At Bath & North East Somerset we value our customers and their feedback so we closely monitor all the compliments, comments and complaints that we receive and use the information gained to improve the services that we provide.

As part of these improvements we provide feedback to our customers on issues that have been identified as a result of the complaints received. We will highlight any service improvements that have taken place, or provide further information to clarify any issues that may have arisen as a result of any policy or legislative changes.

  • View an interactive dashboard of last quarter (the default view shows ALL corporate cases but the drop down menu allows you to select single or multiple services of interest so that the charts change to show relevant data).

Interactive dashboard

  • The last quarterly report is available for you to download below:

Quarterly customer feedback summary June - Sept 2018 (PDF 4.4MB)

If you would like this report in a different format, please contact us. Previous quarterly reports are also available at the bottom of this page.

This report gives a corporate overview of the customer feedback that has been received and responded to in the past quarter, and notes any key actions or considerations that have resulted from a high level review.

Our Service Teams, responsible for specific services delivered by the Local Authority, handle their own customers' feedback cases and provide quarterly updates on trends, issues or changes that the service is undertaking as a direct or partial result of the feedback they have received. Some of the key outcomes of that feedback are detailed below, and in the “You said / We did…” section of the quarterly summary report, compiled directly from the Customer Feedback Officers (CFOs) responsible for each service area.

Service Trends / recurring themes You said... We did...
Adult Social Care

We had one complaint about Adult Care which was dealt with under the Corporate Complaints Procedure.  It isn’t possible to draw any conclusions from this as it was a unique set of circumstances which are unlikely to arise again.   

Issues concerning a payment for a placement were not resolved satisfactorily. The case has been reviewed and no further action was required by the Council.   
Benefits, Business Rates and Council Tax Generally issue with Council tax payment and being taken to court.
Bereavement Services No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.
Business Continuity No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.
Business Support and Finance  
Children & Young People No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.
Communications and Marketing

Development, Regeneration, Skills & Employment


Emergency Planning

Health Improvment Services

No Feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.

Heritage Services

Unhappy about the change from a Season Ticket to an Annual Pass with other museums not offering discounted entry.

Customer unhappy they were not able to renew their Discovery Card at Fashion Museum or the Victoria Art Gallery and treatment by a member of staff

Explained that the change from a 3 year Season Ticket to an annual pass would limit any partners that are signed up to offer discounts from withdrawing their offer part way through the period.
Explained that many shops and Thermae Spa still offer discount.

Wrote to explain that there had been IT issues at both sites which have now been resolved. Apologised for the treatment by a member of staff and we are investigating. Discovery Card was renewed.


Highways & Traffic

Nearly a third (23/64) of our complaints this quarter have been about Road works. We have seen delays across the network with improvements being made to Marksbury, Marlborough Buildings and also with our resurfacing programme.

 

The Proposed TRO for the Bear Flat area has been polarising and has caused several complaints which have been escalated to Stage Two.

Utility works in B&NES have also caused a few complaints due to signage and repeated works in the same area.

 

Unfortunately a scheduling error with two public events in Kingsmead Square caused a number of complaints from the public.

 

There has been a rise in complaints regarding scheduling of road works and road closures. Most of the time this is unavoidable as work is weather dependant but the public assume that we do not communicate with neighbouring areas ie South Gloucestershire and Bristol.

 

We also received complaints regarding the delivery of third party utility works which are not our responsibility, in particular the extensive work being undertaken to the communication network on behalf of telecomms companies.

 

The Bear Flat TRO will be going to formal public consultation and may be an ongoing concern, as will the development around Maynard Terrace for the next quarter. Road works will also continue to cause disruption as we strive to complete capital project works and resurfacing before the weather and Christmas embargo. 

 

We actually received 2 compliments regarding resurfacing despite the complaints above. Residents thanked us for completing the work on their road and commented that the contractors were polite and courteous throughout.

 

We received 2 compliments about improvements to our cycle network and commented that it made cycling in Banes easier and more enjoyable.   

The night works at Marlborough Buildings caused a number of complaints both in and out of the complaints system. Residents in the area complained about disturbance of sleep due to loud machinery.

Bear Flat TRO has caused complaints regarding the consultation process which a few people thought was confusing and undemocratic. It was seen by some that B&NES had not consulted properly with residents and were trying to push the TRO through without following our guidelines. Two particularly unhappy residents have had their complaints escalated to stage 2. 

Improvements to Marksbury inspired numerous complaints regarding delays caused.

Our resurfacing programme created a number of complaints including a few where residents were not allowed to access their street to return home and had to stay at parents overnight. In some cases this appears to be a communications issue between residents and site operatives. Other complaints were due to confusing or lack of signage and dust created by the work.

Utility works caused complaints of repeated visits to the same area and disruption to residents.

There was a clash of bookings for an event in Kingsmead Square. We received complaints from both sides, of an inappropriate stand set up at the same location as a family orientated event and stand occupiers also complained of abuse from members of the public and damage to property.

