Neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour
Vale of Glamorgan Council
Mrs A complained that the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s (“the Council’s”) Shared Regulatory Services had failed to serve a noise abatement notice on a neighbour as a result of a complaint she had made to it. She also stated that she believed that the officer had shown bias against her and her other neighbour during his investigation.
An assessment of the information available to the Ombudsman found that there had clearly been a breakdown of trust and communication between the investigating officer and Mrs A. Mrs A had also shown some dissatisfaction with the officer’s supervisors during the Council’s complaints process.
The Council, it appeared, had been working with the neighbour causing the noise nuisance and his brother to carry out work to reduce the cause of the noise. The Council had offered to install a noise monitoring device since the neighbour’s brother had carried out some work to mitigate the noise problem. It was felt, therefore, that it was not clear whether an investigation had been fully completed.
The Ombudsman is limited in how he may intervene in any decision made with the use of professional judgement by a public body under his jurisdiction.
He, therefore, contacted the Council and it agreed to do the following:
1) Contact the complainant by telephone within 10 working days of this letter and offer her an appointment to speak with a different Noise Nuisance Service officer to conclude the current investigation of her complaint.
2) Write a letter to the complainant providing a decision on the outcome of its investigation within 30 working days of the date of this decision letter.
The Ombudsman believes that this is an appropriate early voluntary resolution to this complaint.