Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 26 Mar 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about work carried out to a watercourse. It is unlikely he would find fault in how the Council decided what work was necessary.
- The complainant, who I refer to here as Mr B, has complained the Council has not cleared a watercourse which runs through his land.
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 provide a free service but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if, for example, we believe it is unlikely we would find fault. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
- We cannot question whether a council’s decision is right or wrong simply because the complainant disagrees with it. We must consider whether there was fault in the way the decision was reached that is likely to have affected the outcome. (Local Government Act 1974, section 34(3), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Mr B said in his complaint and background information provided by the Council. Mr B commented on a draft before I made this decision.
What I found
- Mr B raised concerns about the condition of the watercourse with the Council. The Council says it inspected the site and carried out all the work it considered necessary. It appears from later correspondence that Mr B remains unhappy.
- I have decided we will not investigate this complaint. This is because it was for the Council to decide what work was necessary and I consider we are unlikely to find fault in how it made that decision.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman