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How to make a complaint

If you want to make a formal complaint relating to services which we, rather than Lancashire County Council, are involved in or have responsibility for please complete the complaint form.

Please note: if your issue relates to on street parking, issues with roads or pavements, schools or concessionary bus travel you need to contact Lancashire County Council.

If you wish to make a complaint about a councillor, please see our complaints against councillors page.

Make a complaint

Council directorates

The complaints procedure gives you the opportunity to raise a complaint with the council. Each directorate is responsible for handling its own complaints. The council's directorates are:

  • Chief Executive - Policy and External Relations
  • Development and Housing - City Development, Economic Growth and Planning Policy, Management and Building Control, Private Sector Housing
  • Customer Services - Shared Service, ICT and Contact Centre, Culture and Events, Engineering, Investment Property, Operational Property
  • Communities and Environment - Environmental Health, Advice and Community Services, Parks and Streetscene, Transport and Waste Management, Workforce
  • Resources and S151 Officer - Legal and Democratic Services, Accountancy, Audit

Stage 1

An acknowledgement will be sent within 5 working days and a full written response provided within 20 working days from receipt of your complaint.

If more time is needed a letter will be sent giving reasons for the delay and a new date for the response.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the council's response at Stage 1 you may request that your complaint progress to Stage 2, please let us know within 14 days stating the reasons why you are not happy with the Council's response and what you would like the Council to do to put things right.

At this stage the Chief Executive will arrange for a senior officer unconnected with the case to carry out a further independent investigation.

This officer will acknowledge the complaint within 5 working days and a full written response will be provided within 35 working days from receipt of your request.

If more time is needed a letter will be sent giving reasons for the delay and a date by which you can expect the matter to be resolved.

Please note

Complaints must be submitted in writing. This includes electronic submissions. However, in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, we can make reasonable adjustments to assist you if you have a disability that prevents you from making your complaint in writing.

We can also help if English is not your first language. If you need support in completing a complaint form please let us know.


The council does not accept anonymous complaints.

The council does not accept the following type of complaints:

  • Something you knew about more than 12 months before you raised it with the council
  • Requests for information or explanation of council policy or practice
  • Complaint about a council policy
  • Matters for which you already have a right of appeal or you could have gone to a Court, Tribunal or Government Minister
  • Something which affects all or most of the people of Preston
  • HR / Recruitment matters
  • Contracts for the supply of goods and services

Local Government Ombudsman

If you are unhappy about the way you have been dealt with by the council you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman who may decide to investigate the matter further. However, the Ombudsman may ask that the council's procedures are completed before carrying out their investigation.

The Ombudsman will investigate the way your case has been handled, or the council's failure to do something but does not question a council's decision simply because you do not agree with it.

The Ombudsman can be contacted at:-

The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771

Policy on unreasonably persistent complainants and/or customers and behaviour

It has been recognised by the Local Government Ombudsman and Social Care Ombudsman that certain people pursue complaints in a way which can impede an investigation or can have significant resource implication for authorities.

The Council has produced a policy on unreasonably persistent complainants and/or customers and behaviour to ensure that all complainants/customers receive a proportional amount of officer time and certain individuals do not take up disproportionate amounts of time, to the extent that it inhibits a service to others.

View the policy on unreasonably persistent complainants

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