Revealed: The number of complaints about Tower Hamlets Council to the ombudsman

Local Government Ombudsman head Michael King. Pic: LGO

Local Government Ombudsman head Michael King. Pic: LGO - Credit: Archant

A watchdog received more than 100 complaints about Tower Hamlets Council, the latest figures reveal.

More than 100 complaints were made about Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: Mike Brooke

More than 100 complaints were made about Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

In total the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) received 106 gripes against the local authority between April 2017 and March this year.

Ombudsman Michael King said: “We publish our annual data to help with transparency and improve services for people.

“We are pleased to continue our good working relationship with the majority of authorities and appreciate the willingness we see in learning from our investigations.

“But there is so much more councils can do with the information we share to improve the services they provide.”

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The ombudsman – at the top of a local government complaints system – deals with people still not satisfied after their council has had a chance to put a situation right.

Every July it publishes details of the complaints it receives.

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The commonest complaints in Tower Hamlets were about housing (32) roads (20) and benefits (15).

Of the 106 total, 38 were sent back to the council to deal with while 17 were upheld following LGO investigations.

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “The number of complaints is relatively small given the many thousands of personal and often complex interactions we have each year with a fast growing population in excess of 300,000 residents.

“However, we recognise that sometimes we do fall short of the high standards we set ourselves, and our complaints team work hard to resolve all complaints at an early stage.

“On the rare occasions that we do let our residents down, we use their feedback to improve our future performance.”

He welcomed the annual review adding it was encouraging to see the number of complaints received by the LGO had fallen by seven percent, and that more than 40pc of complaints that proceed to detailed investigation were not upheld.

He said that put the council in the top ten among London local authorities for the lowest number of complaints received and those upheld. Tower Hamlets was not the most complained about council in the capital. It came tenth out of 32 London boroughs. Neighbouring Newham claimed the top spot with 227.

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