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Complaints, comments and compliments

There are several ways to make a complaint, comment or give a compliment.


Fill in our online complaints, comments and compliments form

By email

Email us at

By letter

Write to:

Corporate Complaints Office
Belfast City Council

By form

Download a complaints, comments and compliments form (PDF - 1.38MB) or pick one up at any council venue.

By phone

  • Call us on 028 9032 0202 and ask to speak to the relevant department.
  • Call our Corporate Complaints Officer on 028 9027 0270.
  • Use our text phone service on 028 9027 0405.

Complaints, comments and compliments policy

For more information on how we deal with complaints, comments and compliments, please read our policy.

Download our complaints, comments and compliments policy (PDF - 298KB)

What happens when I make a complaint?

We have a three-stage procedure to deal with complaints.

Stage 1

Contact the relevant service or send us a complaints, comments and compliments form.

A service complaints officer will deal with your complaint.

We will respond within five working days.If we need longer, we will write to you to explain why and let you know when you can expect a response.

Stage 2

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, please contact the service complaints officer to escalate your complaint.

We will respond within 10 working days. If we need longer, we will write to you to explain why and let you know when you can expect a response.

Stage 3

If your are unhappy with the stage 2 investigation, you can contact the Corporate Complaints Officer who will carry out a full review of your complaint.

We will respond within 10 working days. If we need longer, we will write to you to explain why and let you know when you can expect a response.

The complaint is upheld

If your complaint is upheld, you will receive an apology and explanation. The error will be corrected where possible, or the satisfactory service will be provided as a matter of urgency.

The complaint is not upheld

If your complaint is not upheld, you will receive an explanation from the appropriate department to set out the reasons for rejecting your complaint.

We will contact you shortly after your complaint is dealt with, no matter what the outcome is to get your views on how we handled your complaint.

Taking it further

If you are not happy with our final response, you can contact the Northern Ireland Ombudsman. This is an independent service. It is responsible for investigating complaints against government departments, agencies and public bodies.

Usually, the ombudsman will only consider your case if it has already been through our complaints procedure.

You can call the Northern Ireland Ombudsman on 028 9023 3821 or write to:

Northern Ireland Ombudsman
Progressive House
33 Wellington Place

NIPSO may not investigate your complaint if it is more than six months since the complaint’s closure.


You can complain to us directly or appoint someone to act on your behalf. This may be a friend, relative, someone you trust or a voluntary agency.

Anonymous complaints

We treat all complaints against us in the strictest confidence. It is your right to complain.

In most cases it's best to raise a complaint openly as it makes it easier for us to:

  • address the issue
  • work out how to investigate the matter
  • understand the reasons for the complaint 
  • get more information.  

We encourage you to put your name to your complaint. We recognise that there may be circumstances when you would prefer to remain anonymous. But the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and you may need to give us a statement as part of the evidence.

If you don't provide a contact name or address, we will not be able to get back to you with an outcome.

Due to these difficulties, we will investigate anonymous complaints at our discretion.  We will take the following factors into account:

  • the seriousness of the complaint 
  • the credibility of the complaint
  • the likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources
  • whether the allegations have been investigated before.

Your responsibility

As a customer of Belfast City Council, you have the right to expect the best possible services. If you make a complaint, please follow our guidelines.

  • Provide adequate details about your complaint.
  • Explain why you are dissatisfied.
  • Provide accurate details and supporting correspondence or relevant supporting evidence.
  • If there has been a delay in sending your complaint, please explain the reason for the delay.
  • Explain what you believe to be a satisfactory outcome of the complaint.
  • Treat our staff with respect and good manners at all times.
  • Accept that we will act fairly and promptly in dealing with your complaint.
  • Be reasonable and open minded and listen to our explanations.
  • Be realistic. It may not always be possible to achieve the outcome that you expect.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes it easier for you to get information about us.

Contact us
028 9027 0270