FENLAND: Council pay out �250 for failing to respond to anti social behaviour complaints
FENLAND Council has paid out �250 after it delayed investigating complaints of anti social behaviour. The Local Government Ombudsman s annual report, published today, reveals that the council failed to answer letters from the complainant s solicitors betw
FENLAND Council has paid out �250 after it delayed investigating complaints of anti social behaviour.
The Local Government Ombudsman's annual report, published today, reveals that the council failed to answer letters from the complainant's solicitors between February 2008 and July 2008.
"In response to our inquiries the council offered �250 in compensation for the delay," says the ombudsman. The council also promised immediate action to prevent a re-occurrence.
The ombudsman says the council also shelled out �200 following "failures in the investigation into a planning matter."
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Fenland Council "recognised that it had failed to respond in a timely manner and that it had caused the complainant unavoidable delay and anxiety". The council agreed to pay the complainants �200 "in recognition of this delay."
However the ombudsman agreed the payments reflected an appropriate settlement but he also criticised the council's average response time to complaints.
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Average response time last year was 32 days "which is a significant increase on last year's time of 23.7 days and outside the 28 days requested. It is disappointing to see this increase and I urge the council to take measures to bring response times within the 28 days requested."
The report notes that 18 of the 24 complaints and inquiries dealt with by the Local Government Ombudsman last year concerning Fenland District Council involved planning and building control.
Some of the complaints were dismissed after the ombudsman found no evidence of maladministration whilst another complainant "had not sustained sufficient injustice".