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Bolsover District Council (18 015 517)

Category : Environment and regulation > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 14 Mar 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s complaint about moss and grime on the pavement near his home. This is because the matter complained about has not caused Mr A a significant personal injustice which would merit an investigation.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr A, complains about moss and grime on the pavement close to his home.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)
  2. 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 we would find fault, or
  • the fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
  • the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information Mr A provided in his complaint to this office. I also considered the Council’s response to our initial enquiries. I sent Mr A a copy of my draft decision and considered his comments in response.

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What I found

  1. Mr A complains about grime and moss on pavements near his home. He would like the Council to remove all grime and vegetation from these pavements.
  2. The Council has inspected the pavements in question. It says no work is justified.
  3. In response to my draft decision, Mr A said he feels anxiety when seeing the pavements every day. He also feels the Council is discriminating against him under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now replaced by the Equality Act 2010). I see no evidence to support this view.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate this complaint. This is because the matter complained about has not caused Mr A a significant personal injustice which is serious enough to merit an investigation by this office.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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