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Hackney LBC (94/a/1978) (homelessness)

A woman complained about the way the council dealt with her application for assistance as a homeless person and her complaints of racial harassment.

The council delayed unreasonably in accepting the complainant as unintentionally homeless and in priority need, in giving a decision on the inclusion of her mother in the application, and in taking account of the mother's medical circumstances.

The stated procedure for racial harassment cases was not followed and it took six months to remove racists graffiti from the woman's front door instead of the 24 hours stated in its policy.

Arun DC (94/A/3502) (leisure and recreation - disposal on death)

A woman complained about the way the council enacted its duty to bury a person found dead in its area after it was notified of the death of her brother.

The council failed to draw up an inventory of the man's possessions until some time after his flat had been cleared, no estimates were obtained for clearance of the flat, and it failed to locate and notify his next of kin.

As a result the complainant was unable to arrange or attend her brother's funeral, and she was deprived of the benefit of inheriting some of his possession.


South Hams DC (93/B/4262) (neighbour notification/consultation)

A man alleged that there were shortcomings in the way the council considered planning applications for barns which were close to his home, and that insufficient consideration was given to the effect on his amenities with the consequence that his property became less attractive to holiday guests and was more vulnerable to flooding after heavy rainfall.

He also alleged that the council failed to enforce the conditions of the planning consent or take action to ensure the barns were constructed in accordance with approved plans. The ombudsman did not uphold the complaint.

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