Elmbridge Borough Council (23 014 999)

Category : Environment and regulation > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 11 Mar 2024

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mr X complains about the Council’s litter collection service along his road. We will not investigate the complaint because an investigation is unlikely to add to the Council’s own investigation or lead to a different outcome.

The complaint

  1. Mr X complains about the Council’s litter collection service. He says he has complained on numerous occasions asking for litter to be cleared up but that it is not done so within a reasonable time frame. He says information he has asked for like details of the collection schedule and when the road was cleaned have not been provided.

Back to top

The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service but must use public money carefully. We do not start or continue an investigation if we decide:
  • there is not enough evidence of fault to justify investigating, or
  • any fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
  • any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement, or
  • we could not add to any previous investigation by the organisation, or
  • further investigation would not lead to a different outcome, or
  • we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants, or
  • there is another body better placed to consider this complaint, or
  • there is no worthwhile outcome achievable by our investigation.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended, section 34(B))

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council, including its response to the complaint.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
  3. I gave Mr X the opportunity to comment on my draft decision.

Back to top

My assessment

  1. Mr X complained to the Council that litter on his road had not been properly collected by its waste contractor.
  2. The Council apologised the clearing up had not been done to a satisfactory standard and that it had been necessary for Mr X to have had to contact the Council again about it. It confirmed it had been back to the site with the contractors to identify areas that had been missed and that the work had then been completed. It also told Mr X that senior management at the contractors had been made aware that cleaning must be carried out to the required standard as part of their first visit to the site.
  3. The Council took appropriate action following Mr X’s complaint made about the service in September 2023 and there are no details of any further reports Mr X has made to the Council since then.
  4. It is noted that some time and effort is required by residents who wish to report a poor service. However, an investigation by the Ombudsman would not usefully add to the investigation already carried out by the Council or lead to a different outcome.
  5. It is open to Mr X to make an FOI request in relation to any information he wants from the Council and to pursue matters with the Information Commissioner’s Office if he is dissatisfied with the response.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We will not investigate this complaint. This is because an investigation is unlikely to add to the Council’s own investigation or lead to a different outcome.

Back to top

Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

Print this page

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Privacy settings