Ceredigion County Council
Mrs N complained that the Council failed to close down a safeguarding case and inform a youth organisation, where Mrs N volunteered and worked, of the outcome after the investigation concluded. She said that although she contacted the Council a number of times about this, some of her correspondence received no response and no action was taken until a year later. This prevented Mrs N from returning to her role with the youth organisation. Mrs N also said that the Council failed to address her concerns appropriately when she raised a formal complaint.
The Ombudsman found that the staff member responsible for the delays and for overlooking Mrs N’s correspondence had taken full personal responsibility for these failures. However, the Council’s final complaint response was delayed, which compounded Mrs N’s concerns about staff acting promptly and appropriately on correspondence. Additionally, the Council should have done more to reassure Mrs N that the impact on her had been fully appreciated and to demonstrate that the Council had taken corporate responsibility for the maladministration that occurred.
The Council agreed to write to Mrs N to provide a corporate apology, including an explanation of what actions it had taken to address the cause of the problems in this case, and to demonstrate that it has taken corporate responsibility for the maladministration identified. It also agreed to offer Mrs N £725 in recognition of the injustice that she could not return to the youth organisation, her time and trouble following up on her case, and its poor complaints handling. It agreed to complete these actions within 1 month.