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Complaints and compliments about Torfaen Council during 2021/22

a green waste bin

Residents made 112 compliments and 92 complaints about Torfaen Council during 2021/22.

Complaints increased from 75 in 2020/21 and compliments went up from 106 in the same period.  A report was presented to councillors on the governance and audit committee so they could review the year and their approach to handling complaints.

Councillors were told that staff aim to deal ‘with concerns at the point of contact, with the focus on liaising with service areas to resolve issues quickly, preventing complaint escalation and identifying opportunities to learn from customer contact’.

Eighteen complaints were made through the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, an increase from 12 in 2020/21.

The report says that out of the 92 complaints:

  • 41 complaints were upheld
  • 13 were partly upheld
  • 38 were not upheld

Residents made 20 complaints about missed waste bin and recycling collections. The report says that the council also dealt with ‘1109 contacts outside of the complaints process’.

You can read about the council’s complaints process on its website.

Compliments to Torfaen Council

The report includes several compliments from residents about council services.

  • “I wanted to write to you to say how honest and helpful a member of Torfaen’s Clean Street Team has been today. My elderly neighbour lost his wallet and your team member rang me from the council office to say he had found it on the bus stop floor while emptying the litter bin. He was unable to return it to the bank as the branch was closed but my neighbour had my telephone number in it as a contact. He brought the wallet to me and apologised for having to look in it to find the owners address/bank. The wallet contained a large amount of cash which was untouched. My neighbour would be unable to contact you but I wanted to pass on my thanks on behalf of myself, my neighbour and his family (who don’t live locally).”
  • “TCBC have done great work around Garn Lakes, improving habitats for our wildlife. They’ve cleared the willow scrub from the reedbed area, improving it for wetland species and giving the reeds a chance to spread.”
  • “I am writing to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful carers who made my mother’s transition from hospital to her own home, take place without dramas and, most importantly, stress and upset. The ladies were always sensitive, caring, competent and efficient. Their time keeping was exemplary and their support for me, was always considerate, thoughtful and friendly. When faced with the prospect of my mother coming home to spend her last days surrounded by her much loved possessions, in her ‘safe’ environment, I will admit to having serious concerns. However, the brilliant service offered by your team and the other Torfaen team, Continuing Healthcare, quickly made those fears go away. I really cannot thank you and your truly dedicated staff enough. They are the unsung heroes of the Healthcare Service and they all need to be praised and congratulated for a job done beyond expectations. I should be most grateful if you would ensure that these amazing people receive my thanks – I could not have made mum’s last few weeks in her own home comfortable without their help. Thank you very much.”
  • “As a family, we have expressed to X that we appreciate all she has and continues to do for us, it’s so rare that someone enters your life and makes such an impression. Our thanks are genuine and her flawless, professional, sunny disposition has not gone unnoticed. She has been transparent, honest, respectful, compassionate and empathetic throughout the time we have known her. She has offered much advice and guidance and has fully supported us in manoeuvring our way through the extremely difficult times we have found ourselves in. She has made herself accessible via phone and email and never deemed any question to be too small or any ask of her too great. She has prioritised X needs from day one and we honestly can not thank her enough. In a currently bleak world she has remained refreshingly positive and not wavered despite the numerous obstacles being thrown X’s way. I can’t express the difference it has made.”
  • “I wanted to say thank you to the garden waste crew on Thursday, they went out of there way to clear the bins on the foot path for my disabled husband. All the recycling and refuse collectors do a fantastic job and it’s not been easy the past year, so I think they deserve the recognition when they go out of there way for others. Keep up the good work and thank you.”

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Complaints and compliments about Torfaen Council during 2021/22