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Local Government (Complaints)

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to set up an independent tribunal to hear appeals following a local government ombudsman's refusal to consider a complaint made against a local authority.

The matters subject to investigation by the Commission for Local Administration are determined by Section 26 Local Government Act 1974. Section 26(10) gives a local commissioner power to act at discretion in determining whether to initiate an investigation subject to the provisions of the Act, and also allows him to decide whether a complaint is duly made under the Act.My right hon. Friend has no reason to believe that there is any case for a right of appeal against this discretion exercised by local commissioners but the forthcoming annual review of the operation of Part III of the Act will provide him with an opportunity to consider the point.