Jamie Hailstone 28 July 2016

Upheld complaints against councils on the rise

Upheld complaints against councils on the rise image

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

According to the ombudsman’s Annual Review of Local Government Complaints, 51% of investigations in 2015/16 were upheld, compared to 46% the previous year.

In total, the watchdog received 19,702 complaints and enquires about local authorities during the 12-month period, which was a similar number to the year before.

The report shows a 13% increase in complaints and enquires relating to education and children’s services.

The ombudsman found fault in almost two thirds (64%) of complaints about benefits and tax, but only found fault with 40% of complaints about highways and transport.

‘We are publishing this report to demonstrate the scale of our work and provide an open resource to help others scrutinise local public services,’ said ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin.

‘While the number of complaints we receive is relatively small in comparison to the thousands of daily interactions between people and their councils, each complaint represents a problem that could not be resolved locally.’

A spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: ‘Local government remains one of the most trusted parts of the public sector. Public polling has shown that satisfaction with councils remains high.

‘Councils are increasingly having to do more with less and to try and protect services. The next few years will still be a challenge and councils will continue to have to make significant reductions to local services to plug funding gaps.

‘Against this challenging backdrop, it is encouraging to see the overall number of complaints has not risen from last year.’

‘Decisions about the care and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people are complex and often contentious, and it is therefore unsurprising that children's social care remains a focus for complaints,’ added the LGA spokesman.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Adult Care Operations

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Competitive Salary
As Director of Adult Care Operations, you will be the operational lead for the service, driving practice improvement, enhancing... Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Recuriter: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Adult Social Care - Process Assurance Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £23197 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Learning Support Assistant

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18938 per annum
Learning Support Assistant Permanent, Part Time £18,938 per annum (FTE) Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Legal Support Officer – Housing & Litigation

City of York Council
£20,422 - £21,552 per annum
This role will provide support to the Legal Services Housing and Litigation team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Social Worker - Discharge to Assess

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
About the RoleWorking to support adults, and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusi England, Essex, Chelmsford
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