The shocking state of Birmingham City Council's Complaints Process has been highlighted by a damning report being presented to the Council's Co-ordinating Overview and Scrutiny Committee this Friday, 3rd July.
The complaints process is described by the report as "not fit for purpose" and "in crisis." It says "There is a lack of focus on the Citizen with no consistent approach, a lot of complaints go unrecorded and the volumes included in reporting do not reflect the true volumes. Duplication often occurs when different teams respond to the same complaint. In addition, failings that result in complaints are not resolved. An intervention is urgently needed."
The report follows long running frustration from Councillors about how resident's complaints made directly, or via members, are dealt with by the Council. This culminated in a Lib Dem Notice of Motion passed by Full Council last July, calling for an urgent modernisation of the handling of member enquiries.
Councillor Roger Harmer, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group on the Council commented:
"The report lays bare the failure of the Council to listen to its residents and put things right when they go wrong. It is clear from the report that this is not a failure by individual departments or officers, many of whom do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. Instead it is a failure of the Labour Council's systems and leadership, which all too often have preferred to ignore what goes wrong, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to learn and do better. This must change urgently."