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LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMEN INVESTIGATIONS SINCE 28 JULY

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FINDINGS OF MALADMINISTRATION AND INJUSTICE ...
FINDINGS OF MALADMINISTRATION AND INJUSTICE

Kingston Upon Thames LBC (planning - building control enforcement)

A couple who wished to build a garage asked the council whether planning permission was required, and were informed correctly in writing that it was not.

However, the council failed to advise them that approval was necessary under the building regulations, and after the garage was built, the council told the couple that they must alter or remove the garage. The council's maladministration means that if the complainants now have to demolish and build a new garage, they will have incurred unnecessary costs.

Leominster DC (planning)

The council failed to deal properly with a man's application for reserved matters planning permission on land he was selling. When giving advice to the complainant's representatives, officers failed to identify that the reserved matters application was not consistent with the outline planning permission. The outline permission lapsed and the complainant lost the sale of his house.

Brent LBC (commercial)

The council failed to deal properly with a man's complaints of illegal street trading taking place outside his vacant shop. The council's delay in taking practical action allowed the traders to carry on business unchecked for far too long.

The ombudsman found that the complainants shop remaining unlet was not directly attributable to the council's maladministration, but had proper inquiries been made earlier he would not have had cause to attempt a private prosecution against one of the traders.

Calderdale MBC and West Yorks Waste Management Joint Committee (commercial)

The complainants operate trade waste collection and disposal businesses. The council set its charges for its trade waste services without accurately assessing costs, thereby placing itself in an advantageous trading position. As a consequence, the council may have obtained trade which might otherwise have gone to the complainants.

However, the ombudsman did not require the council to pay compensation to the complainants for any potential lost profits, but only for their time and trouble in pursuing the complaints. The ombudsman did not uphold the complaints against the Joint Committee.

Islington LBC (housing repairs)

The council delayed unreasonably in dealing with repairs to a man's home, including a leaking roof, low or erratic water pressure in the taps, and maintenance of the common parts of the building.

Liverpool City Council (housing repairs and management - second report)

Unreasonable delay in effecting repairs to communal areas of a block of council flats after vandalism and fires. The council also failed to conduct repairs to the complainant's own flat and to consider properly her application for rehousing, which she first made in 1985. The ombudsman issued her second report after the council failed to enact the recommended remedy for the injustice.

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