With Gwynedd council customer care (!) still refusing to respond to our questions regarding the Stage 2 complaint first raised with them on May 25th, last year, we emailed the Corporate Management Team, yesterday, with our concerns – Chief Executive, Dilwyn Williams, Corporate Directors, Iwan T Jones and Morwena Edwards.
FAO Gwynedd Council Corporate Management Team
As you will be aware we have a current Stage 2 complaint ongoing with Gwynedd Council Children and Families Department, first raised on the 25th of May 2017.
The Independent Investigator presented her completed report to the Council at the end of October.
We were then informed that the Council were seeking clarity from the Investigator and questioning the report.
The Council have been in possession of the completed Independent Investigators report for 11 weeks now.
The whole Stage 2 process is as you know to be completed within 25 days, do you find this acceptable ?
We have found the Counci’s handling of this complaint and us as complainants to be obstructive, unhelpful and the Council to be utterly lacking in transparency and it is also obvious that Customer Care do not act independently of the Department as they should, which, we contend, leads to complainants being treated unfairly.
We have asked for information regarding the outcome of the Independent Investigation and also the Council’s Complaints procedure.
No answers were given, or information provided.
We asked who within the Council we could contact to discuss our issues, we received no answer to this and worse were wrongly advised by Customer Care that we were free to discuss our complaint with the Ombudsman at any time.
We did indeed contact the Ombudsman to discuss the issues surrounding our complaint and were told –
“In relation to your dissatisfaction with the Council’s handling of your Stage 2 investigation, as I explained in my previous email, this matter does not fall within the scope of my investigation and therefore I am unable to consider it….
…If you wish for this matter to be considered by the Ombudsman, you would need to submit a complaint, by completing the online form on our website. I am unable to speculate whether submitting a complaint to this office would affect the Council’s current Stage 2 investigation”
In light of the ongoing situation and the bad advice from Customer Care, perhaps you would be so kind as to furnish us with the information we require –
1. Were the six points of complaint upheld by the Independent Investigator or not ?
2. What were the questions presented, by the department, to the Independent Investigator regarding the report submitted to the Council in October ?
3. Who is the Adjudicating Officer in this matter?
4. On what date can we expect the Council to provide us with the report ?
5.Please provide us with a link to Gwynedd Council’s Policy and Welsh Government guidelines that supports the Council in withholding the outcome of the Independent Investigator’s Report and the Report itself.
6. Please advise us of our rights as complainants in relation to our being supplied with the above information, without delay.
7. We ask that if we were to raise a formal complaint into how the Council and the Customer Care department have been dealing with our formal complaint would this, in any way, interfere with or cause any further delay to our formal complaint first raised with the Council on the 25th May, 2017 ?
We also ask that you view the emails between ourselves and Customer Care, as that will give you further insight into our very pertinent concerns.
Today, we received an email from a Senior Executive Officer on behalf of Morwena Edwards.
It was brief – 3 sentences – thanking me for our email and included the line –
“I can assure you that Gwynedd Council takes all complaints seriously and I will endeavour to respond to the specific questions detailed in your email within 5 working days.”
Well.. we are not assured – who would be after being treated so badly for so long ? – and so emailed back with the question we have been asking ever since the Independent report was received by The Council in October, last year.
“Have our 6 points of complaint been upheld by the Independent Investigator ?”
The email was swiftly answered by the council –
“Whilst I understand your frustrations, without having had the opportunity to look into the matter, I am unable today, to answer your question. I will respond to you within 5 working days.”
More delay in a process that has taken nearly 8 months now.
Something is so badly wrong within Gwynedd Council.
More – https://gwyneddsfailingcouncil.blogspot.co.uk/