Rise in complaints to Wakefield Council

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Complaints to Wakefield Council are on the rise - with waste being one of the biggest concerns for residents.

Figures show there were a total of 1,504 complaints made to Wakefield Council in 2016-17, representing a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year.

The stats were published in a report put before the council’s cabinet and show complaints most were dealt with at stage one, the earliest stage. But ten per cent of complaints - 154 - progressed to stage two, with just one progressing to stage three. Waste was the most common gripe, with 317 complaints lodged - roughly one fifth of all recorded.

Earlier this year the council announced it had to find ways of making £14.5m worth of savings, including axing a dedicated fly-tipping team and reducing the frequency of street cleaning.

Councillor Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for corporate services, said seven consecutive years of government cuts are starting to impact on services. He said: “We have been making every effort to ensure that the impact is kept to a minimum. But, due to £144m savings we have had to make since 2011, it has been unavoidable to completely shield the effects from local residents.

“This has inevitably has led to more complaints, particularly in services which have been hit the hardest, such as waste and adult services. We remain committed to providing high quality local services with what we have available and are continuing to learn from the customer feedback we have received.”

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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