Complaints rise, but remain low - The Malvern Observer

Complaints rise, but remain low

Malvern Editorial 11th Sep, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

COMPLAINTS made about Malvern Hills District Council have increased by almost 50 per cent, but the amount the authority receives still remains one of the lowest in the country.

Statistics released by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) show from April 2014 to March 2015 16 complaints were made, which compares to 11 recorded 12 months before.

Of the 16, eight were made about planning and development, two about benefits and tax, two about corporate services and another two about environmental services, while one complaint was about both highways and transport and housing.

Coun Julian Roskams, leader of the Democratic group at the council, told The Observer cuts from the Government was the main reason behind the rise.

“It is unsurprising the number of complaints to the LGO about our council is one of the lowest in the country, as we are one of the smallest authorities,” he said.

“What we must focus on is the fact the number of complaints about the council has risen and seek to tackle the reasons.

“Councils have faced savaged cuts in its funding from national Government and have reached the limit of being able to do more for less.

“With even greater cuts in funding expected to be announced by the Chancellor this November, I expect frontline services – especially county council provision of social care and education – to bear the brunt and for residents to face a decline in the quality of services being offered.

“I fear the LGO is going to be kept very busy in the years to come.”

Worcestershire County Council received 67 complaints, while neighbouring Worcester City Council had 12 and Wychavon District Council had 15.

John Williams, head of policy and governance at MHDC, added all feedback was valuable to the council and provides an opportunity for the authority to ‘learn lessons’ and deliver a higher quality service to residents.

“Despite a slight increase, the number of complaints made to the LGO remains among the lowest in the country,” he added.

“Just three were upheld which shows we are getting it right for the vast majority of the time, despite the increased pressures we and the rest of local Government are operating under.”

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