Mark Whitehead 30 May 2019

Council refuses to accept ruling over treatment of homeless family

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has refused to accept an official ruling over its treatment of a homeless family facing domestic violence, according to the local government ombudsman.

Following an investigation the local government and social care ombudsman Michael King told the Leicestershire council to apologise and pay the woman £500 to 'recognise the injustice caused'.

But in a statement he said the council 'refused to accept it has done anything wrong when it failed to take a homelessness application' from the family following his investigation.

The woman had been living in another council area when she approached the council for help, but officers placed the responsibility to assess and accommodate the family on another authority where they had been living.

Mr King said: 'It is important for councils to be aware of their homelessness obligations and properly assess when they have a duty towards people.

'When vulnerable families are involved, it is particularly vital. It is not enough to pass the responsibility onto other councils simply because the person has applied to two separate councils for help.

'I have made some very simple, practical recommendations to help improve the council’s services for other homeless people and I would urge the council to review my report and accept the improvements I have asked it to make.'

A spokesperson for Oadby and Wigston Borough Council told LocalGov the full council would consider the ombudsman's ruling on June 4 but would not comment further.

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