Complaints about community groups
There are an estimated 800 plus voluntary and community groups in the borough, providing a wide range of services to a population of over 160,000.
If you have a complaint about a local group or organisation you should raise this with them directly. All groups should have a complaints procedure that you can obtain. This will detail how you can raise your concerns: typically it might involve you writing to the organisation and detailing where you believe they could improve. The group is then likely to respond, and to state how it will deal with the issues you have raised, and give to a timescale for this. It may contact you for further information, or ask for a meeting.
It is likely that there will be several stages to the complaints procedure which you can go through, from the staff or volunteers directly providing the service, through to progressively senior representatives from the organisation, up to the management committee of the organisation.
If you are still not satisfied with the group's response to your complaint, and IF they are a group funded by the council, you can raise your complaint with Community Investment Team. In order to ensure that we have a full understanding of your complaint please give us this information:
- your name
- contact details
- name of the group that you wish to complain about
- the nature of your complaint
- the organisation's response to your complaint
Once we have this information we will look into your complaint and consider whether the issue you have raised constitutes a breach of our funding conditions. If they do not, there is no further action that we can take other than referring the complaint back to the organisation to deal with directly.
If we consider your complaint does constitute a breach of our funding conditions, the complaint will be investigated by the community investment team. We will consider the complexity and seriousness of the allegation, the number of funding conditions that have been broken and any financial or equality considerations. If the complaint is such that it involves allegations of fraud or other criminal acts we will rigorously investigate to satisfy ourselves that public funds are appropriately accounted for.
You will be informed of the approach taken and where possible the outcome of the investigation, subject to data protection and the rights to confidentitlity of the organisation and its staff.
If we do not fund the group, we may still be able to intervene in cases of a serious complaint that would be considered as putting vulnerable people at risk, or which may be unlawful.