Waterways Ombudsman issues Annual Report


Press release: Waterways Ombudsman issues Annual Report

The Waterways Ombudsman and the Waterways Ombudsman Committee have issued their Annual Reports for 2017/18.

The Ombudsman’s Report shows that the number of complaints entering the Canal & River Trust’s complaint process was 252, slightly above the average over the past five years of 225. During the year the Ombudsman received 35 enquiries about the Trust, slightly down on 39 last year. Fifteen new investigations were opened, which was one more than the previous year, and the number of completed investigations was 14, three lower than the previous year.

Of the 14 investigations completed, one was upheld, while in a further four investigations the complaint was either upheld in part, or elements of it were upheld. Goodwill awards were proposed in three cases, although in one case the complainant did not accept it.
Once again there was a very diverse range of complaints. The majority were about boating issues, including the treatment of boaters without a home mooring.
Of the other complaints, there was one about the routing of HS2, as well as others in some way related to land or property.

Anonymised summaries of investigations completed during the year are available on the website.

In the second full year of a new customer survey process there continues to be a good response from complainants, with very positive feedback about the Ombudsman’s investigation process. Complainants are asked to complete a survey before a report into their complaint is issued to gauge their view of the process rather than the outcome.

The Waterways Ombudsman Scheme has received confirmation of its validation as a full voting member of the Ombudsman Association (the professional association for ombudsmen and complaint handlers, their staff and others interested in the work of independent complaint resolution). It also continues to be approved by its Competent Authority, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, in line with the requirements set out in the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Regulations.

The Waterways Ombudsman scheme deals with complaints about the Canal & River Trust which are referred to the Ombudsman after completion of the Trust’s own complaints process.
The Waterways Ombudsman Committee oversees the work of the scheme and remains satisfied with the operation and funding of the scheme.

The annual report of the Waterways Ombudsman Committee and the Waterways Ombudsman for 2017-18 is now available online at: