Nearly double the complaints to Kirklees Council as in previous twelve months

Council report shows that most complaints are about schools and education

Kirklees Council

The number of complaints made to Kirklees Council almost doubled last year.

There were 110 complaints lodged in 2013/14, compared to 61 last year.

The big increase is reflected across West Yorkshire, where the number of complaints to the five councils went up dramatically to more than 600.

But in a report to Kirklees councillors, officials have revealed that only one of the complaints lodged resulted in a sanction by the Local Government Ombudsman, who takes up the most serious issues.

The formal report from the Ombudsman to Kirklees was one of 58 issued in the past 12 months. The Kirklees case concerned the care of a dementia sufferer who had been treated in hospital but was then wanting to come home. The concerns raised by the Ombudsman have been taken up by the council’s Adult Services.

The remainder of the complaints were handled under the council’s own complaints policy which has three stages, moving from complaints being resolved by line staff up to to them being handled by the Corporate Customer Standards officer on behalf of the chief executive.

A report to the Cabinet meeting shows that the number of complaints received by Kirklees has been as follows over the past six years: 2008/09 - 75; 2009/10 - 66; 2010/11 - 64; 2011/12 - 66; 2012/13 - 61; 2013/14 - 110.

Kirklees’ share of the 604 complaints made against West Yorkshire councils last year was 18.2%.

Complaints against individual departments in Kirklees show that there were 26 about childrens' services and education. There were 17 about planning, 15 about council tax and benefits, 11 about adult services and 10 about housing matters.

The report says: “This analysis shows that none of the council departments’ results appear to veer widely from the West Yorkshire average.

“The Ombudsman has provided headline figures of complaints received by each council and my analysis confirms that Kirklees results continue to be broadly consistent with that of previous years.

“Nationally the Ombudsman upheld 46% of complaints received, Kirklees achieved a figure of 36%.”

FACTFILE

A complaint about Blue Badge parking resulted in a review of guidance in car parks

Concerns about care for a disabled teenager resulted in staff being advised that a full review should have been issued

A funeral director complained about practices at a Kirklees cemetery. It was resolved after a meeting with senior managers

The council changed details on its website after concerns about planning matters

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