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LGO disappointed with council’s response to family ‘injustice’

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has today hit out at the Council of the Isles of Scilly for its belated response to a report highlighting injustices caused by the authority’s faults.

The original complaint report was issued in August of last year but the ombudsman chose not to publish details in order to protect the family concerned.

However, it says it has been forced to take further action on the issue because Scilly Council has failed to implement the recommendations it was given.

Specifically, LGO officials said they have received insufficient evidence of compliance with the original orders put forward and have added a further instruction for the council to pay an additional £250 to the family as remedy for the injustice caused.

Details of the incident which has caused the dispute have been held back so as not to cause further harm to the family, although the ombudsman did say that the council had failed to provide support to a vulnerable family member and then did not follow the appropriate complaints procedures.

Michael King, local government and social care ombudsman, said he understood that the council was in a “difficult position” with regards to publicly discussing the issues, but said it needed to continue its correspondence with the LGO to ensure recommendations have been put in place.

“Since we chased the council about its response to the initial report it has – albeit belatedly – sent an apology to the family and provided part of the financial remedy recommended,” King continued.

“The council’s failure to respond properly to the original report has shown a great deal of disrespect to the family, and can have only compounded their sense of injustice. I am disappointed it took prompting and the threat of this further report for the council to provide part of the remedy it had previously agreed.

“It still needs to provide evidence it has complied with other aspects of the original recommendations, including for their loss of services, which were clearly set out in the original report and have remained consistent throughout our regular correspondence with the council.”

The LGO also said that, if the council does decide not to comply with its regulations, it must discuss the reports in open council.

PSE has contacted the Council of the Isles of Scilly, which said it would not be making a statement on the report out of respect to the family.

Top image: JulieVMac

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