Local Government Ombudsman
You can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) about decisions and actions taken by Local Authorities which amount to maladministration or service failure. The LGO is an independent complaints service set up investigate complaints about Local Authorities. In Wales your complaint should be made to the Public Services Ombudsman (PSO). Currently the LGO in England is operating a pilot project in 14 Local Authority areas to deal with complaints about schools.
Complaints must be registered with the LGO/PSO within 12 months of the cause of the compliant. The LGO/PSO expects that the complaint is first made to the Local Authority/School Governing Body so they have had the opportunity to respond.
The LGO/PSO will decide whether or not to investigate your complaint. If, following an investigation of your complaint, the LGO/PSO finds that the Local Authority has done something wrong then they will usually recommend how it should be put right. They can also award compensation. Although the LGO/PSO does not have the power to make Local Authorities do what they recommend, Local Authorities almost always will act on what is said and will comply with any recommendations made.
There is no right of appeal against a decision of the LGO/PSO. However if the LGO/ PSO has made an error in law in the way it reached the decision then the Decision can be challenged in the High Court by way of Judicial Review proceedings.
Watkins Solicitors are able to advise you on all aspects of the Complaints procedures including advising you on your grounds of complaint, drafting documents, and obtaining the evidence you need to support your complaint. We are able to advise you on the merits of judicial review proceedings.
Watkins Solicitors have acted successfully in a number of cases concerning complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman e.g. in cases where the Local Authority have failed to provide education.
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