Fall in complaints against Wigan Council
There was a fall in complaints about Wigan Council with a local government watchdog last year, figures show.
The coronavirus pandemic has intensified existing problems, “widened cracks” and contributed to the most difficult time in several years for local authorities nationally, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The body looks at complaints about councils and some other authorities, such as adult social care providers and education appeal panels.
Figures from the LGSCO show 38 complaints or inquiries about Wigan Council were lodged in the year to March, though the ombudsman was closed to new complaints between March and June 2020. That was down from 79 the year before.
The highest number of concerns (13) involved education and children’s services. There were two cases related to adult social care.
Different data shows four cases deemed to warrant a full investigation by the LGSCO were concluded in 2020-21, with three resulting in a complaint being upheld against the council.
The reasons for the complaints were not provided.
Education and children’s services were the subject of the largest proportion of complaints and enquiries nationally, with more than 2,300 lodged last year.
A further 1,700 related to planning and development while more than 1,600 were about adult social care.
At the height of the first lockdown, the ombudsman was closed to new cases and halted ongoing investigations.
Lesley O’Halloran, assistant director of customer services and culture at Wigan Council said: “We welcome constructive criticism and feedback to help us improve our services and we take all complaints very seriously.
“We strive to provide the most efficient value for money services to local residents and, where there is a case to, we will investigate all complaints fully to seek a fair, timely and transparent resolution.”
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