Our Customer Feedback Policy sets out our approach to dealing with customer complaints, comments, and compliments, whilst adhering to the principles of both the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman and the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code. We complete an annual self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code, which is published on our website.

If your complaint is about our Housing Management Services, you can access the Housing Ombudsman Service throughout your complaint for impartial advice.

There are two stages to our complaints process, full details of what you can expect when making a complaint can be found in our Customer Feedback Policy

Summary of the stages:

Stage 1

We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days by either email or letter. A Service Manager will investigate your complaint

We will respond to your complaint in full within 10 working days from the date we acknowledge it.

Stage 2

If you remain dissatisfied following our investigation and response at stage one, you can request a review of your complaint and the decision made is undertaken.

We will acknowledge your request within 5 working days by either email or letter. A different Senior Manager will conduct the review of your complaint.

We will respond to your request to review your complaint in full within 20 working days from the date we acknowledge it.

Extending response times

On the rare occasions that we need to use our discretion to extend our response times to enable us to respond fully, we will always tell you why. We will need to have a good reason to extend our response times by up to 10 working days at either stage 1 or up to 20 working days at stage 2.

Further details on when we may need to extend our response times can be found in the Customer Feedback Policy.

Stage 2 is the final stage of our complaints process.

If you remain dissatisfied after we have reviewed your complaint at stage 2, you can ask the relevant Ombudsman to review how we have handled your complaint.

How can I make a complaint?

The quickest and simplest way is to complete an online Customer Feedback form. However, if you prefer, you can also contact our Customer Services team or write to us:

Call our Customer Services team on 01695 577177

Visit one of our Customer Service Points:

  • 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire, L39 2DF 
  • Unit 142, The Concourse Shopping Centre, Southway Skelmersdale, WN8 6LN 

Write to us at: Customer Feedback, Business Support, West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street Ormskirk Lancashire, L39 2DF.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions, or lack of action by the Council, its own staff or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.

You can find out more information about what we can and cannot deal with under the section "what we cannot deal with under this policy".


We follow the guidelines issued by the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman and Housing Ombudsman in deciding the appropriate remedy. Further details on Remedies can be found in the Customer Feedback Policy

As a Landlord, the Council has a Housing Services Goodwill & Discretionary Payment Policy. This outlines how Housing Services may determine if a goodwill gesture or discretionary payment will be considered, in relation to complaints regarding Housing Management services.

Our Feedback Policy does not cover:

Requests for a service

Common requests for service include, reporting a repair to a Council property, reporting a missed bin, fly tipping removal or litter picking. You can access and request a wide range of services through your Self-Service account, by contacting Customer Services or Visiting a Customer Service Point.

If we identify that feedback submitted through the Customer Feedback process is a service request, we will process this on your behalf to enable the relevant service area to resolve this for you. We will confirm this to you as part of our response to your feedback.

If after requesting a service, you are dissatisfied with the action taken or standard of service, you can raise a complaint, we may also choose to escalate this to a complaint on your behalf.  We will always discuss this with you first


Matters for which there is a right of appeal or a more appropriate or prescribed legal remedy e.g., Licences, Permits, Approvals, Consents, Permissions, Registrations, related planning and enforcement action. Or appeals in relation to Council Tax Banding, or Business Rates Relatable Value (RV).

When a decision is made and there is a formal right of appeal, you will be informed of the appeals process as part of the decision notice.

Please note, if your complaint relates to an active investigation (e.g. noise nuisance, planning enforcement) that we are undertaking and the outcome of this investigation has not yet been determined by our Officers, we reserve the right to close your complaint until the matter is concluded.  If your complaint relates to a decision that has been lawfully made by the Council (e.g. Planning Permission) and you have a clear right of appeal in law against that decision, we reserve the right to close your complaint as the appeals process will take account of your relevant concerns. In either case, we will write to you to notify you of this. 

Services provided by external organisations:

Lancashire County Council:

Lancashire County Council deliver various services in the Borough and complaints regarding their services must be directed to them. An example of some of the services that they provide include:

  • Highway maintenance including potholes, gritting, roadworks, street lighting and temporary traffic lights
    • Education
    • Adult and Children's Social Care
    • Libraries

For more information visit Lancashire County Council

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

As a Local Authority the Council is responsible for maintaining the Council Tax Banding & Business Rates Rating List and ensuring bills are calculated in accordance with the Band/Rateable Value as set by the Valuation Office Agency.

The VOA is an executive agency of HM Revenues & Customs and as the Local Authority we can only alter any Council Tax banding & Business Rates RV reduction/amendments to the date from which any change to the list comes into effect following the VOA decision.

Appeals should be raised directly with the VOA:

Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS)

You can appeal a decision made by the Council against the amount of council tax you have to pay for several reasons. E.g., if you think the council should give you a discount. The VTS are an independent body not connected with the Council and the tribunal will decide about liability on the evidence that the appellant and the Council present to it. 

Further information relating to the VT the website address is:

Complaints about Freedom of Information requests (FOI)

For further guidance, refer to Freedom of information

Requests for information or an explanation of Council policy or practice

For example: decisions regarding the assessment of a Housing Application as an appeals process is in place as part of the Housing Allocations Policy.


For further guidance, please visit our petitions pages

Complaints regarding issues that occurred over 12 months ago

In line with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code 2024 and the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, we will only consider complaints that are received within 12 months of the issue occurring. We may consider complaints made outside of this time limit where there is good reason to do so and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To find out more about how the Council performs in relation to Customer Feedback and read more about our self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code visit our performance page.