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Customer care standards

Our aims

We take pride in customer care and the delivery of quality services and we aim to place our customers at the centre of everything we do.

As with many councils, we have been affected by government cuts.  This means we aren't able to meet the same level of demand as we used to in some of our services. 

However, this has not changed our attitude towards customer care and we will continue to do our best in meeting our customer care standards below. 

What you can expect from us - Our values


  •  We will take responsibility for our actions
  •  We will take the time to explain our decisions to you
  •  We will apologise if we get things wrong
  •  We will try to answer your enquiry as fully as we can; only referring you to another person or service if absolutely necessary


  •  We will aim to prevent discrimination and promote equal opportunities in all our dealings with you
  •  We will ask you what you would like us to do to meet your needs and, where possible, we will tailor our services to meet them
  •  We will give you choice in how you access our services where possible


  •  We will be clear about the level of service you can expect from us
  •  We will be good at what we do. If we don’t get it right first time then we will try to make it right
  •  We will respond to your enquiry in a timely manner and keep you informed of what action we are taking
  •  We will be consistent in the advice and information that we give to you
  •  We will try to ensure that you only need to tell us once about an enquiry or problem for it to be dealt with
  •  We will be polite, friendly and avoid using jargon when we communicate with you
  •  We will review our services based on your feedback


  •  We will treat you as an individual
  •  We will take the time to listen to you and try our best to understand your needs or concerns
  •  We will treat you with respect
  •  If we cannot help you we will try our best to find out which organisation can


  •  We will be honest about what we can deliver and how long it will take
  •  We will learn from our mistakes and make changes to ensure that they don’t happen again
  • We will respect your right to confidentiality

Dealing with your enquiry

We aim to

  • Answer your telephone call within 5 rings
  • Respond to your telephone or voicemail message within 1 working day
  • Respond to your written correspondence within 10 working days
  • Address your complaints and feedback in line with our Customer Feedback Policy
  • See you promptly on arrival at any of our offices
  • Make a private interview room available if you need it or offer you an appointment if you prefer


Please be aware that some of our services deal with extremely high volumes of correspondence and / or have statutory timescales for responding to customer enquiries and therefore these timescales will differ from those set out in this document.   

What we expect from you

Our commitment is to be helpful, courteous and respectful and we hope for the same in return.

  • Treat us politely and with respect
  • Be patient, we will do everything we can to keep waiting times to a minimum
  • Clearly explain your query and provide us with the information we need to help you
  • Be on time for appointments and let us know in good time if you need to cancel or rearrange
  • Let us know if you need any additional assistance such as an interpreter or information provided in alternative formats
  • Refrain from using inappropriate language or aggressive behaviour as this will not be tolerated

If you would like to see our customer care standards in another format, or if you require the services of an interpreter, please contact us.

We can also provide help for British Sign Language users and provide information in languages other than English. Please ask for details or telephone customer first on 01253 477477.