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.

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

Quarterly customer feedback summary Jan - Mar 2017 (PDF 491KB)

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...

People & Communities Directorate

Children & Young People

There is no identifiable trend from the customer feedback cases during this quarter.

We have seen more complaints surrounding the SEN team and Education Inclusion.

The nature of these complaints have been particular to the individuals involved and the responses to the customers have reflected this.

Place Directorate

Heritage Services & Tourism You told us about a broken link on the Arts Development webpage. We ensured it was rectified and contacted you to let you know.
Highways & Traffic

The main themes this quarter relate to slippery footpaths and complaints about resurfacing works that have been carried out over February and March.

There were also a few comments regarding the proposed new Park and Ride, however these were not considered under the Corporate Feedback Policy.

We have explained the resurfacing process fully as this seemed to cause some confusion and have advised, where possible, specific days where work would be carried out on their street to avoid blocking access to properties. 

All reports of slippery or unsafe footpaths were investigated by inspectors. Rain and ice during January and February contributed to these conditions.

We received several compliments thanking us for prompt responses to requests for repairs or double yellow lines.

We advertised ahead of time where work would take place and gave a two day period over which the work would be completed.

Footpaths were inspected and gritted or repaired as necessary. 

Neighbourhood Environment (Waste Services)

Container delivery

There has been a slight increase in delivery time for container coinciding with letters sent out advising of the service change.

Our Contractor, Kier, are working to clear the backlog.

Parks & Green Spaces

The main themes are seasonal matters: grass growing which requires cutting and trees fallen down after strong winds.

Customers regularly Tweet and we receive several compliments per month regarding the good work that the Parks and Grounds staff does around the district.

We’re not cutting the grass as frequently as previous years.

We have reviewed the grass-cutting regimes in line with resources and will be planting more spring flowering bulbs and successional flowers. We have publicised this on social media and will be revising our information on the webpage(s).

We have be publicising, consulting and liaising with the local communities to help them understand why this work needs to be carried out.

The playground in Hedgemead Park is taking a long time to be re-opened after sewage leak (burst main of Wessex Water).

We aim to keep local communities and residents informed throughout intended works. We aim to listen and resolve complaints and address concerns.

Transport & Parking

In Passenger Transport we receive very low levels of feedback.

In Parking Services most feedback relates to individual issues or concerns. Some feedback 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.

Passenger Transport:-

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

No formal complaint was made this quarter. Most feedback for the service is positive and viewed as a useful service to help people access services and facilities.

Parking Services:-

Service comment - The vast majority of feedback this quarter has related to individual issues.

The new information provided on our website about parking for larger vehicles has been helpful.

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

“I had a very pleasant conversation with a Civil Enforcement Officer today. I wanted to thank you for his kindness and assistance. In response to the question I posed, he provided me with helpful guidance regarding local parking protocol, was very friendly and generous with his time. He is a very thoughtful ambassador for the City and Council. We look forward to visiting Bath again in the future”

“Thank you so much for your extremely prompt and responsive response”

We are pleased that as a result of adding some information to our website in response to feedback last quarter, we have now had a number of contacts to say this has been useful.

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.

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

You reported damage at a bus shelter in Larkhall due to vandalism.

We contacted the contractor and repairs were made. 

You reported that the ‘real time’ information board at a local bus stop wasn’t showing information about the number 5 service.

We contacted the contractor and ensured that this service is now included.

Development Management (Planning)

The main reason for complaint continues to be disagreement with planning application decisions and officer handling of planning applications, there was one complaint against a building control inspection.

Of the 6 corporate complaints the service dealt with, 2 were upheld.  There were five stage 2 requests, but none of these warranted further investigation.  There were 15 compliments received during this quarter.

The Building Control Service had incorrectly issued a building regulations completion certificate as the extension had not been built in accordance with the plans.

We agreed that we should have picked up the shallow pitch of the roof during the inspections the officer involved has been reminded about the importance of checking the pitch of a roof particularly where they are shallow. The Council also contacted the builder to see if he would remedy the work but he has refused to do so.

Summary from two compliments received:

“I just wanted to send a quick email to thank you for your help with my non-material amendment application. Your assistance was much appreciated and the process could not have gone smoother as a result. Thank you.”

“I wanted to write in and extend my thanks to the case officer. All too often we moan and complain when things don’t go to plan but she has been extremely helpful in making this application run very smoothly. She has responded to calls and more importantly done what she has said she will do on time therefore making the whole process very simple, she is a good asset to the BANES planning department.”

 

Resources Directorate

Business Support (Finance) There is no identifiable trend from customer feedback during this quarter.

One complaint re calculation of 2017-18 Council Tax with particular attention to Social Care charge. 

Responded and clarified Council Tax calculation.

Complaint re accessing payment portal on the internet.

Complainant advised to upgrade his browser to enable access.

Complaint re credit card charges.

Provided information on components to be taken into account re calculation of card charges. Provided link to Payment System Regulator guidance.

Complaint re lack of availability of FOI Team.

Clarification re response times given.

Complainant has been provided with the appropriate assistance to submit an FOI (which he has done) and this will be responded to, in line with statute.

Customer Services

Of the complaints received this quarter, 2 related to the Council connect service, 3 to Council Tax team, 2 about the One Stop Shops and 1 related to Revenues & Benefits. The diverse nature of the feedback means there is no identifiable trend.

Complaint regarding wording used in Recovery Notices for unpaid Council Tax.

We explained to the customer that the Council is obliged to abide by legislation.

Complaint regarding certain documents not being returned promptly enough. We explained to the customer that those documents are normally posted back on the same working day of receipt. Also advised that if urgent, the documents can be brought to the nearest One Stop Shop and copies taken.
Libraries

This quarter we have seen a large number of comments and queries regarding the proposed library move. These have been processed as complaints in order to track them until the official consultation forms became available.

Trends that can be seen across complaints and suggestions indicate requests for longer opening hours and easier access to reservations i.e. higher shelving for people who have difficulties bending to lower shelves. Other feedback varied with no identifiable trend.

We continue to receive compliments from customers, such as:

“Fantastic ordering system and staff”

“You have a wonderful library in an excellent location and very helpful staff, keep it that way”

“Thanks very much for the help and assistance I have received from library staff”

(In regard to antiquarian displays) “It’s wonderful to see these carefully chosen and presented fragile, old texts. Which otherwise might remain tucked away and undiscovered except by determined scholars. It’s this kind of serendipity that I really value about the library.”

Concern over the proposed library move and combining of library and one-stop shop services.

Council have provided consultation feedback forms and a Q&A booklet regarding proposed library changes.

A lack of late night (until 7pm) opening. Particularly in the branch libraries which is not allowing people to access the libraries after work hours.

Promoting librarieswest 24 hour online library service.

Have provided new opening hour leaflets which detail all BANES libraries opening hours along with librarieswest and Council Connect contact information.

Difficulty with Reservation location.

On a customer by customer basis we have been moving individual’s reservations behind enquiry desk. This feedback can be passed on to layout planners should a new library be designed to make accessing reservations easier for all.

Disruptions to mobile service.

This is due to lack of relief driver when primary driver is unavailable. We are continuing to look for a suitable relief driver.

Strategy & Performance

3 complaints received in that time period.  1 for Energy at Home and 2 for Communications and Marketing.  No reoccurring themes to report.

Inaccurate or misleading information has been the main cause, i.e. links not working in the residents magazine. 

Put steps in place to ensure information is more accurate and timely.

Quarterly reports 2016/17

Quarterly reports 2015/16

Quarterly reports 2014/15

 

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