THERE has been no Public Services Ombudsman reports about Ceredigion County Council this year – the first time since 2011.

The officer in charge of the council’s compliments, complaints and FOI records Marie Neige-Hadfield presented a “positive” report of activity in 2019/20 to members of the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee.

She added that as well as no ombudsman reports against the council there had also been no investigations started since 2018 so the council was on track for another ombudsman-free year.

A total of 31 complaints were made to the ombudsman four were resolved with early resolution procedures and others included those that were referred prematurely or not within the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

Work to address complaints timescales and statutory timescales for Freedom of Information (FOI) and EIR (environmental information regulations) enquires was to be done, with some improvement since last year noted.

There were 975 FOI requests and seven were escalated to internal review, with information disclosed in six of those cases.

Complaints to the council were down to 124 and compliments were up to 431, including an influx at the start of lockdown “solely attributed to the council’s efforts in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This continued over the summer with expressions of gratitude for food boxes, financial support and provision of services during “such a challenging period.”

There were  61 complaints upheld following investigation by the council.