Compliments, Enquiries and Complaints Procedure

Introduction

Wimbledon and Putney Common Conservators (WPCC) take pride in providing high quality, good value and professional services and aim to have clear and robust policies in place both to answer queries and to respond to complaints about our service.

For clarity, a distinction is made between a general enquiry, which is a request for information, and a complaint, which is an expression of dissatisfaction by the public about the conduct, standard of service, action or lack of action by WPCC.

The purpose of this procedure is to enable both general enquiries and formal complaints to be properly considered within agreed timescales with the intention of resolving the matter to the satisfaction of the individual as far as reasonably possible and as quickly as possible. The complaint process also provides the opportunity for escalation in the event that an individual feels that a complaint has not been properly addressed.

General Enquiry Procedure

The people who can best deal with a general enquiry or query are those who provide the service. Initially you may wish to contact a senior manager for the area of work where you have an enquiry about our services. Please do not hesitate to visit the Ranger’s Office that forms part of the Windmill complex; a member of staff is normally available to assist 9.00am to 5.00pm seven days a week. Alternatively, if you telephone the Ranger’s Office on 020 8788 7655 and explain your enquiry or query, you will be put through to the senior member of staff best able to deal with your concerns. You can also contact the office through our website at www.wpcc.org.uk. We will respond to general enquiries either by telephone, email or letter within 10 working days.

If your enquiry is more complex, we will initially acknowledge your enquiry within three working days but then request that you communicate to us in writing by email (rangersoffice@wpcc.org.uk) or letter (address set out below) if you have not already done so.

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC)
Manor Cottage
Windmill Road, Wimbledon Common
Wimbledon SW19 5NR

We will respond to such enquiries by email or letter within 30 working days of receipt of the written enquiry. If it is not possible to respond in the agreed timescales, you will be sent an email or letter setting out the reasons for the delay.

Complaints Procedure

It is always helpful to know what an individual believes went wrong and what should be done to put it right. WPCC operate a three stage complaint procedure to ensure complaints about our services and performance are dealt with impartially, objectively and professionally. The objective is always to resolve matters as quickly as possible, ideally when first considered by WPCC, having considered the merits of the complaint and any confidentiality issues. If the initial response from WPCC does not resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the individual, two levels of further review of the complaint are provided.

Stage 1: Complaint Submission and Initial Response

If you have a complaint about our services or performance, please complete our Complaint Contact Form in writing, either by email (complaints@wpcc.org.uk) or (hard copy) letter (address below). By approaching the Charity in this way, your concerns will be dealt with efficiently and every effort made to resolve your complaint.

You will initially be sent an automated email or letter that registers your complaint within three working days of receipt of your complaint. You will be provided with a written response either by email or letter within 30 working days of receipt. If it is not possible to respond in the agreed timescales, you will be sent an email or letter setting out the reasons for the delay.

Stage 2: First Review

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your initial complaint, you will have 30 working days from the date that you receive our response to ask for your complaint to be reviewed. You will need to submit an email to  complaints@wpcc.org.uk or letter (address below) telling us what you think went wrong and what you think we should do to put it right. We will look at how your initial complaint was handled:

  • did we address the issues of your complaint;
  • did we conveyed the outcome clearly;
  • were we thorough and fair.


You will receive an email or letter that registers your complaint within three working days of receipt of your complaint and normally receive a written response by email or letter within 30 working days, subject to any necessary investigative work. If it is not possible to respond in the agreed timescales, you will be sent an email or letter setting out the reasons for the delay.

Stage Three: Second Review

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the first review, you will have 30 working days from the date that you receive our response to write by email complaints@wpcc.org.uk or letter (address below) to the Chairman of the Board of WPCC to request a second review. Your email or letter must outline the circumstances and details of your complaint and the action you wish WPCC to take. An acknowledgement email or letter will be sent within three working days.

The second review will be undertaken by the Chairman or a Conservator(s) appointed by the Chairman. Your request to proceed to the Second Review Stage is only available if you have followed the previous stages of the complaint process. We will look again at how the matter was handled:

  • did we address the issues of your complaint;
  • did we conveyed the outcome clearly;
  • were we thorough and fair.


This is the last stage in the Charity’s complaint process and it requires the Chairman or Conservator(s) appointed by the Chairman to review your complaint in an impartial manner, undertaking a full and independent review of your concerns. If thought helpful, the Chairman may seek the assistance of the Charity’s solicitors or seek direction from the appropriate Committee or from the Board.

A detailed reply will be sent by email or letter within 30 working days, subject to any necessary investigative work. If it is not possible to respond in the agreed timescales, you will be sent an email or letter setting out the reasons for the delay.

Please note that if your complaint or enquiry concerns action that the Chairman has taken, your email or letter will be reviewed by the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. An acknowledgement email or letter will be sent within three working days and a detailed reply will be sent within 30 working days. If it is not possible to respond in the agreed timescales, you will be sent an email or letter setting out the reasons for the delay.

Policy on Dealing with Vexatious Complaints/Enquiries and Persistent Complainants

WPCC are committed to dealing with all complaints equitably, fully and in a timely manner.

Complainants who, by the unreasonably frequent or vexatious nature of their complaints, hinder the work of WPCC, will have all further contact on the complaint or complaints withdrawn. This decision, which shall be made by the WPCC Board, will be communicated to the complainant by email or letter.

Examples of such complaints include inter alia:

  • Refusing to co-operate with the complaint procedure while still wishing the complaint to be resolved;
  • Refusing to accept that issues raised are not within the remit of the Conservators (Trustees);
  • Insisting that the complaint is dealt with in ways incompatible with the complaint procedure;
  • Pursuing groundless complaints about staff and/or seeking their dismissal;
  • Seeking replies to a large number of complaints or details of one complaint within a short space of time, or making unreasonable demands on staff by insisting on immediate responses of factual information;
  • Verbal or written harassment of staff, volunteers or Conservators dealing with their complaint;
  • Raising new issues while a complaint is being addressed;
  • Repeatedly arguing a point that has already been determined by the complaints process.

 

All electronic correspondence regarding complaints should be sent to complaints@wpcc.org.uk.

All hard copy correspondence regarding complaints should be sent to the address set out below.

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators (WPCC)
Ranger’s Office
Manor Cottage
Windmill Road
Wimbledon Common
Wimbledon SW19 5NR

Complaints Raised with Other Bodies

Complaints Raised with the Charity Commission

As a registered charity, WPCC are regulated by the Charity Commission. There are separate procedures to report serious incidents directly to the Charity Commission if you believe there is a serious risk of harm to the charity. Before complaining to the Charity Commission about WPCC, the Charity Commission will have expected you to have followed the above Complaints Procedure.

Once the Charity Commission does agree to investigate a complaint and notifies WPCC accordingly, WPCC will consider that body responsible for carrying out the investigation and will not enter into any further communication with the complainant regarding the complaint.

Complaints Raised with Members of Parliament, Local Authorities and Other Bodies

Should a complainant wish to refer a complaint to a third party such as a Member of Parliament, local authority or other organisation, the complainant must notify WPCC of this decision. Upon receipt of such notification, WPCC will only investigate that complaint in response to a referral from that third party.