How do I make a complaint?
We operate a three stage complaints procedure to ensure complaints are dealt with impartially, objectively and professionally.
We would normally expect you to raise your complaint within one calendar month of the event or matter that has caused you concern, although in exceptional circumstances we will consider your complaint after that time has elapsed. Please note that we will not normally consider complaints that are raised more than six months after the date of the relevant event or matter.
Stage One: Informal complaints
If your complaint is about a member of staff, why not talk to him or her directly? You may find that the matter can easily be resolved. Alternatively, you may prefer to talk to their manager.
Stage Two: Formal complaints
If it is not possible to settle the complaint informally, or you do not wish to do so, please submit your complaint in writing or complete and return the attached customer feedback form to the address provided. Please set out your complaint as fully and clearly as possible, including the name of the relevant member of staff and the date of the incident you are complaining about, if known. You can ask someone to help you.
All formal complaints should be made to:
The Information and Data Protection Officer
New Forest National Park Authority
Lymington Town Hall
Your complaint will be recorded and referred to the Director or a senior officer of the relevant service for investigation, or, if the complaint involves the Chief Executive, to the Monitoring Officer or another person authorised by him/her.
We will normally acknowledge receipt of your written complaint within five working days and let you know the name of the person who is dealing with it, who will then respond to you personally within 20 working days or send an interim response if it is likely to take longer.
Stage Three: Referral to Chief Executive
If you have gone through the formal complaints procedure described in Stage Two above and you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation, you may ask for your complaint to be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer of the NPA for review, or, if the complaint involves the Chief Executive, to the Monitoring Officer or another person authorised by him/her. You will receive a response within 20 working days of your request. We would normally expect you to request the referral of your complaint to Stage Three within 40 days of the NPA’s Stage Two response.
Who will see my complaint?
All comments and complaints are treated in confidence and will not disadvantage you in any future dealings you might have with the New Forest National Park Authority.
However, it may not always be possible to keep your details confidential, such as where allegations are made concerning the conduct of third parties, or where particular legislation applies to your complaint.