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GOVER
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The Commission for
Local Administration in England
Local Government Ombudsman 
Annual Report 2002/03

Contents
report
appendices
The Commission and its role
1
Appendix 1(a)
23
Subjects of complaints received 2002/03
Chapter 1
3
Chairman’s introduction
Appendix 1(b)
25
Analysis of outcome of complaints 2002/03
Chapter 2
5
Business goals and performance
Appendix 1(c)
26
Subjects of investigation reports 2002/03
Chapter 3
11
Analysis of complaints
Appendix 1(d)
28
Compliance with recommendations
Chapter 4
13
Appendix 2
29
Local settlements
Review of the operation of Part III of the
Local Government Act 1974
Chapter 5
15
Report of Tony Redmond
Appendix 3
37
Local Government Ombudsman for London
List of investigation reports issued in the year
boroughs north of the Thames (except Harrow and
ended 31 March 2003
Tower Hamlets), the Greater London Authority,
Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Surrey, East Sussex, 
West Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
Appendix 4
41
Hertfordshire and Coventry City.
Complaint statistics by authority for the year
ended 31 March 2003
Chapter 6
17
Report of Patricia Thomas
Appendix 5
54
Local Government Ombudsman for the London
Glossary of terminology
Borough of Tower Hamlets, Birmingham City,
Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire,
Nottinghamshire, and the North of England
Appendix 6
56
(except the cities of Lancaster and York).
Commission publications and website
Chapter 7
20
Report of Jerry White
Local Government Ombudsman for all of southern
England (except Essex, Kent, Surrey, East Sussex,
West Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire,
Hertfordshire and London boroughs north of the
Thames, but including Harrow), East Anglia (except
This year, the Annual Report is being published two months
Suffolk), the south-west and most of central
earlier than in previous years. As a consequence, the annual
England, and the Cities of Lancaster and York.
accounts will be presented in a separate publication.
Printed in the UK on Evolution Satin comprising 75% recycled fibre content.

The Commission and its role
The Commission for Local Administration
The Local Government
in England was created by Part III of the
Ombudsmen’s purpose and
Local Government Act 1974.
values
Membership
Our purpose is:
• to provide independent, impartial and
Chairman
prompt investigation and resolution of
Mr Tony Redmond 
complaints of injustice caused through
maladministration by the authorities
Vice-chairman
listed below; and
Mrs Patricia Thomas
• to offer guidance intended to promote
Members
fair and effective administration in local
government.
Mr Jerry White 
Our values:
Sir Michael Buckley 
(until 4 November 2002)
• We treat people with courtesy,
consideration, openness and honesty;
Ms Ann Abraham 
and respect their privacy.
(from 4 November 2002)
• In the provision of our service we 
Mr Redmond, Mrs Thomas and Mr White
strive to:
are Commissioners for Local
Administration (Local Government
– be independent, fair and consistent;
Ombudsmen). Ms Abraham is the
and take full account of what people
Parliamentary Commissioner for
tell us;
Administration (Parliamentary
– get to the truth and report accurately,
Ombudsman) and is a member ex officio
promptly and in plain language;
of the Commission. 
– explain fully the reasons for our
Senior staff
decisions; and
The senior staff of the Commission are:
– treat people equally and not
discriminate on any improper
Mr Richard Harrison, 
grounds.
Deputy Ombudsman, York 
(until January 2003)
• In employment we strive to:
Mr Neville Jones, 
– train and develop individuals so that
Deputy Ombudsman, Coventry
they make their best possible
contribution;
Mr Nigel Karney, 
Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary
– encourage team work, work
ownership, innovation and creativity;
Mr Peter MacMahon, 
and recognise success;
Deputy Ombudsman, London
– provide good and safe working
conditions; and
– provide equal opportunities.
1

• As a responsible public organisation we
• The Greater London Authority.
strive to:
• Transport for London.
– improve our work continuously;
• The London Transport Users’
– provide value for money;
Committee.
– take account of the effect on the
• The London Development Agency.
environment in the way we work; and
• The Commission for New Towns
– have good working relationships with
(housing matters only).
our suppliers to maintain and
• English Partnerships (some housing and
improve our services.
planning matters only).
Authorities within the
• The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
jurisdiction of the Local
Authority. 
Government Ombudsmen 
• The Environment Agency (flood
in 2002/03
defence and land drainage matters
• District, borough, city and county
only).
councils (but not town or parish
councils).
Equal opportunities 
• Education appeal panels.
The Commission is committed to
providing equal opportunities in
• School governing bodies (admission
employment and in the services it
matters only).
provides. The Commission seeks to
• School organisation committees.
ensure that no complainant, job applicant
or Commission employee is treated any
• Housing action trusts (but not housing
differently because of their: sex, colour,
associations).
race, nationality, ethnic group, regional or
• Joint boards of local authorities.
national origin, age, marital status,
disability, political or religious belief, trade
• National park authorities.
union activity, sexuality or class.
• Fire authorities.
• Police authorities, (but not about the
investigation or prevention of crime).
2


Chapter 1
Chairman’s introduction
This past year has marked a change in the
the funding of aftercare under mental
Commission’s approach to its business
health legislation. We see this as an
and the allocation of its resources.
opportunity of highlighting an issue of
considerable public interest, and one
I said in last year’s report that more
which might be taken up by the relevant
attention would be paid to the proactive
local authorities to correct their
role of the Ombudsman service, and
application of the 1983 Mental Health
significant progress has been made in this
Act. Arrangements for co-operative
area. Whilst complaints and their
working with the Audit Commission
resolution must remain our core business,
and the IDeA have been enhanced. 
we have now launched a number of new
A memorandum of understanding was
initiatives designed to improve
established last year with the Standards
information to would-be complainants
Board, and this has been successfully
and local authorities as well as
applied in those cases where there may
disseminating good practice. 
be involvement of both bodies because 
First and foremost, we have developed a
of the nature of the complaint.
Communications Strategy designed to
But this change agenda has not
increase awareness of our role and widen
distracted the Commission from its prime
access to the service. Our work with the
purpose of complaints handling. We have
Audit Commission relating to the
again seen an overall decline in the
Comprehensive Performance Assessments
number of complaints received from
for county and unitary authorities has
18,309 in 2001/02 to 17,610 last year.
proved useful, and this is now being
The fall can be attributed to a significant
developed for district councils.
decrease in housing benefit complaints,
At the time of this publication, a pilot is
and this must be, at least in part, to the
being launched with 120 local authorities
credit of local authorities generally in
for an annual letter containing an analysis
improving administrative practices and
of the types of complaints over the year,
local service delivery. There is no sign of
together with information about
any marked change in other complaints
outcomes, examples of good practice and
and there is some evidence that numbers
scope for improvement. We will listen
will stabilise. Each Ombudsman’s report
carefully to feedback from the pilot
provides a fuller account of the activity.
authorities before rolling it out to all
So our challenge now is to strike an
councils. Studies are also underway to
effective balance between robust,
improve access to the Ombudsmen, to
rigorous and efficient complaints
forge closer and more effective links to
handling and investigation, and advice
the voluntary sector and advice agencies
and support to councils when reviewing
and to extend the training for local
administrative practice designed to
authority staff in complaints handling.
improve service to the public.
In the coming year, for the first time, a
I would like to say something about the
Special Report is to be issued focusing on
possible merger of public sector
3


ombudsmen schemes. There is no
Finally, on a very sad note, the
immediate prospect of legislation to
Commission notes with great regret the
enable the Local Government
passing on 21 October 2002 of Baroness
Ombudsman (LGO), Parliamentary
Serota, who was the first Chairman of the
Commissioner for Administration (PCA)
Commission and the first Local
and Health Service Commissioner (HSC)
Government Ombudsman for London
to be merged. We remain concerned
and the South East. Bee Serota served
about our inability to carry out joint
with great distinction from 1974 until
investigations of complaints arising in
September 1982.
areas such as health and social care,
I hope you find this report to be
benefits and regeneration. In the
informative and topical, but feedback on
meantime, every effort is being made to
how it might be further developed would
work together, to pool resources and to
be welcome.
facilitate information exchange. This has
been helped by the co-location of PCA
and HSC and the London office of the
LGO from April this year at Millbank
Tower. This is a positive move, but our
ultimate objective is to offer one point of
reference to our complainants where
more than one of the current jurisdictions
are involved.
Tony Redmond
Chairman

4


Chapter 2
Business goals 
and performance
This chapter reports on our performance
4 To increase the number of cases
in the year ended 31 March 2003, and
decided per head of staff allocated to
our progress towards achieving our
the investigative process.
business goals.
5 To give guidance and advice, and so
improve local authority services.
The Commission’s goals
6 To increase awareness and
We review our business goals annually.
understanding of our service.
We try to avoid making changes to the
goals unless absolutely necessary. We
Time taken to deal with
decided that two of them should remain
complaints
unchanged in 2002/03 but, because of
our decision to increase our activity on
In 2002/03 we decided over 750 more
promoting awareness, and guidance and
complaints than we received, and times
advice, we amended the wording for
to make decisions decreased. We
business goals 2, 4 and 5, and we added
exceeded our targets for the percentage
a new sixth goal. Accordingly, our goals
of complaints dealt with within 13 weeks
were:
and 26 weeks but, while we slightly
improved on our target for the
1 To reduce the time taken to decide
percentage dealt with within 52 weeks,
cases.
we did not achieve our target. 
2 To provide customers with a service
There will always be a small minority of
which is prompt, fair, courteous, open
complaints that will take us more than 
and honest.
12 months to decide, either because of
3 To reduce the average cost per
their complexity or because of external
complaint.
factors (such as the illness of the
Table 1: Cases decided within time bands
Key indicator
March 2001
March 2002
March 2003
Actual
Actual
Target
Actual 
Percentage of all complaints (excluding prematures)
determined within 13 weeks
51.3
49.9
50
53.9
Percentage of all complaints (excluding prematures) 
determined within 26 weeks
78.7
75.8
75
78.4
Percentage of all complaints (excluding prematures)
determined within 52 weeks
95.1
93.0
95
93.5
Number of cases more than 52 weeks old
364
298

158
5

Graph 1: Complaints older than 12 months 1995 – 2003
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
Number of complaints
200
100
0
01/04/95
01/04/96
01/04/97
01/04/98
01/04/99
01/04/00
01/04/01
01/04/02
01/04/03
complainant). As the number of housing
We will run another survey in 2003/04,
benefit complaints has fallen, we have
although we may take a different
been able to resolve some of these cases
approach to concentrate on changes we
and so reduce the total in this category
might be able to make to our processes
by over a third.
and procedures.
Increasing customer
We also monitor customer satisfaction
satisfaction
throughout the year by measuring: 
Independently conducted surveys are the
• comebacks responded to within 
most reliable way to assess customer
28 days (‘comebacks’ are where
satisfaction. So, every four years, we
complainants question our decisions on
commission a large customer satisfaction
complaints1); and
study from an independent consumer
• justified complaints about our conduct
research company. The most recent
(‘customer complaints’).
survey was carried out by MORI in 1999;
the results are on our website. The survey
The proportion of comebacks is shown in
1 See glossary at Appendix 5 for an explanation of
‘comebacks’.
showed improvements in almost all areas.
table 2.
Table 2: Comebacks as a percentage of all decisions 1996/97 – 2002/03
1996/97
1997/98
1998/99 1999/2000
2000/01
2001/02
2002/03
Comebacks as a percentage of 
all decisions
7.2 
6.1
5.3
5.0
4.4
4.4
7.8
Number of comebacks
1,151
932
812
884
803
845
1,434
Percentage of these responded to 
within 28 days
56.0
59.4
62.6
63.5
57.0
58.6
72.3
6

Table 3: Customer complaints 1996/97 – 2002/03
1996/97
1997/98
1998/99
1999/2000
2000/01
2001/02
2002/03
Not upheld
60
57
76
90
86
74
67
Upheld wholly or in part
18
24
38
35
31
40
27
Total
78
81
114
125
117
114
94
We recognise that complainants are
a technical problem, we have had to
generally disappointed when we find
suspend this activity. We will recommence
their complaint about the council is
monitoring in April 2003. We are unable
unjustified. A comeback is often the
to monitor pick-up times at desks because
product of this disappointment rather
phones automatically switch to voicemail
than an indication of poor performance
after five rings.
by us. So we are now analysing the
outcome of comebacks to identify
Cost of investigating
justified criticisms and to learn general
complaints
lessons. Although the number of
The average cost per complaint in
comebacks dealt with in 2002/03 appears
2002/03 was £5381. The average cost per
to have increased significantly, this is
complaint since 1993/94 is given in
because we have applied a consistent
graph 2 over the page.
definition of a comeback, whereas
previously the definition used in each of
The cost is increasing as the number of
our three offices was slightly different. We
relatively straightforward housing benefit
decided in only 12 cases that our original
cases becomes a smaller proportion of
decision was unsound and further
our overall workload. The costs will
investigation necessary. 
increase significantly in London due to
our office move (costs would have
Details of our ‘customer complaints’
increased anyway with rental
monitoring are in table 3.
revaluations).
These are complaints about our treatment
of the complainant, as distinct from the
Complaints determined per
outcome of their complaint to us about
head of staff
the council. The number of customer
As with cost per complaint, the reducing
complaints which we find are justified
number of housing benefit cases as a
remains small and the majority of them
proportion of our caseload has affected
are about delay. We analyse complaints
average productivity. But we are spending
that are upheld to learn lessons for
an increasing proportion of staff time on
improvement in our performance.
work associated with our ‘Change
We usually monitor response times from
Agenda’. These are projects designed to
1 Pre-audit figure.
our three office switchboards but, due to
improve our operations and increase
7

Graph 2: Average cost per complaint 1993/94 – 2002/03 (at 2002/03 prices)
650
600
550
500
450
400
Cost per complaint (£)
350
300
93/94
94/95
95/96
96/97
97/98
98/99
99/00
00/01
01/02
02/03
advice and awareness. We estimate about
Increasing public awarness
five per cent of staff activity has been
In 1995 we commissioned MORI to
associated with the Change Agenda in
conduct a survey of public awareness of
2002/03. Taking these two factors
our service. MORI found that 47 per cent
together, our average productivity in
of a representative sample had heard of
2002/03 was 91.2 complaints determined
us: and that awareness is particularly low
per head of average number of staff in
in some sectors of the community who
post, which compares with 89.4
are heavy users of council services.
complaints in 2001/02.
Information from the People’s Panel
sample in 1999, using a different method
Guidance on good practice
of questioning, indicated that awareness
In September we published our sixth
may be higher (73 per cent) but we have
annual Digest of cases. During the year,
doubts that this is reliable. The feedback
we also gave individual local authorities
we received from our own 1999 public
and other bodies large amounts of ad
awareness project appeared to confirm
hoc advice on administrative practice at
the 1995 survey findings were still valid. 
their request. Ombudsmen and staff gave
As 2002/03 drew to a close, we
talks at workshops, seminars and
commissioned MORI jointly with the
conferences. 
Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman’s Office to carry out a
In March 2003, we published a revised
national awareness survey of the public
version of our Guidance note 6: Remedies.
and of advice agencies. This exercise will
Our five current Guidance notes on good
both inform us about the current position
administrative practice and the six Digests
and help us to develop methods we can
are available on our website, where they
put into practice to increase awareness.
can be downloaded into a printed or
We will include a report on the results of
electronic format.
this survey in our next annual report.
8

