Waterways Ombudsman Scheme
We always strive to resolve any concerns or complaints internally. However, if after our responses you still feel dissatisfied with our proposed resolution you may wish to refer your complaint to the Waterways Ombudsman for consideration.
The Ombudsman is independent of the Canal & River Trust and impartial. The Ombudsman does not make or influence the Trust’s policy, and can only investigate specific complaints which have recently completed the Complaints Procedure. There is no charge for using the services of the Ombudsman. If you need to know more please refer to the Ombudsman scheme's own website at www.waterways-ombudsman.org
What can be investigated?
Complaints from people who believe that they have suffered injustice because of maladministration or unfair treatment by the Trust. Maladministration includes:
- doing something the wrong way
- doing something that should not have been done
- failing to do something that should have been done
Disagreeing with a decision taken by the Trust is not in itself evidence of maladministration, though failure to consider a decision properly can be.
The Ombudsman can consider most complaints which:
- are referred within six months of the completion of the Complaints Procedure; and
- concern things that came to the attention of the complainant no more than a year before the complaint was made to British Waterways
The Ombudsman cannot investigate personnel matters or cases that have been, or are being, considered by a court and she cannot consider complaints made by businesses with an annual turnover of more than £1m.
How to complain
You should send the Ombudsman full details of your complaint and, if possible, copies of all correspondence between you and the Trust. If you need help or advice to make your complaint to her, please contact the Ombudsman. You can ask someone such as a friend or solicitor to make a complaint on your behalf. However, you would have to pay any costs involved.
The Ombudsman Process
The Ombudsman will first let you know whether or not the complaint meets the criteria for their consideration. On occasion, the Ombudsman may try to sort out the problem between you and the Trust without undertaking a formal investigation.
If the Ombudsman accepts your complaint, they will obtain from the Trust copies of any relevant letters and papers required. Both you and the Trust may also be asked to provide further information.
At the end of the investigation, the Ombudsman will write to you and the Trust with their decision. If the Ombudsman upholds your complaint and recommends action to put things right, the Trust will act on the recommendations.
Seeking additional help and information
Further advice about using the Trust’s complaints procedure and about contacting the Waterways Ombudsman can be sought from our customer service team or from the Ombudsman directly.
You can contact the Ombudsman by:
Telephoning on 0161 980 4858
As the Ombudsman only works part time, sometimes he cannot respond to calls immediately but will get back to you as soon as he is able.
Emailing to email@example.com
Or by writing to:
Mr Andrew Walker
The Waterways Ombudsman
PO Box 854
Or visit the Waterways Ombudsman's website at www.waterways-ombudsman.org
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