MORE than 80 per cent of complaints against Bradford Council deemed worthy of detailed investigation were upheld by an Ombudsman last year.

Statistics from the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) show that there were 19 upheld decisions from 23 detailed investigations over 12 months (83 per cent).

That is 16 per cent more than the national average, 15 per cent above the average for Yorkshire and the Humber and 11 higher than the average in similar authorities.

It is also a rise of 23 per cent from the previous year, although there were more overall complaints in 2019/20 (35).

The LGSCO is an indepedent and impartial body that looks at complaints about councils and some other authorities and organisations.

The latest data covers the period between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

There were 11,830 complaints and enquiries made to local authorities across the country in total, despite the Ombudsman being closed to new reports at the height of the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Bradford Council was found to have only provided a satisfactory remedy before the complaint reached the Ombudsman in one of the upheld cases (five per cent).

This is an improvement on the previous year when no cases were dealt with properly before the Ombudsman got involved, but is still worse than similar authorities, with an average of 11 per cent of cases being solved.

But Bradford Council implemented the Ombudsman's recommendations in all the cases.

Four of the upheld cases were relating to special educational needs, followed by three linked to planning applications, two safeguarding cases and two described as "other".

The other eight ranged in their category from leisure and culture, to residential care.

One of the cases described as "other" related to the council failing to respond to a safeguarding alert made by a Care Provider, according to the Ombudsman.

It also later failed to deal with a complaint under its complaint's procedure, relating to this case.

There was one case that was categorised as "Covid-19".

A man complained that Bradford Council had not awarded his business a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant under a scheme to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The Ombudsman found no fault in the council's decision to refuse a grant.

But it did discover that the local authority gave the man misleading advice while it considered his application, which raised his expectations he would receive a grant.

Bradford Council accepted the findings and agreed to provide a written apology to the man and a £100 payment in recognition of the distress caused to him as a result of the poor advice he received.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We aim to provide excellent public service so it is disappointing when we see even one instance when we have fallen short.

"The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) received 110 enquiries regarding Bradford Council in the last year.

"These include general enquiries, requests for advice, invalid complaints not just formal complaints.

"The LGSCO considered 23 of these cases should be investigated.

"Of these 83 per cent (19 complaints) were upheld.

"We complied with all of the LGSCO recommendations without question.

"We will continue to improve our services in line with the LGSCO recommendations whilst always striving to provide an excellent service to all residents."