Making a complaint to Fife Council
What is a complaint?
We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.
What can I complain about?
You can complain about things like:
- Delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
- Failure to provide a service
- Our standard of service
- Council policy
- Treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
- Our failure to follow proper procedure
Your complaint may involve more than one council service or be about someone working on our behalf. If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you. Complaints involving Health & Social care and social work involved with children and families matters generally follow the corporate complaints procedure but with small differences in extending timescales. Fife Health & Social Care Partnership have a seperate guide should you wish to make a complaint or comment regarding adult health and social care services.
What can’t I complain about?
There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:
- A routine first-time request for a service, for example a first-time request for a housing repair or action on anti social behaviour
- Requests for compensation from the council
- Things that are covered by a right of appeal, here are some examples:
- If you have received a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for a parking offence and believe it has been issued incorrectly you have the right to appeal the PCN
- If you are dissatisfied with the level of priority you have been given when applying for a house, you have the right to appeal against the decision
- If your planning application is refused, you will have a right to request either an appeal to Scottish Ministers or a review by the planning authority's Local Review Body. Which one depends on the circumstances of the application and the timescale for appeal or review will normally be explained in correspondence and the decision notice from the planning authority
- If you believe your house is incorrectly valued for council tax, you can appeal to the Assessor
- In the majority of cases, the Council is also unable to deal with complaints about councillors, particularly where the complaint alleges that a councillor has breached the Councillors’ Code of Conduct. (See below for further information)
Reporting a problem
Some of the most common problems raised with us are:
- Bin collection problems
- Council Tax
- Housing (including Repairs)
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Road Faults
- Noise nuisance
- Illegal Dumping
- Making a comment for or against a planning application
- Abandoned Vehicles
- Street Lighting Faults
If you have a new problem which you need to report, please do so now using the links above. You can report all of these problems on-line which will ensure that your concerns are directed straight to the officers who deal with these issues.
Who can complain?
Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. A representative will be required for young people under 12 years of age. Please also read the section in this leaflet ‘Getting help to make your complaint’.
How do I complain?
You can complain in any of the following ways:
- Go online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/commentsandcomplaints
- Phone our general enquiries line: 03451 55 00 00 (8am-6pm Monday to Friday) or view our most popular numbers
- BT Text Direct for the Deaf: 18001 01592 55 11 91
- Visit us at any Council office and speak to a member of staff
- Fill in our comments and complaints form and hand it in or post it to us, you don’t need a stamp
- Write to us at:, Freepost RTBZ-BBJT-BBYC, Comments and Complaints, Fife Council, Fife House, Glenrothes, KY7 5LT
- If you are deaf and have registered for the Council’s SMS text service, please send your complaint to the number given when you registered
It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. Then they can try to resolve any problems on the spot.
When complaining, tell us:
- Your full name and address
- As much as you can about the complaint
- What has gone wrong
- How you want us to resolve the matter
How long do I have to make a complaint?
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:
- The event you want to complain about, or
- Finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
Complaints about Councillors
If you have a complaint about a councillor and feel that he or she has breached the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, you must make your complaint to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (CESPLS). In your complaint, you must state which part of the Code you feel has been breached.
A copy of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and details of how to make a complaint can be obtained from the website http://www.publicstandardscommissioner.org.uk or by telephoning the CESPLS office on 0300 011 0550.
If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or the Care Inspectorate. You can find out more about their complaints procedure, or make a complaint, by contacting them.
The Care Inspectorate has several offices around Scotland. Please refer to: http://www.scswis.com/
Telephone: 0345 600 9527
Fax: 01382 207 289
Online: complaints form
Getting help to make your complaint
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.
You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, such as large font or Braille please contact us on 03451 55 55 00.