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Customer care standards

We are committed to putting customers at the heart of our service delivery

Our aims

We aim to deliver services in an inclusive and fair manner, without discrimination, prejudice or bias however you contact us.

We promise that we will:

  • be polite and treat you with courtesy, fairness, honesty and respect
  • take ownership of your enquiry
  • listen to you carefully and use Plain English when we speak or write to you
  • be clear about our proposed actions and anticipated timescales
  • explain our decisions and the reasons for them
  • respect confidentiality
  • provide interpreting facilities through the INTRAN translation service for any face to face, telephone or written correspondence
  • provide a British Sign Language interpreter on request (by appointment only)
  • provide information in a number of formats upon request as soon as it may be arranged, for example, audio tape, braille, or large print
  • make sure there are a variety of ways for you to engage with us and tell us what you think of our services and how we can improve
  • do our best to put things right that have gone wrong

What you can expect from us

When you phone us

We will answer the phone as quickly as possible. The person who answers your call will aim to resolve your query there and then. If we cannot answer your query, we will provide you with a timescale for coming back to you with an answer.

We aim to answer your call within three minutes.

When you write, email, or use our online forms

We will respond to simple enquiries within three working days and all other enquiries within ten working days, unless indicated differently on our website, an application form or response. If we can't answer you fully within these timescales, we'll explain why and tell you when to expect a response.

For Freedom of Information requests, we will respond within 20 working days.

When you meet with us

We will provide computers in our reception area. This will allow you to make an online enquiry if you do not have an appointment, or we do not offer the service you want face to face.

If you wish to meet with a specific officer, please contact them to make an appointment in advance of visiting us. Our officers can be out of the office, on site, or in other meetings.

If we meet you elsewhere, we will arrive promptly and show you our identity card to confirm who we are. And we'll give you the opportunity to make a phone call to check our identity before you let us in.

Please DO NOT let anyone into your home unless you know them or have checked their identity card.

When you contact us via web chat or social media

We will publish up to date and relevant information on our website to help answer your queries. We will also provide a web chat service managed by our Council Information Centre during our office opening hours.

We monitor social media throughout the working day, where possible and appropriate, we will respond to your contact as soon as we can. If we need longer to investigate a query, we'll explain why and tell you when to expect a response.

How you can help us

We recognise that our customers have the right to be heard, to be understood and to be respected. However, our staff also have the same rights.

Most of the contact we receive from customers is positive, however, there are occasions when a customer’s behaviour is unacceptable. We understand that some situations may cause a customer to become upset or frustrated, however, we will not tolerate behaviour that is violent, abusive, offensive or threatening towards staff, even when a customer is under pressure.

We empower our staff to politely ask customers to change their behaviour. Any customers continuing to display an aggressive, threatening or unacceptable behaviour will have their telephone call terminated or if visiting the offices, they will be asked to leave immediately.

Comments, compliments, or complaints

We welcome feedback on our services, whether in the form of comments, compliments, or complaints. These help us adapt our services to suit your needs. For more information, please see our complaints, comments and compliments page.

Contact us

Please visit our contact us page.