International activity
monitoring (2002/03) showed the
following: 
The year was notable for significant
overseas activity on the part of
• Complainants from ethnic minorities
Ombudsmen and some senior staff. The
formed 15 per cent of all complainants
Commission has, in recent times, given
who completed a monitoring form –
priority to assisting in the development of
compared with 16 per cent in the
ombudsman services in Central and
previous year. Around 8 per cent of the
Eastern Europe and we have worked with
total population of the UK are from
Estonia, Romania and the Czech Republic,
ethnic minorities.
receiving very positive feedback. Tony
• Just under three quarters of the
Redmond spoke at an American
complainants who responded to the
Ombudsman’s Conference in Washington
question on age were aged 25-59 
and received visits from the Republic of
(71 per cent). Around 3 per cent were
China, Peru and Papua and New Guinea
under 25.
to learn about our ways of working. Tony
Redmond’s election to the Executive
• Around 29 per cent of complainants
Committee of the British and Irish
who completed a monitoring form said
Ombudsman Association helps to give
that they were disabled in some way,
the Commission an insight into public
the same proportion as in the previous
and private sector schemes, and Jerry
year. The most recent Census data
White continues to serve on the Board of
available recorded a figure of 18.5 per
the European Ombudsmen Institute. This
cent of people in the UK with a
external focus, supported by the Foreign
‘limiting long-term illness’.
Office, is not and will not be at the
• More people with disabilities
expense of the Commission’s core
complained about housing or social
business of investigating complaints.
services than average, and fewer people
with disabilities complained about
Access to information
planning and education than average.
The Commission’s Code of practice on
• A slightly higher proportion of men
access to information came into effect on
(55 per cent) than women made
1 November 19951.
complaints to the Ombudsmen.
During 2002/03, no charges were made
We also monitored how complainants
for time spent on answering requests for
found out about the Local Government
information. All requests for information
Ombudsman service. Nearly a quarter of
were met within the Commission’s time
respondents said they found out about us
targets, and no requests were refused
from a council or councillor. The next most
other than those covered by exemption
frequently cited sources were
clauses in the Code.
neighbour/friend/relative and Citizens
Advice Bureaux. The proportion of people
Results of our equal
citing ‘website’ as their source of
opportunities monitoring 
information on the Ombudsman went up
We ask complainants to complete a form
to 6 per cent from 4 per cent in 2001/02,
telling us about their age, ethnic
making it the sixth most frequently cited
1 Copies of the Code of practice on access to
information are available from the 
background, gender and whether they
source, above the media, MPs, law
Secretary of the Commission, Millbank Tower,
Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. Tel 020 7217 4683.
have a disability. The sixth full year of
centres, libraries and telephone directories.
9

‘Black’ people, people of ‘mixed race’ and
work and suggesting changes to
people from ‘other’ ethnic groups are less
procedures and practices.
likely to cite a council or councillor than
other groups. More ‘black’ and ‘other’
Sustainable development
complainants cited a solicitor as their
We have an environmental policy which is
source of information than ‘white’
complainants.
the special responsibility of one of our
Deputy Ombudsmen. We continued to
Equal opportunities initiatives  pursue a range of measures in 2002/03.
We encourage staff to cycle, car share or
We continue to be active in our
use public transport when travelling to
commitment to equal opportunities1.
and from, or in the course of, work. We
Although not subject to the Act, we have
monitor our paper usage and encourage
agreed to operate in accordance with the
use of e-mail. We continue to use
spirit of the Race Relations (Amendment)
chlorine-free paper from sustainable
Act 2000.
sources, and the paper used for our
We are keen to increase the proportion of
leaflets is 75 per cent recycled. We recycle
our investigators who have a minority
waste, and in particular, waste paper and
ethnic background. We reviewed our
some IT consumables. We have an
arrangements for selection of investigative
intranet which reduces the need for staff
staff with external advisers, TMS, and
to have policies, procedures and
introduced changes in our person
guidance material in hard copy. We
specification and recruitment materials. 
purchase environmentally friendly goods
We recently completed a validation of our
where possible, and seek information on
selection tests and will be implementing
improvements in the next recruitment
the environmental policies of suppliers of
round. In early 2002 we completed the
goods and services.
programme of equal opportunities and
diversity training for all staff; we collated
Code of Conduct for
staff views and suggestions from this
Commission Members
exercise and agreed a programme of
The Commission’s Code of Conduct for
follow-up activity over the next 12 months.
Commission Members came into effect on
We continued our practice of training all
3 October 1995. There is a Register of the
new staff in disability awareness,
interests of Commission Members which is
following the exercise in 2000/01 when
open to public inspection at the
we trained all current staff. We do this by
Commission’s office in London. A copy of
using the self-managed learning materials
1 See equal opportunities statement on page 2.
the information in the register will be
from Grassroots and conducting
2 Copies of the Code of Conduct for Commission
supplied on request2. The Code of
Members are available from the Secretary of the
telephone tests. 
Conduct was revised in December 1999
Commission, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London
SW1P 4QP. Tel 020 7217 4683. Requests for
Our Equal Opportunities Standing Group
in the light of guidance issued by the
information from the Register of interests should
also be addressed to the Secretary.
continued to be active in monitoring our
Cabinet Office.
10


Chapter 3
Analysis of complaints
This chapter provides an analysis of all the
Subjects of complaints
complaints we received and determined
The subjects of complaints are shown in
in the year ended 31 March 2003. The
chart 1 over the page. A more detailed
terminology is explained in the glossary
breakdown is given in Appendix 1(a).
in Appendix 5. More detailed statistics are
given in Appendix 1.
Outcome of complaints
Complaints received
Table 4 summarises the decisions made
on the complaints. The total number of
We received a total of 17,610 complaints
complaints where redress was obtained
in the year ended 31 March 2003,
was 3,857 – 32 per cent of all complaints
compared with 18,309 in the previous
determined (excluding premature
year. This is a fall of 4 per cent.
complaints and those outside jurisdiction)
We decided 18,376 complaints. The
and 2.3 percentage points lower than the
numbers of complaints received and
previous year.
complaints determined since 1993/94 are
set out in graph 3 below.
Graph 3: Complaints received and determined 1993/94 – 2002/03
20,000
18,000
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
Number of complaints
4,000
Complaints received
2,000
Complaints determined
0
1993/94
1994/95
1995/96
1996/97
1997/98
1998/99
1999/00
2000/01
2001/02
2002/03
11

Chart 1: Complaints received by category 2002/03
Land
Local taxation 2%
Housing benefit
6%
Environmental health
12%
3%
Social services
7%
Education
9%
Other housing
26%
Highways
8%
Other
7%
Planning
20%
Table 4: Analysis of outcome of complaints 2002/03
Percentage of total (excluding
Number of 
premature complaints and
complaints
those outside jurisdiction)
Local settlements (without report)
3,651
30.3%
Local settelment report
84
0.7%
Maladministration causing injustice (issued report)
122
1.0%
Maladministration, no injustice (issued report)
23
0.2%
No maladministration (issued report)
42
0.3% 
No or insufficient evidence of maladministration (without report)
5,518
45.8%
Ombudsman’s discretion not to pursue complaint
2,617
21.7%
Premature complaints
4,106
Outside jurisdiction
2,213
Total
18,376
See the glossary at Appendix 5 for an explanation of terminology.
A breakdown by category of reports
planning matters formed the second
issued in the year is given in Appendix
largest percentage. A list of all formal
1 Copies of the individual investigation reports can be
1(c). As with complaints received,
reports issued during the year and their
obtained from the Secretary of the Commission,
housing matters still formed the largest
findings is given in Appendix 31.
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. 
Tel 020 7217 4683.
percentage of reports issued and
12


Chapter 4
Local settlements
Our aim is to obtain redress for people
In 2002/03, 3,651 complaints ended in
who have suffered an injustice as a result
local settlements1. Local settlements
of maladministration. The sooner redress
represented 30 per cent of the
can be achieved, the better. If a council is
complaints we determined, excluding
willing to accept fault, to provide a fair
premature complaints and those outside
remedy for it and make any
our jurisdiction; in 2001/02 the
administrative improvements that are
percentage was 33.
necessary, the investigation may be
discontinued.
1 See glossary in Appendix 5 for a full explanation of
‘local settlements’.
Table 5: Local settlements by category 2002/035
Subject
Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Commission
Total1
LS2
%3
Total1
LS2
%3
Total1
LS2
%3
Total1
LS2
%3
Council housing 
management
445
113
25.4
476
89
18.7
412
102
24.8
1,333
304
22.8
Council housing 
repairs
224
113
50.4
249
115
46.2
300
169
56.3
773 
397
51.4
Housing benefit
789
547
69.3
748
565
75.5
496
299
60.3
2,033
1,411
69.4
Planning
492
53
10.8
1,033
83
8.0
874
71
8.1
2,399
207
8.6
Education
391
123
31.5
422
70
16.6
573
106
18.5
1,386
299
21.6
Land
44
7
15.9
63
10
15.9
92
24
26.1
199
41
20.6
Highways
274
55
20.1
289
43
14.9
274
56
20.4
837
154
18.4
Environmental 
health
82
15
18.3
180
31
17.2
156
37
23.7
418
83
19.9
Local taxation
189
72
38.1
321
183
57.0
185
70
37.8
695
325
46.8
Social services
168
38
22.6
212
46
21.7
296
86
29.1
676
170
25.1
Drainage 21
3
14.3
44
6
13.6
51
16
31.4
116
25
21.6
Leisure and 
recreation
35
7
20.0
38
7
18.4
61
7
11.5
134
21
15.7
Total4
3,450
1,214
35.2
4,426
1,315
29.7
4,181
1,122
26.8
12,057
3,651
30.3
1 The total complaints determined in each category, excluding premature complaints and complaints outside the Ombudsmen’s jurisdiction.
2 The total number of local settlements in each category.
3 The figure in column 2 as a percentage of the figure in column 1.
4 These figures are not the totals of each column because some categories of complaint are not shown.
5 This table does not include local settlement reports.
13

Case study: 
Education admissions 

Two mothers complained about the
Governors’ refusal to admit their
children to Year 7 of the school from
September 2001, and about the way
in which the Admissions Appeal Panel
Local settlements can occur at various
Table 5 sets out the number of local
heard their unsuccessful appeals
stages of the investigation. For example,
settlements by category of complaint for
against the Governors’ refusals.
councils sometimes volunteer settlements
each of our areas and for the Commission
The Ombudsman’s investigation
in response to our first enquiries about a
as a whole. It also shows the number of
showed that the Governors and the
complaint. Often, however, our staff,
local settlements as a percentage of all
Panel did not comply with the
having considered the information
complaints determined in each category,
statutory Codes of Practice on School
collected from the council and the
excluding premature complaints and
Admissions and School Admission
complainant, identify what appears to be
those outside our jurisdiction.
Appeals. The Ombudsman cannot be
maladministration and a consequent
satisfied whether or not, but for the
injustice and propose a settlement. 
administrative faults, the appeals on
behalf of the two children would have
succeeded. He found the Governors
and the panel acted with
maladministration causing injustice to
the two women, and recommended
that the Governors should:
(a) apologise to the complainants fully
and pay them £350 each to
recognise their time and trouble in
complaining to the Ombudsman;
(b) treat their interest in admissions as
applications for their children to
enter Year 8 and tell them the
outcome in accordance with the
Appeals Code;
(c) in the event of an unsuccessful
outcome, arrange the early
rehearing of an appeal by a Panel
with a different clerk and members;
(d) if unable to arrange the matters set
out in (b) and (c) above within a
short time, offer any affected child
an immediate place in the school;
(e) review their procedures (including
their criteria) and those of the
panel to eliminate the faults
identified in his report and tell him
the outcome within three months;
and
(f) provide training for Governors,
panel members, their clerks and
other staff on admissions and
appeals.
22 October 2002
14


Chapter 5
Report of Tony Redmond
Last year my office experienced a small
complaint received is a symptom of
increase in the number of complaints
difficulties being experienced by councils
received although the complaints
and related bodies in fulfilling their
Mr Redmond joined the
determined in the year fell slightly, whilst
service responsibilities.
Commission as Chairman on 
the overall numbers handled by the
12 November 2001. In 2002/03
Education admissions have presented
Commission revealed a further decline
he dealt with complaints against
problems for both LEAs and governing
compared with the previous 12 months.
London boroughs north of the
bodies in recent years. Many complaints
The increase in complaints received by
Thames (except Harrow and
arise because there is a sense of injustice
my office arises following a reallocation of
Tower Hamlets), the Greater
through the way in which policies,
areas between the three offices1.
London Authority, and authorities
procedures and codes of practice are
in Essex, Kent, Suffolk, Surrey, East
I commented last year on the significant
applied. This can be a sensitive, and
Sussex, West Sussex, Berkshire,
improvement in the management and
sometimes highly contentious, area 
Buckinghamshire and
processing of housing and council tax
for both admissions authorities and
Hertfordshire. Before becoming a
benefit, and I am pleased to be able to
parents alike.
Local Government Ombudsman,
say that this has continued. Although
Where selection by examination exists,
Mr Redmond was chief executive
delays continue to occur in the
the appeals process is not always
of the London Borough of Harrow.
assessment, determination and payment
rigorously applied. Failure to follow the
Prior to that he served as treasurer
of benefit, the vast majority of local
code as laid down can lead to
and deputy chief executive of
authorities in my area have strengthened
inconsistency and unfairness in the appeal
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough
the organisation and application of the
process. Members of the appeal panel
Council and also treasurer to the
regulations as well as enhancing the
should have proper training and have a
Merseyside Police Authority. He
customer care and complaints handling
clear understanding of the rules to be
has also held senior posts in
aspects of the service. Some have
followed at each hearing. It is to the
Wigan Metropolitan Borough
allocated additional resources to clear the
credit of most admissions authorities that
Council and Liverpool City
backlog of cases whilst others have
they are readily willing to agree a
Council.
reconfigured the service including, in
rehearing of the appeal where there are
some cases, reverting to an in-house
any flaws in the proceedings, but regular
provision from an external provider.
reviews of admission arrangements and
Among those who have made continuing
their application is strongly advocated.
progress in this area is the London
Complaints also come to me in respect of
Borough of Hackney, but there is scope
the practices followed by some governing
for still further improvement.
bodies of voluntary aided schools when
There is little overall change in the
validating religious worship where it is
remaining service areas from which
part of the admissions criteria. I remain
complaints derive, although planning
concerned that such criteria are
numbers have risen, primarily in the area
sometimes loosely worded, with variable
of complaint about consideration/
interpretation, and applied inconsistently.
neighbour amenity where numbers have
The weightings attached to the criteria
increased from 315 to 519. Nevertheless,
are often unclear and the evidence
there are two areas where the type of
provided of say, church attendance, is less
1 See Appendix 1 for detailed statistics.
15

