MISSED bin collections remain the number one cause of complaints against Wrexham Council, according to new figures.

During 2018/19, the local authority received a total of 202 formal complaints and 431 informal complaints, which demonstrated a slight increase on the previous year.

Out of the formal complaints, more than half related to the environment department, including 71 about waste collections.

The council said the amount of complaints about bins had reduced slightly, but added the department was looking to make changes.

In a report, Councillor David Kelly, lead member for organisation said: “The majority of complaints against the council concern this department (108 of the 202).

“Of these, waste collection complaints account for the largest proportion, having received 71 – a slight decrease from the 73 received in the previous year.

“The service is currently undertaking an improvement programme and we will be working with the service to improve processes for the updating and closure of reports submitted by customers.

“A new environmental asset management system is also proposed which will support this improvement.”

Under Wrexham Council’s complaints policy, missed bin collections are only escalated to formal complaint status if a resident has had their rubbish missed on at least three occasions within a six month period.

Councillors have previously raised concerns about the process as some said they felt the first instance should be recorded as a formal complaint.

However, they resisted changing the system after officers told them they recorded issues in line with national guidelines and any alterations could skew the figures.

The department which received the highest number of complaints against it in the last year was the housing and economy department with 72.

Cllr Kelly said the majority related to housing repairs.

He added: “This department has seen a slight increase in the number of complaints received (72 compared to 66 from the same period last year).

“Of these, 69 per cent were upheld or partially upheld, which is comparable to last year and the council average of 66 per cent.

“Repairs received the most complaints (34), of which 83 per cent were upheld/partially upheld.”

The council’s complaints team has made several recommendations for improvement off the back of issues raised in the last 12 months.

They include work to be carried out at the homes of people who complained about repairs.

The authority has also moved to clarify the opening and closing times of cemeteries in the county borough.

The complaints figures will be considered at a meeting of the council’s customers, performance, resources and governance scrutiny committee on Wednesday.