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.
- Miss X complains the Council failed to support her when she began to care for two children in 2013.
- Miss X says the Council’s actions caused the family significant financial hardship and distress.
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 information provided by the complainant and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- 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.
- We will not investigate Ms X’s complaint because it is a late complaint.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman