Decision : Not upheld
Decision date : 23 Nov 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complained the Council failed to complete repairs on the pavement outside his house properly. Mr X states the raised pavement is damaging the bottom of his car. The Council is not at fault.
- Mr X complained the Council failed to complete repairs to the pavement outside his home properly. He says the repairs have raised the height of the pavement which is catching the bottom of his car. He says he cannot use his driveway.
- Mr X would like the Council to complete further repairs to the pavement to lower its level.
- We investigate complaints of injustice caused by ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We cannot question whether a council’s decision is right or wrong simply because the complainant disagrees with it. We must consider whether there was fault in the way the decision was reached. (Local Government Act 1974, section 34(3), as amended)
- 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)
How I considered this complaint
- I discussed the complaint with Mr X and saw photographs of the footpath.
- I made enquiries of the Council and considered its final response to Mr X.
- Mr X and the Council have both had the opportunity to comment on my draft decision.
What I found
- The Council has a highways maintenance plan which specifies the standards for pavements. The Council’s Highways Team is responsible for completing repairs to pavements. After the Highways Team completes a repair it signs to confirm the work is completed to standard. The Council states this process means it is satisfied all work is completed to the required standard.
- On 21 June 2018, the Council inspected the pavement in front of Mr X’s driveway and decided it needed patching work to fill holes. On 22 June 2018, the Council completed this work.
- Mr X subsequently complained to the Council the patching work had raised the pavement height causing the bottom of his car to catch when he tried to access his driveway.
- On 18 July 2018, the Council responded to Mr X. It accepted the repair work had raised the surface of the pavement but not to a level considered “unacceptable or that presents a danger to users”. The Council said it considered the car crossing to be acceptable in highways terms.
- In response to my enquiries, the Highways Inspector brought forward a scheduled routine inspection from November 2018. The Highways Inspector has confirmed the area is safe and not considered too high.
- Mr X complained the Council’s repairs to the footpath outside his home has caused damage to his car. The Highways Team responsible for completing the repairs has confirmed the repairs were completed to standard. In addition, the Council has completed a Highways Inspection to confirm work undertaken was to standard.
- The Ombudsman cannot question the outcome of a decision that has not been affected by an administrative fault. I am satisfied the Council has undertaken repairs to the pavement outside Mr X’s home in line with its highways maintenance plan. Therefore, the Council is not at fault.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman