Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 25 Aug 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about children services’ actions. She has known about the events for more than 12 months and there are no good reasons why the late complaint rule should not apply.
- The complainant, whom I shall call Ms X, says the Council’s children services team has harassed and abused her.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information Ms X provided with her complaint and the Council’s response which it provided. Ms X had the opportunity to comment on a draft version of this decision.
What I found
- In December 2019, Ms X complained to the Council about its contact with her that year and what she felt was a lack of support. The Council replied. It explained it had set up two appointments for Ms X’s daughters, had attempted to visit them at home twice and had telephoned. But had not been able to make contact.
- Ms X says the Council’s contact was an attempt to harass her. She feels they have defamed her. She says she has had no professional contact since December 2019.
- We will not investigate a complaint about events known to Ms X for more than 12 months without good reasons. Here Ms X has provided no good reasons for the 16 month delay in contacting us.
- We will not investigate this complaint. This is because there are no good reasons why the late complaint rule should not apply.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman