Plymouth City Council (18 008 668)

Category : Environment and regulation > Health and safety

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 15 Oct 2018

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the condition of the footpath outside her parent’s home. This is because the Council has remedied any possible injustice. Consideration of the complaint by the Ombudsman could not achieve anything more.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mrs X, complained the Council had not removed weeds from the footpath outside her parent’s home. She said the weeds were a health and safety hazard.

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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)
  2. We can decide whether to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A(6) and 34B(8), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered Mrs X’s complaint to the Ombudsman. I also gave her the opportunity to comment on a draft statement before issuing a final decision.

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What I found

  1. Mrs X says the pavement outside her parent’s house is overgrown. She says the weeds are so long they are a health and safety hazard.
  2. Before I had a chance to consider Mrs X’s complaint, the Council carried out the work requested. Consideration of the complaint by the Ombudsman could not achieve anything more for Mrs X. An investigation is not therefore warranted.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint. This is because there is no remaining injustice and we could not achieve anything more for her.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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