Pandemic backlog of hundreds of noise complaints revealed at Yorkshire council

A backlog of hundreds of noise complaints has been unearthed at a Yorkshire council after a woman raised issues about loud music from neighbours during the Covid-19 pandemic.

People wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic

Calderdale District Council admitted that 200 noise complaints had built up and not been investigated when the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman became involved in the case.

The woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, had raised an issue about noise and waste on a neighbour’s property, telling the council that she and her partner had suffered unbearable noise and vibrations in their own home, and the refuse was attracting vermin.

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The watchdog found that the council did not do enough to investigate or keep her up to date with the situation despite the complainant repeatedly asking.

The council has agreed to apologise to the woman and pay her £100 for her time and trouble and a further £500 for the distress and uncertainty caused. It will now investigate her concerns about a build up of waste at the neighbouring property.

Michael King, of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “While I understand the unprecedented pressures councils were under during the height of the Covid-19 situation last year, they still had a duty to pay heed to the principles of good administrative practice, and communicate appropriately with the woman about her concerns.”

In a statement, the council said: “We have contacted the resident to offer our sincere apologies for the way we handled her complaint, and for the distress this has caused to her and her partner.

"We are committed to providing the best possible service to all our residents.

"We accept that we made mistakes with this complaint, and the service which this resident received did not meet our usual high standards.”