Newham Council compensates asylum seeker after ‘lack of support’

Tenants were forced to put up with nuisance noise for almost two years after Newham Council failed to act.

Bosses were told to pay �1,750 in compensation after the residents’ complaints fell on deaf ears between 2008 and 2010.

The issue was revealed in the recently published Local Government Ombudsman’s annual report.

The body deals with complaints made about local authorities.

The ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, dealt with 105 complaints about Newham Council in the 2011/12 financial year. Of those, 70 were investigated.

She also found the council failed to properly support a young asylum seeker who was leaving care.

Dr Martin said: “This resulted in the young person missing out on personal and emotional support as well as an opportunity of being provided with affordable social housing.

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“As a remedy, the council agreed to nominate the young person for a “leaving care” flat.

“It also agreed to meet some of the costs the young person had incurred in finding private rented accommodation in the interim.”

The ombudsman also settled nine complaints where there had been “unacceptable delays” in completing repairs to council properties.

She found that once repairs actually took place, they were “ineffective or incomplete” .

Council officers were also criticised for their poor record keeping and infrequent contact with tenants.

It comes after the ombudsman published a report which disclosed that a homeless family with two young children were forced to sleep in a car after being turned down for temporary accommodation.

The council was told to write a letter of apology and pay �300 compensation.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “We continually strive to improve our services and feedback from residents and businesses plays a crucial role in identifying and working to address our failures as well as our successes.

“We take complaints very seriously and have a comprehensive system for dealing with them. We work positively with complainants if we do get things wrong.

“We welcome the Ombudsman’s report and will continue to work to ensure we give a high quality service and minimise the chances of errors happening. We always strive to give our residents the best possible service.”