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31.08.18

Winter weather to blame for sizable rise in complaints last year, Scottish council says

Harsh winter weather has contributed to 22% rise in complaints last year, a Scottish council has claimed.

The 927 complaints recorded in 2017-18 compared with 759 over the previous 12 months were largely attributed to “the winter weather, public toilet charging, and the inclusion of social work complaint figures for the first time,” according to a statement released by the Scottish Borders Council yesterday.

Defending the figures, the council noted that less than 0.5% of all customer interactions in 2017-18 were complaints— and despite the increase, the rate remains below that of similar local authorities and below the overall Scottish local authority average.

Chief executive Tracey Logan acknowledged that it is “disappointing” to hear that services have fallen below standards expected by locals and communities.

“However, it is this valuable feedback that enables us to continuously review and identify where we can do things better, and we continue to ask people to play their part and provide feedback on our services, where things may have gone wrong and when exceptional services have been delivered,” she added.

“Whilst the severe winter weather contributed towards the increase in the number of complaints received last year, the efforts of our staff to support communities during this challenging time also resulted in a significant number of compliments.”

The complaints annual performance report will be presented to councillors on 4 September.

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Image credit: Andrew Matthews, PA Images

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