Redbridge no longer one of the most complained about boroughs in London

Redbridge Council are dealing with complaints better. Picture: Andrew Baker

Redbridge Council are dealing with complaints better. Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Archant

Redbridge confirmed that it is no longer one of the most complained about boroughs in the capital.

Despite the latest 2018/19 figures showing that residents' complaints rose by 55 per cent, the local authority managed to jump 17 places higher in the overall London league table.

It had, by some margin, fewer complaints than neighbouring boroughs Newham and Barking and Dagenham.

Speaking at an overview committee meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, Councillor Helen Coombe, cabinet member for transformation and engagement, said the department had been doing a lot of work

"We were 30th out of all the London boroughs [33] for the number of complaints - it is not a competition we want to be winning.

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"This year we are 13th.

"Our aim is to deal with complaints more effectively."

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A Redbridge Council officer said the local authority is looking at the "root causes of complaints and looking into underlying issues".

"We are shifting how we are dealing with complaints and trying to deal with them at the first point of call," she told the room at High Road, Ilford on Thursday, September 12.

"At the moment our complaints report is quite vague, we want a more drilled down report so we can go to the department and give them the top five most complained about things, so they can work out why."

The amount Redbridge Council had to pay out in recompense to "remedy fault" was reduced in 2018/19, with the damage amounting to £3,715.

"We haven't had very complex, severe cases where we have had to pay out," the council officer added.

"There were minimal payouts but it was half what we paid out last year."

Councillor Roy Emmett said the progress from the bottom of the London table to the middle is "cause for optimism".

"It is very encouraging the number of cases that have been dropped before it got to Ombudsman (stage)," he added.

Councillor Patel also praised the work of officers and said: "From 30 to 13 is going in the right direction."

The majority of the increase in complaints came from the Place and People directorates.

The council said it will continue to deliver training and develop sessions with key officers to ensure that complaints are investigated thoroughly and "all attempts are made to resolve complaints locally".

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