The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about a delay the complainant was having in getting a refund for a dropped kerb application. This is because the Council has paid the refund.
- The complainant, whom I refer to as Ms X, complained the Council had not paid a refund after there were delays in building a dropped kerb.
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 an investigation if the problem has been resolved. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I read the complaint and the Council’s replies. I considered a document which said the refund had been authorised. I invited Ms X to comment on a draft if this decision.
What I found
- Ms X paid for a dropped kerb in February 2019. The Council aims to complete dropped kerbs within 12 works but, in this case, it was not built until December 2019 and additional work was completed in April 2020. The delay was linked to the Council having to move a tree and a street light.
- In late 2019 the Council apologised the delay and agreed to refund the £260 application fee. There were further delays with payment of the refund.
- The Council spoke to Ms X in January 2021. She said she was happy with the crossover and will accept the £260. I have seen a document which shows the refund has been authorised.
- There were delays by the Council in building the crossover and paying the refund. But, I will not start an investigation because the Council has finished the work and paid the refund. Ms X also told the Council she was content with the outcome.
- I will not start an investigation because the Council has paid the refund.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman