March 2, 2021

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Complaints up at council but number requiring Ombudsman intervention down

THE number of complaints about Ceredigion council were up but the number requiring intervention from the Public Services Ombudsman was down this year.
By Katy Jenkins, BBC Local Democracy Reporter

County council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn updated members of the cabinet on Tuesday, October 6, saying the annual letter from the ombudsman for 2019/20 was “particularly positive” with no maladministration reports recorded, the first time since 2011/12.

Cllr ap Gwynn added that the number of contacts from the public was “slightly higher” with 30 made in 2019/20 compared with 23 in 2018/19.

“However, of the 30 contacts made only four cases required intervention by the ombudsman and each case was resolve by way of voluntary settlement,” she added.

The remaining 26 were discontinued either because they were premature, out of jurisdiction or closed after initial consideration.

The highest number of complaints related to planning and building control, followed by children and adult social services and then complaint handling.

The ombudsman’s letter also refers to code of conduct complaints about county councillors, with five made in Ceredigion which were all closed after initial consideration and one involving Trefeurig Community Council where no action was necessary.

Cllr ap Gwynn said a separate report from the monitoring officer would focus on this area at scrutiny committee.

She added that improvements were related to the corporate “restructuring” work.

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