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Winchester City Council complaints at five-year high
WINCHESTER City Council has received its highest amount of complaints in more than five years.
A scrutiny meeting on Monday (Sept 23) heard general complaints have increased by 15 per cent from 530 last year to 628.
It is the largest number of complaints in a year since 2006/7 when 785 were recorded, although it is only five more than received in 2010/11.
But complaints to the independent local government ombudsman have fallen from an average of 21 per year between 2001 and 2009 to 11 between 2010 and 2013.
The largest increase has been in environmental problems and officers put this down to teething problems from the change in waste collection from Serco to Biffa in late 2011.
Of the 628 complaints, 203 were upheld with an apology or explanation where appropriate.
Paul Wood, head of business management, said: “Complaints are very, very useful for an organisation. It gives us an indication into how well we are performing and where we can make improvements.”
Mr Wood added the majority of planning complaints came from people who had applications turned down while access and infrastructure complaints were made up of complaints over parking fines.
Cllr Patricia Stallard added: “I think it’s worth stating that there was only one complaint with our financial services, which is a good thing. Performance and scrutiny and strategic planning are also low so we must be doing something right.”
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