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Maurizio
Maurizio,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 109
Experience:  Expert
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I would like to seak some advice about the procedure of

Customer Question

Hi, I would like to seak some advice about the procedure of rejected Omicron grant by the council? I have a restaurant and although providing all of the evidence it is not takeaway but restaurant I have been rejected. The council advised there is no appeal procedure. Is there anyway for instance the financial ombudsman ? Thank you for your help. Kind regards, Dawud
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Sorry it was in England and it is the Stoke-on-Trent council
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I tried to raise some complaint to the council but they said there is no appeal or any complaint process only I can give a feedback.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Maybe important to say that they have asked me about picture evidence that I am a restaurant, CCTV footage was provided with people eating in, also they asked 12 months accountant report that show divided the eat in and takeaway sales, it was provided and clearly showed that eat in was more then 50%.
Submitted: 6 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Maurizio replied 6 days ago.

Hello, I'm an adviser with JA and I will try to help you.

Please note the following:

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Expert:  Maurizio replied 6 days ago.

Hello.

Can you please provide some reference/link to the section of the council's website dealing with these grants?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
https://www.stoke.gov.uk/news/article/1001/grant_applications_are_now_open_for_stoke-on-trent_businesses_impacted_by_omicron_in_a_14m_scheme
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi, this was the link we used to used
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant
Expert:  Maurizio replied 6 days ago.

Bear with me while I check.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Maurizio replied 6 days ago.

Hello.

There seems to be no specific "appeal" procedure in case a grant under the scheme is refused.

This is (was) a government scheme, which is (was) run through the local councils.

These are grants, not loans, provided by the government, not by banks.

I can't think of an involvement of the Financial Ombudsman Service, also given that the funds are granted based on eligibility criteria that are objective and can be verified.

However, in allocating the grants, the local councils have to be impartial and they cannot consider as eligible a business that is not nor consider not eligible a business that is eligible instead.

Based on what you say, I don't think your business was eligible, but, if you think it was, you can obviously complain to the council.

The council is obligated, if you ask, to provide you with their complaint policy - which they must have for governance needs - and, at any rate, you may complain by email using the contact for enquiries.

If there is any wrongdoing by the council, you might also considering bringing them to court, but - even more because you don't seem to have a case - you should consult a solicitor for an assessment of the case.

As you know, the scheme is now closed, therefore this could be a practical issue anyway.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact JA again if you need help and you may ask to speak with me directly if you wish.

Regards.