NINE complaints against Warrington Borough Council (WBC) were upheld by an independent investigator in 2017-18.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman looks at complaints about councils and adult social care providers across the country.

Each year, the Ombudsman, which is the 'final stage' for complaints, writes to each authority with details of the complaints and enquiries it has received, as well as the decisions it has made.

In 2017-18, the Ombudsman received 17,452 complaints and enquiries about local government, compared with 16,863 in the previous year.

And the proportion of complaints it has upheld has increased to 57 per cent – up from 54 per cent the previous year.

The Ombudsman has also issued 40 per cent more public interest reports about local authorities in the same period.

In 2017-18, it received 48 complaints from residents against WBC – they included 15 in the area of benefits and tax, nine in adult social care, seven in education and children's services and seven in environmental services, public protection and regulation.

Nine of the complaints against WBC were upheld, with 22 referred back for 'local resolution', 14 closed after initial enquires and three not upheld.

Five of the upheld complaints were in the area of adult care services – two of these were about care received in care homes, one referred to a complaint about a home care service provider, one related to the hospital discharge process and one was around charges for care.

Furthermore, four of the upheld complaints came in the area of children's services including education.

Two of these referred to the council not escalating a complaint to the second stage of the complaints process, one was about a blue badge dispute and one was regarding a school’s appeal panel.

A WBC spokeswoman said: "The council delivers or commissions a wide variety of services, working with a number of different organisations each year.

"Unfortunately, there are very occasionally issues with the provision of services to our customers.

"In 2017-18, there were a small number of cases where the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman was involved in resolving issues.

"Where mistakes are made we always undertake actions to resolve the complaint, prevent recurrences of any mistakes and improve our services."

The Ombudsman received 43 complaints and enquiries about WBC's services in 2016-17, with two upheld following investigations.