Council refuses to pay compensation

The Local Government Ombudsman has branded a council “mean-minded”
for refusing to pay compensation to a severely disabled council
tenant whose home it had failed to modernise.

In January 2001, ombudsman Jerry White recommended North
Warwickshire Council pay the tenant £4,500 in compensation for
not meeting its statutory obligation.

The tenant had waited for two years because the council claimed it
could not afford to make the adaptations due to financial

On White’s recommendations, the authority reviewed its arrangements
and carried out the adaptations, but at a full council meeting in
February 2001 it refused to pay the compensation.

White called the decision “particularly mean-minded” and said the
council had treated the tenant, the general public and himself with
“little respect”.

“It failed to face up to its responsibilities or accept that its
actions had caused great suffering for a lengthy period,” he added.

The Commission for Local Administration in England received 1,183
complaints about social services departments in 2001-2, a slight
rise on the 1,170 complaints the previous year. 

Local Government Ombudsman’s annual report 2001/02 at:

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