Laura Sharman 23 January 2020

Council made ‘serious unsubstantiated’ allegations about asylum seeker

An investigation has found Sandwell Council made ‘serious and unsubstantiated’ allegations about a vulnerable woman seeking asylum.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman conducted an investigation following complaints from the woman. She had complained about the support received from the council and was being represented by a not-for-profit organisation.

However, she said the council had barred her representative from meetings with the council, even threatening to call the police if the representative did not leave on one occasion.

During the investigation, the council made ‘serious’ allegations about the mother and her representative’s conduct. However, it found the council could not provide back up or provide evidence about the claims.

Ombudsman Michael King said: ‘This investigation has been characterised throughout by inconsistent evidence presented by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. It has made serious and distressing claims it cannot substantiate, and yet we have seen no evidence to call into question the behaviour of either this mother or her representatives.

‘Although the council now acknowledges the views expressed were those of an individual officer, throughout my investigation it presented those views as its own. I am particularly concerned the actions of the officer involved were supervised by managers and no interventions were made.’

A joint statement on behalf of Sandwell Council and Sandwell Children's Trust: ‘We fully take on board the feedback from the report and have worked swiftly to implement all the recommendations from the Ombudsman.

’We have apologised to the person who made the complaint and have measures in place to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future.’

Theres a whiff of purpose once more on devolution image

There's a whiff of purpose once more on devolution

Devolution should rock the status quo and create a new culture of governance which pushes everyone who currently holds decision-making power out of their comfort zones, says deputy chief executive of New Local Jessica Studdert.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Rights Of Way Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£27,741 - £29,577
We are looking for a candidate who has practical experience of working with Rights of Way and access issues and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Casual Assistant Swimming Instructor

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - £11.01 per hour
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Systems Support Analyst

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum
We are committed to promoting equality and respecting diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Service Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£59,111 - £67,900 per annum
Create a better quality of life for our most vulnerable children and young people. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Contracts and Commissioning Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£44,370 - £50,964 per annum
An opportunity has arisen within the Adult Learning team that develops and oversees the contracting and commissioning function for this service.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue