Council’s top complained about issues revealed - taxis, waste collection among them

The complaints were received through the Have Your Say scheme, Liverpool Council’s free to use feedback forum.

The issues that people in Liverpool complain to the council about the most have been revealed.

More than 3,500 complaints were received by the local authority between 2020-21, with almost half, 47%, received by its community services department. This includes waste collections and neighbourhood issues.

A report to Liverpool Council’s Mayoral and Performance Select Committee said that the highest complaint areas by volume were recycling/domestic collections, taxi driver behaviour, and StreetScene issues.

A total of 902 complaints were made relating to domestic and recycling collections against a backdrop of 16.3 million waste collections, according to the report.

The complaints were received through the Have Your Say scheme, Liverpool Council’s free to use feedback forum.

A distinctive Liverpool wheelie bin. Image: Jason Wells - stock.adobe.com

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More than 300 taxi licensing complaints were received during the 12 month period while a similar amount were dealt with about StreetScene - a council subsidiary that delivers a number of essential services across the city.

During 2020-21, the number of complaints received – 3,787 – represented a decrease of 21% on the year previously.

The amount of compliments the council received during the monitoring period also decreased, down to 593 from 715 in 2019-20, representing a decline of 17% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second most complained to department was the authority’s regeneration and economy directorate, receiving 18% of disgruntled comments.

Addressing the complaints, Mayor Joanne Anderson told the meeting that it was important for the council to be continually updated on complaints.

She said: “It’s a good example of being able to assess where we’re at. I know not everyone complains but I think it is really important that we focus on reducing the number of complaints, whilst we welcome complaints, it is important to deal with them.”

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Jacqui McKinlay, Liverpool Council chief operating officer, acknowledged that “improvements need to be made” and had invited the Ombudsman to review the council’s complaints processes.

Committee chair, Cllr Barbara Murray, added: “Crucially, you can learn from complaints and change your practice.” Warbreck member Cllr Alan Gibbons said engaging with residents on social media about issues they were disgruntled with tended to undercut complaints and would “very rapidly reduce the amount of antagonism towards local representatives.”

He added that this would add a “far less negative approach inside the community” before reserving praise for the council’s StreetScene teams.