THE number of complaints made about the Isle of Wight Council has fallen by eight per cent in the last year, but more of them are being upheld, a report has revealed.
In the report to members of the overview and scrutiny committee, due to be discussed next Thursday, it was revealed that 638 complaints were made to the authority — eight per cent fewer than last year and a 19 per cent reduction over the last two years.
But 35 per cent of those complaints were either upheld or partially upheld, which was up from 25 per cent in the previous 12 months.
This indicated that in just over a third of cases the council either made a mistake or had not provided a service as expected.
The highest percentage of complaints upheld was within the children's services, headed by Ian Anderson, at 40 per cent — equal to 50 out of 126..
Resources had 38 per cent (31 out of 82) of complaints upheld against it, including 21 within revenues and benefits, of which 15 were for council tax matters, five for housing benefit and one for business rates.
In community, well-being and social care, 36 per cent (81 out of 223) of complaints were held, 35 per cent (131 out of 375) in economy and environment and 12 per cent (two out of 17) about the chief executive.
The council had initially said the two complaints concerned provision for children with special educational needs. It has since said this was incorrect and that one complaint related to tourist information signs and the other to a child's school attendance information.
Most complaints were made via a form on the council’s website (57 per cent); 31 per cent on the phone, five per cent by letter, five per cent by e mail and two per cent face to face.
Complaints and enquiries referred to the Local Government Ombudsman fell by 30 per cent to 53, and 28 of those complaints went on to be investigated, according to the report.
No maladministration and injustice reports were issued against the council, although the council paid out £2,250 in compensation for ombudsman cases during the financial year which was £10,000 less than the previous year.