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Ealing Council in top 10 of most complained about councils

Ealing Council is the fifth most complained about council in England, an investigation into council complaints has found.

Between 2016 and 2022, Labour-run Ealing received 37 complaints per 10,000 residents which saw it make it into the top 10 of all councils in England.

But Ealing also had the lowest percentage of upheld complaints of the top 10. From 2016 to 2022, only 142 complaints were upheld and 93 were not, which resulted in an upheld rate of 60.42%.

Council complaints in England
Council complaints in England

Claims management company, investigated council complaint data from the Local Government Ombudsman between 2016 and 2022 to reveal England’s most complained about councils, which have improved the most and what are the most common types of complaints. In Ealing, housing was the top category of complaints people made about the Council.

Ealing Liberal Democrat Councillor Gary Malcolm, Leader of the Opposition told EALING.NEWS :”Liberal Democrats say that Ealing Council has always had lots of complaints. Sadly Labour have made the process of making complaints more difficult. Liberal Democrats would ensure that people’s complaints and issues are dealt with faster and that vulnerable residents are not forgotten about.”

The findings highlight complaints residents have made about Ealing Council to the Ombudsman.

In July 2022, the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman in its annual report on how Ealing Council is performing said it was “disappointed” that the council continues to be slow in dealing with issues and on one occasion took two years to resolve.

A total of 150 complaints and enquiries about Labour run Ealing Council were made to the Ombudsman between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022. To view the full report, click here.

In a letter to newly appointment Ealing Council chief executive Tony Clements, Michael King, chair of the the Ombudsman highlighted its concerns regarding complaints made to the council by members of the public and the way in which it deals with them.

Among the concerns, the Ombudsman said: “During the year, we issued one public report about your Council after a care provider, acting on your behalf, falsified their daily records when we asked for copies. Additionally, the Council failed to act when a safeguarding alert was raised, until a complaint was made. It then carried out a flawed investigation, which failed to consider relevant evidence or properly investigate the concerns raised.”

When the report was issued, Liberal Democrats said the Ombudsman report highlighted an ongoing and urgent need for the council to “make changes”.

Councillor Malcolm said: “Liberal Democrats for many years have said that too many people have troubled getting problems reported and fixed. They feel the Council is not listening to them. Each complaint shows something has gone wrong. Labour-run Ealing Council needs to admit they are failing in this area. They need to make changes to ensure that residents’ complaints are dealt with quickly and actions put in place to stop them happening again.” has offered some practical advise on how to raise an issue with a council and what to do if it needs to be escalated.
George Patton from the company said: “Taking on your council might seem daunting, it’s vital to know your right as a resident and speak out if you feel that your council has failed to deliver a service. Your first step should always be contacting the service provider in question. And if you are not happy with the solution provided, the Local Government Ombudsman will come as a final resort.”

Mr Patton added: “Be sure not to delay and lodge your complaints as soon as possible. Moreover, stay polite throughout the process and provide clear evidence to support your claim as the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision is final—your case won’t be reviewed again unless new evidence comes to light.”

EALING.NEWS has contacted Ealing Council for a comment

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