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LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN REPORTS SINCE 9 APRIL

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Local Government Ombudsmen investigation reports issued since 9 April 1998 ...
Local Government Ombudsmen investigation reports issued since 9 April 1998

Findings of maladministration and injustice

Manchester City Council (96/C/4103)

Special educational needs

The complainant's son, now aged 16, had a history of learning difficulties. The council delayed in completing an assessment of his special educational needs and in deciding whether or not to issue a statement of those needs. In addition, the information technology equipment required to meet those needs was not made available until 17 months after the process should have been completed and the provision put in place. The Ombudsman recommended the council to pay the complainant compensation of£300 in respect of her son, and£100 for her frustration, time and trouble.

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (97/C/2301)

Special educational needs

The council decided to amend the statement of special educational needs of a boy with cerebral palsy who was at primary school. The council failed to provide his mother with unambiguous information on the proposed changes, and failed to meet the target times for issuing the revised statement. As result, the boy's mother's appeal against the amended statement to a special educational needs tribunal was delayed. The Ombudsman recommended the council to pay the complainant£750 compensation and continue to review its special educational needs provision.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (97/C/1203)

Planning enforcement

A number of people, including the complainant, had complained consistently to the council alleging breaches of planning conditions by a factory near his property. The council failed to investigate the allegations properly. A number of complaints of noise nuisance were not properly referred by the council's planning department to its environmental health department. The Ombudsman recommended the council to take immediate steps to enforce the planning condition of which it had evidence of continuing breaches, and investigate allegations of breaches of other conditions properly. In addition, it should pay the complainant£600 compensation.

Findings of maladministration, but no injustice

Birmingham City Council (97/C/2480)

Planning: consideration/neighbour amenity

A man complained that the council failed to consider his residential amenity when granting planning permission for an extension to his neighbour's home. The relevant report to the council's planning committee said the extension would have 'no adverse effect' on the complainant's home. The Ombudsman said, 'whilst officers might read that in some sort of technical light, in plain English it means something different and certainly has the potential to mislead'. She found that its use in this case was inaccurate and amounted to maladministration. However, the council had fully understood the likely impact of the development, and the officer's recommendation to approve was sound. There were no clear grounds on which a refusal could have been sustained.

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