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Cost of living support

Financial advice and emotional support on how you can ease the cost of living squeeze.

Customer Charter

Our Customer Charter tells you about the standard of service we aim to provide in our day to day dealings with you.

We will ensure equal access and opportunity to quality services to meet the needs of everyone in the community without prejudice or discrimination. 

If you wish to comment on a service, give a compliment or make a complaint, you can do so on the Compliments, suggestions and complaints page.

Our Customer Charter

Telephone enquiries


To deal with all telephone enquiries in a timely, courteous and helpful manner

Our promise to our customers

We will provide a prompt and informative telephone service

Where appropriate, we will provide suitable alternative contact details to ensure your enquiry is dealt with

Written communications


To provide a clear, full and timely response to all letters and emails. 

Our promise to our customers

We will aim to respond to letters and emails within 10 working days of receipt where appropriate*

We will provide a timely response using plain English and respond to all points raised

Face-to-face enquiries/visits


To provide a welcoming, supportive and knowledgeable service for all face-to-face contacts

Our promise to our customers

If you visit our offices for an appointment we will aim to see you within five minutes of your appointment time

If you visit us without an appointment we will try to keep your waiting time to a minimum

We will consider all requests for us to visit you, and if we can do so will always agree an appointment time and advise you if we are going to be late

Customer feedback


To encourage feedback** from our customers ensuring we acknowledge any relevant communication and strive to learn from all comments made

Our promise to our customers

We will listen to, consider and learn from feedback we receive from our customers

We will ensure that we respond fairly to customers who take the time to contact us 



To provide the required level of assistance to ensure all customers have equal access to all services

Our promise to our customers

We will ensure our facilities meet all relevant legislative requirements

We will provide alternative methods of communication and access where appropriate

Online services


To provide council services and information via the website and other online methods 

Our promise to our customers

We will ensure website information is up-to-date and easy to find

We will offer payment and other services to help customers interact with the council without you having to make a visit or phone call


*Please note the council is unable to respond to some written communication, including written representations on planning applications. Some forms of written communication have national timescales in excess of UDC's 10 day target, such as FOI requests.

**Feedback can include: Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, Data Protection requests, Environmental Information Regulations requests, complaints, comments, compliments, consultation responses and general enquiries.

What we ask of our customers

We ask you to:

  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect at all times
  • whenever possible make an appointment if you want to visit us
  • understand that you may have to wait if you haven't made an appointment when visiting our offices in Saffron Walden, Dunmow or Thaxted
  • tell us when we do not meet your expectations - we can only make improvements if we understand your problem
  • provide the right documentation and information we need to be able to help you
  • understand and accept that it is not always possible or practical to agree to your requests owing to legislative, financial or regulatory limitations
  • if you have cause to complain, ensure that you do so in a respectful way. Abusive, persistent or vexatious complaints will be dealt with according to the council's policy