Councils ‘recognising when things go wrong’

Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said the high acceptance rate showed the sector recognises and is willing to put things right when they go wrong.

The Ombudsman’s annual report reveals that it registered 16,889 enquiries and complaints about councils in 2018/19, more than a third of which were about education and children’s services or adult social care.

His office carried out 4,232 detailed investigations, upholding 58 per cent of them compared with 57 per cent the year before, and made 3,525 recommendations for how councils could put things right for individual residents.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “Councils are one of the most trusted parts of the public sector, with this report showing they accepted 99.4 per cent of Ombudsman recommendations to resolve complaints.

“The report also demonstrates councils’ openness to Ombudsman recommendations, with an increase of cases where authorities have offered a suitable remedy during the local complaints process.

“However, increased demand on council services and ongoing central government funding cuts are combining to push councils to the limit.

“With councils facing an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025, it is vital the Prime Minister uses the forthcoming Spending Round to provide funding for councils to provide care for our elderly and disabled, protect children, build homes and secure the future of local services.”

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