Agenda item

Local Government Ombudsman Annual Review Letter 2015-16



The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) presented the Annual Review Letter and highlighted the following points to the Committee:


  • The Annual Review Letter contains details of enquiries and complaints received by the Local Government Ombudsman, in relation to Gravesham Borough Council, for the financial year 2015-16
  • The Annual Review Letter is included at Page 13 of the reports pack and page 15 sets out specific details of the complaints and enquiries received and subsequent decisions.

·         A total of 23 complaints and enquires were received, of which

-       2 were determined as invalid

-       3 resulted in advice being given

-       8 were referred back to GBC for local resolution 

-       7 were closed after initial enquiries 

-       3 resulted in an investigation   

·         Pages 23, 27 and 29 are the Ombudsman’s final decision reports regarding the three investigations. None of these complaints were upheld.


A Member questioned whether GBC was being too lenient with complaint handling which was resulting in fewer complaints being challenged by the Ombudsman.   The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that complaints are investigated and handled in a robust way; that the Ombudsman looks into each complaint in detail and considers GBC’s process to be transparent and appropriate.  The Ombudsman has no concerns with the Council’s complaint handling process and this is found in the fact that no complaints were upheld.


The Chair advised that the complaints that reach the Ombudsman stage of the procedure would have been investigated thoroughly by the Chief Executive who would have worked through them carefully and given a fair decision.


Members noted the findings contained in the report.


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