More praise for council services

The number of people praising council services in Liverpool rose 28 percent last year.

The annual Have Your Say Report covering the period from April 2013 to March 2014 shows there were 1,119 compliments – up 247 on the previous year.

There was also an increase in complaints, up by 4.8 percent to 4,437 – although the number that progressed on to the second stage dropped by 17 percent, which indicates that more of them are being resolved at the first attempt.

The council is also dealing with more complaints within the agreed timescale – 73 percent compared to 67 percent the previous year.

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) – which independently investigates complaints about local authorities – made 182 decisions about Liverpool City Council, with only 21 being upheld. Liverpool compares well with other core cities in terms of upheld complaints, ranked fourth out of eight. Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We are a large organisation providing essential services to our 465,000 residents and millions of visitors, and from time to time we will get things wrong.

“I am pleased that the number of compliments has risen and there has been a drop in the number of complaints proceeding to the second stage.

“When we get things wrong we are absolutely committed to investigating and doing what we can to put things right.

“But we can’t be complacent and continue to work hard to improve services and prevent complaints from occurring in the first place.”

The top three complaint areas were:

• Refuse and recycling collections – 1,287 against 19 million collections

• Taxi licensing – 458 against 4,611 hackney and private hire drivers

• Council tax – 422 against a backdrop of 539,000 bills being issued

Overall, the number of comments, compliments and complaints dealt with by the city council rose 6.7 percent to 7,915.

The annual Have Your Say report will be considered by councillors at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Select Committee on 1 October.