Council at fault after failing to maintain traffic signs

An independent investigator has found Warrington Borough Council to be at fault after failing to maintain road signs near a resident’s house which were obscured by vegetation.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman upheld a complaint against the council on December 6.

The plaintiff, named MX, complained that the town hall had not maintained road signs near his home obscured by vegetation and difficult to read at night.

The Ombudsman held that the Council was responsible for its delays in dealing with MX’s concerns about the traffic signs.

Mr. X asked the town hall to maintain road signs near his home and to keep them away from overhanging vegetation.

Obtaining no response, Mr. X complained to the town hall about his inability to maintain the panels.

Mr. X received automatic acknowledgments of receipt by e-mail from the board when he asked for a response to his requests and complaints.

After months without a substantial response from the council, Mr. X lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman.

Mr X said he felt ignored and wanted Council to respond and keep the signs up.

The “agreed action” stated that to remedy Mr. X’s distress caused by the misconduct identified by the mediator, the council agreed to send Mr. X a written apology for the poor service he received after reporting the signs and failing to respond to his second stage complaint, and paying Mr X £100 in recognition of his ‘avoidable distress, time and trouble’ for having to ‘repeatedly sue her’ for a response to their concerns and complaint.

The Ombudsman concluded that there was “misconduct causing injustice”.

The council released a statement. A spokesperson said: “We recognize the Ombudsman’s findings and decision regarding the case presented by Mr X where, on this occasion, we failed to comply with our own complaints procedure.

“We have since taken the agreed steps to resolve this issue, in accordance with the Ombudsman’s instructions.”

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