County council among most complained about

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Lancashire County Council is one of the most complained about authorities in the country, figures have revealed.

The cash-strapped organisation has had the fourth highest number of upheld complaints against it, according to statistics from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

There were more than 150 complaints made to the LGO about Lancashire County Council, with 33 of those upheld, in the year up to March 31 2016.

A total of 68 of the complaints were made about adult social care, with another 68 made about education and children’s services.

Angela Esslinger, complaints manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We have a duty to ensure that people can easily raise concerns and make complaints about our services, and to ensure that we learn any lessons which could help to improve them.

“We have a dedicated team to handle customer feedback, and try as best we can to resolve and improve services as a direct result of complaints.

“However we also have a good working relationship with the Local Government Ombudsman, which is often the next step for complaints which we haven’t been able to resolve.

“As the UK’s fourth largest local authority, Lancashire is always likely to feature towards the top of national tables such as this in terms of the number of complaints received, and the report shows that the proportion of complaints upheld by the Ombudsman is in line with other councils. A number of the complaints upheld by the Ombudsman will also have been upheld by the county council, and it does not necessarily follow that the council has acted unfairly just because a complaint has also been upheld by the Ombudsman.”

The LGO published its annual complaint statistics for local authorities. Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman spokesman, said: “We are publishing this report to demonstrate the scale of our work and provide an open resource to help others scrutinise local public services.”