Decision Maker: Audit and Governance Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
To consider the decision notices issued by the Local Government Ombudsman.
At the start of the meeting, a letter addressed to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council and Chair of the appropriate Scrutiny Committee, from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman was circulated to the Committee. The letter had been received after report publication; and was an annual summary of compliant statistics for the year ending 31 March 2022 with opportunities to learn and improve noting that in three of the cases, remedies were not made in agreed timescales.
Brian Reed, Head of Democratic Services and Governance introduced the report to the Committee. The report provided a summary of complaints received and considered by the council during the period 1st April 2021- 31st March 2022 and included complaints considered at Stage One and Stage Two of the complaints policy and those referred to the Ombudsman. Complaints were noted in the area of Highways and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).
The report provided information about measures taken by service departments to address key areas in respect of the complaints made.
The Committee found the annual summary of Ombudsman outcomes and complaints report to be helpful and comprehensive; and noted that the SEND service provided by the council was an important area of work and that the Council had responded effectively providing remedies with training and developing staff. The training programme was in place for staff, and encompassed both internal and external training.
Alan Ward, Complaints Officer advised the Committee that complaint numbers sat between 2-3,000 per year. The Committee discussed complaints dealt with within timescales and it was noted 84% were dealt with within 20 working days, whilst 16% went beyond.
a) the content of the report, plus the Council’s compliance with the Corporate Complaints Policy and recommendations of the Ombudsman be received and noted.
Publication date: 28/09/2022
Date of decision: 28/07/2022
Decided at meeting: 28/07/2022 - Audit and Governance Committee