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.

Tory councillor suspended after racist Eurovision tweet


A Conservative councillor has been suspended following a racist tweet he made during the Eurovision song contest.

Controversy over council decision to cut down Queen Mother’s trees


Northumberland council has been criticised for cutting down trees that were planted in the Queen Mother’s honour.

Councillor suspended for lewd comments made to hunting campaigner


A Conservative councillor has been suspended from Breckland Council after being filmed making lewd comments at a hunting protester.

Council apologises after Christmas council tax error


Stroud council has issued an apology after a direct debit error meant they took council tax payments early from over 5,700 bank accounts two days before Christmas.

New ombudsman pledges to help councils repeating same mistakes


Michael King has been appointed as the new Local Government Ombudsman, pledging to help councils learn from complaints about services.

Council criticised after woman in care home left ‘malnourished’


Wokingham council has been told to pay out thousands in compensation after a woman was left ‘severely malnourished’ and bored during a stay in a care home.

Watchdog sets out how combined authorities can improve complaints system


Combined authorities have been urged to adopt a 'no wrong door' attitude to complaints by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Ombudsman reports ‘dramatic’ increase in home care complaints


There has been a 25% rise in complaints about the home care received by some of the most vulnerable people in England over the past year, Ombudsman reports.

Council mistakenly sends residents link to x-rated site


A Suffolk council has apologised after mistakenly asking residents to log on to an X-rated pornographic website.

Nearly 50% of the public have complained about their local roads, survey shows


A new survey has revealed 44% of people polled had complained to their local authority at least once about the state of their local road network.

Council's anti-begging posters banned for being ‘offensive’


Four council posters aimed at tackling begging in Nottingham have been banned for being ‘likely to cause serious or widespread offence.’

24 councils could face legal action over high-interest loans


Residents from 24 different local authorities have mounted legal objections to the use of the controversial high-interest Lender Option, Borrower Option (LOBO) loans by councils.

Landlord fined thousands by council for ‘cramming’ 24 people in a house


A rogue landlord faces a court bill of almost £40,000 after being caught cramming 24 people into a house in Wembley.

Council chief releases report into baby ashes scandal


The chief executive of Aberdeen City Council has vowed to implement a ‘culture change’ of management in the wake of the baby ashes scandal.

Kent first approved council to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution services


Kent has become the first local authority to be approved to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution services to consumers in a bid to resolve their complaints with traders.

Upheld complaints against councils on the rise


The number of investigations upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman has risen by 5%, according the watchdog’s latest statistics.

Council dismisses Sherwood Forest migrant camp story


Nottinghamshire CC has dismissed rumours about an illegal migrant camp in Sherword Forest as untrue.

Ombudsman issues first joint investigation report


The Local Government Ombudsman has ruled Oxfordshire County Council failed to properly follow up a complaint about the neglect in its first joint investigation of a care home and a local authority.

Council chief apologises after baby ashes report


The chief executive of Aberdeen City Council has apologised unreservedly after a report heavily criticised how babies were cremated at local facilities.

Councillor suspended for offensive Jo Cox comment


A Yorkshire councillor has been suspended after he made offensive comments about the charity fund set up in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Council breaks tie with legal firm following inappropriate tweets


Cambridgeshire County Council has said it will no longer use the services of legal firm Baker Small, following inappropriate tweets it made about SEND tribunals.

Councils warned to keep track of enforcement action


An investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has uncovered a backlog of 1,500 open enforcement cases at a London borough.

Council accused of 'bias' over EU voting guide


Bristol City Council has been forced to amend an EU referendum voting guide, after claims it was biased towards the Remain campaign.

Families slate 'lack of action' following Winterbourne View scandal


The families of victims abused at Winterbourne View hospital have called on the prime minister to close ‘outdated’ care facilities.

County faces legal challenge over cuts to children's centres


Oxfordshire County Council is facing a legal challenge over its plans to cut the number of children’s centres in the county.

Barnet couldn’t ‘run a whelk stall’ let alone EU vote, Assembly says


Barnet should not be allowed to oversee the EU referendum after the ‘chaos’ of their local elections, the London Assembly says.

Sexist hat-based tradition causes controversy


A row over double standards in a Norfolk council has erupted after a councillor complained women have to ask permission from the mayor before removing ceremonial hat—but men don’t.

Barnet launches investigation into voting problems


Barnet Council have promised an investigation into how the wrong electoral registration lists were sent to polling station yesterday.

Voters turned away from polling stations in Barnet


The local elections in Barnet have been branded a ‘shambles’, after the council sent out the wrong electoral lists to polling stations.

Residents should ‘watch their posteriors’ when nature calls, councillor warns


A councillor has warned residents of Cork to ‘watch their posteriors’ after a man was bitten by a rat while using his toilet.

Council suspends employment scheme for behaving like 'a Victorian workhouse'


A Scottish council has suspended a controversial employment scheme after revelations it was fining jobseekers for tutting and chewing gum.

