Complaints | LocalGov

Leader bullied two senior officers, report finds


A council leader’s behaviour towards two senior officers amounted to bullying, a report into a code of conduct complaint has found.

Ombudsman: Family left ‘sofa surfing’ for a year


Waltham Forest Council has apologised after a family was forced to stay with relatives and friends – or ‘sofa surfing’ – for a year because the local authority forgot about them.

Birmingham failed residents over damp and mould, ombudsman finds


The Housing Ombudsman has found six cases of severe maladministration in Birmingham City Council’s handling of issues reported by tenants.

Council appeared to be in ‘crisis management mode’


‘Multiple and repeated’ failures by Hammersmith and Fulham Council left residents feeling ‘anything but secure in their homes’, a special investigation has found.

New complaint handling codes launched


New closely aligned codes aimed at making good complaint handling easier for local authorities have been launched.

Maladministration findings ‘springboard’ to better services, Croydon told


Croydon Council has been told by the Housing Ombudsman to use learning as a ‘springboard to deliver better services’ after severe maladministration findings.

Council improvements not ‘felt by residents’


Lambeth Council’s complaints handling process has improved but the results have not been ‘seen and felt by its residents’, according to the Housing Ombudsman.

Council slammed over complaints response


A watchdog has been ‘compelled’ to publicly highlight Bury Council’s failures after the authority took too long to remedy complaints.

Council failure left ambulance unable to reach resident


Stevenage Borough Council’s failure to fix a disabled resident’s door entry system left the ambulance service unable to attend to him, a watchdog has found.

Social housing complaints hit record high


Complaints against social housing landlords last year saw a record spike due to poor property conditions and media coverage after the death of Awaab Ishak.

Council failed for years over restaurant complaints


A homeowner suffered years of distress because Brentwood council failed to properly investigate nuisances caused by a next-door restaurant, the local government ombudsman has found.

Record non-compliance in landlords’ complaint handling


A record number of landlords did not comply with complaint handling failure orders in the last quarter, the Housing Ombudsman has found.

Council apologises after man with dementia left unsupported


Calderdale Council has apologised after a man with a rapidly progressing form of dementia was left in unsuitable hotel accommodation for too long.

Surge in upheld SEND complaints


A growing number of complaints involving special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision and education, health and care (EHC) plans are being upheld by the local government ombudsman.

Complaint handling failure leaves children at risk


Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been criticised after a complaint handling failure left vulnerable children in a damp and mouldy property.

Councils failing to tackle antisocial behaviour


Local authorities are failing to use the tools available to them to tackle antisocial behaviour, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Council criticised for failing to investigate noise complaint


A couple who owns a company in Gloucester have accused the council of costing them business by not investigating their complaint against a noisy neighbour.

First joint Ombudsmen investigation criticises complaint handling


Nottingham CC has been criticised for the way it dealt with antisocial behaviour in what was the first joint investigation by the two Ombudsmen’s services.

Liverpool CC praised for complaints handling improvements


Liverpool City Council has been praised for the improvements it has made in the way it handles complaints.

Ombudsman orders landlord L&Q to pay £142,000


One of the biggest social landlords in Britain has been ordered to pay £142,000 after an investigation revealed it was ‘dismissive’ of complaints.

Education and children's services top complaints to Ombudsman


The Ombudsman’s annual complaints statistics have revealed education and children’s services as the key areas of concern, making up a quarter of the workload.

Housing Ombudsman inspecting Lambeth Council over complaint handling


The Housing Ombudsman is scrutinizing Lambeth Council’s complaint handling after finding that residents from a previously resolved case had problems return.

Edinburgh Council re-investigating pink door allegations


Edinburgh woman who was threatened with a £20,000 fine for painting her door pink is facing an investigation after allegations she had painted it pink again.

Investigation reveals complaints backlog in Kent


Kent County Council has a backlog of 170 unanswered children’s services and education complaints, an investigation has revealed.

Ombudsman ruling against Milton Keynes Council


The housing ombudsman has made a finding of severe maladministration against Milton Keynes Council

Rise in complaints because of cuts, says research


Complaints taken up by councils have increased because of cuts in budgets, according to new research.

Complaint handling delay leaves Ealing resident vulnerable


A nine-month delay in Ealing Council’s complaint handling left a vulnerable resident without redress, Ombudsman says.

Learn from complaint handling errors, Ombudsman says


The Ombudsman has called on landlords to learn from the way complaints about housing have been handled ahead of a shakeup in the system next year.

Ombudsman highlights importance of proper complaints handling


Ombudsman reminds local authorities about the importance of handling complaints properly after it found problems with two councils’ procedures.

Councils urged to improve knowledge and information management


Knowledge and information problems have led to vulnerabilities being missed and financial detriment for residents seeking housing help, says Ombudsman.

Care home accused of ‘contemptuous’ behaviour


Ombudsman has accused a Leicester care company boss of sending ‘intimidating, abusive and threatening emails’ to an elderly woman who complained.

Wakefield residents warn of ‘concrete jungle’ risk


Residents of a village near Wakefield in West Yorkshire have objected to a major housing development they claim will turn the area into a ‘concrete jungle’.

Stoke-on-Trent tops list of smelliest places


Stoke-on-Trent received the highest number of complaints about bad smells in the UK in the last year, according to new figures.

Birmingham City Council to review respite care complaints process


Birmingham is to review the way it responds to complaints about respite care for children with disabilities after it told families to appeal to the Ombudsman.

Social care users ‘failed’ by complaints system, watchdog says


Adults attempting to challenge social care decisions made by councils are ‘being failed’, the national equalities watchdog has said.

Council officer apologises for ‘racist’ bacon comment


A Leeds council officer made offensive remarks about bacon sandwiches which could be construed as racist, an investigation has found.

Ombudsman publishes record keeping 'good practice' guide


A new guide to help care providers learn from complaints involving record keeping was today published.

Council apologises for failing to fix two-year-old leak


Leeds City Council acknowledges there were failings within its repair service that led to a resident living with damp in both the kitchen and bathroom.

Council apologises after RCVs struggle to reach bin stores


Brighton & Hove CC has apologised after its refuse collection vehicles were unable to reach the sites of bin stores that were approved by council planners.

Ombudsman criticises Birmingham council of ‘maladministration’


Birmingham CC has apologised for failing on multiple occasions to take action over a housing disrepair claim when prompted by the resident and the local MP.

Council’s handling of FOI request ‘inappropriate’


The way Sheffield City Council records and labels information is ‘inappropriate’, an investigation into how the council handles FOI requests has found.

Council criticised after man left homeless


Shropshire Council has been criticised after a man was left homeless for too long because the council did not understand its responsibilities towards him.

Council criticised for failing to tackle issues with bin collections


Birmingham City Council has been criticised for blaming 'rogue crews' for failures in bin collections by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Cost of care ‘common theme’ in council complaints


The underfunding of social care has meant that the cost of providing care has become an increasingly common theme in complaints against councils, says report.

Housing complaint handling processes must be ‘accessible’


All local authority landlords and housing associations must ensure that their complaint handling processes are accessible and consistent, Ombudsman says.

Council criticised after homophobic abuse complaint


Coventry City Council has been criticised for not doing enough to help a man who was subject to homophobic abuse.

Gove criticises social housing landlord after ‘severe maladministration’ finding


Michael Gove has criticised England's largest social housing landlord after an investigation found the housing body was guilty of ‘severe maladministration’.

Dealing with complaints became ‘casualty of crisis’, Ombudsman says


COVID-19 ‘magnified stresses’ that councils were already faced with before the pandemic and dealing with complaints became a ‘casualty’, report says.

Councils urged to improve record-keeping of private housing complaints


Councils have been urged to properly record complaints about the private rented sector after campaigners found over half are failing to accurately do so.

Council found guilty of ‘maladministration’ over leaky roof complaint


The London Borough of Ealing has said it is reviewing its working practices after the Housing Ombudsman found that it was guilty of ‘severe maladministration’.

Call for ‘zero-tolerance’ on damp in social homes


Tackling damp and mould must be a higher priority for social landlords, the Housing Ombudsman has said in a new report.

Council apologises for backlog of hundreds of noise complaints


A backlog of hundreds of noise complaints has been uncovered at Calderdale Council following an investigation by the ombudsman.

Councils dealt with 1,000 noisy neighbour complaints a day during lockdowns


Councils dealt with 1,000 complaints about noisy neighbours every day during the pandemic, new research has revealed.

Review highlights 'widening cracks' in council complaints systems


The ombudsman has warned about the erosion to the way complaints are being handled by local councils.

Inquiry launched into challenging adult social care decisions


An inquiry has been launched to examine how people can challenge decisions made by local councils about adult social care.

Council pledges to improve its adoption recruitment process


City of Wolverhampton Council has agreed to ensure its adoption recruitment procedure to ensure it meets statutory guidelines following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Bristol City Council apologises for ‘distress’ caused by mishandling of complaints


Bristol City Council has apologised after being criticised for failing to provide evidence it had completed Ombudsman recommendations in two separate complaints.

County to review its SEN services following ombudsman investigation


Hampshire County Council has agreed to reviews its SEN services following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Local councils complain about poor banking services


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has warned it has received a groundswell of complaints about poor banking services across England.

Ombudsman criticises council for failing to investigate mother’s complaint


Isle of Wight Council has been criticised for failing to properly investigate a mother’s complaint about the way it removed her disabled son’s personal budget.

Leader of Merthyr Tydfil Council suspended for seven months


The leader of Merthyr Tydfil Council has been suspended for seven months after he breached its code of conduct.

Sheffield Council to compensate family after 'catalogue of errors' in education provision


Sheffield Council has been asked to pay £20,000 in compensation after it failed to provide a suitable education for a boy with special educational needs.

Housing Ombudsman names six councils with highest number of maladministration findings


A new report from the housing Ombudsman has found that maladministration in the handling of complaints by landlords is the area of ‘most consistent concern’.

Ombudsman will re-open for complaints about councils from next week


The ombudsman that investigates problems with local authorities will resume accepting new complaints from next week.

New guidance to help councils deal with complaints during crisis


Councils and care providers have been reminded to keep responding to complaints during the coronavirus pandemic.

Family ‘left in distress’ after council fails to investigate noise complaint


A council in West Northamptonshire has been criticized by the Ombudsman for its handling of a noise complaint from residents living near an industrial estate.

Ombudsman upholds two thirds of care complaints


But despite this complaints about care have fallen and in the vast majority of cases his recommendations are carried out, council leaders say.

Council criticised after SEN child left without education for over a year


Worcestershire CC complaints policy has been criticised after a boy with special educational needs was left without appropriate education for 14 months.

Ombudsman criticises county for failing to complete agreed remedy


Staffordshire County Council has come under fire from the local government ombudsman for failing to carry out remedies agreed following an investigation.

Children’s services top list of complaints against councils


Official complaints about children’s services and adult social care have topped an annual review of local government complaints for 2018-19.

Ombudsman tells councils to ‘be clear’ about home-schooling visits


Councils must be clear with parents of home-schooled children whether home visits are routine or triggered by specific concerns, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

Social housing tenants ‘failed’ by poor regulation


Social housing tenants are being forced to report the same problem with their home multiple times, a housing charity has warned today.

Ombudsman welcomes move to streamline complaints


The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has welcomed a decision by the trade body representing bailiffs to give up dealing with complaints from members of the public.

Councillor resigns amid anti-Semitism row


A Labour councillor who was deselected has resigned accusing the local party of not dealing with complaints of racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Ombudsman publishes guide for handling social care complaints


Directors of adult social services have welcomed the publication of a good practice guide for helping adult social care providers improve complaints handling.

Watchdog warns people regret not raising concerns about their care


Nearly seven million people who have accessed health and social care services in the past five years have had concerns about their care but never raised them, according to new research.

Carers leave vulnerable woman ‘screaming in pain'


A vulnerable woman in Blackpool was left with serious burns on her leg after carers left her too close to a hot radiator, the local government Ombudsman has found.

Saying sorry goes a long way


Mark Whitehead calls on councils to make a direct apology to the public when something goes wrong.

Council chief says on YouTube: 'I'm sorry about bin chaos'


A council leader has gone online to apologise to residents over chaos caused by a reorganisation of bin collections.

Councils must act on care service complaints, ombudsman says


Councils facing a rising tide of complaints from the public about care services must listen to them and take action, the government regulator has warned.

A sign of cutting corners?


With figures revealing the number of complaints about local councils are on the rise, what does this say about the performance of the sector? Neil Merrick investigates.

Northants council-owned company spends ‘thousands’ on luxury events


An investigation has been launched after it was revealed a company belonging to cash-strapped Northamptonshire CC spent ‘thousands’ on luxury events.

One man lodges 673 complaints about local council


A Hull man may hold the record for complaining about his local council.

In-house mediation service at Suffolk


Sally Marlow and Helen Muddock look at how Suffolk County Council created a 'mediation culture' to deal with staff complaints.

Nearly 60% of investigations against councils upheld by Ombudsman


Over half of the investigations into complaints against local authorities were upheld in 2017-18, according to new figures.

Council installs CCTV after library sex incident


Isle of Wight Council has been forced to upgrade security measures at a local library after a couple were caught having sex among the bookshelves.

Cheshire councillor investigating misconduct suspended


The Cheshire East Council councillor investigating two senior officers over concerns about the way contracts were awarded has been asked to ‘step down’.

Council criticised for procurement ‘maladministration’


A council in Northern Ireland has been criticised for ‘maladministration’ in its procurement of stewarding services.

Councils urged to be clear on care home costs


Councils have been reminded to give families accurate information about care home fees by the ombudsman, following a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council.

Council investigates after extremist makes video announcement from Mayor’s chair


Belfast City Council is investigating a video made by the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First which was shot while she sat in the Lord Mayor's chair.

Councils acting 'positively' on social care complaints


Councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people who complained to the local government ombudsman last year.

Councils taking a week to deal with waste complaints, survey reveals


More than third of people have complained to their local council about a problem with waste and recycling services, a new survey has revealed.

Campaigners call for inquiry into councils' 'toxic' loans


Residents have raised objections against risky high-interest loans in 46 local authorities, campaigners have revealed.

Council criticised after reducing care for autistic brothers without consulting mother


A London council has been criticised for reducing the care and support packages of two autistic brothers without involving their mother in the decision.

Residents opt for phone to contact council about missed bin collections


People would prefer to call their local council if complaining about a missed waste or recycling collection, a survey has revealed.

Councils urged to scrutinise data on complaints


The number of complaints about councils that have been investigated and upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has increased this year, new figures have revealed.

Vulnerable adults let down by ‘poor’ social work, ombudsman says


Vulnerable adults are being let down by ‘poor’ social work practice, Ombudsman reports.

Petition calls on tower blaze council cabinet to quit


A petition with more than 1,500 signatures has demanded the entire cabinet at Kensington & Chelsea RLBC should quit over its handling of the Grenfell fire.

Council orders probe into voting problems


An investigation has been commissioned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council after problems were raised with people voting in the General Election.

One in five waste issues take over a week to resolve, survey reveals


Over 20% of all waste and recycling issues raised by the public take more than a week to resolve, a new survey reveals.

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Banning urban pesticide use

RSPB and PAN are working on a letter from local councillors calling on the Government to introduce a national ban on urban pesticide use. Find out more below.
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