Slough Council to pay £500 compensation over delayed repairs

An angry housing tenant says she will give away the compensation Slough Borough Council has been ordered to pay her by the Housing Ombudsman.

Sharon O’Reilly, 57, of Gosling Road, Langley made a number of complaints against the council, after approaching it about damage caused to her house by loft extension work carried out in the privately owned house next door.

She says the council responded by ‘treating her like a clown’.

She said: “The bullying I have had to put up with has been absolutely unbearable. I would warn anyone who tries to make a complaint they will meet with bullying and humiliation.

“At no point did I feel the council was on my side.”

She said she would be donating the £500 compensation the council had been told to pay her by the Ombudsman to the Langley Food Bank, saying: “This was never about the money. It was about them getting the complaints system right.”

The report by Kani Deen, adjudicator for the Housing Ombudsman service, found that delays in getting the repairs done between July and October last year had caused ‘distress and inconvenience’ to Miss O’Reilly and that the situation was ‘not handled appropriately’ by Slough Borough Council.

It says communication was ‘mixed and confusing’ with the council and its contractors failing to work together.

It orders the council to pay £500 compensation is getting repairs done and £50 for delays in the way it handled the complaint.

The Ombudsman’s report rejected a number of Miss O’Reilly’s other complaints against the council.

A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said: “Although we are pleased that there are a number of points raised by Ms O’Reilly that the Ombudsman did not uphold, we will fully comply with their recommendations about the points we need to learn from.

“We have already undertaken a review of the stage three complaints handling process in this case and have put improvements in place. In addition we are completing a review of the whole of our complaints handling process in light of the Housing Ombudsman’s new code of practice issued in July.

“We are always sorry when the service we provide falls short of the high standards we set ourselves.”

Royal Borough Observer | News WIndsor