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Three times more complaints lodged against Cornwall Council than any other unitary authority

By WBEsme  |  Posted: October 22, 2013

OmbudsmenFigures211013final

A pie chart showing the breakdown of complaints made against Cornwall Council between April 1 2012 and March 31 2013

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Campaigners have spoken out as latest figures show Cornwall Council has received more than three times more complaints than other unitary councils.

Between April 1 2012 and March 31 2013 the independent complaints body for local government authorities, the local government ombudsman, received 114 complaints from members of the public against Cornwall Council.

Between the same period the independent body received an average of 36 complaints against other unitary authorities.

Cornwall Council has admitted that this figure “appears high”.

Out of the complaints submitted 40 per cent concerned planning and development issues.

Tony Hilton, acting chair of the charity Campaign to Protect Rural England Cornwall, said: “Cornwall Council seem to have one directive: build absolutely anywhere and everywhere. Is it any surprise that local people are questioning some of the decisions from officers up to the point of complaining?

“While it’s true that we do need some new housing, this level of complaints show that the council is getting it wrong and putting the wrong building in the wrong places.

“It’s right that people exercise their democratic voice and make themselves heard.”

Of the 114 complaints received, 72 have been upheld and are either under or have been investigated by the local government ombudsman.

A spokesperson from Cornwall Council has said that the number of complaints against them “appears high”, but it believes that formal investigations were only carried out by the ombudsman in 64 cases and it understands that 32 were not upheld, seven were partially upheld and 25 were fully upheld.

The spokesperson said: “The remaining complaints had either been sent to the ombudsman prematurely and were referred back to the council to go through our complaints procedure were considered by the ombudsman to be outside their jurisdiction or the ombudsman had decided not to initiate an investigation.

Cornwall Council has said that it is committed to providing the highest quality services to local residents and takes all complaints extremely seriously.

The council spokesperson added: “We have a very robust complaints procedure and always endeavour to try and resolve complaints through this process. We appreciate, however, that this is not always possible and co-operate fully with the local government ombudsman in respect of their investigations and arriving at a solution which deals with the concerns that have been raised.”

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3 comments

  • letigre  |  October 22 2013, 4:42PM

    This comes as a surprise to no one other than the arrogant at county hall. "I wish to object to this planning application on the material planning grounds of noise and loss of residential amenity". Rubber stamped approval for a renewable development which is obviously far more important than anything else. Roll on 6 months - statutory noise nuisance filed, legal team appointed and complaint filed against Cornwall council. Well done all, sterling job. Roll on the next Judicial Review against the council in November. What a waste of time and money for everyone. We deserve better than this.

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  • longrocker  |  October 22 2013, 1:34PM

    Cornwall Council are not interested in the peoples wishes, they disregard the wishes of the people ... we said no to Sainsbury's in Penzance .. we got it ! we said no to the Cycle path overlooking St Michaels mount ... we got it, now locals cant stop there for a bite of lunch and enjoy the view, and Holiday makers cannot stop to enjoy the view and take photo's The Residence of Long Rock and visitors want the Mexico Rail Crossing opened ... Its still closed ! Sainsbury's did give a huge wad of cash to the council ... The building is much larger than the plan, Trees were not planted as per the plans .... I rest my case. I would like to thank the Cornishman for their suport regarding the absurd closing of the Mexico Railway Crossing.

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  • NormaStitz  |  October 22 2013, 10:52AM

    Not unconnected with fact that Cornwall Council is corrupt from top to bottom and rotten to the core.

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