The number of complaints made to Caerphilly County Borough Council have risen by a third.
The council received 60 complaints in 2018/19, compared to 45 in 2017/18.
This is higher than the Gwent average, where the number of complaints has risen by 20% in the same time period.
The number of complaints received by local authorities across Gwent from 2018-19 was 143. This was 25 more complaints than the previous year where there were 118.
The figures were revealed in an annual letter to councils across the country by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW).
The subject of complaints across Gwent included adult social services, children’s social services, complaints handling and housing.
Two councils, including Caerphilly, had a complaint investigated by the PSOW, as did Torfaen. That’s an improvement on the three the PSOW investigated the previous year across Gwent.
Last year 153 complaints cases were closed in Gwent. Of these, 18 required intervention by the PSOW.
In Gwent, Caerphilly had the highest number of cases, eight, that required PSOW intervention. Of Caerphilly’s 68 closed cases, six were out of PSOW’s jurisdiction, 26 were determined to be premature, 26 were closed after initial consideration, nine had an early resolution or voluntary settlement and one was upheld wholly or in part.
A spokesman for Caerphilly council said, “It is always disappointing to receive complaints, but we recognise that due to the diverse nature of our services – e.g. social care, planning, education, highways and public protection – it is inevitable that we will sometimes receive complaints and we always do our best to resolve them in the best interests of all concerned.”
Changes to the way complaints are made came into effect earlier this year with the introduction of the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019.
The new law aims to make it easier to complain. People no longer have complain in writing. They will be able to complain orally or through British Sign Language.
The PSOW will also be able to undertake investigations without a formal complaint when it is in the public interest.
The current PSOW is Nick Bennett, whose role is to look into complaints about public services and independent care providers and investigate complaints that members of local government bodies have broken their authority’s code of conduct.