Send a comment, compliment or a complaint

We would like to hear from you if you have a suggestion about how we can improve our service or if you are happy with any part of the service you have received. You can do this online, by email or letter, in person or on the telephone - see our contact details below.

Further information about the corporate complaints process is in the document 'How to make a comment or complaint' available below.

Young people

A leaflet is available for young people so they can make any comments, compliments or complaints. For more information please call 023 9284 1172.

Complaining to schools

Schools have their own complaints procedures - if you would like to complain to a school, please contact the school direct for a copy of this procedure.

The fluency duty

Complaints related to the HM Government Code of practice on the English language requirement for public sector workers (the fluency duty) will be considered under the council’s Corporate Complaints Policy.

The fluency duty defines a legitimate complaint as “one about the standard of spoken English of a member of staff in a customer-facing role. It will be made by a member of the public or someone acting on his or her behalf complaining that the authority has not met the fluency duty”. However, the duty also excludes that “a complaint about a member of staff’s accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality would not be considered a legitimate complaint about the fluency duty.”

Public authorities are not obliged by the fluency duty to respond to complaints that are vexatious, oppressive, threatening, abusive, without foundation and/or which are intended to result in harsh or wrongful treatment of the person who is the subject of the complaint. In these types of circumstances a complaint will not be taken forward by authority.

We take complaints very seriously. While we try to provide a good service, we know that sometimes things go wrong so we have developed a complaints procedure for you to use if you feel that this is the case.

Before contacting the Corporate Complaints service please take a moment to read through the details of the complaints that we cannot investigate shown below. There are separate processes for the following:

If you think that we have broken our promises, or if you feel we have made a mistake, we take that very seriously. We will:

  • make sure you know how to make your voice heard through our complaints procedure
  • train our staff so they know how to deal with your complaint
  • acknowledge your complaint within five working days
  • respond fully within 10 working days for a first-stage complaint, 15 working days for a second-stage complaint and 20 working days for a third-stage complaint
  • investigate your complaint thoroughly and without taking sides
  • keep your complaint confidential and be fair to everybody involved
  • let you know the progress of your complaint
  • apologise when we’ve made a mistake, and take steps immediately to fix the problem
  • learn lessons from where we’ve gone wrong in order to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes in the future

Comments, compliments and complaints,
Portsmouth City Council,
Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square,


If you need an interpreter or sign-language interpreter, we can arrange this for you. We will usually need seven days’ notice to set this up.

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