Our complaints procedure

How we handle and learn from your complaints

The Council follows the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman's standard complaints handling procedure. If you have a concern, we will do our best to resolve it. We'll also make sure you know what to expect at each stage. Download our full complaints procedure below.

You can make a comment, compliment or complaint about any of our services.

Issues that are not complaints

We do not regard the following as complaints

  • a first request for services
  • a request for information or an explanation of policy or practice
  • a Freedom of Information Act or Data Protection Act request.

There are some things we can't deal with under the complaints process. These include

  • where a statutory right of appeal exists (e.g. parking tickets or housing benefit)
  • any service where you can use other methods to appeal (e.g. exclusions from school or pupil placements)
  • planning applications that are still being considered
  • the merits of planning decisions
  • insurance claims
  • complaints that are in court or have been heard by a court or tribunal
  • complaints against Councillors, which have to be made in writing to the Standards Commission(external link)
  • dissatisfaction with decisions by the Council, Council committees or sub-committees. These should be taken up with the appropriate councillor.

How we handle your complaint

Our complaints procedure has two stages

  • frontline resolution
  • investigation.

Frontline resolution 

We will respond to your complaint within five working days. We aim to resolve your concerns within this timescale. If we need more time, we'll let you know.

Not satisfied with our response? You can ask us to review your complaint.


We will appoint a senior Council officer to review your complaint. We will tell you who the Council officer is and respond within 20 working days.

If your complaint is complex, we may be unable to resolve your concerns within this timescale. Instead we'll contact you to agree a different date.

If you are still not satisfied

For all complaints, except those about social work services, you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

How we learn from your complaints

You can make a complaint to us, no matter how big or small you think it is. Your complaints help us to make our services better.

Here are some examples of how we have learned from your complaints

  • offered welfare advice to mental health service users 
  • introduced social work services support with completing funding applications 
  • reviewed Equalities Policy
  • reviewed guidelines on the Instrumental Music Service
  • amended the process to manage repeat complaints about community waste services
  • changed community waste routes 
  • introduced more streamlined process to manage special uplifts
  • improved refresher training for staff on summary warrants.

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