Potholes, missed bins and social care: what Wakefield residents complain about most

Potholes and missed bin collections are among the most common causes of complaints by Wakefield residents to the district council.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 4:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 4:09 pm
160 complaints were made about issues with household waste by residents in 2017/18.

A report by the local authority has shown that road maintenance and issues with household waste were the top gripes for people living in the area between April 2017 and March 2018.

A total of 1,347 complaints were registered during this period, a reduction of around 10 per cent on the year before.

Specifically, most of the grievances related to the quality of a service, a failure to take action, a decision the council had made or the conduct of staff.

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The council has just received a grant of just under 2m to fix potholes in the district.

Children's services, adult social care and car parking were also among the areas people commonly lodged a complaint with.

More than half of the grievances were either upheld or partially upheld by Wakefield Council.

In the report, which will go before a standards committee on Thursday November 22, the council said: "The majority of complaints are remedied by an apology and implementing changes and learning from what has gone wrong.

"The main reasons that customers complain relates to the quality of service they receive and the council failing to take action i.e. not doing what we say we are going to do.

"This is seen mainly in the delivery of universal services."

The report added that communication with residents needs to be improved, and that people should be kept informed of progress in dealing with their complaint.

It also said that training would be delivered over the next year to help officers deal with grievances.

In addition to those received by the council, a total of 56 complaints by Wakefield residents were made to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman rules on matters where a complainant is unhappy with the way a council has dealt with the original case.

A total of 14 investigations were launched as a result of these, but only one of the complaints was upheld.

Besides complaints, a total of 549 compliments were given to the council over the course of the year.

In numbers

1,347 complaints made to Wakefield Council in 2017/18

191 complaints made about highways and roads - more than any other issue

160 complaints made about household waste and bins

10% reduction in the number of complaints made to the council from 2016/17

106 complaints made by residents in the Wakefield North ward - more than anywhere else

80 complaints made by people in Pontefract North

549 compliments offered to the council