Local Authority Services

First check that you have given the department all the information that they need or have asked for. Then work through the following steps until you are satisfied that your complaint has been properly

dealt with:

• Contact the department in person or by telephone and then write stating your complaint briefly and clearly. Always address your letters to the Director of the department concerned and keep copies of any correspondence.

• In all meetings with officers, state your case as clearly and calmly as possible.

• Write to the Chief Executive of the council and ask for your problem to be put through the local authority's complaints procedure.

• It can often be helpful to seek your local councillor's help in pursuing your complaint.

• If, after following all these steps, you are still not satisfied, write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (see useful contacts section).

If you believe that a local authority has acted wrongly you may be able to challenge this decision in court by way of Judicial Review. You should seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to prevent any delay being held against you by the court. Normally you should exhaust all other remedies, such as internal complaints procedures, before raising judicial review proceedings. This might not be necessary in urgent cases. Judicial Review proceedings are complex and very expensive. Legal aid may be available to cover these proceedings and you should ask to be assessed for legal aid.

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