Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 11 Mar 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complained about the Fixed Penalty Notice issued to him by the Council for putting his rubbish out on the wrong day. We will not investigate the complaint because the Council has taken action to cancel the Notice and has confirmed no further action will be taken in relation to it.
- The complainant, who I refer to as Mr X, complained about the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) issued to him by the Council for putting his rubbish out on the wrong day. Mr X disputed the fine and said he always put his rubbish in the same place and he had not fly-tipped.
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 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, or
- 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, or
- we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- In considering the complaint I reviewed the information provided by Mr X and the Council. I gave Mr X the opportunity to comment on my draft decision.
What I found
- The Council issued Mr X with an FPN in connection with rubbish he had put out.
- Mr X disputed the fine and made representations which the Council initially rejected.
- However, on receipt of further information from Mr X’s support worker, the Council cancelled the FPN and told Mr X it would be taking no further action.
- The Council cancelled the FPN in between Mr X complaining to us and his support worker providing additional information.
- Now the Council has taken action to cancel the charge, there are no grounds outstanding which warrant an investigation by the Ombudsman.
- We will not investigate this complaint. This is because the Council has taken action to cancel the Notice and has confirmed no further action will be taken in relation to it.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman