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London Borough of Bromley (19 015 166)

Category : Other Categories > Elections and electoral register

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 05 Dec 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council failing to arrange for him to have a postal vote. This is because the organisation of elections is not the responsibility of the Council and so is outside our legal remit.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, complains the Council has failed to arrange for him to have a postal vote for the General Election.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint where the body complained about is not responsible for the issue being raised. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(1), as amended)
  3. Returning Officers for elections act in their own capacity, not as officers of a local authority. (Representation of the People Act 1983, sections 23(2))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mr X said in his complaint.

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What I found

  1. Mr X complains the Council has failed to arrange for him to have a postal vote for the General Election.
  2. Elections are organised by returning officers acting in a private capacity and not on behalf of councils. We have no legal remit to investigate their actions and so we cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint.

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Final decision

  1. My decision is that the Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr X’s complaint as it is outside his legal remit.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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