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Published complaints

At the conclusion of the council’s complaint procedure, the complainant has the right to contact the Ombudsman if they remain unhappy with the outcome of their complaint. For complaints about the council as a landlord, this will be the Housing Ombudsman. For all other complaints, this will be the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. Both Ombudsman publish as many decisions are they can once they have concluded their own investigations. As an open and accountable council, we have taken the steps to link any decisions reached by the Ombudsman about Central Bedfordshire Council to this page.


2024

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 007 026) – 10 April 2024

Summary: Mr X complains about delay and failure to deliver provision outlined in Y’s EHCP. We have concluded our investigation having made a finding of fault. There was delay in finalising Y’s EHCP, and the Council failed to provide Y with a laptop that could be used outside of the educational setting. We acknowledge that whilst 1:1 support and co-ordination of the educational package have not been delivered as per the terms of the order, Y has not been caused a significant injustice as this provision has been delivered through Provider A. The Council has accepted our recommendations.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 017 984) – 22 March 2024

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about work carried out to the road where the complainant lives. We cannot decide whether the Council is liable for damage to his property or personal injury, these are matters for insurers or the courts. Nor can we require the Council to impose penalties on those who carried out the work.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 019 538) – 14 March 2024

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s recommendations to court. The law prevents us from considering matters that have been considered in court, and it would be reasonable for Miss X to raise her concerns as part of that process.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 002 708) – 5 March 2024

Summary: Mrs X complained the Council failed to provide a suitable education for her daughter, Y, when she was unable to attend school. There was fault in how the Council took too long to issue Y’s Education Health and Care plan and to arrange alternative education for Y, and in how it communicated with Mrs X. The Council agreed to fully apologise for those delays and pay a financial remedy. It also agreed to review how it manages contact with its special educational needs team and develop a plan to improve access to educational psychology advice.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 007 275) – 26 February 2024

Summary: Mrs X complained the Council failed to provide appropriate alternative education and special educational provision for her child when they were unable to attend school, and delayed issuing an education, health and care plan. She said the missed education had an impact on her child, and it also caused her and her family unnecessary and avoidable distress. We find the Council at fault, and this caused injustice. The Council has agreed to apologise and make a payment to Mrs X.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 013 719) – 18 January 2024

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council has wrongly refused to assess her child via its children with disabilities team rather than its children in need team. There is not enough evidence of fault by the Council to warrant our involvement.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 014 670) – 3 January 2024

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about matters relating to the care of the complainant’s children. This is because investigation would achieve nothing significant.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 012 833) – 2 January 2024

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the education provided to the complainant’s son. There are no good reasons the late complaint rule should not apply.

2023

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 008 191) – 6 December 2023

Summary: Mr X complained about the Council’s support for his disabled child and about the Council’s motive for beginning child protection proceedings. The Council was at fault for failing to use the statutory children’s complaints procedure to investigate Mr X’s complaint, and for giving him confusing information. This caused Mr X undue frustration and meant he went to unnecessary time and trouble. The Council will apologise, pay Mr X £150 in recognition of his injustice and consider Mr X’s complaint at stage two of the statutory procedure.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 012 352) – 24 November 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about how the Council dealt with a complaint about a planning matter. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 010 705) – 6 November 2023

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council failed to identify issues with his building work and has refused to reimburse him for putting them right. This is because we cannot hold the Council responsible for the issues or achieve any worthwhile outcome for Mr X.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 009 686) – 23 October 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Education Health and Care Plan process for the complainant’s son. There is not enough evidence of fault by the Council.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 009 225) – 17 October 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council refusing to issue Mrs X’s daughter with an Education Health and Care Plan. It was reasonable for the complainant to appeal the Council’s initial decision to a tribunal. Mrs X then used her appeal rights. The complaint is outside our jurisdiction.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 009 127) – 17 October 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s failure to consult residents on a planning application. We will not investigate this complaint as we have seen insufficient evidence of fault in the way the Council considered the planning application.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 016 995) – 10 October 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Education Health and Care Plan process. This is because the complainant has used their right of appeal and can submit a further appeal if they remain unhappy. This places the complaint outside our jurisdiction.

Central Bedfordshire Council (21 018 989) – 24 September 2023

Summary: Mrs O complained about arrangements for her late mother’s discharge from hospital to a care home during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said her mother was too unwell to be discharged and should have stayed in hospital. Mrs O also complained about her mother’s care at the care home. Mrs W’s health deteriorated within a few days of leaving hospital and she died. We did not find evidence of fault by the organisations.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 000 232) – 6 September 2023

Summary: There was fault in the way the Council assessed Mr C’s finances as the Council has not demonstrated how it assessed the affordability of the contribution it expects Mr C to make to the cost of his care package. The Council has agreed to apologise, re-asses Mr C’s finances and pay a symbolic payment.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 002 755) – 5 September 2023

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about a child’s secondary school placement because it has been subject to an appeal, which means it is outside our jurisdiction. We could investigate a complaint about a lack of educational provision for that child, but the complainant must first raise it formally as a complaint to the Council. And without being able to consider these points, we cannot meaningfully investigate a more general complaint about poor communication from the Council with regard to them. We have therefore discontinued our investigation.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 004 771) – 30 July 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s handling of planning applications for a site in Mr X’s locale. This is because the injustice caused to Mr X is not sufficient to warrant an investigation and we are unlikely to find evidence of fault by the Council.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 004 202) – 18 July 2023 

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about which school the Council should name on an Education Health and Care Plan. The Tribunal considered this.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 003 074) – 29 June 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s allocation of agricultural land in its Local Plan. The Planning Inspector decided the preparation of the Local Plan was sound and it was adopted in 2021. This part of the complaint is late, and we have seen no good reasons to exercise discretion on this point. The complainant also raises concerns about the Council’s approval of its own planning application. There is not enough evidence of fault here to justify an investigation.

Central Bedfordshire Council (23 002 943) – 26 June 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s decision not to name the complainants preferred school on their child’s Education Health and Care plan. This is because the Council has now agreed to name the complainants preferred school so further investigation would not lead to a different outcome.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 009 604) – 13 June 2023

Summary: We found fault by the Council on Mrs J’s complaint about it failing to ensure her son received suitable education between October 2021 and June 2022. She was unhappy with the remedy offered. The alert arrangements it had with the academy school needed improving. It failed to ensure her son received suitable alternative provision while out of school. The agreed action remedies the injustice caused.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 014 503) – 6 June 2023

Summary: The complainant (Miss X) said the Council failed to provide full-time suitable education to her son (Y), who for many months was on a part-time timetable at school and failed to ensure delivery of his special educational provisions (SEP). Miss X also complained about Y’s school exclusions and the way the Council handled her complaint. We found fault with the Council for its failure to provide full-time suitable education to Y from March 2022 till July 2022 and failure to ensure delivery of his SEP in September and October 2022. We did not find fault with the Council for its complaint-handling. We could not investigate school exclusions as these matters are outside our jurisdiction. The Council agreed to make symbolic payments to remedy injustice caused by its failings and review its part-time timetable monitoring.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 011 093) – 16 May 2023

Summary: There was fault in the way the Council considered applications for home to school transport for two siblings who moved into the area. This casts doubt on the decisions to refuse transport. The Council will reconsider the applications, apologise and make a payment for time and trouble.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 017 817) – 18 April 2023

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s processing of his blue badge application, its decision to refuse it, and the delay in determining it. There is not enough evidence of fault by the Council which affected the blue badge decision to warrant investigation. The Council has apologised to Mr X for the time taken to decide his application and there is no different outcome an investigation would achieve on this issue.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 017 142) – 2 April 2023

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the way the Council dealt with a planning application because the complaint has been made on behalf of a Parish Council..

2022

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 010 004) – 18 November 2022

Summary: We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the content of an Education Health and Care Plan. This is because it is reasonable for Mrs X to appeal to the SEND Tribunal. If Mrs X wants to challenge the Council’s decision not to provide her daughter with free transport she can do so through the Council’s own appeals process.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 000 872) – 21 September 2022

Summary: Mr X complained there was delay in completing his son, Y’s, Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) and in Y starting at a suitable school. Mr X also complained Y has missed out on Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), a personal budget request was delayed, the Council provided inaccurate information to his MP and there was poor communication from the Council. Y has missed out on full time education, therapy and this has caused distress to Mr X. The Council failed to adhere to the statutory timescales of the EHCP process, but this did not impact when Y started at a suitable school. The Council provided inaccurate information to the MP, delayed providing a personal budget, failed to ensure the SALT provision specified in Y’s plan was delivered, and the communication with the Council was difficult.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 005 609) – 18 August 2022

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about delay by the Council in responding to Ms X’s complaint about councillor conduct as any remaining injustice caused to Ms X is not sufficient to warrant our involvement. We cannot question the decision on Ms X’s complaint as, other than the delay, there is no indication of fault in how it was reached.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 004 583) – 6 July 2022

Summary: We will not investigate Miss B’s complaint that her car was damaged by a pothole. This is because it is reasonable for Miss B to pursue her compensation claim at court.

Central Bedfordshire Council (21 010 722) – 26 June 2022

Summary: Mrs X complained that the Council failed to provide her son’s special educational provision in line with his Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. She also complained that the Council delayed issuing a final EHC plan after a review. Mrs X said this impacted her son and the wider family and caused her stress. We find the Council at fault for delay issuing the amended EHC plan. This caused injustice. The Council has agreed to make a payment to Mrs X to reflect the injustice caused. We do not find the Council at fault regarding special educational provision.

Central Bedfordshire Council (22 002 551) – 7 June 2022

Summary: We cannot investigate this complaint about the Council’s communication with a parish council. This is because we cannot investigate complaints made by a councillor on behalf of a parish council.

Central Bedfordshire Council (21 018 730) – 4 May 2022

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s decision not to prosecute an estate agent with whom the complainant is in dispute. We do not start an investigation if we decide the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met.

Central Bedfordshire Council (20 011 925) – 19 April 2022

Summary: Mrs B complained about how the Council dealt with the assessment and support of her daughter. The Council has completed the statutory children’s complaints process, which means the issues have been independently investigated, and a Panel has reviewed the investigation. The Council has acknowledged there was fault and agreed a means to remedy this. There is no fault in the investigation and no basis for me to recommend that the Council take further action.

Central Bedfordshire Council (21 013 547) – 13 April 2022

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council's decision to award contacts to the complainants’ competitors. It would have been reasonable for Mr X to take legal action if he felt the Council had not conducted the tender properly.