Venue: The Olympic Room, Aylesbury Vale District Council, The Gateway, Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8FF
Contact: Craig Saunders; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Election of Chairman
That Councillor Mrs Blake be elected Chairman of the Committee for the remainder of the Council year.
Appointment of Vice Chairman
That Councillor Mills be appointed Vice Chairman of the Committee for the remainder of the Council year.
To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Ifty Ali (1296) 585032
A review for the 6 month period from April to October 2018 had identified 2 Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) investigations that had made a finding of maladministration against AVDC and which needed to be reported to Members.
There was a legal obligation to respond to an Ombudsman report that identified maladministration. In respect of the 2 reports the agreed actions had been complied with by the Council.
The Committee received a report on the 2 maladministration cases, details of which were as follows:-
Ms B (Appendix 1 to the report)
Ms B had complained that the Council had wrongly imposed fees on her outstanding Council tax even though she did not make a payment over a year. There had been confusion over what the additional fees and charges were for and fault on the part of the Council for not considering a reduction in the level of deductions under an attachment of earnings order. Additionally, the Ombudsman had made a finding that Ms B was not sent a copy of the attachment of earnings notice. It was clear that there was no fault by the Council in the recovery action itself.
The Ombudsman’s final decision / agreed action – the Council will apologise to Ms B for the failures identified and to acknowledge these faults should pay Ms B £100 within one month of the date of this decision.
Mr C (Appendix 2 to the report)
Mr C had complained that the Council had delayed in its response to his request for planning pre-application advice. There had also been a failure to investigate that his landlord had undertaken work without the appropriate planning and building regulation approval. Lastly, the Council had failed to act upon anti-social behaviour reports from a travellers site next to his farm. The Ombudsman found fault with the failure to provide advice within its own timescales and its complaint handing.
Ombudsman finding / agreed action – the Council will apologise to Mr C, review its complaint procedures and provide further information to Mr C. The Ombudsman was satisfied that the agreed action and action already taken by the Council was enough to remedy Mr C’s injustice.
The Committee discussed both maladministration cases in detail to enable Members to gain a better understanding of the issues. Members also sought assurances that the actions required by the Ombudsman had been finalised, and that the Council had reviewed the identified processes and procedures.
(1) That, having considered the Ombudsman’s reports in respect of Ms B (Appendix 1) and Mr C (Appendix 2), the Committee was satisfied that the necessary steps had been taken to address the Local Government Ombudsman’s findings.
(2) That copies of the Ombudsman’s reports should be sent to all Members.