Lincolnshire

Fewer than 10% of complaints made against Lincolnshire councils upheld by ombudsman

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Fewer than 10% of official complaints made against Lincolnshire councils were upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman in the last year.

Data from the ombudsman has shown that 271 complaints were made against all 10 councils in the Greater Lincolnshire region from April 2015 to March 2016.

Of these complaints, only 22 were upheld by the ombudsman.

The rest were either invalid or incomplete, given advice, referred back for resolution at a local level, closed after initial enquiries or not upheld.

The ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about councils and some other organisations providing local public services.

As the largest local authority in the region, Lincolnshire County Council was subject to the most complaints, with 81 being made and nine upheld.

Just two of the 27 complaints made against City of Lincoln Council were upheld.

Boston Borough Council was one of four local authorities in Lincolnshire which had no complaints made against it to the Local Government Ombudsman upheld.

North Kesteven, South Kesteven and South Holland district councils all also had no complaints upheld against them.

Boston Borough Council Leader, Councillor Peter Bedford, said: “While it is gratifying to receive such a positive outcome in the Local Government Ombudsman’s annual report, we do value all the complaints we receive as opportunities for improvement.”

The LGO received 19,702 complaints and enquiries about local authorities, which was a similar level to the previous year.

It saw a 13% increase in complaints and enquiries about education and children’s services.

The ombudsman was most likely to find fault in complaints about benefits and tax (64%), and least likely to find fault in complaints about highways and transport (40%).

Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said: “While the number of complaints we receive is relatively small in comparison to the thousands of daily interactions between people and their councils, each complaint represents a problem that could not be resolved locally.”