Barnet Council had the joint-second highest number of complaints upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in London, according to the latest figures.

The ombudsman upheld 26 complaints against the council during the year ending March 31, 2021, second only to Haringey, which had 27 complaints upheld. Bromley Council also had 26 complaints upheld by the ombudsman.

Cases investigated by the ombudsman included that of a disabled woman who was placed in temporary accommodation that was unsuitable for her medical needs. The ombudsman criticised Barnet Council for failing to provide suitable alternative accommodation for the woman for 11 months, as well as for delays in carrying out repairs and dealing with her concerns. 

The ombudsman also rapped the council over an “unacceptable delay” in completing a care plan for a child with disabilities, along with delays in the complaints process. 

The figures show the council performed better than similar authorities when it came to carrying out the ombudsman’s recommendations and resolving complaints before they reached the ombudsman.

The local authorities with the lowest number of upheld complaints in London were Hammersmith and Fulham, Merton, and Bexley, with seven each.

A council spokesperson said: “Barnet Council welcomes customer feedback about the diverse breadth of services we deliver. We have processes in place for residents to express their views and opinions.  

“We welcome that the number of upheld decisions from the ombudsman is down from the previous year and that in 100 per cent of the cases they investigated they were satisfied we had implemented their recommendations.

“We appreciate that there is more we can do to improve the complaints and compliments processes at the council. A comprehensive improvement plan is in place to enhance the administration of complaints and to ensure that we embed learning from them – as well as compliments – to improve our services.”