Local Councils in Nation's Top Ten for Complaints

Both Hounslow and Ealing residents expressing dissatisfaction with services

Residents of Hounslow and Ealing borough's more likely to have complaints
Residents of Hounslow and Ealing borough's more likely to have complaints

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January 3, 2023

Two local councils have made the top ten list for the most complained about local authorities in England.

Ealing Council received 37 complaints per 10,000 residents between 2016 and 2022 ranking it fifth in the nation. The most common problem area was housing. Not far behind was Hounslow with 32.2 complaints per 10,000 people but here the issue that was most regularly raised was benefit and tax.

Ealing had the lowest percentage of upheld complaints among the rest of the top 10. From 2016 to 2022, only 142 complaints were upheld and 93 were not, meaning there was an upheld rate of only 60.42%. This means that in around two fifths of cases, the council was found to have behaved correctly or had already resolved the issue.

The information was collated by claims.co.uk by analysing data from the Local Government Ombudsman. Nine out of ten of the most complained councils were in London with only Torbay making the list outside the capital.

The top spot for disgruntled residents went to Haringey which had 45.3 complaints per 10,000 of which 70.2% were upheld. This compares to the least complained about council, Kingston upon Hull, which only has 2.6 complaints per 10,000 people.

Across the country, education and children’s services were the most complained about, followed by adult social care and then housing and then benefits and tax. Other areas of concern were environmental services and highways and transport.

George Patton, who helped prepared the report for claims.co.uk, said, “Council tax increased by an average of £67 for Band D properties in 2022 amid the cost-of-living squeeze. Because of this tax hike, residents rightly have rising expectations towards their local authorities to provide better services. Hence, although taking on your council might seem daunting, it’s vital to know your right as a resident and speak out if you feel that your council has failed to deliver a service.

“Your first step should always be contacting the service provider in question. And if you are not happy with the solution provided, the Local Government Ombudsman will come as a final resort. Be sure not to delay and lodge your complaints as soon as possible. Moreover, stay polite throughout the process and provide clear evidence to support your claim as the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision is final—your case won’t be reviewed again unless new evidence comes to light.”

Councillor Gary Malcolm, Leader of the Opposition in Ealing said,“Liberal Democrats say that Ealing Council has always had lots of complaints. Sadly, Labour-run Ealing Council have made the process of making complaints more difficult. Liberal Democrats would ensure that people’s complaints and issues are dealt with faster and that vulnerable residents are not forgotten about.”

Ealing and Hounslow Councils have been approached for comment.

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January 12, 2023