Comments, compliments and complaints
We understand that when you want to give feedback on an experience with the Council, it is vital that you are able to do so quickly and easily, with the assurance that your feedback in going to the right person.
In this section, you can find out how to
The fastest and easiest way to submit a formal complaint is via our online complaints form.
We will let you know that we’ve received your complaint within two working days. At which time we will also tell you who is dealing with it and when you can expect to receive a reply, if it is going to be longer than five days.
We aim to provide a full response in less than 20 working days – and more quickly if the matter is really urgent.
If you would prefer to make a complaint in writing, rather than online, you can write to:
Tower Hamlets Council
160 Whitechapel Road
Tel: 020 7364 4161
We are committed to being transparent when we are dealing with your complaints. Find out how your complaint will be processed and our commitments to you here.
If you have already submitted a complaint and been through the full process but would still like to challenge the outcome, you can see the next steps.
Councillors and MPs
Your councillors and Members of Parliament are also here to serve you and can help with complaints about the borough. You can contact them if you have a local issue that you want to bring to their attention.
If you wish to complain that the Mayor, a councillor or a co-opted member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct for Members complete the conduct complaint form.
We can make reasonable adjustments to assist you if you have a disability that prevents you from completing the online form. Please let us know if this is the case.
Tel: 020 7364 4801.
Complaints about children’s services
For complaints about Children’s Service, such as child social care and child protection, use our online children's social care complaints form.
If you’d prefer to make your complaint in writing, contact:
Complaining as a young person in care or care leaver
If you are a young person in care or a care leave, we can help you make your complaint. We will put you in touch with a children’s advocate who will help you have your say and get things sorted.
To access this help, contact Angie Treby at Action for Children, Tower Hamlets Children's Rights Service:
Tel: 020 8221 8200
Mobile: 07958 234 612
The Children’s Society
Complaints about a specific school should addressed to the head teacher of the school first. They should make every effort to resolve the matter. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can make your complaint known to the chair of governors. If you are not satisfied with the chair’s response, you can follow it up with a complaint direct to the Department for Education.
You can also write to them
Department of Education
M1 2 WD
Tel: 0370 000 2288
Typetalk: 18001 0370 000 2288
General education complaints
Education complaints that are not about specific schools for issues may include:
These can be submitted via our general complaints form. You can upload and attach documents to the online form if needed.
Adult social care and health service complaints
For complaints you can use our online adult social care complaints form.
If you’d prefer to make your complaint in writing, contact:
If the service you wish to complain about involves a health service element, you can also
- Speak directly to the people providing services to you – this is often the best way of resolving any problems.
- Contact the Barts Health Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
- Make a complaint on the Barts Health website.
- Contact the Complaints Department at Mile End Hospital;
London E1 4BR
Freephone: 0800 137 524
- You can also go to Tower Hamlets NHS website or NHS choices on http://www.nhs.uk/
If you need help making a complaint you can contact The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service on 0845 120 3784.
Complaints about English fluency
From 21 November 2016 the Government is introducing a new Code of Practice. This is a statutory requirement which specifies that all public sector workers in a customer facing role must be able to speak English fluently.
Complaints relating to the fluency duty can be considered under the council's general complaints procedure. The fluency duty defines a legitimate complaint as "one about the standard of spoken English of a member of staff in a customer-facing role. It will be made by a member of the public or someone acting on his or her behalf complaining that the authority has not met the fluency duty".
However, the duty also states that "a complaint about a member of staff's accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality would not be considered a legitimate complaint about the fluency duty". It should also be noted that the council are not obliged by the fluency duty to respond to complaints that are vexatious, oppressive, threatening, abusive, without foundation and/or which are intended to result in harsh or wrongful treatment of the staff member who is the subject of the complaint. In these types of circumstances a complaint will not be taken forward by the council.
Fluency complaints should be submitted by the general complaints form.
Freedom of Information requests
If you'd like to know something about how the Council has handled a particular matter, you can submit a Freedom of Information request. Find out more about what you can request and how.
We are always delighted to hear that our staff are doing a great job. We make sure they know when someone is pleased, as this motivates them and makes their hard work worthwhile.
We also have a staff recognition scheme, where you can put forward staff for an award. The forms for doing this are available in libraries, in Idea stores and in council offices.
If you would like to pay us a compliment about any of our services, please complete the online compliments form.
If you have a comment that is neither a complaint, nor a compliment, we still want to hear it. To let us know your thoughts, just complete the online comments form.
We will let you know we’ve received your comment within 2 working days. We will also tell you who is dealing with it and when you can expect to receive a reply, if it is going to be longer than five days. We aim to provide a full response in less than 10 working days – and more quickly if the matter is really urgent.