Watchdog reveals Calderdale Council ignored 200 noisy neighbour complaints

A backlog of hundreds of noise complaints has been unearthed at Calderdale Council after a woman raised issues about loud music from neighbours during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:38 am
Noise complaints were made to Calderdale Council

The Council admitted that 200 noise complaints had built up and not been investigated when the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman became involved in the case.

The woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, had raised an issue about noise and waste on a neighbour’s property, telling the council that she and her partner had suffered unbearable noise and vibrations in their own home, and the refuse was attracting vermin.

The watchdog found that the council did not do enough to investigate or keep her up to date with the situation despite the complainant repeatedly asking.

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The council has agreed to apologise to the woman and pay her £100 for her time and trouble and a further £500 for the distress and uncertainty caused. It will now investigate her concerns about a build up of waste at the neighbouring property.

Michael King, of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “While I understand the unprecedented pressures councils were under during the height of the Covid-19 situation last year, they still had a duty to pay heed to the principles of good administrative practice, and communicate appropriately with the woman about her concerns.”

In response to the decision Councillor Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “We have contacted the resident to offer our sincere apologies for the way we handled her complaint, and for the distress this has caused to her and her partner.

“We are committed to providing the best possible service to all our residents. During the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, our resources have been focused on keeping people as safe as possible from COVID-19. We accept that we made mistakes with this complaint, and the service which this resident received did not meet our usual high standards.

“We have taken on board all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations and we’re making changes to the way we handle noise complaints to ensure these issues don’t happen again. This includes developing a new logging system and new ways to keep residents updated on progress with their complaints about noise.

“We have significantly reduced the backlog of noise complaints and have contacted all complainants.”

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