follow us: @_EalingNews
call us: 07488 352 974
email us:

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman criticises Ealing Council over “providing delayed and incomplete responses to our enquiries during the year”

In its 2022-23 annual review letter on how Ealing Council is performing in dealing with complaints and standards, the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has raised concerns that the council has been “providing delayed and incomplete responses to our enquiries during the year”.

Complaints about Ealing Council made to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman were also among the highest in London, the Ombudsman has reported for 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Complaints Received 2022 2023
Complaints Received 2022 2023

A total of 127 complaints were made about Labour-run Ealing Council. By comparison, neighbouring boroughs Brent and Hounslow only saw 99 and 103 complaints made.

In a letter to Ealing Council chief executive Tony Clements as well as shared directly with leader of the council Councillor Peter Mason, Nigel Ellis, reserve commissioner chief executive, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman highlighted concerns regarding complaints made to the council by members of the public and the way in which it deals with them.

In his letter Mr Ellis said: “During the year, we issued one public report about your Council after it failed to comply with a previously agreed recommendation to obtain necessary information from the National Fostering Agency. As a result of this report, I am pleased to see the Council has made changes to improve its information sharing agreements with key service providers.

“Beyond this, I am aware of your Council providing delayed and incomplete responses to our enquiries during the year. In two cases my staff noted the Council had failed to respond to our questions and, in a further seven cases, enquiry responses were not received until after the agreed deadlines. That said, I appreciate the proactive effort officers made on several cases to seek extensions to deadlines.

“I ask the Council reflects on the steps it can take to ensure delays in responding to enquiries are reduced, and that we receive full responses to our requests for information. I am pleased to note improvement to timely compliance with our recommendations this year. We noted three cases where the Council was late in providing evidence of compliance, although the delays were relatively brief. Thank you for the effort made to improve practice in this area.”

Click here to read the full 2022-23 annual review letter to Ealing Council from the Ombudsman.

Usually the Ombudsman will write the letter directly to the council, but Mr Ellis explained that as Paul Najsarek, former Ealing Council chief executive is now interim Ombudsman he is not allowed to do so.

Mr Ellis said: “The end of the reporting year, saw the retirement of Michael King, drawing his tenure as Local Government Ombudsman to a close. Paul Najsarek was appointed interim Ombudsman in April. Ombudsmen are prohibited from examining cases in organisations where they have been involved in the last five years. Your Council is affected by that and I, as Reserve Commissioner, am empowered to adjudicate in such cases and am responsible for your annual review letter this year.”

Following the Ombudsman findings, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party told EALING.NEWS: “It is a pity that the majority of complaints are upheld when only 1 in 8 are dealt with satisfactorily prior to reaching the ombudsman. It is welcome that the council does reliably follow the ombudsman’s recommendations however.”

An Ealing Council spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “We have taken the comments from the Ombudsman on board, and reviewed and strengthened our processes to ensure we are able to respond more quickly. The letter thanks us for improvements in this area, and we will ensure that these standards are maintained.”

Are you an Ealing resident with a story to share? Or spotted something we should know about?
Get in touch with us by emailing: or contact us on X @_EalingNews