Reviews and appeals
There are some situations where there is a right to review:
- any decision made by the Council on the facts of a housing application
- a decision regarding eligibility for housing
- on the Council's decision on a homelessness application, including a decision to discharge duty after an offer is refused
There are other circumstances when we provide an appeal or review process:
- against a decision that an offer we have made is reasonable
- against a grade or recommendation by our medical adviser
- against a decision to remove an 'A' priority grade
The Council complaints procedure should be used if it seems that the Council has not dealt with a case properly. Complaints are looked at initially by the staff dealing with the case and if needed, by their managers. They will try to resolve the issues directly and quickly.
If this does not resolve the matter, the complaint will be considered by the Council's corporate complaints staff. Complaints that are not resolved using the Council's own complaints procedure can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.
The ombudsman will check to make sure that the Council is carrying out its published policies fairly and efficiently and that there has been no disadvantage to an applicant by a failure in the process.
You are able to challenge the Council's decision legally in some cases. This is usually by a "judicial review" which seeks a legal judgment on the actions of the Council including its policies. There are also specific legal challenges to homelessness decisions.
The role of the Senior Officer Review Panel (S.O.R.P.)
This panel of at least two third tier housing officers will consider very urgent cases where the Council's policy does not cover the circumstances of the case.
The panel cannot authorise any case for additional priority outside of policy without considering whether there are other similar cases.
If it seems likely that there may be other similar cases, S.O.R.P. must decide what course of action is needed to make sure these other cases are similarly prioritised, including where appropriate recommending a policy change.
S.O.R.P. may recommend that these cases be placed in the 'Emergency', 'Urgent' or 'Priority' band or may decide that additional priority is not appropriate.