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl backs band in council noise row


Dave Grohl, lead singer of the Foo Fighters, has called on Cornwall Council to relax its noise restrictions after a young rock band said they were banned from rehearsing in their garage.

Report highlights problems with Disabled Facilities Grants process


Councils have been urged to improve the way they process Disabled Facilities Grants, with a new report saying delays are leaving disabled people in unsuitable homes for too long.

Council hails success of DNA dog poo testing


The DNA testing of dog poo has helped a London borough reduce dog mess in its parks by 50%.

Campaigners welcome move to protect music venues from noise complaints


Music industry campaigners have welcomed changes to planning legislation, which will require developers to seek prior approval on noise impacts before a change in use is carried out.

Chris Evans apologises for Top Gear Cenotaph stunt


Chris Evans has apologised ‘unreservedly’ for the Top Gear pictures which seemed to show a wheel spin being done next to the Cenotaph in London.

Government should lead the way in encouraging whistleblowers, report says


The Government must do more to create the right environment for public sector whistleblowers to come forward, a new report says.

Council policy changes must be communicated clearly, ombudsman urges


Information about a council’s new transport policy ‘could have been clearer’, according to the local government ombudsman (LGO).

Councils urged to reconsider changes to housing allocation schemes


Changes to the way councils allocate social housing have led to an increase in the number of complaints made to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

Ombudsman calls for clearer advice on disability payments


Adult social care teams have been urged to ensure they provide clear advice on disability payments following the case of a woman who was left without proper care and support.

Owner of £15m Kensington property ordered to repaint red and white-striped house


The owner of eccentrically painted house in a conservation area has been ordered to repaint property by court after neighbours complained to the council.

Report warns older people too scared to complain about care


Older people are often too afraid to complain about the level of care they receive, worrying a complaint will make the situation worse, a new report has warned.

Doncaster Council warned for failing to support homeless young people


Doncaster Council has been criticised for the second time in two years for failing to provide adequate support to homeless young people.

Councils ranked among the worst for customer services


Local authorities have been ranked as one of the worst sector’s in the UK for customer service.

Council to investigate after children at 'risk of radicalisation' are named


Waltham Forest Council is conducting an investigation after the names of school pupils at risk of being radicalised were made public.

Woman charged £6,500 for one hour of parking


An accountant was charged over £6,000 for one hour of parking while she paid a visit to her financial advisor.

Report shows increase in adult social care complaints


The number of complaints about adult social care has risen by 18% in the past year, according to new figures published today.

David Cameron involved in row with local council over cuts


Prime minister David Cameron has come under fire after complaining about cuts to frontline services by his Conservative-run local council.

Man ejected from Penzance Town Council Meeting in 'horrendous' scene


Security guards forcibly removed a man from a town council meeting in Penzance for speaking out of turn last Tuesday.

Sex toy forces closure of council bake sale


A council bake sale was abandoned last Friday after a sex toy was discovered in one of the cakes.

Public say cuts have not affected local services


The majority of the public have not noticed a decline in local services over the past five years despite councils seeing massive reductions in budgets.

Peperami dubbed an 'environmental animal' by council


Richmond Council has warned it is spending thousands of pounds cleaning up Peperami’s Rugby World Cup giveaway.

Hackney Council postpones fox cull after public backlash


Hackney Council has temporarily removed fox traps from Clissold Park deer enclosure after criticism from animal rights groups and a petition from the public.

Councils reminded they cannot contract out accountability


The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has reminded councils that they are responsible for the quality of services provided by outside contractors.

Councils warned to promptly deal with homelessness applications


The London Borough of Hounslow has been criticised by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) after it took more than a year to determine someone homeless status.

Ombudsman warns families are being overcharged for care


Confusing or incorrect information from councils is leading to families being overcharged for care, the Local Government Ombudsman has claimed.

Ombudsman warns Lambeth over nine-year flat sale saga


Lambeth Council has been criticised for repeatedly ignoring the advice of the Local Government Ombudsman over the treatment of a woman who was trying to buy her local authority flat.

Petition triggers mayoral referendum


A referendum on having an elected mayor for Bath and North East Somerset will go ahead following a successful petition from campaigners.

Birds of prey mobilised to see off Sunderland’s seagulls


Eagles and hawks are being used to patrol a park in Sunderland in a bid to rid it of seagulls.

134,000 people urge council: ‘Don’t shoot Oki the lonely deer’


A petition urging a council not to shoot a ‘lonely’ deer named Oki has received over 134,000 signatures.

Council officer quits after claiming soldiers will take drugs and fight


A council officer recorded saying local soldiers will take drugs, get drunk and fight has quit his job at the local authority.

Error in licensing consultation could delay borough’s sweeping plans


Controversial plans from a London borough to tighten licensing laws could be shelved over an error in consultation documents, it has emerged.

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