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OMBUDSMEN INVESTIGATION REPORTS

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

Thurrock BC (planning)

The council failed to take appropriate action to require a developer to conform to the planning permission granted for the erection of two detached houses, with the result that the development encroached onto a private street and thus prejudiced the adoption of the street by the council.

The council had realised there was an error in the plans and yet failed to investigate. It also failed to respond to a letter from the secretary of the resident's association drawing its attention to the departure from the existing property line before the application had been considered.

Cumbria CC (special educational needs)

The council failed to reassess a boy's special educational needs following his permanent exclusion from secondary school, even though the provision in his statement had changed. The home tutor provided was not informed for several months that his pupil had a statement of special educational needs.

The ombudsman did not consider that these failures had caused injustice to the complainant as the tutor did address the boy's specific learning needs.

However, the council also wrongly denied the boy an opportunity to enter certain examinations, and this maladministration caused injustice.

Brighton Hove and Worthing Joint Municipal Airport Committee (commercial)

The committee failed to deal properly with the tendering process for the award of a lease for an airport restaurant. There was no explicit procedure for the award of a tender, criteria for selection were adopted after the bids were made, and tenderers had no opportunity to explain the basis of their bids or to address the committee's concerns.

The ombudsman found that the injustice to the complainant - one of the tenderers - was limited to a feeling that he had been unfairly treated.

Liverpool City Council (housing repairs)

The council delayed unreasonably in carrying out repairs to a woman's council home, including remedies for dampness and water penetration, the re-laying and re-tiling of the kitchen floor, and repairs to the doors.

Also, the council wrongly informed the ombudsman that repairs had been completed when they had not.

Liverpool City Council (housing repairs)

The council delayed unreasonably in carrying out repairs to windows, the back-yard gate, a wall and a staircase in a man's council home.

Liverpool City Council (housing repairs)

The council delayed unreasonably in carrying out repairs to windows in a man's council home.

FURTHER REPORTS (FIRST REPORT FOUND MALADMINISTRATION AND INJUSTICE)

Manchester City Council (housing management and environmental health)

The council's housing department failed to recognise that a man had made a complaint about a possible statutory nuisance.

There was poor liaison between the housing and environmental health departments, and this delayed the effective use of possible corroborative evidence about the noise nuisance.

The council paid only part of the ombudsman's recommended compensation.

Bournemouth BC (housing management)

The council refused to consider the transfer application of a retired disabled man because he was in arrears with rent.

The ombudsman considered that the council's refusal even to consider a transfer was to fetter its discretion and prevent it meeting its statutory duty to have regard to housing need.

The council's maladministration meant that the man spent 10 months in unsuitable accommodation when he should have been transferred. The council declined to fulfil the ombudsman's recommended remedy.

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