Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 15 Feb 2022
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the Council’s refusal to refund a lost ticket fee she was required to pay at a Council car park. This is because Mrs B has not suffered a significant injustice which would justify an investigation.
- The complainant, who I will refer to as Mrs B, complains that she was charged for a lost parking ticket at a Council car park. Mrs B says she paid for parking at the payment machine but when she went to collect her ticket it was not there. Mrs B complains that the Council required her to pay a lost ticket charge of £27 in addition to the £9.50 she already paid for parking. Mrs B says the payment machine and CCTV footage would show that she paid for parking but the Council did not investigate this. Mrs B would like the Council to refund the lost ticket charge she was required to pay.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Ombudsman investigates 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 any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by Mrs B.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- To form a view on whether the Council was at fault for charging the lost ticket fee and not issuing a refund to Mrs B, we would need to start an investigation.
- We have limited resources and must focus our investigations on complaints where there is evidence to suggest a person has suffered a significant injustice because of the alleged fault.
- I find the injustice Mrs B says she has suffered is not significant enough to justify public money being spent on an investigation by the Ombudsman.
- We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint because she has not suffered a significant injustice which would justify an investigation.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman