Ombudsman upholding more complaints
about local government in England
COMPLAINTS statistics for every local
authority in the North West region have been issued as part of the Local
Government Ombudsman's (LGO)
annual review, revealing a 5% increase in the number of complaints it upholds.
Released as part of a drive to increase transparency in local government, the
Annual Review of Local Government Complaints shows that for England as a whole,
the LGO upheld 51% of detailed investigations in 2015/16, thats up from 46% the
The LGO received 19,702 complaints and enquiries about local authorities for the
year ending 31 March 2016, which is a similar level to the previous year.
It saw a 13% increase in complaints and enquiries about education and children's
services. It was most likely to find fault in complaints about Benefits and Tax
(64%), and least likely to find fault in complaints about highways and transport
The Annual Review publishes a new dataset about LGO's recommendations to put
things right, which demonstrate the impact of LGO investigations. Across the
England, it made 3,529 recommendations to remedy injustice in total
These remedies include 633 recommendations to prevent injustice for the wider
public, such as through procedural changes and local authority staff training.
There were also 255 investigations where the LGO agreed the local authority had
satisfactorily remedied the injustice before the LGO became involved in the
The Ombudsman has also published its annual letters to Councils on its website,
detailing how the individual authority has responded to LGO enquiries and
resolved any complaints to the LGO.
Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said:- "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. I am pleased to provide more
information this year about how complaints are decided and remedied. This
demonstrates the impact our recommendations have for both the individual and the
wider public, but also acknowledges where we agreed the local authority had
remedied the complaint satisfactorily before it came to us. On the other hand,
we upheld a higher proportion of detailed investigations, which may be a cause
for concern if the trend continues."
The Annual Review of Local Government Complaints publishes the complaint
statistics of the Local Government Ombudsman, for its local government
jurisdiction, for the year ending 31 March 2016. This incorporates complaints
and enquiries registered against local authorities as well as other local bodies
that fall under the LGO's jurisdiction. These include national park authorities,
school admission appeal panels, fire authorities, transport authorities, Police
and crime commissioners, and some other government organisations.
The LGO also looks at complaints about independent social care providers. This
includes complaints from people 'self funding' their care without
any involvement by the Council. Data for independent care providers are not
included in this report, but are incorporated in the
LGO's annual review of social care
complaints, published in the autumn.