We apologised for the disturbance and explained that the works needed to be done at night to avoid further disruptions to the network during the daytime. The works were completed in a shorter time than predicted and contractors were reminded of the need to complete noisier work before 2300hrs.

There have been ongoing discussions with concerned residents and we have explained the consultation process. We have explained the benefits to having this introduced and how officers have come to this conclusion. There will be further reviews of proposals and consultations with the public.

We apologised for delays caused during the works and explained the temporary traffic signals used were necessary, though obviously less effective than desired. We monitored the situation for the duration of the works and expect the works ultimately will improve journeys in the area once completed.

We apologised to the residents who were not allowed to access their road. We spoke with the contractors carrying the work out about how the situation had been handled. We also explained that the work required the road to be closed during certain stages restricting access but this should have been made clearer to residents. 

We explained that we are unable to stop utility companies carrying out work required by emergency call outs or to install services for new customers. We understand this causes disruption for residents and explained we work with utilities to reduce this where possible.

In response to this we apologised for the admin error that caused the double booking of the space and have ceased all bookings to our Events spaces while a review of procedures is completed.  

Housing Services

New House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing application caused some complaints when introduced.

Grants are doing well

We are taking feedback and amending the process where needed. We are advising people to follow available guidance.

HR

Improvemnet & Performance

No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.

Legal & Democratic Services

There were 5 complaints, 1 compliment and 1 suggestion for this directorate.

Complaints were anticipated in this quarter as there was a printing error on 1,780 electoral household enquiry forms sent to residents.  (77,847 household enquiry forms were sent out in total.)  The prompt action in identifying the error and communicating with residents ensured that only 3 complaints were submitted and a compliment was received about how this had been handled.

The other complaints were about a lack of provision of legal advice to the public and a school admission appeal.  The suggestion was about electoral procedures which are set out in legislation.

Libraries, One Stop Shops & Council Connect

A number of complaints relating to the new print system and the Library being unable to provide change for machine.

We have received compliments for the I.T. volunteers who give their time to help people on computers at Bath Central Library.

We also received a compliment regarding the National Play Day event in August which took place at Queens Square in Bath

The most commonly recurring complaint relates to library staff not being able to give change for the self-service printer. Customers have complained they have to go away, purchase something from a shop and return with correct change or overpay the machine and lose money.

Some people comment they find the self-serve printer difficult to use, stating that the keypad too small and that one printer/copier is inadequate for the size of library and number of users.

Some users have complained of sporadic service from the mobile library.

Some customers raised concerns that One Stop Shop (OSS) incorporation will make the library noisier and harder for people to study.

Some complaints received from customers of OSS/council connect and libraries who feel they have been spoken to rudely/inappropriately by staff members.

These comments have been passed on to library management for their consideration.
We have explained that we don’t give change because we have a very small float in till. Customers have asked about the possibility of acquiring a change machine/ enabling card payments.

We have made available clear step-by-step instructions to assist customers to use the printer.
A second machine has been purchased and installed but is currently not functional. It is expected to be in use very soon.

The mobile library has been off the road due to severe mechanical failure. A Click-and-collect service has been introduced as a way of delivering books whilst the vehicle is off road. The regular vehicle is now repaired and a new vehicle will be brought into service shortly to provide a regular service.

Currently the OSS incorporation at Bath Central Library has been put on hold.

Customer concerns have been passed on to relevant managers for them to address as appropriate with staff.

Parking Services

In Parking Services most feedback relates to individual issues or concerns. Feedback often relates to the issue of penalty charge notices which is replied to in accordance with the Parking statutory process rather than the Feedback and Complaint policy.

You said you were unhappy about the increase in parking charges which came into effect in August 2018.

We explained that the new charging levels have been introduced following public consultation to align with the objectives of the new Parking Strategy; to improve air quality and associated health impacts for all, help tackle congestion and ease parking pressures, given Bath is a historic city with narrow and limited roads.

Parking charges are identified as one of the main ways to influence behaviours and travel choices to encourage the use of more sustainable options such as Park & Ride Services and other Public Transport over car journeys. 

Whilst not a driver in itself, it is also the case that charges haven’t increased since 2010. Any increase in revenue to the Council is only used to fund improvements to transport and transport related schemes, such as ‘Safer Routes To School’.

You said you were unhappy about changes for debit/credit card payments in car parks. 

We explained that due to Payment Card Industry data standards it was necessary to update and upgrade payment machines accepting card payments to ensure compliance and payment security and to also enable ‘contactless’ payments.

We explained that as most council’s, we face unprecedented financial challenge following reduced funding from central government together with increasing demand for many services meaning that we need to look for opportunities to reduce costs. We had therefore decided to reduce the number of car park machines able to take payment by card following a review of running costs.

We explained that we were encouraging motorists to sign up for an easy to use app called MiPermit to make virtual payment for parking easily and flexibly. More information about the service can be found at https://secure.mipermit.com/bathnes/application/home.aspx

We continue to receive positive feedback about the level of customer service we provide:

You said:-

“you had witnessed a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) help an elderly man attempting to park in an ambulance bay. You said you thought they were a great ambassador for the city as they had a friendly tone and manner and was very calm and helpful.

The CEO could have quite easily not said anything and issued a Penalty Charge Notice but took the time instead to help a member of the public and that it was nice to see”.

You said:-

“Many thanks for my new blue badge. I would like to say that my experience of dealing with Bath & North East Somerset Council and your staff over this issue has been a pleasure.

I have been treated with the utmost courtesy and help both over the telephone and in person”.

We are pleased to receive positive feedback and always pass this on to our colleagues

Customer Service is a key priority for us. We continue to support and develop our teams to uphold the highest of standards as Ambassadors of the Council

Parks & Green Spaces

Lack of regular grounds maintenance.

We received compliments in respect of:
Wild Flowers on uncut verges and in Sydney Gardens.
Cleanliness and Tidiness of Pigeon Park and Locksbrook Cemetery.
Labelling of trees in Henrietta Park.
Careful and courteous staff member driving a truck in Royal Victoria Park.  

There are thirteen grass cutting complaints this quarter due to the revised cutting regimes. Two additional complaints were received regarding overgrown cemeteries.

Sydney Gardens has received a complaint about its upkeep and Parade Gardens about entry fees.

I complaint was received regarding BBq’s on Royal Crescent  

We explained the reasons for the new cutting regimes, which have also been published on the Council webpage.

New Signs have been erected advising BBq’ are not permitted.

A graffiti board near the skate park has been installed after requests received.

Passenger Transport

In Passenger Transport we receive very low levels of feedback. Most feedback received is positive as the service is viewed as an important service helping people access services and facilities

Service comment – The level of feedback about Passenger Services is very low 

There was no specific customer feedback this quarter. Most feedback received is positive, with the service viewed as helping people access services and facilities

Planning and Building Control

The main reason for complaint this quarter continues to be disagreement with planning application decisions and officer handling of planning applications. The service received 19 compliments.

All but one of the corporate complaints received were not upheld.  There was one complaint that was partially upheld and this was due to an IT issue.

The main issue continues to be complaints about planning decisions.

An extract from a compliment received
“I’d like to add that your approach on this project has been very professional and constructive; you have challenged when it was necessary, guided when your expertise was called on and always provided a prompt response. I appreciate that you might say ‘that is my job’…(but then you would say that!)…but I still wish to comment as a customer that I have been genuinely impressed”.

The IT issue was passed to the Council’s IT support team to address. 

We explain the reasons behind the decisions made.

Policy & Partnerships

Complaints from tourists/visitors about rough sleepers.

We had one suggestion and one complaint in regarding rough sleepers, litter and anti-social behaviour and wanting to know what the Council is doing to tackle the problem.

Let the complainants know that the Council is working with a number of partners in the City in order to positively impact on visible rough sleeping.

Project Delivery, Property & Facilities

None

Public Health

No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.

Public Protection

Public Toilets

Public Transport

In Public Transport, most feedback relates to individual issues or concerns. We also receive feedback for services provided and managed by commercial bus operators and liaise with them as appropriate.

You were concerned about the provision of the number 12 Bus Service and thought this may have stopped.  

We explained there has been a change with the route with this now provided through the number 11 and 12 Bus services.

Risk & Assurance

No feedback received during this quarter via the corporate process.

Street Cleansing

Waste - Business Waste

The Council carries out approximately 150,000 collections per week through its waste & recycling services.  A complaint rate of less than 0.3% for these key frontline services constitutes excellent performance. 

Most complaints relate to individual issues or concerns.

These issues and concerns are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis.

Waste - Garden Waste Collections

The Council carries out approximately 150,000 collections per week through its waste & recycling services.  A complaint rate of less than 0.3% for these key frontline services constitutes excellent performance. 

Most complaints relate to individual issues or concerns.

These issues and concerns are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis.

Waste - Kerbside Recycling

The Council carries out approximately 150,000 collections per week through its waste & recycling services.  A complaint rate of less than 0.3% for these key frontline services constitutes excellent performance. 

Most complaints relate to individual issues or concerns.

These issues and concerns are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis.

Waste - Recycling Centres

The Council carries out approximately 150,000 collections per week through its waste & recycling services.  A complaint rate of less than 0.3% for these key frontline services constitutes excellent performance. 

Most complaints relate to individual issues or concerns.

These issues and concerns are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis.

Waste - Rubbish Collections

The Council carries out approximately 150,000 collections per week through its waste & recycling services.  A complaint rate of less than 0.3% for these key frontline services constitutes excellent performance. 

Most complaints relate to individual issues or concerns.

These issues and concerns are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis.

Quarterly reports 2018/19

Quarterly reports 2017/18

Quarterly reports 2016/17

Quarterly reports 2015/16

Quarterly reports 2014/15

 

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