Case study:
Housing benefit

A solicitor, acting for 97 residents and
former residents of a hostel for the
single homeless, complained that there
was unreasonable delay by a council’s
Benefits Service in dealing with her
clients’ requests for a review, and a
than clear and consistent. I have
gradually but slowly increasing. The
further review, of its decision to restrict
conveyed my view, in this respect, to
investigation of such a complaint can be
the amount of housing benefit paid to
admissions authorities that decisions on
complex if the governance arrangements
the residents. She also complained
appeals must have full regard to the
underpinning the partnership project
about further delay and drift by officers
admissions criteria in respect of religious
have not been properly established. I look
in reviewing the cases following the
worship, be clearly evidenced and
to the partners to make clear the
decision of the Housing Benefit Review
transparent, and be communicated to the
commissioning arrangements, joint
Board to adjourn the cases pending 
complainant with full reasons for the
financing protocol and the specific
re-determination of the rent by a rent
decision taken.
accountability. Given the intricate nature
officer. 
of many such ventures being established
The second area which I wish to highlight
between the public, private and voluntary
The Ombudsman found
relates to neighbour nuisance.
organisations, it can be frustrating for the
maladministration causing injustice
Complaints are not large in number but
would-be complainant not to be able to
and recommended the council to pay
can be amongst the most difficult to
identify the accountable body with which
compensation based on a monthly rate
resolve. Such nuisance tends to arise from
the complaint should be registered.
of £15 for periods of unreasonable
excessive noise, harassment or threats of
delay in conducting the first stage
violence. Local authorities,
I should say a few words about our
officer reviews and the further reviews
understandably, can have difficulty
London office. In keeping with the
by the Review Board, together with
investigating and resolving these issues
commitment to create an effective
compensation for further delay in
because firm evidence is often lacking.
dialogue between the Ombudsman’s
reaching the decision to lift the rent
Given the nature of such problems, the
office and local councils, I will be looking
restriction following the Review Board
solution may involve a number of
for meaningful contact between the
hearing. Compensation was to be
agencies including housing,
bodies. We will organise a training
awarded to all residents and former
environmental health, social services as
seminar for complaints managers later
residents who were affected by the
well as health, police and the
this year, and more regular liaison in
rent restriction. 
Commission for Racial Equality. Efforts
respect of particular problem areas that
have been made to rehouse or remove
may arise. This proactive role on the part
On 14 November 2000 the council
offending tenants but this cannot always
of the Commission is a key part of its
agreed to implement the
be the solution. I look forward to the
drive to improve its profile, prominence
Ombudsman’s recommendations for
increased development of multi-agency
and accessibility to the benefit of both
compensation. Implementation of the
work as well as more active out-of-hours
complainants and councils.
settlement was put on hold pending
noise monitoring, but I do not
the outcome of judicial review
Finally, my thanks to the staff for the
underestimate the difficulties in reaching
proceedings.
quality of output that has been achieved
a satisfactory outcome in many instances
over the last 12 months and for the
7 October 2002
of alleged neighbour nuisance.
support given to me in progressing the
Partnership working has increased
change agenda.
significantly in recent years particularly as
a result of the launch of local strategic
partnerships. Complaints that come to
me where a partnership is involved are
Tony Redmond
16


Chapter 6
Report of Patricia Thomas
Introduction
my acting as Chairman for a period
following the retirement of Sir Edward
It could have taken 65 years before all
Osmotherly). I am pleased to report that 
Mrs Thomas has been a Local
footpaths in its area could be walked, if a
I did not need to issue any further
Government Ombudsman since
council had continued at its then rate of
reports, nor did I require any council to
October 1985 and Vice-chairman
amending the rights of way map.
publish a statement. Most of the councils
of the Commission since
Following my intervention, the council
whose complaints I investigated have 
November 1993. In 2002/03, 
put more resources into dealing with
co-operated with my staff and have been
Mrs Thomas dealt with complaints
footpaths.
willing to provide remedies where their
against the London Borough of
maladministration has resulted in injustice
Tower Hamlets and Birmingham
This is one example of the complaints
to the complainants. This has meant that
City, and authorities in Cheshire,
dealt with by me and my staff during 
it has not always been necessary to
Derbyshire, Lincolnshire,
the last year. The year saw some relief
conduct full investigations when things
Nottinghamshire, and the north 
from the unrelenting pressure of 
have gone wrong (27 per cent of
of England (except the cities of
ever-increasing numbers of complaints.
complaints within jurisdiction resulted in
Lancaster and York). Before
The number of complaints received,
local settlements). I have, however,
becoming an Ombudsman, 
although still high at 6,208, was 7.6 per
completed investigations resulting in
Mrs Thomas was a lecturer in law,
cent lower than the previous year. This
reports, despite the council concerned
first at the University of Leeds and
was, in part, because the Coventry office
being willing to provide an appropriate
then at Lancashire Polytechnic
again dealt with complaints against local
remedy, when I have felt that the public
(now the University of Central
authorities in Staffordshire, Shropshire and
Lancashire), where she became
the West Midlands (except Birmingham
interest required it. 
professor and head of the School
City Council). Complaints against the
Co-operation
of Law. She was also president of
London Borough of Tower Hamlets were,
the Greater Manchester and
however, transferred to York. 
Improved handling of complaints by
Lancashire Rent Assessment Panel
councils must be to the benefit of
Performance remains well ahead of the
and a chairman of the Blackpool
complainants, whose justified complaints
Commission time targets with 63 per
Supplementary Benefit Appeal
may then be resolved without the need
cent of complaints decided within 
Tribunal.
to come to me. Increasingly, councils
13 weeks, 86 per cent within 26 weeks
have been concerned to improve the way
and 97.5 per cent within 52 weeks. The
they investigate and resolve complaints,
number of complaints determined was
and my staff are always willing and have
6,429 (around 198 per investigator) and
been enthusiastic to help them. Since
221 more than the number of complaints
1998 a team of investigators has led
received. At the end of the year the
training seminars for councils’ complaints
number of complaints over 52 weeks old
officers. Courses were held last year for
was 28, down from 42 the previous year. 
Leeds City, Sunderland City and Kirklees
The number of investigation reports 
Councils and the Northwest Complaints
I have published has continued to fall. 
Officers Group. It is hoped that with the
In total last year I issued 75 reports, 
increasingly proactive role of the
10 against London authorities (arising
Ombudsman service (see Chapter 1) we
from the assistance given by my office to
will be able to increase the number of
the London office in previous years, and
courses we are able to hold.  
17

Legal issues
In last year’s report I also mentioned the
increase in housing benefit complaints
I have received complaints from council
against Birmingham City Council, which
tax payers in two different council areas
rose to 210 from the 131 the previous
whose properties had been incorrectly
year. The downward trend noted then
banded for several years. When it had
has continued, and this year I received
been corrected, they had both overpaid a
122. I hope that this downwards trend
considerable amount of council tax which
continues next year.
the two councils repaid. It would appear
that the law does not allow for the
Unfortunately there has been a large
payment of interest on any overpayment
increase in the number of complaints
of council tax resulting from a change
which I am now receiving against
in the banding of a property. The law
Liverpool City Council. Four years ago I
does, however, allow for the payment
received only 18 housing benefit
of interest on sums overpaid for
complaints. This has risen dramatically to
non-domestic rates. I could not say
40 in 2000/01 then 77 in 2001/02 and
that either council had acted with
216 last year. This now represents 31 per
maladministration in not paying interest,
cent of the total housing benefit
but I have to agree with the complainants
complaints received by my office.
that the law does not seem to be fair. 
Following the change in the system of
appealing against housing benefit
Housing benefit
decisions, whereby the Tribunal Service
Housing benefit complaints continue to
took over from Housing Benefit Review
fall both in number and as a percentage
Boards which had been administered by
of the total. Last year, at 697 complaints
councils themselves, I received complaints
out of 6,208, it represents 11 per cent,
about delay in remitting appeals. I issued
down from 13 per cent in 2001/02 and
four reports last year on investigations into
15 per cent in 2000/01. As in the
complaints against Liverpool City Council
previous year, over half of the housing
who had taken an unacceptable amount
benefit complaints in my area came from
of time in remitting appeals to the
only three authorities.
Tribunal Service. I am pleased that the
Council has made great strides in
A strategy agreed between Sheffield City
reducing its backlog and now has a
Council and members of my staff had
dedicated team to deal with appeals. I am
reduced complaints from 361 in 2000/01
also pleased to see that the Council has
to 152 in 2001/02 and to 40 such
set itself the target of submitting appeals
complaints last year. After highlighting
to the Appeals Service within 28 days. 
the problems in past reports, it is only fair
I see no reason why that should not be
that I take the opportunity here to
accepted as the target by all councils, and
commend the Council and officers
have been pleased that a number of
concerned for this considerable
authorities have adopted it. Those in
improvement.
receipt of housing benefit should not have
to wait a long time for a decision which
may put them at risk of losing their home.
18

Case study:
Homelessness

A council failed to consider whether
the complainant and her daughter
should, exceptionally, be allowed to
remain in their home; of which the
complainant’s mother had been the
tenant and in which the complainant
I was disappointed to have to issue
recommended for the time and trouble
had lived for 32 years. The
another report in November against
taken pursuing a complaint. The sum of
Ombudsman’s investigation found that
Scarborough Borough Council on the
the payments made by councils following
the possession order which the council
Council’s delay in remitting appeals,
complaints to me during the year totalled
secured for their eviction was founded
despite my having issued a report about
around £300,000.
on inaccurate information. The council
the same matter last March. The Council
And finally ...
failed to apply the housing legislation
had told me it had put in extra resources
properly and sensitively; it did not offer
to reduce its backlog and hence the time
I must again record my thanks to all the
the complainant advice and assistance
taken. That clearly did not happen.
staff in my office who have continued to
to help her find suitable
work hard to achieve just outcomes for
Remedies
accommodation, either before or after
complainants where maladministration
her eviction, nor did it consider
The remedies I generally seek for
has occurred. In particular, I should like to
properly whether she might be in
complainants are designed to put 
thank my Deputy, Richard Harrison, who
priority need. In addition, it failed to
them back into the position where 
retired in February after 25 years of
give her proper reasons for most of its
they should have been had the
valued service to the Commission. We will
decisions, failed to review them when
maladministration not occurred.
all miss his contributions to the life and
she asked, and failed to give her
work of our office.
information to which she was entitled.
Remedies can include financial
By unlawfully removing the
compensation for the injustice that
complainant’s name from its housing
occurred as a result of the
register and refusing to reinstate it, the
maladministration. Payments can also be
Patricia Thomas
council deliberately avoided its
responsibilities to her.
The Ombudsman commended the
council for its eventual acceptance that
it had caused the complainant and her
daughter grave injustice. The council
agreed to pay the complainant £5,000
compensation, carry out a thorough
review of its procedures, and introduce
an eviction panel to ensure that in
future all necessary procedures are
carried out properly before an
application is made to court.
14 January 2003
19


Chapter 7
Report of Jerry White
Performance
investigations. The capacity for a 
council finally to disagree with the
Last year proved a difficult year, mainly
Ombudsman’s findings generally means
In 2002/03, Mr White dealt with
due to the slowdown in council response
that councils are open, co-operative 
complaints about authorities in all
times from South London authorities that
and not defensive while the investigation
of southern England (except Essex,
I referred to in my last annual report, and
is being carried out.
Kent, Surrey, East Sussex, West
due to a significant backlog of old
Sussex, Berkshire,
complaints in respect of housing benefit
It is now relatively rare for my
Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire
administration in the London Borough of
recommendations to be rejected by
and London boroughs north of
Lambeth. All time targets were
councils. So it is disappointing to state
the Thames, but including
regrettably missed, with 47 per cent of
that this year I had to issue five further
Harrow), East Anglia (except
complaints determined in 13 weeks
reports where councils had rejected the
Suffolk), the south-west and most
(target 50 per cent), 74 in 26 weeks
recommendations I had made in my 
of central England, and the cities
(target 80 per cent), and 92 in 52 weeks
first reports. One of these, against 
of Lancaster and York. Before
(target 95 per cent). The number of
Castle Point District Council, led to a
becoming a Local Government
complaints over a year old at the end of
change of heart by the Council and
Ombudsman on 1 March 1995,
the year rose from 80 on 31 March 2002
another, against North Norfolk District
Mr White was chief executive of
to 89; but this represented a considerable
Council, was still being considered at 
the London Borough of Hackney.
improvement over the middle of the year
the end of the year.
He has served in local government
when the figure had reached 136.
A third, against Portsmouth City Council,
since 1967, including senior
By the end of the year the picture
was rejected. I had criticised the Council
positions in the environmental
respecting old Lambeth complaints had
for making what I considered to be
health and housing departments
much improved, and I am confident that
oppressive enquiries of a charity applying
of the London Boroughs of
performance will be restored to previous
for a street collections permit, and for
Islington, Haringey and Hackney.
levels during 2003/04. 
defects in the way it sought police checks
He is Visiting Professor in the
in respect of the same application. I felt
School of History and Politics at
I would like once more to pay tribute to
there was no basis in law for the enquiries
Middlesex University and Associate
my excellent staff who have worked hard
the Council had made, and that the
Fellow at the Department of
under stressful circumstances to deliver
police check was not carried out with due
History at the University of
6,159 decisions in the year.
regard to relevant case law. The Council
Warwick.
was supported by the Charity
Enforcement
Commission in the action it had taken.
The Ombudsman’s recommendations 
And I recognised that the only way of
to councils are not enforceable in law.
determining the question definitively was
This is quite often considered a
by clarification of the law or through a
disadvantage of the Ombudsman system
judicial challenge of my decision. I wrote
by organisations which represent
to the Home Secretary to explain what I
complainants. In general though, the
considered to be an unfortunate gap in
Ombudsmen consider this to be a
the law as presently enacted, and he
valuable feature facilitating an informal
replied to the effect that the law was
and non-adversarial approach to
currently under review by the Cabinet
20

Office. I hope that this will lead to an
team, substantially due to the change 
early clarification of the rights and 
in my area to include South London.
duties of local authorities in matters of
Nearly one in three complaints (30 per
this kind.
cent of all complaints determined,
excluding premature complaints and
It was most unfortunate for the charity
those outside jurisidiction) were thus
concerned that the City Council did not
upheld, in whole or in part, in that I
comply with my recommendation to pay
identified fault and recommended a
compensation of £1,000 and revise its
remedy for the injustice caused. This was
practice in this area. However, I did not
the case in 1,315 complaints, compared
proceed to take the only further action
with 1,056 (25 per cent) in the previous
open to me and order that the Council
year. In virtually all these cases the council
publish a statement relating to this case
accepted the need to remedy the
in the local press. I continue to believe
complaint before I had concluded my
that the Council acted wrongly here. But
investigation. This is a very welcome
I can see why the Council felt it had a
outcome, because it means that injustice
reasonable basis for holding to its view
while the law remains silent on crucial
is remedied quickly and without the need
points, and while its actions receive the
for an expensive public report which
support of the Charity Commission. 
must be advertised in the local press. 
I cannot, though, understand the actions
In some of these cases, however, 
of Chichester District Council who
I completed my investigation and issued 
rejected the recommendations of two
a report even where the council
separate reports to pay compensation of
concerned had agreed to remedy the
£500 and £1,000 to complainants whose
injustice I identified. There might be a
grievances I had upheld. Here the Council
number of factors that persuade me this
advertises the Ombudsman as the third
is the appropriate course to take. For
and final stage of its complaints
instance, other people may have suffered
procedure. Yet its citizens should be
in a similar way from the same
aware that the Council seems to have no
maladministration that I have identified,
compunction in rejecting any decision it
and so a public report might alert them
chooses not to like. This is a council that
to the fact. Sometimes the fault itself is a
apparently finds it very hard to admit that
matter of public interest, for instance
it has made a mistake. In my view, its
where gross errors in council
actions do no credit to local government
administration still continue despite new
or the people of Chichester.
arrangements which should have put
things right. And sometimes the remedy
Local settlements
is so expensive that local tax payers
should be made aware of the cost to
On a much more positive note, the
them of errors in the council’s systems.
proportion of complaints within
jurisdiction that resulted in a local
But issuing a public report in such
settlement1 rose to a record level for my
circumstances is not all bad news. After
1 See glossary in Appendix 5 for a full explanation of
‘local settlements’.
21

Case study: 
Planning consideration/
neighbour amenity

A couple live in a cottage which abuts
the site of a new block of flats. When
considering the reserved matters
planning application for the flats, a
council failed to take proper account
all, the council concerned has stood up to
time of 13.4 weeks, when it should have
of the couple’s amenity. The flats as
its responsibilities. It has acknowledged its
been seven enquiries with an average of
built are overly dominant, are
mistake, said sorry and acted as far as
4.9 weeks. The Council objected and 
excessively close to their home, and
possible to put things right. To that
I said I would correct it when we
overlook their garden. The council
extent it should be congratulated.
produced these figures again. We
accepted that more should have been
produced a similar table in our report for
And finally ...
done to safeguard the couple’s
2001/02 and compared figures for
amenity. The Ombudsman found
2001/02 with those for 1998/99. But I
I owe Northamptonshire County Council
maladministration causing the couple
forgot to correct the earlier figures. So
an apology. In our report for 1998/99, we
injustice. 
this year, at last, I have managed to put
included details of the average times it
things right, and I’m sorry it’s taken me
The council agreed to a ‘before and
takes councils to respond to our enquiries
such a very long time to do it.
after’ valuation exercise. An
(Appendix 4). In this, I made a mistake in
independent valuer assessed the value
citing the average time for
of the couple’s home as it is now, and
Northamptonshire. I said there had been
also assessed its value with a notional
eight enquiries with an average response
Jerry White
scheme, more acceptable in planning
terms, on the neighbouring site. The
council agreed to pay the couple the
difference between the two valuations,
amounting to £37,500, plus £250 for
their time and trouble in pursuing the
complaint.
3 December 2002
22


Appendix 1(a)
Subjects of complaints
received 2002/03
Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Totals
Housing:
Housing register/allocations
130
95
145
370
Housing transfers
230
224
133
587
Neighbour nuisance
218
186
196
600
Council housing management, other
186
108
117
411
Homelessness
147
86
59
292
Council housing repairs
412
386
476
1,274
Regeneration/improvement
7
19
34
60
Housing sales/leaseholds
176
139
110
425
Housing benefit
799
557
697
2,053
Housing grants
37
38
97
172
Private housing notices
11
24
10
45
Harassment/unlawful eviction
6
2
6
14
Rent accounts
48
41
42
131
Other
24
22
116
162
Total housing
2,431
1,927
2,238
6,596
Planning:
Publicity for planning applications
30
66
52
148
Enforcement
168
203
206
577
Consideration/neighbour amenity
519
802
687
2,008
Development plans
9
22
9
40
Conservation areas/listed buildings
20
74
8
102
Refusal of planning permission
49
78
52
179
Other
102
199
138
439
Total planning
897
1,444 
1,152
3,493
23

Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Totals
Education:
Special educational needs
71
73
77
221
Admissions
347
281
456
1,084
Exclusions
6
15
20
41
Education grants
13
9
16
38
Education transport
31
24
40
95
Other
45
36
65
146
Total education
513
438
674
1,625
Social services:
Services for adults
174
172
247
593
Services for children
113
138
238
489
Registered homes
2
11
1
14
Other
35
41
29
105
Total social services
324
362
515
1,201
Land
89
103
133
325
Environmental health
168
212
236
616
Highways
531
462
379
1,372
Local taxation
345
437
313
1,095
Drainage
45
90
73
208
Leisure and recreation
61
49
95
205
Building control
9
27
27
63
Commercial
40
62
60
162
Personnel
43
39
58
140
Consumer protection
17
19
18
54
Transport
12
5
21
38
Fire
1
1
1
3
Police
3
3
3
9
Miscellaneous
87
106
212
405
Overall totals
5,616
5,786
6,208
17,610
24


Appendix 1(b)
Analysis of outcome of
complaints 2002/03
Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Totals
Local settlements (without report)
1,214
1,315
1,122
3,651
Local settlement report
1
29
54
84
Maladministration causing injustice 
(issued report)
23
74
25
122
Maladministration, no injustice 
(issued report)
0
12
11
23
No maladministration (issued report)
0
37
5
42
No or insufficient evidence of 
maladministration (without report)
1,259
2,288
1,971
5,518
Ombudsman’s discretion not to 
pursue complaint
953
671
993
2,617
Premature complaints
1,553
1,054
1,499
4,106
Outside jurisdiction
785
679
749
2,213
Totals
5,788
6,159
6,429
18,376
See the glossary at Appendix 5 for an explanation of terminology.
25


Appendix 1(c)
Subjects of investigation
reports 2002/03
Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Totals
Housing:
Housing register/allocations
1

1
2
Housing transfers
1

1
2
Neighbour nuisance

1
3
4
Council housing management, other

12

12
Homelessness
1
2
1
4
Council housing repairs
1
4
1
6
Regeneration/improvement

1

1
Housing sales/leaseholds
1
12
1
14
Housing benefit
5
19
11
35
Housing grants

3

3
Private housing notices




Harassment/unlawful eviction




Rent accounts




Total housing
10
54
19
83
Planning:
Publicity for planning applications
1
2
3
6
Enforcement
1
19
3
23
Consideration/neighbour amenity
1
11
16
28
Development plans




Conservation areas/listed buildings




Refusal of planning permission


1
1
Planning, other

1

1
Total planning
3
33
23
59
26

Mr Redmond
Mr White 
Mrs Thomas
Totals
Education:
Special educational needs
2
1
6
9
Admissions
4
12
11
27
Exclusions




Education grants




Education transport

1

1
Education other

34

34
Total education
6
48
17
71
Social services:
Services for adults

3
1
4
Services for children
1
1
13
15
Registered homes




Other


1
1
Total social services
1
4
15
20
Land


5
5
Environmental health
1
9
2
12
Highways

1
6
7
Local taxation
3

1
4
Drainage


2
2
Leisure and recreation

2
1
3
Building control




Commercial

1
4
5
Overall totals
24
152
95
271
Note: This table shows the number of complaints subject to report, not the number of reports.
27


Appendix 1(d)
Compliance with
recommendations
The table below shows the outcome of
shows how many of the reports issued in
3,217 reports issued since 1 April 1990
each year are still awaiting a final
where injustice was found. The first
outcome. The reason 49 cases for
column shows the number of reports1
2002/03 are still awaiting remedy is
issued in each year where
because many of them were issued in the
maladministration causing injustice was
latter part of the year and so are within
found. The second column shows how
the six months allowed for a council to
many of these cases were not
provide a remedy.
satisfactorily settled. The third column
Reports1 finding
maladministration
Unsatisfactory
Awaiting
Year
causing injustice
outcome
remedy
1990/91
216
13

1991/92
291
15

1992/93
339
9

1993/94
330
17

1994/95
337
11

1995/96
329
14

1996/97
236
4

1997/98
218
1

1998/99
235
2
1
1999/00
224
3
4
2000/01
165
2
2
2001/02
152
1
4
2002/03
145

49
Totals
3,217
92
60
1
This table shows numbers of reports issued, not the number of complaints subject to report. So the numbers 
shown in the first column are less than the number of complaints where maladministration and injustice were 
found (as shown in Appendix 1(b)) for each year. 
28


Appendix 2
Review of the operation of
Part III of the Local
Government Act 1974
1.
Introduction
1.1
Section 23(12) of the Local Government Act 1974 (as amended by the Local
Government Act 1988) requires the Commission every three years to review the
operation of the provisions of Part III of the Act concerning the investigation of
complaints.
1.2
This paper sets out the Commission’s conclusions and recommendations
following the review it has conducted in 2002/03. Some of the
recommendations have featured in previous reviews and have already been
accepted by Government but action has not yet been taken on them.
2.
Consultation
2.1
In addition to the Welsh Commission for Local Administration, the Commission
decided to consult a wide range of interested bodies, including the Local
Government Association (LGA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives
(SOLACE), Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors (ACSeS) and
representatives of voluntary organisations and advice agencies. 
2.2
Particular concerns were expressed by SOLACE about the Commission’s
proposals on:
2.2.1 Local authority functions and services delivered by partnerships/
companies etc (see paragraph 5).
2.2.2 Amending paragraph 3(3) of Schedule 5 of the 1974 Act to give the Local
Government Ombudsmen (LGOs) discretion to investigate complaints
about the way local authority functions have been carried out (see
paragraph 7.3).
2.3
When the Commission considered the results of the consultation exercise, it
decided to reaffirm the proposals set out in paragraphs 5 and 7.3 (although the
Commission did agree to review the wording of paragraph 5.3). However, in
view of SOLACE’s concerns, the Commission suggests that the Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) might wish to invite representatives of the
Association to any discussions the ODPM may subsequently have with the
Commission about these proposals. 
3.
Merger of the public sector ombudsmen service
in England

3.1
The Cabinet Office undertook a review of the public sector ombudsmen in
England in April 2000. Its main recommendation was for the creation of a new,
independent body to carry out the responsibilities currently fulfilled by the
ombudsmen for central government, local government and the health service.
29

In the light of consultations on the review, the Government announced in July
2001 that it accepted the Cabinet Office’s recommendation (although no
timetable for the legislation was given). The Government also stated that it
would develop:
“…proposals for the precise powers and accountability of the new body and on
whether its jurisdiction should be extended beyond the bodies subject to the
jurisdiction of existing ombudsmen.”
3.2
Since July 2001, there have been extensive discussions involving the
Commission; the Parliamentary/Health Service Commissioner (PCA/HSC); the
Cabinet Office and other interested government departments and bodies (eg the
ODPM). It is understood that hopes of a draft Bill featuring in the 2003/04
parliamentary timetable (with implementation of the merger in 2005) are
receding. 
3.3
The Commission wishes to emphasise that this paper fulfils the narrow
requirement of the 1974 Act to review every three years the operation of the
provisions of Part III of the Act concerning the investigation of complaints. If the
points made to Government regarding possible merger (together and in
consultation with the PCA/HSC) were not to be adopted, the Commission will
wish to explore with Government ways in which it can work as closely as
possible with the PCA/HSC within the constraints of the current legislation. And,
in the meantime, every effort is being made by the two organisations to work
together, to pool resources and to facilitate information exchange. 
4.
Decisions by letter and local settlements
4.1
Section 30(1) requires that, in any case where a LGO conducts an investigation,
a report on the results of that investigation shall be issued. In practice, however,
on many occasions during the course of investigating a complaint, the local
authority may take, or agree to take, some action which the LGO considers to be
a satisfactory response to the complaint (this is known as a ‘local settlement’). In
other cases, during the course of the investigation it may become clear that
there was no maladministration, or no consequential injustice, or insufficient
injustice to justify continuing the investigation. In such cases, the LGO decides to
discontinue the investigation by letter and without publishing a report.
4.2
The Commission has Counsel’s advice that it is proper for LGOs to do this
because Section 26(10) gives them discretion to initiate, continue or discontinue
an investigation. However, the Commission recommends that the 1974 Act
should be amended to give express statutory recognition to the current practice
of discontinuing investigations by letter as outlined in paragraph 4.1. 
4.3
The Commission’s proposal would be in the spirit of one of the
recommendations of the KPMG report1, which was that the focus should be
changed from the production of reports to resolving disputes.
1
The KPMG Efficiency Study of the Commission
carried out in 2001.
30

5.
Partnerships 
5.1
In April 2001, the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR)
issued a consultation paper about how to achieve Best Value through a change
to the law to facilitate partnerships between councils, or between them and
other public bodies and the private and voluntary sectors. The Commission
pointed out in its response to the Consultation Paper that it was concerned that,
“Under the new arrangements, there should be no reduction in the ability of
members of the public to obtain redress for injustices caused by
maladministration. … It seems to us essential that members of the public should
know whether they can or cannot complain if they are aggrieved by the way
they have been treated. There should be no uncertainty in law about the
jurisdiction of the Ombudsmen under the new arrangements.” 
5.2
To illustrate this point, a partnership may include both representatives of local
authorities and others. It would not be an ‘authority’ mentioned in Section 25 of
the 1974 Act as being subject to investigation. The constituent local authorities
would be within jurisdiction insofar as they are taking decisions in their capacity
as a local authority (and not as the partnership). If the complaint is about a
decision taken by one or more local authorities, the decision would be within
jurisdiction. However, if the decision was taken by the partnership, it would be
outside the LGOs’ jurisdiction.
5.3
The concerns the Commission expressed to the Department in 2001 have been
borne out in practice. It can be difficult for the LGOs to be certain that they have
jurisdiction over a complaint about some local authority functions, because of
the complex and diverse nature of the arrangements that may be entered into
by local authorities to deliver them. And members of the public with a complaint
about the provision of a local authority service may not have recourse to an
ombudsman for a remedy. The Commission therefore recommends that the
Government reviews the legal framework of the new arrangements to remove
these uncertainties about the LGOs’ jurisdiction.
6.
Jurisdiction
6.1
The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 brought within the LGOs’
jurisdiction from 1 April 1999 the actions of all admission authorities in respect of
their admission functions (but not exclusions). The Commission can see no
sufficient reason why the other actions of governors of all publicly-funded
schools should not be brought within the LGOs’ jurisdiction, subject to the
provisions of paragraph 5 of Schedule 5.
6.2
Paragraph 5(2) of Schedule 5 of the 1974 Act excludes from the LGOs’
jurisdiction “any action concerning” internal matters in schools such as the
giving of instruction. The Commission proposes that the words “any action
concerning” should be deleted, because they might leave the LGOs open to
challenge in the investigation of certain complaints. For example, when
31

investigating a complaint, the LGOs may need to consider whether the actual
provision being made by a school complies with a child’s statement of special
educational needs. This might be argued to be about action concerning the
giving of instruction. Similarly, the investigation by the LGOs of exclusion appeals
(by education appeal panels which are within jurisdiction) might be argued to be
action concerning discipline in a school. It is important to remove any scope for
argument about this.
6.3
At present, the LGOs have jurisdiction over complaints about the internal
management of a children’s home managed by a local authority as a social
services authority, but they do not have jurisdiction over a complaint about the
internal management of a local authority-run residential special school. The
Commission believes that this is anomalous and proposes that the LGOs should
have jurisdiction over the internal management of all schools and children’s
homes insofar as child protection issues are concerned.
6.4
The Commission is concerned about the lack of clarity in the LGOs’ jurisdiction
over complaints about the actions or inactions of Child Protection Conferences
(CPCs) and Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs). In particular, the
Commission considers it unsatisfactory that a complainant might have to go to
the Police Complaints Authority, the Health Service Ombudsman and the Local
Government Ombudsman to complain about the actions of several members of
one of these bodies. The Commission expressed its concern about this when it
commented in 1998 on the Department of Health consultation paper Working
Together to Safeguard Children
The Commission recommends that the current uncertainties about the LGOs’
jurisdiction over complaints about the actions or inactions of CPCs and ACPCs
should be removed by amending the 1974 Act to bring these bodies within their
jurisdiction.
6.5
Schedule 5.1 excludes from the LGOs’ jurisdiction complaints about the
commencement or conduct of civil or criminal proceedings before any court
of law. This exclusion can cause both the Ombudsman and the complainant
difficulties. The Commission therefore proposes that Schedule 5.1 should be
amended by deleting the words “commencement or”. The FMPR1 reviewer made
this recommendation in 1996. The Government accepted that there was a case
for it, and said that it intended to consult interested parties on proposals to give
effect to this change in jurisdiction.
7.
Bodies within jurisdiction
7.1
Section 25(1) of the 1974 Act was amended to bring the London Transport
Users’ Committee (LTUC) within the LGOs’ jurisdiction. The Commission
recommends a consequential amendment to paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 5 of
the 1974 Act (which prohibits the LGOs investigating “all transactions of an
authority … relating to the operation of public passenger transport”) to allow
1
The Financial Management and Policy Review of
the Commission carried out in 1996. 
32

them to consider a remedy for the substantive complaint, as well as the way in
which the LTUC had handled the complaint.
7.2
Section 26(1) of the 1974 Act specifies that complaints must be about
“maladministration in connection with action taken by or on behalf of an
authority … being action taken in the exercise of administrative actions of that
authority.” The Commission suggests that the position of staff employed by
Superintendent Registrars, Rent Officers and Coroners is clarified for the
following reasons.
7.2.1
Superintendent Registrars are appointed by councils, but they hold
office at the pleasure of the Registrar General – they are not employed by
the council. The general responsibility for the service falls on the Registrar
General, an officer of the Crown. But it is a function of the council in
respect of registration services to set them up, provide premises and fund
and monitor them. It is unclear, when considering a complaint about a
member of the Superintendent Registrar’s staff, whether (a) that person is
employed by the council or the Superintendent Registrar, and (b) the
complaint is within the LGOs’ jurisdiction. (Note: The Registrar General is
not in the PCA’s jurisdiction, but even if they were, this would not bring
Superintendent Registrars or their staff within the PCA’s jurisdiction
because the Registrar General has no powers of supervision over them –
the office holder’s function is restricted to the making of regulations.)
7.2.2
The appointment, remuneration and administration of Rent Officers is a
function of the ODPM. Complaints about their actions are therefore
within the jurisdiction of the PCA. But staff employed by Rent Officers are
appointed and paid by councils. It is unclear, when considering a
complaint about a member of the Rent Officer’s staff, whether it should
be considered by the PCA or the LGOs. 
7.2.3
Coroners and Coroners’ officers are not within the PCA’s jurisdiction. But
they may have staff carrying out work on their behalf, eg police officers,
who are currently not within an ombudsman’s jurisdiction. (Police
authorities are currently within the LGOs’ jurisdiction, but not the actions
of individual police officers.) Here again this is unclear.
7.3
Paragraph 3(3) of Schedule 5 of the 1974 Act provides that certain kinds of
contractual and commercial transactions are within jurisdiction. But transactions
under a Public General Act which are for procurement by the council of goods
and services necessary to discharge these functions are outside jurisdiction. When
the 1974 Act was passed many Public General Act functions were carried out by
councils. The growth in procurement by councils in the intervening years has
had the effect of removing from the LGOs’ jurisdiction complaints about the way
functions have been contracted out. The Commission suggests that this part of
the Schedule should be amended so that the LGOs have discretion whether to
investigate these complaints, taking into account factors such as the resources at
33

the complainant’s disposal (whether an individual or organisation) to seek a legal
remedy for their complaint.
7.4
The Commission has confirmed in recent correspondence with the ODPM that
the elected regional assemblies, when these are established in the future, will
be within the LGOs’ jurisdiction.
7.5
There is no statutory authority for social services complaints from qualifying
individuals to be dealt with other than through the social services statutory
complaints procedure. But the Commission understands that Care Trusts do not
always use the statutory procedure, but use the NHS complaints procedure
instead. This position may be further complicated if Care Trusts are given
delegated powers to charge for providing residential care services under new
Government proposals. The Commission considers that there are uncertainties
about the position on complaints about the social services component of services
provided by Care Trusts which need to be clarified by the Government. 
8.
Investigation at the request of a local authority
Section 26(1) provides that the LGOs can conduct an investigation only if they
have received a complaint from a member of the public who claims injustice in
consequence of maladministration. The Commission can see merit in a similar
provision to that contained in Section 10 of the Health Service Commissioners
Act 1993 which enables a health body to refer a complaint to the HSC. This
would give the LGOs discretion to undertake an investigation without having
received a complaint if a local authority asks the LGO to do so when it has
matters requiring an independent investigation. 
9.
Complaints in writing
Section 26(2) specifies that a complaint may only be entertained by the LGO if it
is made in writing. The Commission recommends that this should be amended
to make it clear that a complaint received electronically/by telephone may also
be considered. (The Commission notes that Section 10(3) of the Scottish Public
Services Ombudsman Act 2002 states that “A complaint must be made in
writing or electronically unless there are special circumstances which make it
appropriate to consider a complaint made orally.”) This would be in accordance
with the KPMG review’s recommendation that the issue of complaints having to
be in writing needed to be addressed.
10. The 12 months rule
Section 26(4) provides that a complaint cannot be considered if it is not made to
the LGO or “a member of any authority concerned” (ie a councillor) within
12 months from the day the complainant first had notice of the matters
complained of, unless the LGO considers it reasonable to waive the rule. The
reference to ”a member of any authority” can give rise to an anomaly because a
34

person may draw a complaint to the attention of a councillor within 12 months
of first knowing of the matter, but not make a complaint to the LGO until long
afterwards, thus defeating the objective of Section 26(4). The Commission
recommends that the sub-section should be amended to remove the anomaly.
11. Payment of expenses
Section 28(3) of the 1974 Act allows a LGO to pay a complainant, or any other
person, attending or furnishing information for the purposes of the investigation
the expenses she or he has properly incurred, and allowances by way of
compensation for the loss of his/her time. These allowances are payable “in
accordance with such scales and subject to such conditions as may be
determined by the Minister for the Civil Service”. The FMPR reviewer
recommended that the Commission should have greater flexibility in such
matters. The Commission suggests that the phrase in inverted commas should
be deleted. 
12. Provision of information relevant to the LGOs’
investigations
Section 28(5)(b) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 made it an offence to pass
on information obtained in pursuance of that Act without the consent of the
person from whom it was obtained, unless it is for the purposes of the
performance of functions under the Act. A similar provision can be found in
Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Such prohibitions
have caused the LGOs difficulties in some cases because they have not been able
to obtain information relevant to their investigations. 
The Commission recommends that Section 29 of the 1974 Act is amended to
provide that the furnishing of information or production of documents under this
Section would not be an offence under any other legislation. 
13. Payment for expert advice
Section 29(6) requires the LGOs to seek the Minister for the Civil Service’s
consent before expenditure is incurred on external advice to assist them in any
investigation. The Government accepted the FMPR recommendation that this
requirement was unduly restrictive and confirmed that it intended to seek
legislation at an early opportunity to remedy this. However, this has not been
done.
14. Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)
Sections 28 and 32 of the 1974 Act include provisions which restrict the
disclosure of information obtained by the LGO in the course of, or for the
purpose of, an investigation. DPA 1998, which specialist Counsel has advised
overrides the 1974 Act, has had a significant impact on these provisions, in
35

particular Section 32(2) which prohibits disclosure in respect of personal data.
The Lord Chancellor’s Department (LCD) is currently carrying out a review of
how DPA 1998 works in practice, and the Commission submitted a detailed
response to the LCD’s Consultation Paper by the 31 January 2003 deadline. 
The Commission’s response made a number of observations and suggestions
about DPA 1998, including comments on the limitations of the exemption from
the Act’s requirements provided to it by Section 31(4). But the Commission has
not suggested any specific amendments to the 1974 Act. 
May 2003
36


Appendix 3
List of investigation reports
issued in the year ended 
31 March 2003
The following list shows the investigations completed where reports were issued in the
year ended 31 March 2003. The dates are those on which the report was issued.
The letter included in each report reference indicates which Ombudsman issued the
report (except where shown), as follows:
A
Tony Redmond
B
Jerry White
C
Patricia Thomas
The letters denoting the findings mean:
LS
local settlement
MI
maladministration causing injustice
M
maladministration, no injustice
NM no maladministration
Copies of individual reports can be obtained from the Commission at 
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP. Tel 020 7217 4683.
An asterisk * following a report reference number indicates that the report is
confidential and not for publication.
Authority/
Authority/
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
London
Lambeth LB
Barnet LB
99/A/5375
2 April
Housing transfers
MI
00/A/195531
22 July
Social services for children
LS
01/B/15974
31 July
Council housing repairs
LS
01/A/10693
4 February
Special educational needs
MI
01/B/4926
29 October
Council housing repairs
LS
01/B/12657
16 December
Housing regeneration/improvement
MI
Bromley LB
01/B/13575
23 January
Housing benefit
LS
01/B/9315
5 December
Housing benefit
LS
01/B/17580
14 February
Housing benefit
LS
Ealing LB
01/B/5937
17 March
Council housing repairs
MI
01/A/994
25 June
Council housing repairs
MI
02/B/4594
20 March
Housing benefit
LS
Enfield LB
Lewisham LB
99/A/31041
5 April
Planning enforcement
M
01/B/7583, 7585
01/A/11424
19 February
Planning enforcement
MI
& 10652
29 April
Education admissions
MI
Hackney LB
Merton LB
00/A/131951
10 April
Publicity for planning applications
MI
01/B/5259
27 June
Education transport
MI
01/A/1794
16 December
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity  MI
Newham LB
Hounslow LB
01/A/18531
7 October
Housing benefit
LS
01/A/14945
14 August
Housing register/allocations
MI
Southwark LB
Islington LB
01/B/1669
17 April
Housing benefit
MI
00/A/184511
9 July
Environmental health
LS
01/B/7616
9 May
Housing benefit
MI
01/A/12752
01/B/7380
& 15958
31 October
Local taxation
MI
& 17214
13 May
Housing benefit
LS
02/A/1279
11 November
Local taxation
MI
01/B/4284
26 June
Council housing repairs
LS
01/A/1770
01/B/9172, 12337
& 1969
14 November
Housing benefit
MI
& 12339-43
3 July
Housing benefit 
LS
02/A/3180
27 January
Housing benefit
MI
01/B/3
11 July
Housing benefit 
MI
1 Issued by Patricia Thomas.
37

Authority/
Authority/
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
01/B/15998
2 September Council housing management, other
MI
Cleveland
01/B/17404
5 September Housing benefit 
MI
Hartlepool BC
02/B/755
15 January
Council housing management, other
MI
01/C/6957
16 May
Highways
MI
02/B/2356
Middlesbrough BC
(& 19 others)
26 March
Housing sales/leaseholds
LS
01/C/14392
31 July
Planning enforcement
MI
Sutton LB
01/B/16461
23 January
Planning enforcement
MI
Cornwall
Tower Hamlets LB
Caradon DC
00/A/186661
3 July
Housing transfers
LS
01/B/11327
20 January
Housing grants
MI
00/A/178501
24 July
Highways
MI
01/B/15951-2
19 March
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity  MI
01/A/34101
7 October
Housing sales/leaseholds
MI
Cornwall CC
Waltham Forest LB
01/B/7760
20 January
Housing grants
MI
01/C/3883
18 April
Commercial
LS
Kerrier DC
01/A/3107
11 June
Special educational needs
MI
01/B/4537
30 April
Planning enforcement
MI
Westminster City C
01/B/3884,
00/A/5127
7935-6, 12605
& 01/A/1658
29 April
Homelessness & housing benefit
MI
& 12624
15 October
Planning enforcement
MI
99/A/2331*
14 May
Social services for children
MI
Restormel BC
00/A/90931
16 May
Local taxation
MI
01/B/10755
3 December
Plannng consideration/neighbour amenity
MI
01/A/1989
5 September Environmental health
MI
Broomfield School, Enfield
Cumbria
00/A/53801
8 April
Education admissions
MI
Carlisle City C
Drayton Manor High School, Ealing
01/C/12075
25 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
01/A/3034
Derbyshire
& 4081
22 October
Education admissions
MI
Bolsover DC
Prendergast School, Brockley
02/C/8118
31 March
Housing – neighbour nuisance
MI
01/B/4882, 5062, 5249
& 5768-70
29 April
Education admissions
MI
Derbyshire CC
01/C/1293
31 July
Planning enforcement
MI
Bedfordshire
Devon
Luton BC
00/B/10421
29 August
Housing benefit
MI
Devon CC
99/B/4332
28 October
Planning enforcement
NM
Bristol
East Devon DC
Bristol City C
99/B/4333
28 October
Planning enforcement
MI
01/B/14005
23 July
Council housing management, other
MI
01/B/14467
3 December
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
Cambridgeshire
Plymouth City C
01/B/7154
7 October
Council housing management, other
MI
Cambridge City C
02/B/4491
27 November
Education admissions
MI
01/B/10578
3 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
01/B/3243
28 November
Environmental health
MI
Cambridgeshire CC
01/B/18577
01/B/305
9 July
Social services for adults
LS
(& 33 others)
3 February
Education, other
NM
01/B/12390,
01/B/14387
31 March
Housing benefit
MI
12438, 12440 
Torbay BC
& 12442
4 September Environmental health
MI
01/B/7626
27 June
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity NM
South Cambridgeshire DC
01/B/9942
01/B/12389,
& 10618
3 February
Homelessness
MI
12437, 12439 
& 12441
4 September Environmental health
MI
Dorset
Dorset CC

Cheshire
01/B/5803
30 July
Highways
MI
Cheshire CC
Poole BC
00/C/17179
10 October
Special educational needs
LS
01/B/8368
7 October
Publicity for planning applications 
MI
Crewe & Nantwich BC
St Peter’s School, Bournemouth
01/C/5951
20 August
Housing benefit
LS
01/B/5798
Halton BC
& 9138
11 July
Education admissions
MI
01/C/9625
24 September Social services for children
LS
Macclesfield BC
01/C/13075
22 July
Refusal of planning permission
M
1  Issued by Patricia Thomas.
38

Authority/
Authority/
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
Durham
Lancashire
Derwentside DC
Blackburn with Darwen BC
01/C/14684
19 September Land
MI
01/C/12023
25 March
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
Durham CC
Fylde BC
01/C/9900
16 December
Special educational needs
LS
01/C/13027
23 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
East Sussex
Pendle BC
01/C/1936
29 April
Housing – neighbour nuisance
MI
East Sussex CC
Wyre BC
01/A/8869
5 June
Education admissions
MI
01/C/13907
18 February
Land
MI
00/B/18600
29 January
Social services for adults
MI
Baines School, Poulton-le-Fylde
East Yorkshire
02/C/2664
28 October
Education admissions
M
East Riding of Yorkshire C
Leicestershire
01/C/14248
17 October
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
M
Charnwood BC
Essex
02/B/242
30 September Commercial
MI
Essex CC
Lincolnshire
00/B/18517
30 September Special educational needs
MI
East Lindsey DC
Thurrock C
01/C/5787,
01/A/4818
6548 & 7484
25 April
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
M
& 02/B/27401
30 October
Planning enforcement
MI
Lincolnshire CC
Gloucestershire
01/C/2760,
South Gloucestershire C
2762 & 6749
11 April
Highways
LS
99/B/4941
27 January
Planning enforcement
M
North Lincolnshire C
02/C/773, 781
Greater Manchester
& 871
4 November
Publicity for planning applications
LS
Bolton MBC
00/C/3631,17362,
Merseyside
17368, 17370
Liverpool City C
& 17372
23 April
Housing benefit
LS
01/C/7860
30 September Housing benefit
LS
01/C/7829
01/C/15191
30 September Housing benefit
LS
& 9795
23 July
Commercial
LS
01/C/16273
30 September Housing benefit
LS
Manchester City C
01/C/16190
29 October
Housing benefit
LS
02/C/1779
23 January
Housing – neighbour nuisance
LS
Sefton MBC
01/C/14338
30 January
Housing sales/leaseholds
LS
01/C/9824, 02/C/3071
Salford City C
& 3082
21 August
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity NM
01/C/6453
Norfolk
& 13254
30 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
Trafford MBC
North Norfolk DC
00/C/14838
7 October
Land
MI
01/B/14450
25 June
Planning, other
MI
02/C/2968
12 February
Special educational needs
LS
North Yorkshire
01/C/8347
25 March
Refuse collection/waste disposal
MI
North Yorkshire CC
Hampshire
00/C/17287, 01/C/5299,
Southampton City C 
6870 
01/B/16046
6 March
Social services for children
LS
& 16234
30 May
Education admissions
MI
Winchester City C
00/C/5484
8 July
Highways
LS
01/B/7750
01/C/3521
19 August
Social services for children
LS
& 15902
4 September Environmental health
MI
Richmondshire DC
02/C/2008
14 January
Housing – homelessness
LS
Hertfordshire
Scarborough BC
Hertfordshire CC
02/C/8443
19 November
Housing benefit
LS
00/B/16833
18 March
Social services for adults
LS
York City C
St Albans City C
02/B/3300
5 March
Housing – neighbour nuisance
MI
01/B/9893
22 July
Publicity for planning applications
MI
Northumberland
Isle of Wight
Blyth Valley BC
Isle of Wight C
00/C/17366
25 April
Leisure & recreation
LS
01/B/15370
19 March
Planning enforcement
MI
01/C/12536
18 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
1  Issued by Jerry White.
39

