Do Wakefield Council respond to complaints quickly enough?

Nearly two thirds of complaints about poor communication were upheld.
Nearly two thirds of complaints about poor communication were upheld.

Concerns have been expressed about how quickly Wakefield Council are responding to people who complain to them.

Figures revealed in a report this week showed that potholes and missed bin collections were among the most common gripes people registered with the local authority over a 12 month period.

Missed bins were among the most common causes for complaint.

Missed bins were among the most common causes for complaint.

Although the total number of complaints to the council has fallen from the year before, 90 grievances were expressed about poor communication in 2017/18.

Of these complaints, 59 were upheld.

The figures were cited at a standards committee meeting by Labour councillor Alan Wassell, who said that the situation was "concerning".

He said: "I would love to see an improvement there.

"If we're not communicating properly with complainants it leads to further complaints.

"We need to keep them in the loop and we need to respond in a timely fashion.

"What are we doing to address this?"

Lucinda Jackson, the council's service manager for communications, customers and change, said that in some cases complainants were written to or offered a face-to-face meeting, which could extend the process.

She said: "Sometimes it's appropriate that the timescales go up, if it's a case that's particularly complex.

"This is always done in agreement with the customer so we always keep them informed.

"But you're absolutely right, it will stop the number of complaints overall going up because that's what people are complaining about."

The council has said that extra training will be given to officers over the next year to help them deal with complaints.

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