Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 27 Mar 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate this complaint about penalty charge notices because the complainant has appealed to a tribunal.
- The complainant, who I refer to here as Mrs B, has complained about how the Council dealt with penalty charge notices issued in relation to a vehicle she owns. She says the Council made it difficult for her to appeal against the penalty charge notices.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate. It says we cannot investigate a complaint when someone has appealed to a tribunal; we have no discretion in this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
- The courts have decided this restriction applies even if the appeal did not provide a remedy for all the claimed injustice.
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Mrs B said in her complaint and the statutory register of appeals kept by London Tribunals.
What I found
- Mrs B had a right of appeal against each penalty charge notice to London Tribunals and has exercised that right.
- We cannot investigate this complaint because Mrs B had appealed to a tribunal and the restriction I describe in paragraph 2 and 3 applies.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman