Issue - meetings

Meeting: 13/10/2020 - Governance and Audit Committee (Item 36)

36 Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) Annual Review Letter 2019/20 Report pdf icon PDF 747 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered a report on the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) annual review letter for 2019/20.  This review letter covered complaints referred, or decided by the LGSCO in the period 2019/2020.  Highlights included:


·         There had been a decrease in the number of complaints compared to previous years, with 11 cases referred to the LGSCO in the period 2019/2020;


·         15 decisions had been taken by the LGSCO in total, meaning that 4 cases had been carried over from the period 2018/2019.  1 complaint had been upheld, which was in relation to an environmental protection noise complaint.  A recommendation of a BS4142 noise assessment should be carried and payment be made to the complainant.


Following this introduction, Councillors asked questions of officers.  Further information was provided:


·         Although the overall look of the report was pleasing, there were only a limited number of complaints upheld across Council services so it was difficult to produce meaningful analysis;


·         Some complaints did not go to the LGSCO and had different routes to a solution.  For instance, if a parish council took a complaint to the LGSCO, they would not investigate.  Another example would be where a complaint was investigated, but no injustices were found – this would be taken no further.


Different disputes at parish council level may go through the courts system or the standards process;


·         The LGSCO set an average target of 6 months to resolve complaints, but some can take longer than this, depending on the complexity of the complaint.  There had been examples of complaints taking many years to resolve.


The report was duly moved and seconded, and following a vote it was unanimously RESOLVED to:


(1)  Agree that the content of the report regarding the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Annual Review Letter had been satisfactorily scrutinised;


(2)  Be assured that complaint handling procedures were functioning adequately.