please read our full privacy notice

If you have any concerns about how your personal data is handled, please contact the data protection officer at

Stage 2 – ask a council director to investigate

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your stage 1 complaint, you can ask the service director to investigate. The director will aim to reply within 17 working days.

To make a stage 2 complaint, you need to reply to the stage 1 complaint response that we have sent you.  Please describe why you are not satisfied with the stage 1 response.

Stage 3 – contact the Ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the response from the service director you can send your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. 

Before referring to the Ombudsman, you must have been through the first two stages in our complaints procedure.

Complaints and behaviour policy

Please see our complainant behaviour policy for more information on how we deal with complaints that are made in an aggressive, persistent, or unreasonable way.