Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 23 Feb 2017
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint about the Council’s lack of or tardy response to his development proposals. The Council has now replied to Mr B so the Ombudsman could not achieve anything significant for him by pursuing this complaint.
- The complainant, whom I shall refer to as Mr B, complained about the Council’s lack of or tardy response to his development proposals.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word fault to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe:
- it is unlikely we would find fault, or
- the fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
- the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement, or
- it is unlikely we could add to any previous investigation by the Council, or
- it is unlikely further investigation will lead to a different outcome, or
- we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the information Mr B and the Council sent to the Ombudsman. I have given Mr B an opportunity to comment on my draft decision.
What I found
- In his complaint to the Ombudsman Mr B said the Council’s officers have told him, conditionally, it will support his development proposals. He said he had put in proposals to satisfy the Council’s conditions but he had not received a response. Mr B said he wanted the Council to respond to his recent emails as it had promised to do.
- In response to our enquiry the Council sent a copy of its officer’s reply to Mr B which included an apology for the delay. The Council has given Mr B its comments on his proposals.
- The Ombudsman would not achieve anything significant for Mr B by investigating this complaint. What Mr B wanted was a reply from the Council to his proposals. The Council has now sent him that reply.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint because this would not achieve anything significant for him.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman