Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
  • Who can complain to the Ombudsman
  • Actions the Ombudsman is able to investigate
  • Time limit
  • Alternative remedies
  • Remedy by way of proceedings in a court of law
  • Statutory tribunal
  • Right of appeal to a Minister of the Crown
  • Action affecting all or most of the inhabitants
  • Ombudsman's discretion and settlements
  • more

Who can complain to the Ombudsman

A complaint may only be made by a member of the public. It is possible for complaints to be made on someone's behalf (including by a member of the same or of a different council) if the person affected has given written permission. The complainant must claim to have suffered injustice. If the person affected has died, or is unable to act, their personal representative can make a complaint on their behalf.

A member of the public:

  1. means a person or a body of people (including clubs and other organisations), not part of the council

  2. would not include:

    1. a councillor complaining in their position as a councillor, eg that they were not put on a sub-committee, were not allowed to speak at a council meeting or in respect of any action taken by the council in respect of an alleged breach of the code of conduct

    2. a council employee such as a residential social worker complaining about poor management in a council-run home

    3. bodies constituted for the purpose of public service (eg parish councils)

  3. would include a councillor or council employee who complains about repairs to their own council flat or about some other service received in their own individual capacity

Who may make complaints: Halsbury's Laws of England (69) 855

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