Coventry City Council (21 014 065)

Category : Other Categories > Land

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 27 Mar 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mr X complains about the Council’s handling of matters relating to a public open space and fencing surrounding it. We will not investigate the complaint because we are unlikely to add to the investigation already carried out by the Council and an investigation is unlikely to lead to a different outcome.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, who I refer to as Mr X, says he is being stopped from accessing an area of public open space near his property which has fencing around it.

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 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. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

Back to top

How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mr X and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
  3. I gave Mr X the opportunity to comment on my draft decision and considered what he said.

Back to top

My assessment

  1. Mr X is concerned about access to a small area of public open space at the end of his road.
  2. He complained to the Council about this and about the presence of fencing around it. The Council responded to his complaint but explained it was permitted to keep the fence in place and would continue doing so.
  3. I do not consider an investigation by the Ombudsman would be likely to add to that already undertaken by the Council or lead to a different outcome. Moreover, we do not investigate every complaint we receive and, in this case, any injustice caused to Mr X in being unable to access the small area of land is limited in nature and insufficient to warrant an investigation.
  4. In responding to my draft decision Mr X says other similar areas of public open space in his locale have not been fenced and that the Council had previously told him it would be removing the fencing but then failed to take this action. However, the Council has considered the matter recently and its current position, as set out in the letter it sent Mr X at Stage 2 of its complaints procedure, is that, having sought the views of neighbouring residents, it will not be removing the fencing. While Mr X may not agree with this decision, it is not our role to review the merits of it.

Back to top

Final decision

  1. We will not investigate this complaint. This is because we are unlikely to add to the investigation already carried out by the Council and an investigation is unlikely to 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