Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 07 Jan 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not now investigate this complaint about a matter the complainant raised with the Council in 2015. The complaint is made too late.
- The complainant, who I refer to here as Mrs X, has complained the Council’s Trading Standards officers did not take action regarding an alleged crime in 2015.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate. It says we cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered Mrs X said in her complaint and she commented on a draft before I made this decision.
What I found
- Mrs X says she reported a fraud to the Council in 2015. She has provided a letter from the Council which advised her to report the matter to the police and how to proceed once she had done so.
- I consider Mrs X was aware of the Council’s view and that it had not taken any action at that time. She did not complain to us until 2019.
- I have decided we will not investigate this complaint because Mrs X did not complain to us within 12 months of being aware of the matter.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman