Aberdeen tops Scottish Public Services Ombudsman housing complaints list

invest-aberdeen-aerialThe proportion of complaints to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) about council housing is twice as high in Aberdeen as in the rest of Scotland.

The Press and Journal reports that of the 80 cases taken to the watchdog last year, 42 concerned issues with accommodation. Across local government as a whole that proportion was only 24.6 per cent.

The second-most common problem was social work, with 11 complaints – in line with the national picture.

Granite City residents made proportionately fewer requests for action on issues such as roads, finance and planning.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said a reason for the high proportion of housing complaints could be due to failure to inform tenants of how to complain to the council – meaning many went to the ombudsman.

The spokeswoman said: “Our main priority is improving the experience of our customers, not just within our housing service but across all services of the council.”

She added: “Of the 42 housing-related complaints, only nine that had gone through our complaint handling procedure were deemed suitable by the SPSO for further investigation. Of those nine, only three were upheld.

“While we always endeavour to resolve customers’ complaints internally, we also respect customers’ decision to go to the ombudsman when necessary.

“A complaints handling improvement programme, including training from the SPSO, is ongoing and we would encourage our tenants to communicate with us when they are experiencing difficulties.”

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