Make a complaint

Before you make a complaint

Our complaints procedure sets out how we deal with complaints. 

Before you make a complaint, you should contact the service involved for an informal discussion. The service is best placed to understand and resolve your complaint. 

You should contact Essex County Council if your complaint is about:

  • footpaths
  • pavements
  • libraries
  • social care
  • roads
  • highways
  • education

We will deal with all complaints using the process in our complaints policy.

However, we do not deal with:

  • complaints that are more than 12 months old
  • matters that are, or have been the subject of court proceedings

Our complaints policy does not cover matters where the customer has a separate right of appeal or review such as:

  • appeals against refusal of planning permission
  • complaints about housing benefit for which there is a statutory appeals process
  • complaints about Council Tax levels which you can challenge through a judicial review
  • contesting parking tickets which are heard by a Traffic penalty tribunal
  • homelessness decisions
  • any other instance where an alternative appeal mechanism exists

We have a separate process that you need to follow if you want to complain about a Councillor.

Ways to make a complaint

Online form

You can use our online form to make your complaint.

We will make sure the form goes to the service who can sort out your issue.

Make a complaint


You can email the customer service centre with your complaint. They will forward your complaint to the service who can sort out your issue.


You can write to us with your complaint.

You should address your letter to the service or department you are complaining about.

If you are unsure you can phone our Customer Service Centre who will be able to help you.

Phone or in person

You can visit our offices or contact our Customer Service Centre to talk about your complaint. Our customer service team can direct you to the service or department who will deal with your complaint.

You may find it helps to write your complaint down particularly if it about a complex matter.

Our offices are open to visitors by appointment only. You can find out how to make an appointment and what to do when you get here on our contact us pages

You need to call our Customer Service Centre to make an appointment..

Via your local Councillor

You can ask your Councillor to make your complaint on your behalf.

Customer Services

Address: Causeway House,
Bocking End,

Telephone: 01376 552525