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Plymouth City Council (21 002 381)

Category : Children's care services > Friends and family carers

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 19 Jul 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the level of support the Council provided her when she began to care for two children in 2013. This is because this is a late complaint and we cannot investigate it.

The complaint

  1. Miss X complains the Council failed to support her when she began to care for two children in 2013.
  2. Miss X says the Council’s actions caused the family significant financial hardship and distress.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Miss X’s complaint relates to events which occurred in 2013. This is a late complaint and we cannot investigate it. We have discretion to set aside this restriction where we decide there are good reasons. In this case I have decided not to exercise discretion because it is reasonable to expect Miss X to have complained sooner. There are records of her solicitors making contact with the Council in 2018 but there was no further communication from Miss X or her solicitors about this issue until 2020.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint because it is a late complaint.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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