Complaints are important to us as they allow us to learn from our mistakes and put things right when they have gone wrong. We're committed to dealing with complaints in a fair and impartial way.

First time requests

We won't class an issue as a complaint if you've never told us about it before, instead we'll treat this as a first time service request.

If you're unhappy about a service we provide, please talk to us about it, often we can fix a small issue before it becomes more serious. 

If you need to notify us of an issue for the first time please complete one of our online forms.

Complaints about the council

How to complain

If you're still unhappy with the service then you can make a formal complaint, you can do this by:

  • Using the online complaints form
  • Emailing us at contact@warrington.gov.uk
  • Phone us on: 01925 443322
  • Write to us at: Contact Warrington, PO Box 5, New Town House, Warrington WA1 2NH
  • Visit us at: Contact Warrington, 26-30, Horsemarket Street, Warrington WA1 1XL

Please include your contact details, so that we can reply to you, and also tell us what you would like the council to do as a result of your complaint.

Complaints can be withdrawn at any time, by email, letter, in person or by someone acting for you.

What is a complaint?

A complaint is defined as "dissatisfaction about a specific service or services provided by the council, or services provided by another agency on the council’s behalf".

Valid complaints about the council services include:

  • Failure to provide a suitable standard or level of service
  • Failure to follow the council’s policies, rules or procedures
  • Failure to consider all relevant information when coming to a decision
  • Delay or failure to respond to a request for service or an enquiry
  • Attitude or behaviour of staff
  • Bias, discrimination or harassment  

Download a copy of the council's complaint policy for more information.

To contact your local councillor

For contact details of your local councillor, please visit our councillors section.  Alternatively you can contact the members' secretaries on 01925 442141 / 442142 / 442139.

Adult social care complaints

The council is committed to providing high standards of service. You can help us to do this by telling us when we do something right or when things go wrong.

You can make a complaint about: 

  • the quality of the service you are receiving
  • the way you have been treated
  • being given insufficient information or wrong advice

You can download full details of the complaints policy here: Adults Social Care Complaints Legislation [pdf]

Who can make a complaint?

We want to hear from you if you:

  • receive a service from us
  • are the representative and acting in the interests of someone who receives a service from us
  • have been refused a service for which you believe you qualify

You can do this yourself or get a friend or relative to help you.

What can I do if I have paid for my own care or I have used a personal budget?

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. They will consider all complaints regardless of how the care has been funded. Their job is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way. In most cases they will only consider a complaint once the care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with the situation. It is a free service.

If you need help making a complaint

We understand that some people can find it difficult to complain, or may be nervous or have difficulties speaking and communicating. We will try to help you in any way we can, or put you in touch with someone who can help you to say how you feel.

If you would like some help with your complaint please contact us or one of the organisations below.

Making a complaint

You should start by talking to the member of staff with who you are in direct contact. If that is not possible, or if you are still not happy, you should ask to speak to that person’s manager or the customer service team. Most problems can be sorted out quickly through discussion.

If you are still not satisfied, you may ask for the matter to be investigated as a formal complaint. For this, you should contact either the manager of the service or the customer service manager using the details below.

Putting your complaint in writing can be the clearest way of making your point. If you prefer, you can make your complaint by visiting or telephoning Contact Warrington in the town centre.

What happens next?

When you contact us we will acknowledge your contact within three working days. The appointed investigating officer will then get in touch with you to listen to what you have to say and understand what your problem or concern is. They will agree with you the best way to deal with it and a timescale in which to resolve it.

Your feedback about our services gives us a valuable opportunity to learn and improve. We will let you know what actions we will take as a result of our enquiries into the issues you raised.

Please be assured that the information you give us will be treated in confidence and is covered by the data protection act. However, we may ask for your consent to share information where necessary to resolve any issues you might raise.

Other options open to you

If you are concerned about possible abuse or neglect in a situation, or the quality or safety of services provided, this could be linked to a safeguarding issue. Safeguarding is the name of the process agencies follow to protect vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect. Warrington Borough Council, with partner agencies such as health services and the police, work closely together to do this following clearly agreed procedures.

Abuse is mistreatment by any other person which denies someone the civil and human rights to which everybody is entitled. There are different kinds of abuse such as financial, physical, sexual, psychological, or neglect and it can happen anywhere, even in a person’s own home, in a nursing home or a hospital.

If you feel that someone who is vulnerable is being abused, or is likely to be at risk of abuse, or you yourself are being abused, you can call the Adult Social Care First Response Team.

You can also contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about any concerns or complaints. They make sure registered providers, such as care homes or agencies that provide care at home, meet essential standards of care.

For information about registered providers in Warrington, or to make a complaint, you can contact the CQC customer services unit

Telephone: 03000 616161
Fax: 03000 616171

Or in writing

CQC National Customer Service Centre 
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

At any time you are free to contact your local councillor or Member of Parliament. You can get the names and addresses of councillors from your local library or by visiting the councillor web page.

If your complaint has been fully investigated and you are still not satisfied, you have the right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman who may be able to help.

If you wish to make a complaint then please contact us using one of the methods below

  • Use the online complaints form
  • Email us at fw-customerservice@warrington.gov.uk
  • Phone us on: 01925 443322 or 01925 443111
  • Write to the customer service team at: Families and Wellbeing Customer Service Team, Warrington Borough Council, Lower Ground Floor, New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NH
  • Visit us at: Contact Warrington, 26-30, Horsemarket Street, Warrington WA1 1XL

If you would like some help with your complaint, please contact us or one of the following:

Warrington Speak Up 1:1 Advocacy

The Gateway
89 Sankey Street
Warrington
WA1 1SR

Telephone: 01925 248470

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Gateway
89 Sankey Street
Warrington
WA1 1SR

Telephone: 01925 246994

Children's social care complaints

It’s ok to complain or say you are not happy about any part of the care you receive including your carers, social workers, youth workers or teachers. If the council doesn't know about it, they can’t help and by speaking out you might even make things better for other children and young people too.

We always try to deal with complaints and compliments as quickly as we can and, where possible, we use them to improve our services.

Our complaints system:

  • gives children and young people a chance to give their views to help make our services better
  • provides valuable information to enable the council to plan and review the services it provides in Warrington

The children and young people's complaints policy and procedure sets out how we do this.

How to complain:

Call the customer service team free on 0800 011 3644

Email: fw-customerservice@warrington.gov.uk

Download the documents

Councillor complaints

The Standards Committee primarily deals with the ethical framework within which Councillors and Officers should conduct themselves in discharging their public duties. In particular, the Standards Committee deals with complaints relating to Councillors and their interests as set out within the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct sets out the required ethical standards for Councillors and Officers.

If you have a complaint with regards to the conduct of a Councillor, in particular relating to their interests, both monetary or otherwise please fill in the Member Complaint Form [pdf] and send it to:

Matthew Cumberbatch
Head of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer
Tel: 01925 442150
Email: monitoringofficer@warrington.gov.uk

Written complaints: Standards Committee, West Annexe, Town Hall, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1UH.

For more information download and read the Councillor Complaints Procedure [pdf]

If you require any of the above forms or information sheets in an alternative format please contact Democratic Services. Tel: 01925 442144 Email: akellock@warrington.gov.uk

The Council is also responsible for receiving any complaints regarding the conduct of any Parish Councils within the Warrington Borough Council area.

Complaints received will be dealt with by the Monitoring Officer in order to determine if there is a case to answer and if so the procedure for dealing with the issue. This could lead to a further investigation, involvement of the full Standards Committee (or a Sub-Committee) or an informal resolution.

Since the introduction of the Localism Act 2011, the role of the Standards Committee has changed considerably. Any complaints relating to pecuniary interests will be passed to the Police for investigation upon being received.

Complaints relating to Council services should be dealt with using the general Council Complaints Procedure.

School complaints

How do I complain about a school?

Since 1 September 2003 Governing Bodies of all maintained schools and maintained nursery schools in England have been required, under Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, to have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school and to any community facilities or services that the school provides. The local authority provides a model school complaints policy to support Governing Bodies in complying with this duty. Schools are self-governing meaning they can choose to either adopt the model school complaints policy or use one of their own. 

It is important to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint. The requirement to have a complaints procedure should not undermine efforts to resolve the concern informally. Informal concerns should be taken seriously and, if at all possible, without the need for formal procedures. In most cases it would be appropriate, in the first instance, to discuss any concerns you have with the class teacher.

What if dealing with my concerns informally does not solve the matter?

Where parents have concerns they should firstly be raised in accordance with the schools own complaints policy, we would therefore suggest that you request a copy of the policy from the school. The school’s complaint policy will also be published on its website. Any complaint should set out fully the concerns and reasons why the complaint is being made.

For further information, download the council's model school complaints policy [pdf].

What if I am still unhappy?

Should you remain dissatisfied upon completion of the 3 stages of the school’s complaint procedure you can approach the Department for Education (DfE).

Making a complaint to the Department for Education should only happen once the school complaints process has been exhausted.

You can obtain further information by visiting the DfE website.

Reporting a concern

If you are concerned that a child or young person is at risk of or is experiencing abuse or neglect, you should report it straight away

If you have concerns about your child’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or have any questions any special educational needs and disability (SEND), you can contact 01925 442917 or your child’s plan coordinator.