Authority/
Authority/
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
reference
Date
Subject
Finding
Northumberland CC
West Midlands
02/C/964
23 January
Special educational needs
LS
Birmingham City C
Nottinghamshire
01/C/1302
8 May
Housing register/allocations
LS
00/C/16780
28 May
Social services for children
LS
Nottingham City C
00/C/14964
9 July
Council housing repairs
LS
Dudley MBC
01/C/9013
23 October
Commercial
MI
Nottinghamshire CC
01/C/2929
28 January
Land
MI
01/C/5968
27 May
Social services for children
LS
Sandwell MBC
Shropshire
01/C/9521
22 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
Telford & Wrekin BC
Wolverhampton City C
02/B/4716
31 March
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
01/C/9018
30 September Social services for children
LS
Somerset
West Yorkshire
Taunton Deane BC
Bradford City C
01/B/18564
01/C/6529
& 02/B/7706
27 March
Planning enforcement
MI
& 8169
15 July
Education admissions
NM
01/C/7128
17 September Land
MI
South Yorkshire
01/C/16105
31 October
Social services for children
LS
Sheffield City C
00/C/16287
23 January
Social services for children
MI
01/C/7439
20 June
Social services for children
LS
Kirklees MBC
00/C/9114
16 September Social services, other
MI
01/C/5192
19 June
Special educational needs
LS
Staffordshire
01/C/6277
19 June
Social services for children
MI
01/C/627
28 January
Social services for children
MI
Newcastle-under-Lyme BC
01/C/417
20 June
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity
LS
Leeds City C
01/C/8649
12 August
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
Tyne & Wear
01/C/1633
2 October
Special educational needs 
LS
South Tyneside MBC
Thornton Grammar School, Bradford
01/C/15434
20 January
Social services for adults
LS
01/C/5721, 5954,
Sunderland City C
6536 & 7306
15 July
Education admissions
M
00/C/12118
Wiltshire
& 12621
21 August
Social services for children
LS
North Wiltshire DC
Warwickshire
01/B/9371
Rugby BC
& 12606
20 June
Leisure & recreation
MI
01/B/9227
Swindon BC
& 10962
7 October
Environmental health
MI
01/B/13212 & 13214,
Warwick DC
02/B/1321 
01/C/7534
& 1324
15 July
Planning consideration/neighbour amenity MI
& 10901
31 October
Drainage
LS
00/B/18524
14 November
Housing grants
MI
40


Appendix 4
Complaint statistics by
authority for the year ended
31 March 2003 
The following list shows the number of complaints determined against each authority
in the year ended 31 March 2003. The previous year’s figures are shown in maroon. 
Complaints received but not yet determined are not included in these figures.
Authorities, even though they are within jurisdiction, are not listed here if the Local
Government Ombudsmen have not determined any complaints against them in the
last two years. The figures for foundation and voluntary aided schools have been
aggregated. (Full details are available on our website.)
The figures are broken down according to the Ombudsmen’s findings. A key to the
letters used to denote some of the findings is set out below.
Numbers of complaints not subject to formal report:
LS
local settlement
NM
no or insufficient evidence of maladministration
OD
Ombudsman’s discretion not to pursue complaint
OJ
outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction
Numbers of complaints subject to formal report:
LS
local settlement
MI
maladministration causing injustice
M
maladministration, no injustice
NM
no maladministration
An asterisk * indicates a figure which includes more than one complaint subject to the
same report.
These figures do not include complaints which are ‘premature’, that is complaints
which the authority has not had an opportunity to deal with itself first. This is to avoid
any possibility of counting the same complaint twice. (In practice, if a ‘premature’
complaint is considered by the authority and the complainant is still not happy, he or
she can complain to the Ombudsman again, and that complaint will be considered as
a ‘new’ complaint and counted separately.)
41





















1


















01/02
M
N








































02/03






























1


6*





01/02
M










1



























02/03
11*






1






2



3*
2
1

2


1



1

1





17*
18*
11
01/02
MI


1






1
1

2





1
6*


3
3*
1



6
1
2
1

5*


1


02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report










1








2


1





2
1









01/02
LS


1


1













1


5


1



1
1







02/03
19*
1
5
5
2
8
5
8
9
7
6
6
2
7
1
3
22
20
12
31
28
38
24
13
76
21
30
14
15
13
47
14
44
29
31
47
31
18
13
43
01/02
OJ
1
7
5

7
6
4
7
5
8
8
2
4
7
1
1
10
15
22
27
19
39
14
11
62
14
26
12
16
22
47
21
23
59
12
37
20
19
45
02/03
1
5
7

9
2
4
8
3
6
4
3
1
12
16
26
39
30
54
34
14
24
28
19
19
32
67
15
82
18
30
10
10
41
29
27
17
40
162
01/02
OD

7
2
3

4
8
6
5
5
1
3
5
1
24
28
11
24
25
48
30
14
24
17
31
42
17
66
20
22
12
11
37
15
12
15
10
16
105
02/03
1
2
8
6
5
4
14
31
12
18
27
26
24
50
36
31
85
16
26
18
16
20
18
83
18
11
69
22
45
21
11
63
32
36
29
46
40
14
120
01/02
NM
1
5
4
2
4

18
18
10
26
35
23
40
46
28
29
69
22
40
18
18
17
25
51
22
20
27
33
19
14
88
13
41
31
34
27
12
126
102
02/03


Number of complaints not subject to formal report
9
7
7
8
5
7
8
6
4
8
2
1
4

2
12
16
11
34
30
24
46
12
13
31
28
37
59
39
70
31
100
482
303
646
115
101
01/02
LS

2
7

4
6
9
9
8
5
7
1

5
1
3
15
13
36
20
25
13
12
15
38
10
38
16
56
37
36
30
32
52
02/03
129
335
144
555
132
3
4
9
43
85
33
98
76
71
70
42
56
62
94
54
25
42
47
32
55
19
15
29
10
01/02
121
128
242
107
822
117
504
911
155
165
279
136
145
107
231
2
8
7
5
50
72
21
83
88
94
87
52
65
39
45
43
59
42
47
47
38
48
98
95
12
28
11
109
263
573
128
111
266
802
202
116
352
129
145
otal complaints
02/03
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
ower Hamlets
altham Forest
andsworth
estminster City C
Authority
Local authorities
Greater London
Greater London Authority
LB Barking & Dagenham
LB Barnet
LB Bexley
LB Brent
LB Bromley
LB Camden
City of London
LB Croydon
LB Ealing
LB Enfield
LB Greenwich
LB Hackney
LB Hammersmith & Fulham
LB Haringey
LB Harrow
LB Havering
LB Hillingdon
LB Hounslow
LB Islington
RB Kensington & Chelsea
RB Kingston upon Thames
LB Lambeth
LB Lewisham
LB Merton
LB Newham
LB Redbridge
LB Richmond upon Thames
LB Southwark
LB Sutton
LB T
LB W
LB W
W
Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire CC
Bedford BC
Luton BC
Mid Bedfordshire DC
South Bedfordshire DC
42


2*


















2*

5*














01/02
M
N






































02/03



3*

































01/02
M


























1










02/03






2*








5*














1






01/02
MI
02/03






1






4*
1




4*









1
1


1
3*

6*
Number of complaints subject to formal report




















1








1
1






01/02
LS













1






1


1

1











02/03
1
3
2
4
3
2
4
1
1
4
1

4

1
3
3
1
1
2

3
3
4
8
4
4
6
4
1
8
5
3
3
3
11
20
01/02
OJ
2
2
3
2
5
9
6
3
1
3
8
2
1
1
3
2
1
6
1
2
3
1
5
6

8
4
8
6
5
6
2
4
12
10
11
10
02/03
2
6
2

4
2
9
2
1
3
8
1
2
3
2
2
1
3
4
3
8
5
3
5

1
1
4
8
2
9
6
2
3
4
5
10
01/02
OD
3
4
4
2
5
6
4
8
1
1
5
1
3
1

1

3
5
1
5
5
5
3
5
7
7
6
9
3
6
2

19
13
10
11
02/03
9
7
9
9
4
7
6
4
8
3
1
9
6
5
7
4
9
19
20
15
52
33
14
15
11
11
15
30
14
10
10
10
11
24
10
14
16
01/02
NM
4
9
8
7
5
9
7
1
5
8
4
4
5
9
14
17
10
36
10
16
12
18
10
12
15
12
12
15
18
11
16
17
10
12
10
17
10
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
1
6
3
3
3
4
5
0
1
2
4
4
1
2
5
3
1
3
2

1
1
5

6
3
2
4
7
7
2
1
1
3
10
10
15
01/02
LS
3
3
1
2
6
7
3
3
2
2
6
4
2

4
5
1
2
4

3

9
3
1
3
2
7
9
7
5
2
3
1
14
20
14
02/03
7
8
9
13
36
27
17
25
17
79
49
21
18
42
15
18
17
15
10
26
16
64
23
18
10
15
19
21
25
15
28
28
32
33
17
22
27
01/02
9
5
8
tal complaints
12
33
16
24
23
26
65
47
26
14
42
17
38
14
11
15
24
15
43
22
11
24
25
32
17
35
27
35
42
36
33
23
22
32
o
02/03
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
ees BC
ale DC
y V
rrington BC
est Berkshire C
indsor & Maidenhead RB
okingham C
ylesbur
ycombe DC
ale Royal BC
Authority
Berkshire
Bracknell Forest C
Reading C
Slough C
W
W
W
Bristol
Bristol City C
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire CC
A
Chiltern DC
Milton Keynes C
South Bucks DC
W
Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire CC
Cambridge City C
East Cambridgeshire DC
Fenland DC
Huntingdonshire DC
Peterborough City C 
South Cambridgeshire DC
Cheshire
Cheshire CC
Chester City C
Congleton BC
Crewe & Nantwich BC
Ellesmere Port & Neston BC
Halton BC
Macclesfield BC
V
Wa
Cleveland
Hartlepool BC
Middlesbrough BC
Redcar & Cleveland BC
Stockton-on-T
Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
Cornwall CC
Caradon DC
Carrick DC
Kerrier DC
43






















1



















01/02
M
N






















1






2*











02/03
34*









1































01/02
M









































02/03








1













1

1



1

1


2
1






01/02
MI


1








1

1








1



4


1*


1




1



02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report






1




1

















1











01/02
LS







1














1


















02/03
1
4
8
1
8
1
5
5
4

3
4
2
3
3
1
4
2
6
2
6
2

6
3
3
2
9
4
3
1
3

4
1
13
10
10
13
12
11
01/02
OJ
1
4
6

1
3
4
1
2
3
6



7

5
1
3
1
9
3
4
2
2
3
1
6
3
2
3

3
1
5
1
1
3
11
11
10
02/03
4
3
4
2
6
5
4
3
2
6
2
4
2
1
3
6
2
5
2
3
1

5
7
1
1
2
2

7
2
1

1
6
2
11
12
10
10
11
01/02
OD
1
1
4

6
1
5
3
4
1
5
7
5
5
8
1

4
3
2
9
3
3
1
3
5
5
2
1
2
1
3
4
3
5
2
5

2
1
10
02/03
8
2
5
8
9
9
6
9
6
4
7
3
2
8
9
7
7
5
4
3
7
1
20
16
10
16
10
18
12
10
17
26
12
16
39
15
22
25
12
16
16
01/02
NM
5

4
5
5
4
3
9
6
2
8
2
6
6
8
5
3
2
5
4
5
13
17
11
10
11
10
22
10
20
34
26
44
16
18
14
10
22
11
30
10
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
1
7
2

3
1
5
1
5
1
2
2
2
2
6
6
1
1
– 
– 
– 
2
5
3
1
9
1
3
6
4
4
2
3
1
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
1
29
01/02
LS
2

4
– 
4
– 
3
1
2
– 
1
2
3
3
1
7
1
2
1
2
– 
5
4
2
1
1
1
4
4
2
– 
3
6
– 
1
– 
5
– 
– 
3
20
02/03
5
6
9
5
4
5
26
22
30
27
12
23
18
21
14
16
43
20
12
14
39
17
21
11
14
40
41
18
10
40
88
23
30
46
19
18
25
42
15
31
17
01/02

6
6
4
9
5
5
17
10
32
32
16
14
11
19
30
20
18
12
44
15
16
10
44
46
15
12
32
14
23
32
21
13
13
42
14
14
46
13
12
otal complaints
02/03
118
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
ch BC
alley DC
field BC
rridge DC
est Devon BC
est Dorset DC
eymouth & Portland BC
Authority
North Cornwall DC
Penwith DC
Restormel BC
Council for the Isles of Scilly
Cumbria
Cumbria CC
Allerdale BC
Barrow-in-Furness BC
Carlisle City C
Copeland BC
Eden DC
South Lakeland DC
Derbyshire
Derbyshire CC
Amber V
Bolsover DC
Chester
Derby City C 
Derbyshire Dales DC
Erewash BC
High Peak BC
North East Derbyshire DC
South Derbyshire DC
Devon
Devon CC
East Devon DC
Exeter City C
Mid Devon DC
North Devon DC
Plymouth City C
South Hams DC
Teignbridge DC
Torbay BC
To
W
Dorset
Dorset CC
Bournemouth BC
Christchur
East Dorset DC
North Dorset DC
Poole BC
Purbeck DC
W
W
44

















1






















01/02
M
N








































02/03





1

































01/02
M
















1





















1
02/03


1
1
1







1









1



1











1
01/02
MI



1





2








1












2*







02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report






1











1



















3*
01/02
LS
1






































02/03
3
5
1
3
5

1
1
7
4
3

4
2
8
7
8
4
4
3
5
3
4
2
3
7
7
5

2
5

3
2
5
10
13
19
10
01/02
OJ
9
1
4
3
5
3
1

9
9
2
5
1
1
3
6
4
5
1
3
4
5
8

4
8
2
5
4
4
1
2

3
3
10
25
11
14
02/03
6
1
5
5
3
7
5
1
2
1
2
2

5
4
5

4
4
3
5
4
3
1
9
3
4
1
6


6
1
4
12
10
29
16
13
01/02
OD
2
4
6
1
7
6
1
2
7
2
9
3
1
3
5
4
1
7
7
3
7
3
4
4
2
1
4
2
1
1
4
3
5
12
20
28
11
14
20
02/03
2
9
5
8
6
3
2
8
8
8
6
3
5
7
6
5
7
2
8
7
7
5
18
11
14
25
11
40
42
19
12
10
16
10
12
20
10
10
23
01/02
NM
3
6
4
9
1
4
3
4
6
4
4
7
8
5
9
4
9
4
9
6
5
8
19
17
11
10
15
17
70
49
16
12
13
10
11
20
10
17
19
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
5

