The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We have discontinued our investigation. The Council has resolved the issues Mrs B complains about, so there is no continued injustice which justifies an investigation.
- The complainant, whom I refer to a Mrs B, complains that the Council failed to clear blocked drains opposite her home after she reported the blockage.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- 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 the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information from Mrs B. She and the Council had an opportunity to comment on my draft decision. I considered any comments received before making a final decision.
What I found
- Mrs B complained to the Council that the drains across the road from her home were blocked. She said the blockage was causing a bad smell. The Council told her it could not find the blockage.
- Mrs B was unhappy with this, so approached the Ombudsman. However, she now reports that the matter has been resolved. This means she has no continued injustice, and it is unlikely further investigation would lead to a different outcome.
- I have discontinued my investigation.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman