Dan Peters 16 January 2020

Medway caves after Ombudsman rap

Medway caves after Ombudsman rap image

Medway Council has finally accepted the recommendations in a Local Government Ombudsman public interest report after a two-year stand-off.

The U-turn came after the Ombudsman issued a ‘rare’ further scolding of the council for ignoring its recommendations.

An Ombudsman judgement in September 2017 had ruled that the council should provide transport for a girl in its area because she was attending the nearest suitable school with places available.

However, council officers claimed the authority’s education travel assistance policy was compliant with Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance and senior councillors refused to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

Today, the council insisted it had ‘worked closely’ with the Ombudsman and pointed to independent legal advice that found it was ‘correctly following the DfE’s guidance on assessing school transport applications’.

However, the council’s portfolio holder of children’s services, Cllr Josie Iles, said: ‘We have apologised to the complainant for any distress this process may have caused. We respect the Ombudsman’s conclusions and will ensure the recommendations are actioned.’

Photo: © David Anstiss

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Database Administrator

Essex County Council
£42000 - £49422 per annum
Senior Database AdministratorPermanent, Full TimeUp to £49,422 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Commissioning Officer - Community Catalyst

Essex County Council
Up to £35026 per annum
Senior Commissioning Officer - Community CatalystFixed Term, Full TimeUp to £35,026 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Resource Centre Worker

North Yorkshire County Council
£20,493 - £24,982 per annum, pro rata
We work closely with families and other professionals to ensure that we have sound knowledge of the children we are caring for and are able to... Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Relationship Manager

We are looking for an engaging and amiable professional with experience working for, or with, local authorities and an eye for detail. United Kingdom
Recuriter: iChoosr

Adults Service Manager - South

Essex County Council
£58727 - £66963 per annum
Adults Service Manager - SouthFixed Term, Full Time£58,727 - £66,963 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County 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