This was a complaint brought against Birmingham City Council by Mr X. The LGO found that the Council failed to to comply with the Ombudsman’s recommendations in Mr X’s previous complaint. The Council also failed to to deliver promptly the Ombudsman’s recommendations. Further, the Council significantly delayed in providing adaptations to meet Mr X’s son’s needs. Lastly, the LGO found that the Council delayed in instructing a surveyor to inspect Mr X’s property. The Council agreed to take actions to ensure the work to Mr X’s home would be completed in a timely manner and to pay Mr X £750 for his time and trouble pursuing his complaint as well as the distress and uncertainty caused by the Council’s continued failings in delivering adaptations for his disabled son.
The LGO considered a complaint against London Borough of Brent. In this case, Mrs X complained that the Council refused to accept responsibility for repairing a damaged main water supply pipe in her kitchen. Mrs X also alleged that the the building contractors damaged the pipe in February 2016 when they returned to rectify sub-standard work carried out in 2013 funded with a Disabled Facilities Grant, and that they did not complete remedial works they were instructed to carry out by the Private Housing Service. The LGO found that there were significant defects in the design and specification of the rear concrete ramp, and the standard of work done, under the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2013. Further, the Council delayed in starting the investigation.The Council’s failure to monitor progress and ensure the contractors started work promptly was fault. So I do not consider it was fault for the Council to decide not to pay for replacement floor tiles. The Council took too long to arrange for the remedial works to be completed and to investigate and reply to her complaints. Meanwhile Mrs X has lived in poor and damp conditions, with unfinished works, for longer than necessary. The Council agreed to ensure the new building contractor completed the agreed remedial works; arrange for a named surveyor to monitor progress and for the Head of the Service to carry out a final inspection to ensure works were completed to a satisfactory standard; pay the contractors £765.60 to rectify the rising damp which affected the kitchen wall (this was not caused by the defective DFG works); pay Mrs X £500 to recognise the inconvenience and disruption she suffered due to the delay in getting the remedial works completed and her time and trouble in pursuing the complaint.
Ms Z complained against Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council. The LGO found that even though the Council considered Ms Z’s referral for as Disabled Facilities Grant appropriately, relying on the occupation therapist’s assessment, the Council failed to provide information about DFGs or other funding alternatives, or keep in touch with Ms Z during periods of delay. As a result Ms suffered distress, frustration. The Council’s failure put Ms Z to unnecessary time and trouble. The Council agreed to apologise to Ms Z for failing to tell her about the DFG process or other funding options, and for failing to update her during the reassessment and complaint processes which were subject to delays; pay Ms Z £500 for her avoidable distress and frustration and her undue time and trouble in continuing the matter; review with the agencies involved in the DFG process how the requirements of the Guidance se will be met and to provide clear information about alternative funding to a DFG; provide a copy of its literature pack and alternative funding leaflet to the Ombudsman within three months of my final decision; consider whether multi agency officer training was needed to address the communication difficulties.
The LGO considered a complaint against Staffordshire County Council brought by Mr and Mrs X, who claimed that they had to wait two years before the Council told them that do not meet the criteria for a Disabled Facilities Grant. The LGO found that the Council failed to provide information about the Disabled Facilities Grant application procedure, properly supervise and prevent avoidable delays in assessing how to provide for the need for adaptations and consider the complaint without delay. The Council agreed to apologise to Mr and Mrs X and review its arrangements to avoid confusion and to provide clear lined of responsibility for all parts of the assessment and Disabled Facilities Grants. Lastly, the Council agreed to pay Mrs and Mrs X £500.00
The LGO considered a complaint against Surrey County Council brought by Ms A on behalf of her daughter Ms L. The LGO found that the Council’s actions contributed to the unreasonable delay in Ms L’s application for a Disabled Facilities Grant and this caused her injustice. The Council, however, was not at fault for the failure to progress with the application. The Council agreed to apologise to Ms L for its contribution to the delays in her DFG grant application; pay Ms L a financial remedy of £300 to recognize the distress this delay has caused her; Ms A could sign the plans on Ms L’s behalf; and that Ms A could find another organisation or specialist to carry out the lighting assessment.
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