How to make a complaint

If you want to make a formal complaint relating to services which we, rather than Lancashire County Council, are involved in or have responsibility for please complete the complaint form.

Please note: if your issue relates to on street parking, issues with roads or pavements, schools or concessionary bus travel you need to contact Lancashire County Council.

If you wish to make a complaint about a councillor, please see our complaints against councillors page.

Make a complaint

Council directorates

The complaints procedure gives you the opportunity to raise a complaint with the council. Each directorate is responsible for handling its own complaints. The council's directorates are:

Chief ExecutivePolicy and Social Justice, Communities and Engagement, Homelessness and Housing, Communications
DevelopmentPlanning Management, Planning Policy, City Development and Property, Environmental Health
Customer ServicesHarris Museum and Art Gallery, Sport and Leisure, Revenues and Benefits, Waste Management, Parks and Street Scene and Operational Estate and Engineering, ICT
Corporate ServicesCity Treasurer, Member Services, Human Resources and Civics, Legal Services, Land Charges and Electoral Services, Community Services

Stage 1

An acknowledgement will be sent within 5 working days and a full written response provided within a further 15 working days. If more time is needed a letter will be sent giving reasons for the delay and a new date for the response.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the council's response at Stage 1 you may request that your complaint progress to Stage 2. At this stage the Chief Executive will arrange for a senior officer unconnected with the case to carry out a further independent investigation. This officer will acknowledge the complaint within 5 working days and a full written response provided within a further 30 working days. If more time is needed a letter will be sent giving reasons for the delay and a date by which you can expect the matter to be resolved.

Please note

Complaints must be submitted in writing. This includes electronic submissions. However, in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, we can make reasonable adjustments to assist you if you have a disability that prevents you from making you complaint in writing. We can also help if English is not your first language. If you need support in completing a complaint form please let us know.


The council does not accept anonymous complaints.

The council does not accept the following type of complaints:-

  • Something you knew about more than 12 months before you raised it with the council
  • Requests for information or explanation of council policy or practice
  • Complaint about a council policy
  • Matters for which you already have a right of appeal or you could have gone to a Court, Tribunal or Government Minister
  • Something which affects all or most of the people of Preston
  • HR / Recruitment matters
  • Contracts for the supply of goods and services

Local Government Ombudsman

If you are unhappy about the way you have been dealt with by the council you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman who may decide to investigate the matter further. However, the Ombudsman may ask that the council's procedures are completed before carrying out their investigation.

The Ombudsman will investigate the way your case has been handled, or the council's failure to do something but does not question a council's decision simply because you do not agree with it.

The Ombudsman can be contacted at:-

The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771

Tel: 0300 061 0614