Complaints data for Trafford Council (for 2020/210 and all other councils in the North West has been released today by the Local Government and Social Care ombudsman.
Trafford Council had the following complaints against it in 20/21:
Adult Social Care – 6
Benefits and Tax – 7
Corporate and other services – 2
Education and children’s services – 11
Environmental Services – 20
Highways – 3
Housing – 1
Planning and development – 3
The issues continue with environmental services here in Trafford, bin collection snd how One Trafford deals with fly tipping, potholes and drainage are complained about the most.
In nearby Manchester City Council they had 15 complaints against it for the same issues, although they did far worse in other areas such as Adult Social Care where they had 16 complaints, 19 for Benefits and Tax, 19 for Education and children’s services, 13 for highways.
Data from this year’s statistics shows for the North West region:11% of all complaints from this area 65% uphold rate, up from 58%
Most complaints are about Children and Education (23% was 25%) Fewest complaints about Housing (5%) – smallest proportion nationwide
Highest uphold rate: Corporate and Other Services (78%), was Children and Education (75% was 79%) Lowest uphold rate: Planning (was 30% now 38%)
This region has the lowest uphold rate in the country for Benefits and Taxation (50%), Planning (38%) and Housing (47%)
This region has the joint highest proportion of its complaints about Adult Care Services (19%) and Environmental Services (14%)
Nationally, over the past year the Ombudsman has upheld a greater proportion of investigations– 67% – than ever before.
This continues an upward trend since the Ombudsman started publishing its uphold rate.Despite being closed to new complaints at the height of the first COVID-19 lockdown, and so registering fewer complaints than recent years, the Ombudsman still received 11,830 complaints and enquiries from members of the public.
The investigations undertaken over the past year have led to 3,104 recommendations to put things right for individuals.more importantly, there were 1,488 recommendations for councils to improve their services for others – such as revising procedures and training staff.
This is a higher proportion of the total number of recommendations than previous years, and suggests Ombudsman investigations are increasingly finding systemic problems than one-off mistakes with local government services.Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:“We’ve been issuing our annual reviews for the past seven years now, and while every year has seen its challenges, this year seems to have been the most difficult for local authorities.
“While the way local authorities dealt with the pressures of COVID-19 is still being played out in our casework, early indications suggest it is only widening the cracks that were already there, and has deepened our concerns about the status of complaints services within councils.
“These concerns are not new and cannot be wholly attributed to the trials of the pandemic.“I am concerned about the general erosion to the visibility, capacity, and status of complaint functions within councils.
“Listening to public complaints is an essential part of a well-run and properly accountable local authority, committed to public engagement, learning, and improvement. I know the best councils still understand this and put local democracy and good complaints handling at the forefront of their services.“
The Ombudsman also writes to local councils giving them a round-up of the complaints the organisation has received about them.
These letters are published on the Ombudsman’s website.The report also highlights across England:Compliance with LGSCO recommendations has remained high (99.5%), demonstrating councils’ continuing commitment to putting things right.
Fault was found in more than three quarters of complaints investigated about Education and Children’s Services (77%). There was an increase in the uphold rate of all categories of complaint, other than Environmental Services & Protection.11,830 complaints and enquiries registered In 11% of upheld cases, councils had already offered a suitable remedy 1,726 cases with recommendations to put things right 3,104 recommendations to remedy personal injustice 1,488 recommendations to improve services for others
The Ombudsman issues a separate annual review for the Adult Social Care cases it investigates, covering both local councils and independent care providers. This report is published in the Autumn.For more information visit www.lgo.org.uk/your-councils-performance