MORE than 1,100 formal complaints were made to Shropshire Council in a year.

The authority received 1,119 complaints during the 2017/18 financial year it has revealed, making up 51 per cent of all feedback it received that year.

Of those, there were 34 complaints which were not closed within the target of 50 working days, which represents about three per cent of formal complaints.

These complaints are generally in relation to adult or children’s services.

Tom Dodds, the council’s information, intelligence and insight manager, said complaints relating to those services are often complex and that explains the delay.

He said: “Seventeen of the 34 complaints that were open for longer than 50 working days concerned adult or children’s services complaints.

“These complaints are often complex. Some cases can require detailed investigations, and others can see complainants add more information to their complaint as the complaint progresses, extending the time it takes to investigate.

“In addition factors outside of the council’s control can delay closing down the complaint even after the council has completed its investigation.

“The council records the cause of any delay to ensure that, should cases progress to the Local Government Ombudsman, the council is able to explain the reasons for the delay.

“The remaining 17 complaints were corporate complaints. Eight of these concerned highways and Streetscene, equating to 2.7 per cent of the total complaints they received in the 2017/18.”

He added that a further three concerned parking or transport and two concerned waste and recycling.

Mr Dodds added: “As these figures show Shropshire Council’s performance in responding to complaints in these service areas is good, however a there were a number of complaints that required very detailed investigations.

“In addition, some complaints related to services provided by other organisations on behalf of the council rather than those delivered directly by Shropshire Council employees, which can have an impact on the completion of any investigation.

“Finally, in some cases the council had responded to the complaint, but had failed to update the customer feedback system which resulted in the longer timescale.

“There are no patterns relating to the complaints which took longer to close. Each case was unique, and more complex cases took longer to investigate.”