Complain about council services

Report it

If your complaint is about an issue with:

  • missed bin collection
  • potholes
  • roads and paths
  • graffiti
  • street lighting
  • contacting a team or employee of the council
  • trees, or
  • fly tipping.

You can quickly report an issue and have this fixed by reporting it 

Report it

Contact the team

Complaining to the team or manager of the service you’re unhappy about, is the quickest way to make a complaint and get a solution. You can do this  by contacting them directly or use the contact us page.

If you don’t have contact details for the team or manager, you can call the council’s contact centre on 0345 2000 101; they will either put you through to the team, or take a message.

Customer First Office

This team is impartial from other council services. Their role is to listen to your complaint and find a solution for you.

The team know council services well and are a great way of getting something fixed quickly.   

You can contact the Customer First Office any time by email or call them on 0191 64 322 80 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm – you’ll get an instant reply or within two working days.

Council Complaint Investigations Escalation

You can have your complaint investigated.

You will be asked to write a statement of complaint (help is available), describing your complaint and what outcome you would like to see.

You can ask for a complaint investigation by using this form; via email or by calling the Customer First Office on 0191 643 2280.


There are two stages to council Corporate and Housing Services complaint investigations.

Is investigated by the manager of the service or team you are complaining about and you will receive a written response, after your statement of complaint has been agreed by you

10 working days 

If you remain dissatisfied, you can ask for your Stage One complaint to be reviewed and a further investigation if necessary by a senior manager / head of service of the service or team you are complaining about. This is the final stage before referring your complaint to the relevant Ombudsman. 

20 working days

Further information about complaint investigations, can be found in the Corporate and Housing Complaints Procedure. 

Please note any complaints registered on of before 31 March 2024 will be dealt with under the previous Corporate Complaints Procedure. If you require further information on this please contact the Customer First Office : or 0191 643 2280


Related documents

Social Care Complaint Investigations

You can have your social care complaint investigated.

There are two separate procedures for investigating adult and children’s social care complaints:

You can ask for a social care complaint investigation by using this form, or by calling the Customer First Office on 0191 643 2280.

Related documents


If you remain dissatisfied with how the council has dealt with your complaint, you can contact the relevant Ombudsman. The Ombudsman may ask you to have your complaint investigated by the council, before they will consider it.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Looks at complaints about council services.

Tel: 0300 061 0614

The Housing Ombudsman

Has jurisdiction of complaints about social housing, this includes council tenants.

Tel: 0300 111 3000

Complain about a councillor

If your complaint is about a councillor, contact the standards committee.

Also of interest: