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Haringey Council pays residents £23k for failings including to disabled man with ‘prolonged distress’

PUBLISHED: 09:29 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:04 16 October 2020

Haringey Council's leader has vowed to learn from the town hall's mistakes. Picture: Polly Hancock

Haringey Council's leader has vowed to learn from the town hall's mistakes. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

Haringey Council has vowed to “do things differently” after it paid out at least £23,000 to residents for its failings in the previous financial year.

Haringey Council has vowed to “do things differently” after it paid out at least £23,000 to residents for its failings in the previous financial year.

One of the biggest payouts – £4,400 – went to a disabled man who suffered “prolonged distress” after he was left in housing that could not be adapted for his wheelchair for more than four years due to council delays.

Other payments included £2,800 made to a woman who was evicted after the council miscalculated her housing benefit and £3,400 over a botched debt collection case.

It was also told to pay £4,300 to a woman whose son – who has special educational needs – fell behind with his education due to council mistakes.

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The £23,000 figure could be higher, as in some cases the council was told to cover court costs and other liabilities.

The information was published by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, which investigates complaints against councils. It covers the period from April 1, 2019 to March 1, 2020 and is for the 33 upheld decisions published by the Ombudsman. Some decisions are not published, to maintain confidentiality.

It also reveals 80 per cent of complaints about Haringey Council were upheld, compared to an average of 70pc in similar authorities. The Ombudsman upholds complaints when it finds councils are at fault.

Haringey Council followed the Ombudsman’s recommendations in 95pc of cases, compared to an average of 99pc for similar authorities.

In nine pc of cases, it had already provided a satisfactory remedy before the complaint reached the Ombudsman – lower than the 15pc figure for similar authorities.

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Haringey Council’s leader, said: “As a council we set ourselves high standards and always do our best to respond to individual needs but like every big organisation we don’t always get things right.

“Where there have been failings, we apologise to the individuals affected and will recompense for any mistakes that have occurred. We will learn lessons from this and commit to do things differently moving forward.”


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