Report reveals number of complaints made against Portsmouth City CouncilÂ

MORE complaints are made against education and children's services than any other Portsmouth City Council department, it has been revealed.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 2:50 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 4:59 pm
The Civic Offices in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth

In a report released by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman figures for the 2017-2018 financial year show that out of a total of 46 complaints, 13 were against that service in particular.

This reflects a trend of the past 10 years, in which education and children's services have consistently attracted the most negative feedback, followed by adult services.

But the council have said that the high numbers are due to the relative size of the service compared to others. A spokesperson said: 'Larger services tend to receive more complaints because they have more customers.'

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Between 2016 and 2017 the council received a total of 42 complaints, 10 of which were for education and children's services.

Louise Wilders, the council's director of community and communications, said: '˜While it is positive that the number of complaints received by Portsmouth City Council remains relatively low, we take all complaints extremely seriously.

'We always try to provide an excellent service for our customers. A complaint means a customer's experience has fallen short of the standards we expect and it is important that we investigate, learn from what we did wrong and make improvements to services as a result.

'There has been a slight increase in the number of complaints upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. We recognise this indicates we need to improve the way we manage complaints as an organisation and we are making a number of changes to improve information and training for staff and managers, and to ensure better accountability for handling and learning from complaints.'

Last year a total of 12 complaints went to a detailed investigation and nine were upheld. This is an increase in complaints being upheld from previous years (in 2016 seven were upheld and in 2015 two were upheld).

In comparison Southampton City Council received a total of 74 complaints between 2017-2018, with 27 of them for education and children's services.