Sheffield Council spends over £45k compensation on complaints

Sheffield Council had to cough up significantly more for upheld complaints than last year, a report has revealed.
Sheffield Town HallSheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall

Members of the audit and strategy committee discussing the annual ombudsman report last night (November 23) heard that the council paid out more than £45k in “compensatory payments and other reimbursements”.

This has increased from the previous year being £8445.49 paid in 2021/22.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The report showed that there were 124 complaints received by the local government and social care ombudsman (LGSCO) which was a nine per cent increase compared with the previous financial year (2021/22).

The LGSCO received the most complaints about education and children’s services (27 per cent); housing (23 per cent) and adult social care (14 per cent).

At the same time, although the housing ombudsman (HO) data has not been published, the committee was told that the council’s feedback and complaints team recorded a total of 137 complaints received by the LGSCO (77) and HO (60) last year.

The service areas that generated the largest number of Ombudsman enquiries/referrals were repairs and maintenance (28 per cent), housing and neighbourhood Services (24 per cent), education and skills (nine per cent) and adult social care (seven per cent).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, not all complaints were concluded with a formal investigation – in fact, of the 137, only 21 (15 per cent) did.

During 2022/23, the LGSCO upheld 19 complaints and the HO determined five complaints and made 12 individual complaint findings in respect of these complaints.

The LGSCO upheld 73 per cent of the complaints that were formally investigated about Sheffield City Council, which is “just slightly” below the 77 per cent average for similar authorities.

The LGSCO also found the authority had provided a satisfactory remedy before the complaint had reached the Ombudsman in 0 per cent of upheld cases, which is lower than the average of 10 per cent in similar authorities

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The HO reports a 62.5 per cent maladministration rate for SCC during 2022-23 – which is higher than the 55 per cent national maladministration rate (but similar to other local authority landlords/ALMOs).