Dorset Council's getting fewer complaints and more compliments

Dorset Council's getting fewer complaints and more compliments

Published by George Sharpe at 4:05pm 12th March 2020.

THE Dorset Council department which says it likes to receive complaints is getting fewer of them, but learning more from the comments it gets.

And the man who looks after the complaints says that is a good thing.

Tony Bygrave told councillors on Tuesday at the Place directorate complaints for the last three months stood at 86, down from 103 in the previous quarter, and of those 34 had resulted in the staff looking at better ways of doing things.

In all 13 per cent of the complaints were found to be fully or partially justified – including two which went to the Local Government Ombudsman where one finding of maladministration over a planning issue cost the council £1,800.

man talking on phone
The number of people complaining to Dorset Council has dropped in the last three months.

Senior assurance officer for complaints, Tony Bygrave, told councillors that the fact that more than 30 of the complaints had resulted in organisational learning was good news – because that was what the council sought to do, learn from its mistakes.

He said that while complaints had fallen, over the same period the number of compliments had increased, from 14 to 34.

Letter writing
While the number of complaints has fallen, compliments are on the rise.

A breakdown of the complaints shows that 22per cent were about quality of service; 12 per cent a disagreement with a decision; 7 per cent about failing to provide a service and 5 per cent about a delay in providing a service. Only 2 per cent were about the attitude of staff.

Many of the complaints about quality of service were about roadworks and traffic lights causing delays while those about council decisions mostly related to planning matters where the complainant felt their views were not being properly considered.

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Roadworks made up many of the complaints about quality of service.

Of the compliments one was in praise of staff showing consideration when horse riders were passing; another praised the bin team who collected a person’s waste even though they had forgotten to put it in the road, with another offering thanks for the speedy unblocking of a culvert.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter