Compliments, Comments and Complaints - Procedure
We value feedback from individuals, groups and organisations on the work we do. We strive to provide you with high quality value for money services, and we would like to receive general comments on those services to help us in planning for the future. We are particularly interested in receiving compliments so that good practice can be applied across other service areas.
If you wish to comment on any of our services please use our customer response form (available in different formats below), and send to:
The Monitoring Officer
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Tel: 01626 832093
Fax: 01626 834684
We acknowledge, however, that there may be times when you wish to question or challenge a decision or procedure, or when you may feel that the standard of a service is not what you would expect. In these circumstances we have a complaints procedure which is designed to deal with issues as quickly as possible but also gives opportunity to ensure complaints are addressed objectively.
What is not covered by this procedure?
- Complaints about Members. These should be referred to the Authority’s Monitoring Officer (see Complaints Procedure - Members)
- Objections to planning applications, and appeals or challenges to planning decisions, which should be referred to the Planning Inspectorate (see Complaints Procedure - Planning Decisions).
- Complaints about how your planning application etc has been dealt with, rather than the actual decision may use the general complaints procedure described below.
- Complaints from MPs and other public bodies eg Parish Councils. These should be directed to the Chief Executive (NPO) (see Complaints Procedure - MPs and Public Bodies)
We understand it can be difficult to make a complaint and we would wish to reassure you that all complaints are treated in confidence. However, as we are unable to send a response to anonymous complaints or seek any clarification or further information if required, they will not be accepted.
How to make a complaint
If you have an issue we feel it is important that you discuss this with the individual or service directly in the first instance. We anticipate that most difficulties should be resolved at this initial contact. If an immediate response cannot be made, a written reply will be sent within 10 working days by the manager responsible for that service area.
If you are dissatisfied with this initial response to your concerns then you will need to make a formal complaint which has two stages. In making a formal complaint, it would be helpful if you would use the customer response form, but this is not an absolute requirement. We do, however, prefer complaints to be in writing. If this presents difficulties and you do not have anyone who can assist you, we will accept telephone complaints via the number on the customer feedback form. All formal complaints should be addressed to the Monitoring Officer.
On receipt of your formal complaint, it will be passed to the Director responsible for the area you are complaining about. They will directly investigate the complaint and reply to you within 15 working days. If there is a reason why there may be a delay, you will be advised.
If you remain dissatisfied with the response at Stage 1, you should write again to the Monitoring Officer with clear reasons for your continuing concern. The Monitoring Officer (or another Director if there is any conflict in interest) will then undertake a review of the complaint, and provide a final response on behalf of the Authority. This response will be within 25 working days and will be the conclusion of the Authority's complaints procedure.
The Local Government Ombudsman
If you feel after you have complained to the Authority that you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with, you may wish to refer your complaint to:
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Please note that the Ombudsman will expect you to have given the Authority a chance to address the complaint locally before getting involved.