Option 1 - Ombudsman
If you have had no luck making a complaint to your council, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman (in England) or the Public Services Ombudsman (in Wales) to investigate. They will decide if they think the local authority has acted fairly. The Ombudsman is independent of government. This means their decision won’t be affected by government policy or ‘the cuts’.
Local Government Ombudsman (in England)
0300 061 0614
Public Services Ombudsman (in Wales)
Try to get help from one of the organisations listed in Further help on how to complain to the Ombudsman. But if you can’t, don’t worry – the process is simple. The Ombudsman can sometimes investigate a complaint before you go all the way through the local authority’s procedure. If you want them to do this, it is best to phone the Ombudsman’s office before you write to them.
- why the issue needs to be resolved so urgently
- that you have written to the local authority
- that you have asked them to deal with your complaint urgently
- whether they have responded
- if they have responded, why you cannot use the second stage of their complaints process (for example the matter is too urgent) and
- that you want the Ombudsman to investigate your complaint as soon as possible
It is best to prepare for important phone calls like this. Make a list of everything you want to cover during the conversation. Tick them off as you go through.
If they agree to consider your complaint without delay:
- make a note of the name of the person you spoke to
- the date and time that you spoke to them
- thank them for their help and
- tell them that you will complain in writing
- If they say that they don’t think your complaint is urgent enough, stay calm.
Explain again why you need to resolve the situation as soon as possible. If you still have no luck, complete your local authority’s complaints process first. Then put in your complaint to the Ombudsman.