A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, action or lack of action by the National Park Authority or its staff, affecting an individual or group. The complaint needs to be made within 1 year of you first becoming aware of the problem, unless there are good reasons for your delay in becoming first aware of the problem.
The Authority has a separate procedure for complaints regarding members of the Authority and for complaining about a breach of planning permission.
In the first instance, a general complaint or comment should be taken up with the person or manager responsible for the service being complained about. This gives them the opportunity to consider the issue and make an appropriate response.
A general complaint or comment can be made in person, in writing, via email or over the phone.
We acknowledge, however, that there may be times when you wish to question or challenge a decision or procedure, or when you may feel that the standard of service is not what you would expect.
In these circumstances, we have a formal complaint procedure which should be followed.
A formal complaint should be made in writing to ensure the Authority has a clear and correct understanding of the issues involved and to avoid misinterpretation.
Complaints should be addressed to:
Corporate Support Office
Northumberland National Park Authority
or via email: [email protected]
The relevant Manager/Head of Department will investigate your complaint and report their findings to you in writing within 20 working days of receiving the complaint. If a delay is likely, you will be kept informed.
If you feel that this response has not dealt correctly with the points raised in your complaint, you can, within 28 days of receipt of a written response, ask the relevant Head of Department / Chief Executive to review the matter. This should be in writing and set out clearly which parts of the response you are not happy with, and the reasons why you disagree with the response. We would expect to respond within 20 working days.
The Head of Department / Chief Executive will have the option of referring complaints to the Authority’s Standards and Appeals Committee for confirmation of his/her findings. This may be done at any stage and may involve a delay beyond 20 days in the final response. If a delay is likely, you will be kept informed.
If you feel, after you have complained to the Authority, in line with the above procedures, that you are not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with, you may wish to refer your complaint to:
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Tel No: 0300 0610614
On line form available at www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint