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Redbridge Council ‘broke promises’ made to help special needs child, watchdog reveals

PUBLISHED: 13:08 01 August 2018

Local Government Ombudsman head Michael King. Pic: LGO

Local Government Ombudsman head Michael King. Pic: LGO

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The council broke promises to find support for a child with special needs who went without its help for almost two years, a council watchdog has revealed.

Redbridge Town HallRedbridge Town Hall

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) Michael King took Redbridge to task over two investigations the organisation carried out following complaints.

One concerned failing to support the child who went without support for 23 months.

The case was “particularly concerning” because Redbridge had dealt accepted the family’s complaints before, made promises but failed to deliver on them, the ombudsman said.

A second investigation was about the state of temporary accommodation offered to two homeless families which saw the council promise to apologise and pay compensation within a fortnight.

Something it didn’t do until more than six weeks later.

The ombudsman made clear the council has since acted on the LGO recommendations.

In total the organisation received 141 gripes against the local authority between April 2017 and March 2018.

The LGO – at the top of a local government complaints system – deals with people still unsatisfied after their council has had a chance to put things right.

It publishes details of the complaints it receives on its website every July.

Out of Redbridge’s 141 total, 53 were sent back to the council to handle but 36 complaints were upheld by the LGO following investigation.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council delivers a wide range of services, often to vulnerable people and with an increasing demand.

“Despite our best efforts, we don’t always get it right, and with government austerity continuing it means we have to make changes to services which can be a cause for concern. The important thing is to make sure we listen, understand and respond where we may have fallen short.”

The commonest complaints in Redbridge were about housing (34) followed by schools (22) and planning (21).

The council spokeswoman said: “We will be studying the LGO figures closely and working with frontline staff to ensure that we do our best to improve.

“The council has a continuing programme to improve the way it responds to complaints. We will continue working hard to ensure residents’ voices are heard.”


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