Making a complaint

Not all types of complaints are dealt with the same way. Some complaints have separate appeals or procedures. Select from the following links to find out more.

Schools have their own complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about a school or a member of school staff, you need to contact the head teacher. If you're still unhappy, you can complain to the school's governing body. The school will explain the procedure to you.

All other complaints to Southwark Council are handled using the procedure below.

Corporate complaints

Complaint stage

We have a two-stage complaints process. Your initial complaint must be made to the service that you're unhappy with.

All other complaints

You can also email us your complaint at or call the complaints team on 020 7525 0042.

Review stage

We hope you will be satisfied with our response to your initial complaint. However, if you're still unhappy, you can request to escalate the matter to the second stage of the process.

The Customer Resolution Team will then carry out an independent review of the complaint on behalf of the Chief Executive.
If we decide that the council is not at fault and conclude that our response would have the same outcome following a review, we'd make a final decision not to go through the review phase.

When this happens, complainants will be informed of their rights to refer the complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Housing Ombudsman, or the council will refer the complaint to the Ombudsman directly.

When requesting an escalation of your complaint, you will be required to provide a summary of the reasons why you are unhappy with the initial response.

The team will then look at how your complaint was handled at the initial stage and conduct a further full investigation.

In some cases, the investigation may take longer. If so, you will be informed in writing if there are any delays in investigating your complaint.

To escalate your complaint to the final stage of the council's complaints process, you can contact the Customer Resolution Team by:

Escalation to review stage form 

  • telephone 0207 525 0042
  • or write to us at Customer Resolution Team, PO BOX 64529, London, SE1P 5LX

This is the final stage of our internal complaints procedure.

Taking matters further

If you're unhappy with the way we've handled your complaint at the end of the review stage, contact the local government ombudsman or the housing ombudsman.

The housing ombudsman considers complaints made about local authority services in their role as landlords whilst the local government ombudsman investigates complaints about most other local authority services. 

This is a free, independent service that investigates complaints against councils. You can complain to the ombudsman at any time but they will only usually investigate if you've already been through our own complaints procedure.

LGPS Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP)

If you're dissatisfied with any decision made under the regulations as to your rights, liabilities or council discretions, you have a right under Regulation 75 to make a complaint using the above procedure. You may also apply under the procedure if the authority fails to make a decision.

If you wish to make a complaint, contact Pensions Service at the address below; they'll send you a leaflet explaining the procedure to make an application. Please note that the application should be made within 6 months of the date you were informed of the decision with which you disagree.

Pensions Services
2nd Floor, Hub 1
PO Box 64529

020 7525 4924

Pension forms 

Page last updated: 29 May 2024


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