Less than half of council complaints dealt with in target time

By Caleb Spencer in Politics

CEREDIGION County Council responded to less than half of ‘stage two’ complaints within 20 working days, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

In the 12 months between 30 November 2015 and 30 November 2016, the county council received 263 complaints, 45 of which were ‘stage two’ complaints requiring a response within 20 working days.

However, only 19 of these complaints were responded to within the prescribed time limit.

Also revealed in the council’s disclosure was that during the same period, 41 complaints were referred to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, of which three were upheld wholly or in part.

The council told the Cambrian News this week that delays were “not unusual”, but said it had taken steps to restructure its complaints and FoI department.

A Ceredigion County Council spokesperson said: “The council takes all complaints seriously and encourages genuine complaints as a means to improve services and to resolve matters where complaints are upheld.

“The council restructured its Complaints and FoI Service in January this year, and there is now a dedicated team of officers to record and handle all complaints centrally.

“In relation to stage two corporate complaints, the council aims to complete them within our 20-day target.

“However, it is not unusual that some take more time to fully investigate, analyse and come to a considered judgement whether to uphold the complaint or not and to respond accordingly."

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