A man who complained about ten months of missed bin collections has been given £50 compensation by the council.
Brighton and Hove City Council told the local government ombudsman his collections had been missed because it wasn’t able to replace one of its smaller trucks which could access narrow roads like his when it was retired in late 2017.
It wasn’t until a year later, in late 2018, that CityClean agreed to walk bins to the end of the road and empty them into a larger vehicle.
The resident, who is named in the ombudsman’s report as Mr B, first complained by telephone in late 2017, raising a formal complaint in early 2018. This was closed when Mr B was reassured regular collections would resume.
But a month later, Mr B raised another formal complaint, which the council says it didn’t receive.
In mid-2018, he put in a third complaint, which the council treated as a stage 2 complaint, but still didn’t respond until the end of the year when it said that binmen would walk bins to the end of the road for collection.
Mr B was subsequently offered £50 in compensation in recognition of the time and trouble he spent pursuing the complaint and the lack of response from the service.
The ombudsman’s report says: “The council accepts regular bin collections did not take place over the course of ten months. This is fault. It also accepts the service did not respond adequately to Mr B’s complaints in late 2017 and early 2018 or do enough to ensure the service improved, which is also fault.
“In cases involving repeated missed collections, we will normally consider making a recommendation that ensures the matter is resolved and regular collections resume.
“Sometimes, where the issues are repeated over a long period of time and the council has failed to address multiple complaints, we may also consider recommending a payment for time and trouble spent bringing the complaints.
“The ombudsman encourages councils to offer remedies and will take into account any offer made. We will not interfere if we consider the proposal is satisfactory to address the injustice caused.
“In this case, the council has already put in place a remedy to ensure regular bin collections take place going forward. Mr B confirms he has not experienced further problems with missed bin collections since that point. I accept the council’s remedy is sufficient as it resolves the problem.
“The council has also offered Mr B £50 in compensation in recognition of the time and trouble spent pursuing the complaint and the lack of response from the service.
“This offer is not substantially different to any recommendation we would make in this case for a payment for time and trouble. I therefore do not suggest a recommendation to increase the amount offered.”
The report, which although only published last week is dated December 2018 (there is a three-month delay in the publication of ombudsman reports) says regular collections have now resumed.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.