Other planning matters
Complaint about the time taken for adaptation works to be carried out to home under the Disabled Facilities Grant scheme. COMPL said the Council had failed to provide adequate updates and given incorrect information and unrealistic timescales and was unhappy with the explanations provided by the Council.
The Ombudsman found that some delays were not unreasonable or within the Council’s control. The Council made appropriate efforts to mitigate delays throughout the process. However, the overall timescale for undertaking the building works, originally agreed in July 2016, appeared excessive. The Council has acknowledged and apologised for shortcomings in its complaint responses and reduced the term of the legal charge in relation to the funded works from 10 years to 5 years, which appeared reasonable. The Ombudsman found that the Council’s initial complaint response was brief and lacked adequate detail about the reasons for the delays.
The Council agreed to within 20 working days:
1. Provide a written explanation for the delays, to include a timeline of events and details of the steps taken by the Council to address the delays.
2. Review the matter to identify areas of improvement and learning and provide details of any measures taken to reduce the chances of this situation reoccurring.
3. Remind staff involved that service users should be provided with timely and meaningful updates if it is not possible to progress works within anticipated timescales.
The Ombudsman’s view was that the above action was reasonable to settle the complaint.