Ombudsman | LocalGov

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 to revisit how it calculated allowances to 300 families


An investigation has revealed that Devon County Council has been calculating incorrectly allowances for families who look after children as special guardians.

Thurrock bin crews trapped wheelchair user


Bin crews in Thurrock have repeatedly trapped a disabled woman in her home by not returning her bins to the proper place, ombudsman finds.

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.

Council order to pay over £18k after severe maladministration findings


Waltham Forest Council has been ordered to pay £18,800 in compensation after failings were discovered in three different housing cases.

Children with SEND impacted by psychologist shortage


The lives of children with SEND are being negatively affected by the shortage of educational psychologists, the local government ombudsman has warned.

North Northants fined £1,500 after girl misses school


The leader of North Northamptonshire Council has apologised to the family of a girl who missed part of her education because of her health.

Ombudsman calls for Royal Commission for social housing


The Housing Ombudsman has called for the establishment of a Royal Commission to deliver a long-term plan for social housing that tackles social injustices.

New local government Ombudsman appointed


Amerdeep Somal will be the next Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, the Government has confirmed.

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.

Special investigation launched into Camden and Hackney


A special investigation has been launched into Camden and Hackney councils after the Housing Ombudsman found they were struggling to tackle damp and mould.

Gove criticises ‘unacceptable’ maladministration findings


Housing secretary Michael Gove has told three councils he will take a ‘personal interest’ in how they improve following findings of severe maladministration by the Housing Ombudsman.

Repairs failure caused family ‘significant distress’


The Housing Ombudsman has found severe maladministration in Hackney Council’s three-year failure to properly fix a leaking roof.

Council fined £13k after maladministration findings


Lambeth Council has been ordered to pay £13,000 in compensation after six severe maladministration findings.

Care service failed to meet cultural needs


A woman suffered diet and skin problems because the nursing home her council placed her in failed to meet her cultural needs, a watchdog has found.

Council let ‘uninhabitable’ flat to family


Manchester City Council let a property with damp rooms and a rotten floor to a family with young children, the Housing Ombudsman has found.

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.

South Gloucestershire families not getting agreed respite


Almost a third of families with children with special needs in South Gloucestershire have not been receiving sufficient respite care, an investigation has found.

Islington ordered to pay £66,000 after housing investigation


A ‘disjointed’ approach to complaints and a ‘lack of ownership’ were found in a special investigation to be behind Islington Council's 'persisting' housing problems.

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.

Newham to review hundreds of rejected freedom passes


Following an ombudsman investigation, the London Borough of Newham will review more than 200 applications for freedom passes it rejected.

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.

Council to compensate family over missed schooling


Leeds City Council has been ordered to pay £1,500 to a mother whose child could not attend school for 18 months because of delays to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Hundreds of Valium prescriptions to be reviewed


Hundreds of vulnerable people with drug and alcohol dependencies who have been prescribed Valium are set to have their cases reviewed following investigation.

Council’s delays left resident at risk


Newham Council has been ordered to pay £5,400 after the London borough took three years to resolve damp and mould issues in one of its properties.

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.

Housing Ombudsman orders Waverley to pay £13,000


Waverley Borough Council has been ordered to pay nearly £13,000 after delays meant a resident was forced to install disability adaptations themselves.

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.

Sandwell Council fails resident with depression


Sandwell Council failed to consider a resident’s vulnerabilities during an anti-social behaviour case despite multiple reminders, Housing Ombudsman has found.

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.

Council fined after family of six forced to share bedroom


The Housing Ombudsman has fined Barking and Dagenham Council £6,000 after its failure to deal with damp and mould resulted in a family sharing a bedroom.

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.

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.

Haringey accused of ‘culture of apathy’


There is a ‘culture of apathy’ at Haringey that has led to a lack of accountability and intrinsic motivation when handling complaints, Housing Ombudsman says.

Ealing Council apologises to family after ombudsman report


Ealing Council has apologised to a family who lived in unsuitable accommodation for nearly 18 months

Council chiefs named in King's Birthday Honours


Council officers and members were among those to be named on the King’s Birthday Honours list this year.

Ombudsman issues 'adverse findings notice'


The local government Ombudsman has issued a rare 'adverse findings notice' against a care provider in Leicester after he refused to comply with a remedy.

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.

Ombudsman criticises council’s school transport policy


Stockton-on-Tees Council has pledged to improve its education transport policy for young adults after being taken to task in an Ombudsman investigation.

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.

Lambeth fined £6,500 after failing to fix leaky roof


Lambeth Council has been ordered to pay £6,500 in compensation after it left a family in a damp and mouldy house with a leaky roof for six years.

Council criticised after safeguarding failure


Tandridge DC failed in its duties towards a resident with poor mental health under the Equality Act and its own safeguarding policy, ombudsman finds.

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.

Council asked to reimburse father for nursery fees


Windsor and Maidenhead Council has been asked to partially reimburse the fees a father paid while his daughter was receiving free nursery care.

Ombudsman to investigate possible failure at London borough


Ombudsman is investigating Hammersmith and Fulham council to see if shortcomings in complaints handling and repair reports point to wider failure.

Southwark ordered to pay £10,000 over housing issues


Southwark Council has been ordered to pay almost £10,000 to two residents after severe maladministration findings were issued by the Housing Ombudsman.

Ombudsman reminds councils to investigate renters’ concerns


Councils reminded of their duties to investigate problems in private rented housing after concerns were raised about Worcester CC's complaint handling.

London borough hit by 'severe maladministration' finding


The Housing Ombudsman has issued seven findings of ‘severe maladministration’ against Hammersmith & Fulham LBC.

Council errors led resident to be unfairly threatened with court


Clerical confusion and billing errors led to a Barnet resident being unfairly threatened with court action for not paying her council tax, Ombudsman finds.

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.

Council agrees to refund thousands in school transport costs


Leicestershire County Council has agreed to refund a mother’s school transport costs after Ombudsman found flaws in the way it handled her application.

Government launches £500,000 know-your-rights scheme


Social housing tenants in seven cities are to be offered a place on a Government-funded training scheme aimed at helping them hold their landlords to account.

Lambeth council fined £20k after child misses operation


A young person spent three years in unnecessary pain because delays by Lambeth council meant they could not have a crucial operation, the ombudsman has ruled.

Aico host webinar on A Spotlight on Damp and Mould with The Housing Ombudsman


Aico has welcomed the Housing Ombudsman Service to an online event focusing on damp and mould in the housing sector and best practices to keep residents safe.

London councils set out ‘shared vision’ to improve social housing


London boroughs have vowed to do better for tenants in social housing after acknowledging the poor state of many homes.

Council failed to address mould despite baby


Westminster CC failed to tackle damp and mould in a resident’s home for over two years despite knowing there was a baby living there, Ombudsman reveals.

Landlord criticised over toddler death ‘dismissive’ of residents


The housing association criticised over death of toddler Awaab Ishak treated residents in ‘dismissive, inappropriate or unsympathetic’ ways, Ombudsman says.

Ombudsman warns councils ‘not getting it right’ on homelessness


Vulnerable people are facing homelessness because some councils are ‘still not getting it right’, according to the local government ombudsman.

Suffolk CC warned again about poor alternative education provision


The local government ombudsman has issued another warning to Suffolk County Council to improve provision for children who can’t go to school.

London boroughs taken to task over housing failings


Haringey and Lambeth LBCs have pledged to take action to address housing shortcomings.

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.

Essex County Council pays £150 after autistic care failure


Essex CC paid a woman £150 after the Ombudsman found it had failed to ensure there was a smooth transition in her autistic son's care when they moved.

Liverpool council apologises for treatment of homeless sick man


Liverpool City Council has apologised after a man who needed surgery was left living on the streets for six months during the COVID pandemic.

Council left family in 'unsafe conditions'


‘Multiple repair failures’ over 18 months by Hammersmith & Fulham LBC left a family in ‘unsafe conditions,’ the Housing Ombudsman has ruled.

Surrey council agrees to review SEND support


Surrey CC has agreed to review its SEND support for children and young people following an investigation by the local government and social care ombudsman.

Watchdog calls for 'radical improvements' to Lambeth housing


The Housing Ombudsman has called for ‘radical improvements’ to be made at Lambeth LBC, following five findings of severe maladministration.

Council criticised for failing to support woman fleeing violence


West Berkshire Council did not do enough to support a woman and her children who were fleeing threats of violence, the Ombudsman has ruled.

Ombudsman publishes record keeping 'good practice' guide


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

Council charges elderly man for home care without agreement


The Ombudsman has upheld a complaint by a man in his 80s who was charged for home care services by Trafford Council without his agreement.

Councils tackle mould following regulator’s warning


Councils are tackling damp and mould in their social housing following a request by the regulator to show they were taking action.

Councils urged to check information sharing agreements


Councils are being urged to check they have adequate information sharing agreements with their providers, after one council struggled to access essential data.

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.

Haringey Council faces investigation over ‘high risk’ mould


An investigation has been launched into Haringey Council over concerns relating to ‘high risk’ damp and mould issues in the local authority’s housing stock.

Council’s standards investigation not conducted ‘fairly’


Local authorities need to ensure that their standards investigations into the actions of councillors are conducted ‘fairly and properly’, Ombudsman says.

Birmingham complaints handling ‘fundamentally flawed’


Birmingham City Council has been ordered to overhaul its ‘fundamentally flawed’ complaints procedures by the housing ombudsman.

Child at risk of gang violence because of council failings


A four-year-old child was placed at risk of gang violence because of failings by Croydon council, the ombudsman has ruled.

Gove demands answers after maladministration findings


Michael Gove has demanded answers from Lambeth LBC and Birmingham City Council after the ombudsman found severe maladministration in their complaints handling.

Council fined £5,000 after autistic boy left without education


Oxfordshire County Council has been told to pay £5,000 to the mother of an autistic boy to make up for a year of missed education.

Ombudsman in fresh call for further powers


The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said ‘injustices’ are going ‘unremedied’ due to limitations on his powers.

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.

Croydon council criticised for failing to provide respite care


Croydon council has been criticised for failing to provide respite care for the mother of a disabled teenager because it would cost too much.

Council apologises after failing boy with Autism


Redcar and Cleveland Council have apologised after failing to provide respite care for the family of a boy with complex special educational needs.

Ombudsman urges councils to adopt ‘rights-based mindset’


Human rights should be at the centre of all council services, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

Housing Ombudsman calls for ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to mould


Social landlords should take a ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to damp and mould, Housing Ombudsman says in open letter.

Council fined £30,000 after disabled man left in unsuitable accommodation


Birmingham council has apologised after a disabled man was left in unsuitable temporary accommodation for eight years.

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.

Council delay leaves disabled woman stuck downstairs


A delay by Slough Borough Council in a decision about a stairlift forced a disabled woman to sleep, eat and wash downstairs, investigation reveals.

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