Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council (19 015 585)

Category : Environment and regulation > Cemeteries and crematoria

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 23 Jan 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr L’s complaint about the loss of recorded music at his father’s funeral. The Council has offered suitable remedial action and it is unlikely an investigation would result in a substantively different outcome.

The complaint

  1. Mr L complained the recorded music at his father’s funeral failed. He said this was distressing to him and his family.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe it is unlikely further investigation will lead to a different outcome. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered all the information Mr L provided. I have also considered the Council’s response.

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What I found

  1. Mr L and his family selected recorded music to be played at his father’s funeral. The equipment at the crematorium was unable to play the music and as a result, a friend stepped in to play the organ. The loss of music was deeply distressing to Mr L and his family.
  2. The Council says the equipment is regularly and thoroughly maintained and the failure was the result of an unfortunate incident. The Council has offered Mr L a financial payment in recognition of the difficulty he and his family experienced.
  3. I consider this to be a suitable action to remedy Mr L’s distress and it is unlikely investigation would result in a significantly different outcome.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr L’s complaint about the loss of recorded music at his father’s funeral. The Council has offered suitable remedial action and it is unlikely an investigation would result in a substantively different outcome.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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