4
7
1
5
4

3
5
2
1
1


7
4


2
3
5
3
3


8
2
1

4

3
3
2
6
13
15
15
01/02
LS

1
5
5
6
5
– 
4
3
1
1
1
– 
2
9
5
2
1
1
2
3
2
1
– 
5
1
6
2
3
5
– 
1
6
6
11
12
17
15
11
02/03
5
8
7
3
32
13
24
19
16
24
21
44
55
15
15
11
10
18
81
47
28
19
15
28
18
18
28
10
11
36
32
20
22
13
10
19
10
42
01/02
104
6
3
9
9
8
9
tal complaints
52
26
21
15
34
23
16
36
58
18
12
81
51
41
25
10
12
31
24
21
31
13
12
37
15
23
14
26
16
10
20
34
o
02/03
141
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
orkshire C
alley DC
orkshire
wentside BC
ear V
ealden DC
Authority
Durham
Durham CC
Chester-le-Street DC
Darlington BC
Der
Durham City C
Easington DC
Sedgefield DC
Teesdale DC
W
East Sussex
East Sussex CC
Brighton & Hove City C
Eastbourne BC
Hastings BC
Lewes DC
Rother DC
W
East Y
East Riding of Y
Kingston upon Hull City C
Essex
Essex CC
Basildon DC
Braintree DC
Brentwood BC
Castle Point BC
Chelmsford BC
Colchester BC
Epping Forest DC
Harlow DC
Maldon DC
Rochford DC
Southend-on-Sea BC
Tendring DC
Thurrock BC 
Uttlesford DC
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire CC
Cheltenham BC
Cotswold DC
Forest of Dean DC
Gloucester City C
South Gloucestershire C
45








































01/02
M
N








































02/03







































01/02
M







































02/03
















1


1

1



1


1

1





2*


01/02
MI










2














2*








1




02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report




3


1



1
1


























01/02
LS


7*

2


2*


1












1




1










02/03
3
4
6
6
6
3
6
6
7
7
8
1
6
4
1
3
3
3
3
2
5
5
5

6
4
2
3
1
7
2
4
1
6
5
20
12
11
15
01/02
OJ
2

6
3
7
4
4
3
5
3
3
4
1
1
2

3
8

8
6
3
5

1
5
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
30
16
11
13
13
02/03

8
7
7
7
6
7
1
3
2
3

8
3
4
7
1
8
3
6
2

9
1
3
5
2
2
1
4
1
4
2
19
11
22
12
12
13
01/02
OD

5
2
1
8
4
9
6
2

4
1
2
6
5
8

4
9
4
2

5
4
1
6
3
5
1
2
4
2
25
10
14
11
10
12
13
02/03
7
8
4
5
7
2
6
9
1
5
8

8
5
8
9
7
9
6
8
11
15
12
45
30
17
21
16
19
34
29
11
18
12
11
15
40
11
10
01/02
NM
1
7
6
3
5
1
7
6
4

9
5
6
2
3
7
5
4
4
3
31
20
44
12
11
32
14
28
19
22
22
10
12
18
14
10
11
23
31
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
2
5
9
7
7
3
8
6
6
8
1

2
– 
1
– 
1
1
3
1
– 
4
3
– 
5
– 
1
1
3
– 
3
1
3
– 
1
– 
52
14
11
01/02
LS
1
1
6
7
7
7
2
9
7
4
1

– 
3
– 
– 
– 
2
– 
7
2
– 
6
2
3
– 
3
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
3
11
39
17
13
02/03
6
5
4

8
16
24
37
32
32
43
60
41
41
39
63
56
16
13
17
18
17
28
32
38
16
20
27
67
14
18
21
20
13
18
13
17
15
01/02
139
4
6
4
4
2
8
7
8
9
9
13
57
30
45
33
76
29
45
53
38
41
12
18
10
15
11
25
51
34
27
20
36
61
15
17
10
10
15
otal complaints
02/03
140
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
y DC
lley BC
a
y MBC
igan MBC
inchester City C
atford BC
elwyn Hatfield DC
Authority
Stroud DC
Tewkesbur
Greater Manchester
Bolton MBC
Bur
Manchester City C
Oldham MBC
Rochdale MBC
Salford City C
Stockport MBC
Tameside MBC
Trafford MBC
W
Hampshire
Hampshire CC
Basingstoke & Deane BC
East Hampshire DC
Eastleigh BC
Fareham BC
Gosport BC
Hart DC
Havant DC
New Forest DC
Portsmouth City C 
Rushmoor BC
Southampton City C
Test V
W
Herefordshire
Herefordshire C
former Leominster DC
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire CC
Broxbourne BC
Dacorum BC
East Hertfordshire DC
Hertsmere BC
North Hertfordshire DC
St Albans City C
Stevenage BC
Three Rivers DC
W
W
46









































01/02
M
N









































02/03

1













1
























01/02
M








































02/03
2*
1








1
1


3








1






1

1




1


01/02
MI
1















1



1


1





1


1







02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report















4*
























01/02
LS








































02/03
4
9
6
7

2
2
5
1
– 
2
3
– 
3
4
3
4
3
1
5
– 
4
2
– 
2
– 
4
1
4
– 
4
– 
2
3
2
2
1
10
15
11
01/02
OJ
9
1
3
1
2
2
6
8
1
1
5
1
3
4
6
4
3
2
3
2
2
4
2
1
2

1
3
3
2
3

3

1

1
18
10
16
02/03
4
5
7
2
2
5
4
3
5
1
8
3
1
3
9
6
9
4
2
5
6
3
3
7
2
3

1
5
– 
8
3
2
2
5
– 
3
– 
– 
15
01/02
OD
7

6
4
3

4
1
5
8
8
2
1
6
9
5
3
7
1
4
2
6
3
7
2
1
2
2
– 
2
– 
– 
4
2
2
1
2
13
17
16
02/03

6
4
7
8
8
5
5
5
6
3
4
2
8
7
5
8
5
4
8
6
5
5
9
2
6
16
26
22
24
20
11
11
33
18
10
10
17
12
36
01/02
NM
9
7
6
9
7
4
5
2
5
8
6
4
5
3
5
4
6
9
8
5
6
4
2
5
13
14
10
14
17
12
33
13
12
12
10
17
18
10
45
13
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
4
3
4
2

1
1
6
6
7
3
3
– 
2
4
2
9
– 
1
1
– 
6
4
2
– 
2
– 
4
8
1
1
4
2
1
3
2
1
1
12
15
01/02
LS

3
5
– 
1
1
– 
9
1
3
6
– 
– 
4
6
5
2
3
3
2
2
3
3
6
– 
4
3
1
2
1
– 
3
1
2
– 
2
2
3
11
11
02/03
8
6
9
7
8
5
8
30
64
14
40
10
15
34
39
20
20
22
20
16
66
17
39
14
11
13
17
22
18
17
14
18
14
15
29
16
10
67
11
17
01/02
7
9
9
7
7
6
5
tal complaints
26
55
18
24
12
12
12
24
51
10
13
24
21
14
65
31
27
23
16
19
19
15
17
17
11
12
16
23
27
15
76
18
11
o
02/03
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
wen BC 
ells RB
igston BC
ight
y City C
ight C
lley BC
a
est Leicestershire DC
C
 B
re
est Lancashire DC
Authority
Isle of W
Isle of W
Kent
Kent CC
Ashford BC
Canterbur
Dartford BC
Dover DC
Gravesham BC
Maidstone BC
Medway C
Sevenoaks DC
Shepway DC
Swale BC
Thanet DC
Tonbridge & Malling DC
Tunbridge W
Lancashire
Lancashire CC
Blackburn with Dar
Blackpool BC 
Burnley BC
Chorley BC
Fylde BC
Hyndburn BC
Lancaster City C
Pendle BC
Preston City C
Ribble V
Rossendale BC
South Ribble BC
W
Wy
Leicestershire & Rutland
Leicestershire CC
Blaby DC
Charnwood BC
Harborough DC
Hinckley & Bosworth BC
Leicester City C 
Melton BC
North W
Oadby & W
Rutland CC
47




1
1

































01/02
M
N














3*
























02/03












1

























01/02
M


3*



































02/03











1




1



1


1



1
1



1





01/02
MI




















1

















02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report












1

1























01/02
LS
3*





3*




4



















1


2



02/03
6
1
2
2
4
5
3
2
2
3
6
4
7
8
4
4
2
4

1

5
2
3
1
3
4
3
2
9
2
1
6
2

3
10
18
01/02
OJ
8
1
6
2
7

4
3
3
4
7
2
9
5
1

4
4
4
2

8
1
2
2
1
6

1
2
2
3
4
3
1
2
27
12
02/03
1
2
5
3
7
2
5

5
2
6
5
6
5
4
1
2

7
1

2
5

3
4
5
1

4
2
4
2
3
3
4
21
18
01/02
OD
2
4
5
4
8
9
1
6
4
8
7
3
2
3
3
2
5


2
3
3
1
3
1
3

1
5
5
1
3
10
37
15
10
11
13
02/03
3
5
8
5
3
4
3
8
6
5
7
8
5
8
3
8
3
5
7
4
2

16
14
17
12
54
10
26
22
22
13
10
10
14
10
21
14
01/02
NM
6
3
4
1
8
2
6
2
7
8
7
6
4
6
5
2
2
5
7
2
1
12
12
19
60
19
15
26
17
16
18
21
13
15
14
11
17
12
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
4

2
2
7
– 
2
1
1
– 
9
6
3
4
2
2
1
3
1
4
4
4
1
2
3
1
1
1
1
3
– 
1
– 
– 
58
16
14
16
01/02
LS
5
1
1
4
6
1
9
1
3

5
7
5
2
2

1
1
2
2
2
3
6
1
3
4


5

1
9
3
1
2
11
11
02/03
132
6
7
7
8
9
6
9
5
7
27
23
13
33
11
29
12
30
29
39
64
49
26
15
16
11
21
11
26
19
16
19
47
19
22
13
15
10
01/02
152
9
7
9
4
7
5
8
24
27
14
35
10
33
18
10
39
43
39
59
27
21
21
15
37
22
24
10
31
21
11
19
12
35
14
16
25
18
otal complaints
02/03
260
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
folk DC
est Nor
weed BC
folk DC
folk DC
rmouth BC
a
ynn & W
y DC
lley BC
a
folk
s L
folk CC
wich City C
wick-upon-T
est Lindsey DC
rral MBC
ellingborough BC
ynedale DC
ansbeck DC
Authority
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire CC
Boston BC
East Lindsey DC
Lincoln City C
North East Lincolnshire C
North Kesteven DC
North Lincolnshire C
South Holland DC
South Kesteven DC
W
Merseyside
Knowsley MBC
Liverpool City C
St Helens MBC
Sefton MBC
Wi
Nor
Nor
Breckland DC
Broadland DC
Great Y
King’
North Nor
Nor
South Nor
Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire CC
Corby BC
Daventr
East Northamptonshire DC
Kettering BC
Northampton BC
South Northamptonshire DC
W
Northumberland
Northumberland CC
Alnwick DC
Ber
Blyth V
Castle Morpeth BC
T
W
48





5*




1





























01/02
M
N








































02/03

























1













01/02
M







































02/03
1








1





1
3
1


1



1
1













01/02
MI
4*







1





















1






2*

02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report






1

1





1

1






















01/02
LS
2



1

1


1






1






















02/03
8
1
4
4

1
5
3
3
– 
2
2
8
1
4
5
5
1
4
5
– 
1
3
1
1
1
4
2
4
4
8
3
3
5
3
2
2
10
10
01/02
OJ
8

4
– 
5
– 
6
3
5
5
1
1
3
– 
1
5
7
3
2
3
– 
2
3
2
3
1
3
1
5
3
5
1
8
5
5
2
2
10
13
02/03
4
2
5
3
3
9
1
9

6
1
3
5
6
7
4
1
3
2
5
3
3
2
2
3
5
3
6
3
2
4
9
1
3
1
14
16
24
12
01/02
OD
2
1
6
2
1
7
9
2
5
2
2
2
9
1
4
7
1
2

5

2
2
2
3
5
8
2
5
3

5
2
2
11
13
10
12
11
02/03
8

6
5
4
3
5
8
7
9
8
3
5
5
8
2
7
5
9
6
8
3
14
19
11
26
14
14
10
14
33
10
16
10
12
12
18
11
11
01/02
NM
4
4
6
4
9
7
4
5
8
9
4
4
4
2
4
8
5
9
2
5
7
8
9
9
8
18
13
16
30
18
12
37
18
11
12
14
14
16
13
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
7

– 
5
3
– 
7
2
5
6
5
4
2
2
6
3
7
3
1
3
1
1
– 
1
– 
3
– 
2
– 
6
6
5
3
9
4
2
1
– 
20
01/02
LS
9
1
1
1
1
2
6
5
5
7
2


1
3
4
2
3
4
6
1
1
1

1
2
2
1

1
6
5
5
6
6

2
1
42
02/03
5
8
8
7
6
6
38
12
28
16
41
17
58
34
19
22
18
21
28
91
27
22
12
27
18
14
13
10
14
18
10
28
25
24
16
39
32
14
17
01/02
7
7
5
7
8
7
9
tal complaints
52
10
20
15
39
34
48
41
16
10
15
11
13
23
22
15
15
33
16
16
16
18
26
31
28
18
30
19
19
17
13
o
02/03
105
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
wood DC
rekin BC
y & Atcham BC
orkshire
orkshire CC
ork C
y BC
well DC
ale of the White Horse DC
est Oxfordshire DC
est Somerset DC
Authority
North Y
North Y
Craven DC
Hambleton DC
Harrogate BC
Richmondshire DC
Ryedale DC
Scarborough BC
Selby DC
City of Y
Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire CC
Ashfield DC
Bassetlaw DC
Broxtowe BC
Gedling BC
Mansfield DC
Newark & Sher
Nottingham City C
Rushcliffe BC
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire CC
Cher
Oxford City C
South Oxfordshire DC
V
W
Shropshire
Shropshire CC
Bridgnorth DC
North Shropshire DC
Oswestr
Shrewsbur
South Shropshire DC
Telford & W
Somerset
Somerset CC
Bath & North East Somerset C
Mendip DC
North Somerset C
Sedgemoor DC
South Somerset DC
Taunton Deane BC
W
49








































01/02
M
N








































02/03




































1


01/02
M







































02/03



1
1







1











1










3*



01/02
MI



1



































02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report



2
1




















1












1
01/02
LS



1




1




























1
2*
02/03
8
9
3
4
1
4
1
1
3
8

8
3
1
6

1

9
3

2
1
3
1
2
3
2
2
3
8
2
5
8
12
10
18
10
13
01/02
OJ
7
4
8
2
2
1
1


4
3

9
3
3
2
6
4
3
8
2
1
4

6
1
1

2
2
1
9
7
8
12
22
11
11
17
02/03
9
2
3
1
3
1
8
5
1
3
1
7
7
3
2
4
9
4

2

1

1
4
1
2
2
7
16
11
55
12
16
11
12
20
13
10
01/02
OD
5
1
2
1

2
4

5
2
8
6
3
2
1
2
3
2
8
9

3
1
2
3
4
4
2
6
5
8
9
8
5
9
15
23
11
32
02/03
4
5
5
5
9
6
6
2
3
2
4
9
5
9

7
2
8
4
9
5
53
15
16
67
18
10
15
13
23
10
13
11
11
11
32
20
18
18
01/02
NM
8
7
2
3
5
8
7
2
3
5
5
8
9
2
2
4
5
1
3
6
5
2
7
39
34
17
62
25
11
19
15
13
10
10
18
28
20
16
25
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
4
1
1
1
1

