Customer feedback: Make a complaint (or a comment or a compliment)
We value your feedback on our services, so letting us know about your customer experience is important to us:
- Compliments: Compliments are a good way of letting someone or a service know what they have done well and when they have got it right. Compliments Will be brought to the attention of the relevant manager and the officer involved.
- Formal complaints: A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.
If you are not happy, we want to hear about it. There are two stages to our complaints process:
- Stage 1: The relevant service manager will receive and review the details of your complaint. They will respond to your complaint and take any appropriate action.
- Stage 2: If you are not happy with the Stage 1 response, you can ask a senior officer who did not respond at Stage 1 to review your complaint.
At each stage a written acknowledgement will be sent to you within five working days with contact details of the person who will investigate the complaint.
We will try to reply fully in writing within 10 working days for Stage 1, and within 15 working days for Stage 2. If we are unable to do so, we will contact you to explain the delay and how long it will take to respond.
If you remain dissatisfied with our response at Stage 2, you can escalate your complaint to either the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) or the Housing Ombudsman Service (HO) depending on which council service your complaint relates to. In our response, we will advise you which ombudsman to contact. See also:
How to send us your feedback
If you want to report a missed council service or a fault, please refer to the reporting a missed service or fault section below.
If you would like to give a compliment about our services, or make a formal complaint about a Council service, please use the online form below:
If you are reporting a missed Council service or a fault (such as a street light that isn't working), please use the relevant link below and choose the appropriate service:
Adur & Worthing Councils Services (residents):
- Housing and Adur homes
- Council Tax and Benefits services
- Household recycling and waste collection
- Parking services: permits and Penalty Charge Notices (PCN, also known as parking tickets)
- Environmental Health
- Planning applications
- Building Control
- Community & Wellbeing Services
- See: Submit a compliment or complaint
Adur & Worthing Councils Services (businesses):
- Business Rates
- Licensing and permits
- Public Health & Regulation
- See: Submit a compliment or complaint
West Sussex County Council Services (WSCC):
- Social care, health and education
- West Sussex highways (road maintenance, transport & traffic)
- Street lighting, public paths and countryside
- Waste and recycling centres (tips) - also known as Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS)
- Parking - Blue Badge scheme, road works and road closures
- Births, marriages and deaths registration
- Trading Standards
- See: WSCC section below
However, if you wish to make a formal comment, complaint or compliment please read the customer feedback section above.
West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has its own complaints procedure. If you need to complain to WSCC please get in touch with them as soon as you can.
To find out more about WSCC's complaints procedure see:
See also: Escalating to the ombudsman (below)
The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) and Housing Ombudsman (HO) are a free service provided to individuals who wish to complain about their council. They investigate complaints in a fair and independent way - they do not take sides.
Each ombudsman handles different types of service complaints:
Also referred to as LGO and they will investigate the following council services - their fact advice sheets are available via the links below:
- Planning and Building Control - on the LGO website
- Some housing issues - on the LGO website
- Housing benefit and Council Tax - on the LGO website
- Environment and waste - on the LGO website
- Neighbour nuisance and antisocial behaviour - on the LGO website
- Transport and highways - on the LGO website
- Social care - on the LGO website
- Some education and schools - on the LGO website
- Children's services - on the LGO website
Local Government Ombudsman (non-housing complaints)
The normal practice of the LGO is not to begin an investigation until the council has had the opportunity to try to resolve the complaint. It is important, therefore, that you contact us first. See:
- How to make a complaint - on the Local Government Ombudsman website
- see also the Adur Homes feedback and complaints section below
As members of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme (see section below), we have additional requirements in Housing to adhere to.
Our Adur Homes Feedback and Complaints Policy and Procedure explains what you can expect from us when making a complaint:
- Adur Homes - Interim Feedback and Complaints Policy and Procedure (447KB)
- Adur Homes - Interim Compensation Policy (394KB)
We are also required to complete an annual self assessment against their code of practice which you can view below to see how we are doing.
- Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code summary (88KB)
- Ombudsman Self Assessment Response Self-Assessment (Appendix B - Self-Assessment Form) (573KB)
Also referred to as HO and they will investigate the following housing complaints:
- disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (housing associations and local authorities)
- leasehold services
- rent/service charges
- moving to a property - tenancy / transfer / mutual exchange
- Tenant Behaviour
- repairs / housing standards
- environmental health issues of property
- complaints about housing staff
- councils' handling of the complaints process
Housing Ombudsman (housing complaints)
You can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman at any stage of the process and request their intervention. See:
The website links below will allow you to access:
- Annual statistics
- Complaints upheld
- Compliance with Ombudsman recommendations
Local Government Ombudsman reports:
- Adur District Council information - on the LGO website
- Worthing Borough Council information - on the LGO website
Housing Ombudsman reports:
Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:
Adur Customer Feedback
Worthing Customer Feedback
Page last updated: 17 October 2023