Planning and Building Control
Carmarthenshire County Council
Mr X complained about Carmarthenshire County Council’s (“the Council”) failure to provide him with a copy of a report undertaken by an Independent Investigator (“II”) for a period of 12 months. Mr X said that the report contained inaccuracies, and he was not provided with the opportunity to review a draft report, to correct these. Finally, Mr X raised concerns about the independence of the II, and said that the report was biased against him, and contained inappropriate comments.
The Ombudsman found that there was a failure on the part of the Council to provide Mr X with a copy of the II’s report, which it only provided to him following him contacting her office. Further, she found that Mr X was not afforded the opportunity to correct factual inaccuracies contained within the II’s report. Finally, the Council had not informed Mr X, which, if any, of the recommendations contained within the II’s report had been implemented.
The Ombudsman sought and gained the Council’s agreement to undertake the following actions:
Within 20 working days:
· Provide a meaningful apology to Mr X, together with a full explanation for the failure to provide him with the Independent Investigator’s report for a period of 12 months.
· Consider Mr X’s submission about the factual inaccuracies contained within the Independent Investigator’s report and attach these to the report (so that one document is formed) with an addendum that anyone who is provided with the report should also consider his submission at the same time.
· Provide a detailed explanation to Mr X, fully outlining which (if any) of the Independent Investigator’s recommendations had been implemented, which were outstanding (and the timeframe for completion) and details of any additional improvements made to the Council’s Planning Service.
· Provide a meaningful apology for the failure to investigate Mr X’s original complaint (dealt with at Stage 2 in September 2020) properly.