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Birmingham City Council (19 019 986)

Category : Environment and regulation > Refuse and recycling

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 31 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms B’s complaint about the Council not returning her refuse bin to the edge of her property. This is because it is unlikely we could add anything to the Council’s response or achieve a different outcome for Ms B.

The complaint

  1. Ms B is unhappy the Council does not return her refuse bin to the edge of her property after collection. Ms B says she often finds the refuse bin five or six doors away from her property.

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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 we could add to any previous investigation by the Council, or
  • it is unlikely further investigation will lead to a different outcome.

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

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information from Ms B. I shared a copy of this decision with Ms B and invited her comments.

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What I found

  1. Ms B complained to the Council about it not returning her refuse bin to the edge of her property after collection. The Council apologised and said it would speak to the waste collection team to ensure Ms B’s refuse bin was returned to the edge of her property.
  2. A month later, Ms B contacted the Council again and reported a further incident of her refuse bin being left down the road. In response, the Council set up a monitoring schedule to check on the waste collection team.
  3. After the monitoring schedule was set up, Ms B complained to the Council about a further incident. The Council responded and said it would speak to the waste collection team again. Ms B confirms she has not had any further issues.
  4. The Council has adequately addressed Ms B’s complaint. It has apologised and put in place measures to monitor the actions of the waste collection team. It is unlikely the Ombudsman could achieve anything more than this if we investigated.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms B’s complaint. This is because it is unlikely we could add anything to the Council’s response or achieve a different outcome for Ms B.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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