THE number of complaints about Inverclyde Council has slumped over the last year, new figures have revealed.

Cases recorded against the local authority and its associated organisations have dramatically declined according to a report compiled for councillors.

The council, health and social care partnership (HSCP) and Inverclyde Leisure received and handled more than 260 complaints between the start of April last year and the end of March 2021.

A total of 250 of them are now 'closed'.

There was a fall of more than a fifth in complaints against the council, with 213 received in 2020/21 compared to 274 in 2019/20.

The HSCP attracted 39 in the most recent financial year, which is down 46 per cent from 73 received in the previous 12 months.

Inverclyde Leisure was the subject of 14 complaints in 2020/21 compared to 40 in 2019/20, a decline of 65 per cent.

Council bosses say the coronavirus lockdown was the main reason behind the decline.

Their report said: 'The reduction in complaints received is largely attributable to the period when the UK went into national lockdown and the focus of residents moved towards matters of greater importance.

'The council evidenced lower complaint volumes received in the first six months of the year.'

Most complaints made against the council during the period concerned environmental and public protection services.

Finance and education were next in the pecking order, while complaints were also made against the roads department, legal and property services and regeneration and planning.

The council's complaints procedure is split into two stages.

Stage one is for those that are relatively straightforward and the second is for those deemed to be more complex or that have been escalated because they could not be resolved at the first part of the process.

The report added: 'Inverclyde Council is committed to reflecting on occasions when the council may not get it right, in order to highlight opportunities for improvement.

'As such, where a complaint has been upheld or partially upheld, the service determines what actions are required to support improvement and prevent a repeat of circumstances that led to the complaint.'