Making a complaint

In West Dunbartonshire Council we are committed to providing the best quality services which we can afford and we aim constantly to improve those services. In all big organisations like ours, things sometimes go wrong. With your help, we aim to identify problems, to solve them quickly and efficiently and to prevent them happening again. Your views matter to us. Our complaints procedure lets you tell us what you feel has gone wrong and helps us improve our services for everyone.

When to use our complaints procedure

You should use the complaints procedure if you believe that:

  • We have done something wrong.
  • We have failed to do something that you expected.
  • We have not treated you with courtesy.

Enquiry or complaint?

Some problems or enquiries are not complaints. Therefore you don't need to use the complaints procedure if:

  • You want to query a letter or bill.  The contact details for the service will be on the letter or bill.  
  • Report street issues (Street Lights, Pot holes, etc.)
  • Request non emergency home repairs
  • Neighbour complaints 
  • Gritting services
  • Pest Control
  • Clothing grants - to check eligibility, apply for Clothing Grants and/or Free School Meals
  • You want to ask about a council service.
  • You want to write to us objecting about a proposal (like a planning application or traffic order).
  • There are also certain kinds of "appeals and reviews" that, by law, we must handle in a certain way. These include things like school admission appeals, housing benefit/council tax, social work appeals and homeless persons reviews. The service responsible will give you advice about these.

If someone has done a great job or helped you out or you simply wish to thank us for something you, please tell us what happened

How to complain 

Step 1

Contact the Service area direct, a member of staff will try to sort things out for you on the spot.

It is easier to resolve complaints if made quickly and directly to the service area concerned, Staff will try to resolve the matter for you on the spot or if they cannot and further action is required they will let you know and pass this to our Citizen Relations Team to take forward.  

Step 2

If they are unable to resolve the matter for you or you did not feel comfortable going directly to the service area, please contact the Citizen Relations Team

By phone: 01389 738273 


Online complaint form

By E-mail:  

In Writing: West Dunbartonshire Council, Citizen Relations, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton, G82 1QL

Please note by calling or completing the online form your complaint will reach us quickly.

Our complaints process has 2 stages

Stage 1 allows five working days or less to resolve your complaint, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not have been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require a detailed investigation.

We will

  • treat your complaint fairly and ensure we thoroughly investigate it.
  • tell you the name of the officer handling your complaint.
  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days
  • discuss the complaint with you if necessary to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
  • provide you with a full response to your complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, the Citizen Relations Team will tell you and agree revised time limits, we will keep you updated on progress where possible. 

Step 3

If you are still unhappy once you have a final reply from us you can then contact Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

You must make any such complaint within twelve months of the problem arising. The Ombudsman also expects you to have made a formal complaint to the Council and have received our final response.


Single-line address, no stamp required:
Freepost SPSO

telephone: 0800 377 7330
Fax: 0800 377 7331
Text: 0790 049 4372

The Ombudsman is happy to receive enquiries by phone, post, email or even in person, and their complaints form can also be downloaded and submitted online via their website.

Who else can help?

You always have the option of contacting the following elected representatives at any stage:

  • Your local Councillor,
  • Member of Scottish Parliament,
  • Member of UK Parliament,