2

6
1
6
2
2
1

2
1
4

2

1
3
1
1
3
1
3
3
3
8
7
18
12
10
11
15
18
174
01/02
LS
9
8
6
3
1
1
1
3
1
9
1
4
1

1
1
1
1
5
4
2

5

3
1
1
1
1
5

8
4
3
14
58
10
16
12
02/03
8
7
4
6
3
4
8
99
48
37
51
10
13
18
20
14
37
40
11
18
16
11
16
41
38
17
18
13
14
15
18
16
13
34
83
44
48
44
01/02
317
5
6
8
8
3
5
6
9
75
78
40
48
17
14
14
26
10
32
11
34
17
13
12
15
28
29
23
14
16
11
10
15
13
45
70
41
41
47
otal complaints
02/03
176
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
yme BC
yne City C
y BC
rent City C 
ear
orkshire
lley BC
a
yneside MBC
yneside MBC
aveney DC
averley BC
oking BC
yne & W
Authority
South Y
Barnsley MBC
Doncaster MBC
Rotherham MBC
Sheffield City C
Staffordshire
Staffordshire CC
Cannock Chase DC
East Staffordshire DC
Lichfield DC
Newcastle-under-L
South Staffordshire DC
Stafford BC
Staffordshire Moorlands DC
Stoke-on-T
Tamworth BC
Suffolk
Suffolk CC
Babergh DC
Forest Heath DC
Ipswich BC
Mid Suffolk DC
St Edmundsbur
Suffolk Coastal DC
W
Surrey
Surrey CC
Elmbridge BC
Epsom & Ewell BC
Guildford BC
Mole V
Reigate & Banstead BC
Runnymede BC
Spelthorne BC
Surrey Heath BC
Tandridge DC
W
W
T
Gateshead MBC
Newcastle upon T
North T
South T
Sunderland City C
50

























2*







01/02
M
N






















2*










02/03
































01/02
M
































02/03









3*

1

1

1
2
3*
1


1

1
1





1

01/02
MI



2*




2












2

2
1



2*

5*

02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report






2




1









1


3







01/02
LS





2*
2


1


1








1

1
1







02/03
6
1
3
2
1
2

7
7
8
– 
2
3
3
1
1
2
5
8
4
3
2
2
4
2
51
15
12
10
12
21
11
01/02
OJ
1
– 
2
– 
1
3
7
2
5
3
2
2
4
– 
1
3
4


2
2
5

45
10
15
10
11
23
16
21
10
02/03
2
2
1
– 
2
– 
8
9
4
5
6
5
2
2
2
3
7
5
– 
8
4

3
3
6
7
71
13
18
22
39
14
01/02
OD
2
1
– 
1
6
1
7
5
6
3
5
1
5
4
5
4
6
6
4
4
1
1
4
2
53
16
10
14
34
12
42
23
02/03
5
3
5
9
1
5
9
8
4
6
7
4
2
2
10
15
94
26
18
41
13
16
23
10
14
37
11
29
68
25
15
18
01/02
NM
3
6
6
7
9
2
9
6
4
7
9
7
4
5
10
13
17
22
37
23
27
19
10
10
51
33
70
31
10
10
12
109
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
1
1
2
2
3
3
7
8
8
1
– 
1
– 
5
– 
– 
4
– 
– 
1
1
1

20
15
13
13
21
24
40
13
193
01/02
LS
3

2
1
3
2
3
7

5
7

1
1
2
5
3


9
3
2
3
4
4

16
38
32
62
16
02/03
159
7
3
8
7
8
14
11
14
15
20
41
54
80
32
46
54
27
20
12
23
30
10
90
28
84
63
15
21
30
11
01/02
411
174
4
7
7
tal complaints
16
10
10
17
21
46
45
74
31
45
37
30
18
18
23
13
11
16
56
96
80
17
13
12
17
30
o
02/03
368
131
197
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
von DC
ickshire BC
rw
a
y City C
iltshire DC
orkshire
y DC
iltshire DC
ickshire CC
rwickshire
rw
rwick DC
rthing BC
est Midlands
alsall MBC
olverhampton City C
est Sussex
est Sussex CC
est Y
akefield City C
iltshire
iltshire CC
est W
Authority
Wa
Wa
North W
Nuneaton & Bedworth BC
Rugby BC
Stratford-on-A
Wa
W
Birmingham City C
Coventr
Dudley MBC
Sandwell MBC
Solihull MBC
W
W
W
W
Adur DC
Arun DC
Chichester DC
Crawley BC
Horsham DC
Mid Sussex DC
Wo
W
Bradford City C
Calderdale MBC
Kirklees MBC
Leeds City C
W
W
W
Kennet DC
North W
Salisbur
Swindon BC
W
51

































01/02
M
N

































02/03
































01/02
M
































02/03
1










1




















01/02
MI
































02/03
Number of complaints subject to formal report
































01/02
LS
































02/03
4

2
5
– 
2
1
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
1
– 

1
– 
2
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
3
01/02
OJ
3

– 
2
1
2
2
– 
1
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
1
– 

– 
1
1
2
– 
– 
1
2
– 
1
– 
1
1
1
1
02/03
2
2
2
1
2
2
– 
– 
– 
2
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 

01/02
OD
7
4

1
2
2


1
2
1

1
2
2
1

– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
02/03
6
6
7
2
7
– 
1
1
1
2
2
2
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
2
1
– 
– 
– 

38
11
01/02
NM
8
9
3
7
4
1
1

1
1
2
– 
– 
1
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
28
13
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report
5
2
– 
4
3
1
– 
– 
– 
3
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 

– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 

01/02
LS
9
3

1
– 
1
– 
1
– 
1
1
– 
– 
– 

– 

– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
02/03
7
8
– 
2
6
2
3
3
2
1
1
– 
1
– 
2
– 
– 
1
– 
1
1
2
1
– 
– 

3
50
10
10
17
16
01/02
8
6
6
2
3
3
4
1
3
2
3
2
1

1
1
2
1
– 
1
2
– 
1
1
1
1
1
2
47
20
13
12
otal complaints
02/03
T
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
rust
rust
rust
cia Police Authority 
ale Housing Action T
ork Moors National Park 
orkshire Police Authority
 Forest DC
ickshire Police Authority 
rcestershire
rcestershire CC
rcester City C
re
folk Police Authority
ychavon DC
rw
von & Somerset Police Authority
est Mer
est Midlands Police Authority 
est Y
Authority
Wo
Wo
Bromsgrove DC
Malvern Hills DC
Redditch BC
Wo
W
Wy
Housing action trusts
Castle V
Liverpool Housing Action T
Stonebridge Housing Action T
National and regional park authorities
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Exmoor National Park Authority
Lake District National Park Authority
North Y
Authority
Peak District National Park Authority
Yorkshire Dales National Park
Authority
Police authorities
A
Cleveland Police Authority
Cumbria Police Authority 
Devon & Cornwall Police Authority
Essex Police Authority 
Gloucestershire Police Authority 
Greater Manchester Police Authority
Hampshire Police Authority 
Metropolitan Police Authority
Nor
Northumbria Police Authority
Sussex Police Authority
Wa
W
W
W
52



















01/02
M
N



















02/03

















12*
01/02
M

















5*
02/03

















1
01/02
MI

















02/03
11*
Number of complaints subject to formal report

















2
01/02
LS

















1
02/03
1

– 
1
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
2
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 

15
01/02
OJ

1
– 
3
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
1
2
1
– 
1

21
02/03

– 
– 
4
– 
1
1
1
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 


73
01/02
OD

– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
81
02/03

– 
– 
– 
1
1
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
10
137
01/02
NM

– 
– 
3
– 
– 
– 

– 
– 
– 
– 
8
– 
– 
– 
1
191
02/03
Number of complaints not subject to formal report

– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
73
01/02
LS

– 
2
3
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
– 
72
02/03
1

– 
1
2
2
1
1
– 
2
– 
– 
– 
– 
– 

y aided)
15
01/02
313

1
2
9
– 
2
– 
– 
– 
1
– 
1
1
1
1
1
tal complaints
10
o
02/03
381
T
vice
determined (excluding
premature complaints)
ransport
vice
vice
rading Standards
ransport Users’ Committee
orkshire Fire & Rescue Ser
orkshire Fire Authority 
y aided)
ransport & Environment
orkshire Passenger
orkshire T
vice
est Midlands Fire Ser
est Midlands Passenger
est Y
est Y
Authority
Other authorities
ALG T
Committee 
Cheshire Fire Brigade
Eltham Crematorium Joint Committee
Environment Agency
Greater Manchester Passenger
Transport Authority
London Fire & Emergency
Planning Authority
London T
Merseyside Fire Authority
Merseyside Passenger T
Authority
North Y
Parking Appeals Ser
South Y
Transport for London
W
W
Transport Authority 
W
Transport Authority
W
Ser
Schools (foundation and voluntar
Schools (foundation and
voluntar
53


Appendix 5
Glossary of terminology
Premature complaints
• the council on its own initiative says
that there was fault that caused
Premature complaints are those which are
injustice, and proposes a remedy which
not accepted for consideration by the
the Ombudsman accepts is satisfactory;
Local Government Ombudsmen because
the councils concerned have not had a
• the council accepts the suggestion by
reasonable opportunity to deal with them
the Ombudsman, as an independent
first. Premature complaints are sent to the
person, that there was fault which
councils concerned with a request that
caused injustice, and agrees a remedy
they should investigate them. If a
which the Ombudsman accepts is
complainant is not satisfied with the
satisfactory;
outcome of a council’s investigation, he
• the council does not consider that
or she can complain to the Ombudsman
there was fault but is able to take some
again.
action which the Ombudsman accepts
is a satisfactory outcome;
Outside jurisdiction
• the council and the complainant
The Ombudsmen can investigate most
themselves agree upon a course of
types of complaints against local
action and the Ombudsman sees no
authorities. But there are some things the
reason to suggest any different
law does not allow them to investigate,
outcome; or
such as personnel matters, the internal
management of schools and colleges, and
• the Ombudsman discontinues the
matters which affect all or most of the
investigation because he or she
people living in a council’s area. Such
considers that, even if the investigation
complaints, when they are terminated,
were to continue, no better outcome
are described as being outside
would be likely to be achieved for the
jurisdiction.
complainant than the action the
council has already taken or agreed.
Local settlements 
Ombudsman’s discretion
The term local settlement is used to
describe the outcome of a complaint
Complaints described as terminated by
where, during the course of an
Ombudsman’s discretion are those which
investigation, the council takes, or agrees
have been terminated because, for
to take, some action which the
example:
Ombudsman considers is a satisfactory
• the complainant wishes to withdraw his
response to the complaint. This may
or her complaint; 
occur, for example, in any of the
following circumstances:
54

• the complainant has moved away and
First report 
the Ombudsman is no longer able to
When an Ombudsman issues a report
contact him or her; 
after completing an investigation, this is
• the complainant decides to take court
referred to as the first report on the
action; or
complaint.
• we find there is no or insufficient
Further report 
injustice to justify continuing the
investigation.
If the council does not respond
satisfactorily to the Ombudsman’s
Comeback 
recommendations in a first report within
a given time limit, the Ombudsman must
The term comeback is used when a
issue a further report, which must be
complaint has been determined without a
considered by the full council. This
formal report and the complainant alleges
further report is sometimes referred to as
that one or more of the following apply:
a second report.
• the complaint, or a material part of it,
has been misunderstood by the
Statement 
Commission’s staff;
If the council does not respond
• evidence submitted before termination
satisfactorily to the Ombudsman’s second
has not been taken into account;
report within the given time limit, the
Ombudsman may require the council to
• the council has not been telling the
publish a statement in a local newspaper.
true story and evidence of this is
Such statements consist of the details of
provided; or
any action recommended by the
• new information has been supplied
Ombudsman, any supporting material
about the original complaint.
the Ombudsman may require and, if the
council wishes, a statement of its reasons
Remedy
for not complying with the
Ombudsman’s recommendations.
When a report is issued finding injustice
caused by maladministration, the
Ombudsman will recommend what the
council should do to put matters right
(the remedy).
55


Appendix 6
Commission publications 
and website
Published annually
Other publications
Local Government Ombudsman annual
Complaint about the council? How to
report
complain to the Local Government
Ombudsman
Local Government Ombudsman summary
annual report
Leaflet about the Ombudsman’s service
which includes a complaint form. Also
Local Government Ombudsman digest of
available in large print, Braille, on tape,
cases
and in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi,
Summaries of a selection of published
Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Turkish
reports and local settlements achieved
and Vietnamese.
in the year, available for 1996, 1997,
How the Ombudsman will deal with your
1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
complaint
Guidance on good practice
Leaflet sent to complainants when
notes
acknowledging receipt of their
complaint. Also available in the same
A series of pamphlets aimed at giving
languages as above and in large print.
advice to local authorities.
All publications are available from the
Running a complaints system, June 2002
Secretary of the Commission, Millbank
Good administrative practice, August
Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP or
1993 (reissued February 1995)
tel 020 7217 4683. All publications are
free of charge for single copies. Bulk
Council housing repairs, August 1993
orders of the complaints leaflet are also
(out of print)
free of charge. There is a subscription
Disposal of land, November 1995
service available for copies of
investigation reports – for details of this
Remedies, September 1997 (reissued
service tel 020 7217 4686.
March 2003)
(Guidance note 4: Members’ interests, has
been withdrawn as it is out-of-date since
the National Code of Local Government
Conduct is no longer extant. Each local
authority now has an individual code
arising from the new ethical framework.) 
56

Publications available on the
website

(www.lgo.org.uk)
The current annual report, accounts and
Where to contact the
five year business plan.
Local Government
The six issues of the Digest of cases.
Ombudsmen
The five current Guidance on good practice
Mr Redmond’s office and the office of the 
notes.
Secretary of the Commission are at:
Millbank Tower, Millbank
Origins and functions of the Local
London SW1P 4QP
Government Ombudsman.
Tel 020 7217 4620
The leaflet:  Complaint about the council?
Fax 020 7217 4621
How to complain to the Local Government
Mrs Thomas’s office is at:
Ombudsman in English and in Bengali,
Beverley House
Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic,
17 Shipton Road
Chinese, Greek, Turkish and Vietnamese.
York YO30 5FZ
The leaflet: How the Ombudsman will deal
Tel 01904 380200
Fax 01904 380269
with your complaint in the languages
listed above.
Mr White’s office is at:
A small poster drawing attention to the
The Oaks, No 2
Ombudsman’s service in the 10 minority
Westwood Way
Westwood Business Park
ethnic languages listed above. (A version
Coventry CV4 8JB
in English is available in print.)
Tel 024 7682 0000
Recent investigation report summaries.
Fax 024 7682 0001 
There is also an on-line enquiries form, 
Adviceline:  0845 602 1983
an on-line publications order form and
on-line complaint forms.
website: www.lgo.org.uk


The Commission for Local Administration in England
Millbank Tower   Millbank   London SW1P 4PQ
Tel 020 7217 4620   Fax 020 7217 4621
www.lgo.org.uk