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Ombudsman Finds Cheshire East Council Guilty of Maladministration AGAIN

The Local Government Ombudsman has found Cheshire East Council guilty of maladministration over its dealings with the parents of a vulnerable adult. The couple complained that Cheshire East Council failed to follow previous LGO recommendations to complete a comprehensive reassessment of their son. The council has been ordered to carry out a reassessment and pay £500 in acknowledgement of the unnecessary time and inconvenience the parents have been put to in pursuing the complaint.

 

Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman said, “I am disappointed that Cheshire East Council failed to take on board my recommendations after my first decision last year, and it is only now that they have pledged to carry them out.”

 

The response from the Conservative cabinet member responsible was to allege that the parents were difficult to deal with and to belittle the seriousness of the ruling by saying, “I think that the recompense reflects the seriousness of the allegation”.

 

This list of senior external experts lining up to criticise the Conservative controlled council is growing. In recent months the following rulings have been made

 

  • External auditor Grant Thornton qualifies report on whether the Council is obtaining value for money for the second year running
  • OFSTED  rates child safeguarding as inadequate and the Council is put into special measures
  • Ombudsman finds planning department guilty of maladministration and says the council is knowingly and persistently misleading the public,
  • A senior lawyer’s report into Lyme Green finds a culture of mistrust in the council,
  • Information Commissioner orders the Council to release information that it was withholding on the £5M Bewilderwood scheme
  • Private Eye refers to the increasingly secretive and authoritarian  Conservative leadership of the Council in its Rotten Boroughs section
  • Planning Inspectorate repeatedly over-rules the council and allows new houses on Greenfield sites, because the council does not have a Local Plan. The Local Plan is repeatedly delayed by failings in CONsultations, allowing speculative developers more time to get their planning applications through.
  • Now the Ombusdman has found the council guilty of maladministration again over its treatment of a vulnerable adult.

Why won’t the Conservatives listen to any of them?

 

 

 

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said “It was very unwise of the Conservative cabinet member responsible to publicly criticise the parents and belittle the ruling of the Ombudsman. The parents have been proved right to make repeated complaints. The Ombudsman’s ruling makes clear that Cheshire East Council were repeatedly guilty of maladministration and had not properly addressed the issues raised by the previous maladministration ruling. Although only £500 was awarded for the nuisance caused to the parents, the Ombudsman’s ruling makes clear that further costs could be awarded after the full reassessment has taken place. The regrettable comments by the Conservative cabinet member could prove very costly when the Ombudsman comes to decide whether further compensation should be paid.”

 

 

Cllr Janet Jackson, Labour Spokeswoman for Adult Social Care, said, “It’s very disappointing to learn that Cheshire East Council have been criticized for a second time by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) for failing to provide a comprehensive reassessment for a vulnerable adult in their care. The parents of the vulnerable man should not have had to return to the LGO in order to force the Council to take the appropriate action. I welcome the fact that Cheshire East Council have now agreed to involve the couple in their son’s care planning and have apologized to the family for their failure to act on a previous decision made by the LGO last year.

 

 

 

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