Watchdog Awards County Council clean bill of health
Friday, 13 July 2012
Hampshire County Council has once again been given a clean bill of health for 2011 to 2012, from council watchdog, the Local Government Ombudsman.
Throughout the year, 103 queries and complaints concerning the local authority were made to the Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin and no cases of maladministration were found against the County Council.
The Local Government Ombudsman looks at complaints about councils and investigates them in a fair and independent way. Of the 103 queries concerning Hampshire County Council, 55 of these were referred to the Ombudsman's investigation team. They decided that 18 of these fell outside of the Ombudsman's jurisdiction, and of the remaining 37 issues they investigated, the Ombudsman decided that in 28 cases that the County Council was not at fault. Nine investigations were discontinued as they were resolved during that time.
Not all complaints are decided in the same year that they are received so the number of complaints received and the number decided will be different.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber said:
"For another year, the Local Government Ombudsman has not upheld any complaints against the County Council in our work to provide hundreds of local services to Hampshire's 1.28 million residents.
"While there was a slight increase in the number of queries and complaints compared to last year, it is not surprising as we modernise the way we work and change how we deliver many of our services. This is a crucial part of our steps to adapt, reduce costs and make savings so that we can divert more resources to meet frontline service pressures, in response to lower levels of funding now available from Government.
"Given the thousands of transactions that take place between residents and the Council every day, whether its maintaining Hampshire's 5,000 miles of roads, looking after more than 80,000 vulnerable residents or educating 157,000 children in local schools, we should take comfort in the fact that there are relatively few complaints, compared to the thousands of compliments we continue to receive each year.
"Dozens of people contact us daily to express their satisfaction with our work and the service that they have received, and we do our very best to try to meet the needs of Hampshire residents in the first instance. We do however learn from mistakes and always welcome comments and suggestions from residents as they help us to improve the delivery of local services across Hampshire."
- Annual reports on all English local authorities will be published on the Local Government Ombudsman's website