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Gravesham Borough Council (21 003 624)

Category : Other Categories > Other

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 30 Jul 2021

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s failure to follow its complaints procedure. We consider the Council’s offer of £100 as a gesture of goodwill is a suitable remedy to the injustice caused.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, I shall call Mr X, says the Council has failed to follow its complaints process when he has raised concerns.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We can decide whether to start or discontinue an investigation into a complaint within our jurisdiction. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 24A (6) and 34B (8), as amended)
  2. If we are satisfied with a council’s actions or proposed actions, we can complete our investigation and issue a decision statement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 30(1B) and 34H(i), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mr X and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Mr X says the Council failed to respond to all his complaints according to the complaints procedure.
  2. The Council has asked Mr X to make his complaint in writing as his concerns are unclear. It has given him the contact details of a specific person to write to. Once it has received the written details, the Chief Executive confirmed he will look into the matter. The Council has also asked Mr X to stop contacting its customer services team by telephone about the same matter. This is because officers are spending excessive time on the telephone to Mr X, meaning they are unavailable to other members of the public.
  3. As a gesture of goodwill, the Council has offered Mr X £100 in recognition of the delay in the final response to Mr X.
  4. The Council did not respond to Mr X’s complaints according to its complaints policy. It has apologised for this. While we would expect the Council to respond in accordance with its complaints policy, I do not propose to investigate this issue further. The Council has offered Mr X £100 in recognition of the delay, and I consider this is a suitable remedy to his complaint.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because we are satisfied the Council’s proposed payment of £100 is a suitable remedy to this complaint.

Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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