Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The report evaluates and sets before cabinet the position following the publication of a report on 21 March 2019 by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO). The report was issued after an investigation into the handling of an historic homelessness case which initiated over six years ago, in December 2012.
1) Note and acknowledge the important public role of the Ombudsman in scrutinising and reviewing the actions of local authorities, together with the legally binding nature of findings of maladministration and injustice that he has made against the Council regarding the handling of an historic homelessness and housing matter.
2) That Cabinet note that the Allocations Policy will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee when it undertakes its annual review of the housing allocation policy in September 2019
Recommendation to Council: That
3) Council endorse the actions already taken, namely the written apology to the applicant and the procedural change to the published scheme of allocations and to advise recipients of housing decision letters of their right to complain to the ombudsman.
4) Cabinet accepts and recommends to Council the recommendation in the report to pay compensation to the applicant of £4,500.
5) The recommendation to make the applicant top of the list for each eligible property he bids for until that bid is successful, be rejected for the reasons stated in paragraph 3.8.1(c) of this report as it is not considered appropriate for Mr X to have priority over applicants who may be fleeing abuse or violence, or are dealing with acute and life limiting medical conditions
6) Council note that instead of giving Mr X the priority recommended by the ombudsman, the applicant’s housing application has been reinstated with a registration date backdated to January 2013 reinstating him to the position he would have been had the maladministration not occurred
7) The recommendations in paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 be adopted as the Council’s formal response under section 31 of the Local Government Act 1974 and that the ombudsman be notified of the actions that the Council has taken or agreed to take
8) The recommendations in paragraphs 3,4, and 5 be adopted and recommended to Council as the Council’s formal response under section 5A of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and be sent to all members of council and the monitoring officer.
Publication date: 12/06/2019
Date of decision: 11/06/2019
Decided at meeting: 11/06/2019 - Cabinet