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We aim to provide a high standard of service, but try as we might, we may not always get it right first time. 

If you wish to provide general feedback about how we can improve our services, including compliments, then please email

Informal Resolution

Most concerns can be resolved without you needing to make a formal complaint. These include missed bins, noise concerns and planning enforcement, which can be raised directly with the service team using the links on our Contact us page. If you are not sure which team to contact, please email

Making a Formal Complaint

Tips for making a complaint

  • Check the service you are complaining about is one we provide using our Contact Us page
  • Read the Corporate Complaints Policy and Procedure below
  • Submit your complaint as soon as you can
  • Use our online form below
  • Include evidence – you can upload photographs, statements, emails and letters on the form
  • Specify if you think we have failed to follow a policy or procedure
  • Be clear and brief – use numbered lists and headings to highlight important issues
  • Tell us what you are hoping to achieve as an outcome of the complaint

How we manage formal complaints

Stage One

The service manager for the area being complained about, will investigate your complaint and send you a full response within 15 working days.

Stage Two

You have six weeks from the date of our response to come back to us if you feel we have not addressed the issues you have raised.

You must include:

  • what points you feel we have not addressed in the stage one response
  • and what outcome you would like to achieve by pursuing a stage two investigation

Within 15 working days of receipt of the above points, the head of service will review the stage one response, and whether we have satisfactorily addressed the points you raised in your stage one complaint.

Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman via their website or by calling 0300 061 0614.

Housing Complaints – Landlord service complaints

There are two stages of our Housing Complaints procedure, with a third independent stage:

Stage one

The service manager will respond to your complaint within 10 working days.

Stage two

Following the outcome of the stage one complaint, you have a right to ask for your complaint to be reviewed under stage two.

The Head of Service will respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

Housing Ombudsman Service

The Housing Ombudsman Service is set up by law to look at disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords including housing associations and local authorities. The Ombudsman service is free, independent, and impartial.

If you remain dissatisfied with the stage two response, you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service via their website: or phone: 0300 111 3000.

The Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code sets out good practice that allows landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.

We use the code to make sure it’s easy for residents to tell us if something has gone wrong, and to ensure that we listen, understand, and take action to put things right.

Every year we complete an internal assessment to check that we are complying with the code.

When our complaints procedure cannot be used:

  • If you disagree with the way we have calculated your benefit entitlement, please visit the Benefit Reviews and Appeals page.
  • To appeal a licensing decision (premises, personal or taxi licences), the written decision notice will give details of the relevant rights of appeal. Further information is at the bottom of our licensing page.
  • If you believe that you should not have received a parking fine, please visit the dispute a parking fine page.
  • Complaints about Elected Members, please visit our Councillors’ code of conduct page
  • To appeal a planning application decision, the written decision notice will give details of the rights of appeal for applicants. We can only investigate the handling of the application under our complaints procedure, not the decision itself.
  • Complaints about responses issued under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) or the Data Protection Act 2018 and UKGDPR. The response will give details of what to do. You can contact our Information Governance Team on
  • Complaints about parish or town councils should be sent directly to the relevant parish or town council
  • For matters that have already exhausted the complaints process, or have been investigated by the Ombudsman

Annual Complaints Report

Contact us - Complaints

01235 422600
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE