Sunday, December 16, 2007

Merry Xmas

I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

My personal involvement with the LGO is coming to an end very soon. Therefore, sometime in the New Year I should be free to start chronicling my experience with them over the last 10 years. As well as my story there will be another section to my blog highlighting the numerous 'mistakes', 'errors of judgement' and other 'peculiarities' that I have identified over the last ten years together with the evidence to support my allegations.

My sole objective is to expose the LGO to public scrutiny. I will let the public decide if LGOwatch is right or wrong in their condemnation of the LGO.

Trevor

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Petition

I recently submitted an E-Petition to the Government petition website. I received the following email today.
Your petition has been approved by the Number 10 web team, and is now available on the Number 10 website at the following address:
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ombudsmen/

I have placed a link at the top of my blog.

Please sign the petition then ask your friends and family to sign it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Scottish petition update

The Petition by D W R Whittet calling for the Scottish Parliament to set up an Appeal Tribunal to review final decisions by the Public Services Ombudsman where any complainer so requests.

To view the debate click here. The debate about the petition is approx 1hour 12 minutes into the session. Move the side bar to quickly access the debate.
The MSPs recognised that the problem might lie with the people running the spso and not actually the legislation that governs them. One MSP asked that the petitions committee contact Audit Scotland to see what they could do, however this was not recorded in the minutes of proceedings see below.

Outcome
The Committee agreed to seek responses to the issues raised in the petition from the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Scottish Government and British and Irish Ombudsman Association.

As far as England is concerned I also think the problem lies with the people running the English Local Government Ombudsman's organisation and not the actual legislation that governs them.

A tribunal of foxes will always find a fox innocent.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A new blog

Another blog exposing the dishonest, deceitful, corrupt, underhand, prejudiced, pro Council biased, malpractices of the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). Exposing how the LGO misrepresent facts, manipulate evidence in favour of Councils, conceal incriminating evidence, whitewash the truth, fail to follow their own guidance, fail to act in the public interest, and cover up Council maladministration causing injustice.

Click here to visit this new blog

Posted by Thomas (Trevor is still unavailable)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Death in the family

Trevor will not be making any posts for a week or so. His mother-in- law, Amy, was taken seriously ill on Friday morning and died in hospital on Saturday. Amy's story is already on the psow.co.uk website.


Please note her closing statements.

I would like to submit a complaint but I doubt I would live long enough for the Ombudsman to resolve it! It took the Balchins over 16 years and my relatives have been waiting since 1997. So although I could live until I am 103, the odds, similar those of a complainant obtaining justice through a Local Government Ombudsman, are very slim indeed.
How true!
Please note that Amy was also the first person to sign the petition. Trevor intends to update her story and post his own as soon as he has received the final report into his 2002 complaint.

Posted on behalf of Trevor by Thomas psow.co.uk webmaster.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Provisional report arrives at last

Just to let everyone know that the provisional report into my 2001 complaint has arrived at last. As readers will no doubt appreciate, I cannot divulge the contents at this time. Save to say I am now producing a detailed response. However, the task has been made much easier than I anticipated because of numerous errors in law and fact. Which in the circumstances rather surprised me. Not.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ombudsmen

"Many Ombudsmen stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

With apologies to Winston S Churchill for the slight amendment to his quote.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Scottish Petition

Mr D W R Whittet has just set up a short term petition calling for the Scottish Parliament to set up an Appeal Tribunal to review final decisions by the Public Services Ombudsman where any complainer so requests.

This petition can be viewed here.

Unfortunately you can't sign the petition on line you need to send an email in support of Mr Wittet's petition. However, Mr Franck David of the Scottish Parliament public petition department has confirmed that if any member of the public wishes to support this petition, then all they have to do is send him an email confirming that they wish to sign and support petition PE1076.

Mr Franck David advised that the petition PE1076 will probably go to committee on the 4th December 2007 so please don't delay sending your email.

If the Scottish Parliament implemented this petition then it would be a significant step forward in making the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman more accountable and I think it would send a clear message to the Scottish Parliament how dissatisfied the public are with the service provided by the current Ombudsman.

The email I have just sent is shown below.

Email Subject: Petition PE1076

Dear Mr Franck David,

I wish to sign and support Mr Whittet's petition PE1076. Please add my name to the list.

Thank You.

Trevor Nunn

Friday, November 02, 2007

LGO a social evil?: Update

The information gathering phase of the JRF (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) study to identify today's social evils has now ended.

I have been made aware that many dissatisfied LGO stakeholders took part because of my earlier post on the subject and the advert on the psow.co.uk website.

JRF will publish a report early next year. As soon as the report is published I will post a link to it.

Life is like a box of (Rowntree) chocolates, Local Government Ombudsman never know what they are going to get.

More information about the study here and here.

Unfit for the Purpose: The Welsh Ombudsman

Adoption Scandal

Please sign the FASSIT petition now.

I linked to Fassit during and early post but feel so incensed that this scandal is still going on whilst Ombudsmen, MPs and Government twiddle their thumbs I decided to sign and publicise the Fassit petition.

Justice is too important to be left to secret courts, incompetent and unaccountable social services staff & incompetent and unaccountable ombudsmen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Time marches on!

October 26th 2007. I was told nearly 7 months ago that the provisional report into my complaints was nearly ready but it's still not arrived. So after 10 years and 4 months this sorry saga is still going on (and on and on and on.................................)!

What a brilliant advert for Local Government Ombudsmen, talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Recent MORI survey

Looks like the LGO have been manipulating the selection sample again. Even though they excluded a significant number of stakeholders from their 1999 survey the results were still horrendous. This time they have excluded an even larger percentage of stakeholders so they must have been expecting even worse results than the 1999 survey produced. Stakeholder dissatisfaction is about 70% with Council complaints procedures and 75% with the LGO. After 4 surveys spread across 12 years you would have thought that by now they would have got the message and done something about the appalling results.

If you are faced with improving stakeholder satisfaction the first thing you need to do is ask the stakeholders why they are dissatisfied and then do something about it. It's not rocket science after all. The LGO has identified the problem on at least 4 occasions (1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) but then failed to do anything about it. Except of course to remove a larger and larger proportion of the sample in an attempt to manipulate the results. Wouldn't it be a lot easier if they just improved their service to stakeholders so satisfaction levels could improve naturally, then they wouldn't have to manipulate survey selection samples and everyone would be happy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The petition

The petition is about to close. When I last looked we had 440 signatures.

When it closes we will have achieved 38th place out of 994 petitions in our group (Government, politics and public administration). In addition we will have achieved 402nd place out of all 8278 petitions on the website.

I would like to thank all those who signed the petition and now hope the Government respond in a positive way.

I don't know of any other group of Ombudsmen in the world that has a fraction of the dissatisfied customers that our own Local Government Ombudsmen have. That in itself should have been ringing alarm bells in Government as long ago as 1995.

Let's hope the petition acts as a wake up call to everyone concerned with public administration and the Government finally do something to end the injustice that we have all had to endure.

Pauline Nunn

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Goncalo Amaral

It would appear that Local Government Ombudsmen and Goncalo Ameral have something in common. Both have a tendency to create a theory to support the outcome they want and then reverse engineer the facts and evidence to support it.

When Goncalo Amaral became an embarrassment to the Portuguese authorities they had the good sense to remove him from office. I wonder when the English authorities will come to their senses?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

You take the high road!

There was an article in today's newspaper about national and local government wasting vast sums of public money. Some £100 billion pounds are wasted every year, that's about £4000 per household.

Here's one of many interesting examples. Hampshire Council spent £250,000 realigning some kerbs because they were a tenth of an inch too high.

If you ignore the vast sum of money wasted it raises and interesting point as far as my own complaint is concerned because it also involves the height of the kerbs.

The Council, the Contractors and the Developers all used measurements to an accuracy of plus or minus a fifth of an inch. However, the Ombudsman's investigator sought to persuade to me that I couldn't prove any level to an accuracy better than plus or minus 4 inch (Even though levels are already shown on most of the plans to an accuracy or plus or minus a fifth of an inch).

So how can Hampshire County Council work to an accuracy of a tenth of an inch if, as the Ombudsman's investigator asserts, my surveyor can't? Either the Ombudsman's investigator is wrong or Hampshire Council is!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Spin cycle

Simon Davies: Visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and director of the human rights organisation Privacy International.

'Government authorities are destroying our ancient freedoms. It is time for Mr Thomas and the other watchdogs to start growling'.

Note: Mr Thomas is the information and data protection commissioner and Local Government Ombudsmen are commissioners for local administration in England.

I agree that Mr Thomas and Local Government Ombudsmen are toothless tigers but what Simon Davies fails to appreciate is that watchdogs are set up by the government for the government.

The Government has no intention of allowing watchdogs to be effective. That's why government appointed watchdogs are never given any teeth. Watchdogs are just part of the 'spin' cycle of national and local government.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The worst case of maladministration ever?

Is Cheshire County Council guilty of the worse case of maladministration ever?

In 1937 a young girl was wrongly accused by her employers of stealing 2 shillings and 6 pence. [For younger readers that's about 13p in new money. Even when you take inflation into account it's still less than a fiver.] The Police and the County Council were involved. However, even though the money she was accused of stealing was later found by her employers the Council took the girl into care and kept her for over 70 years. No it's not a typo they actually kept her in care for over 70 years. None of her siblings even knew of her existence until recently when the care home wrote to them asking if they were happy with the care they were giving her. Initially they thought the letter was wrongly addressed and nearly threw it away, fortunately they spotted the family name and made further enquiries.

In essence Cheshire County Council has kept this women in care for over 70 years for no valid reason. You just can't make this sort of stuff up!

The Council are reported to be investigating the situation but state they can't find any of the paperwork. [A well worn but convenient excuse that most Councils are often guilty of using.]

No doubt the council will state that lessons have been learned and it couldn't happen now but how do we know? It's obvious they have been a law unto themselves for 70 years and with Ombudsmen like ours no doubt they will continue to be a law unto themselves for another 70 years.

It certainly makes the Balchin's epic 20 year struggle for justice pale into insignificance.

No doubt if she ever receives any compensation the Council will deduct board and lodgings for the last 70 years. Don't forget that this was the Council who tried to separate a 90 year old couple who had been married for 69 years because they wouldn't pay the care home costs for both of them.

I hope the reader understands the irony of the situation. Cheshire County Council unnecessarily keeps a women in care for 70 years whilst refusing a care home place to a couple who had been married for 69 years and both needed care.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LGO fiddle statistics 2

Further to my last post; a neighbour of mine also submitted a complaint during 1997. An associated problem but a different road. They are still waiting for the remedy to their complaint. The road adjacent to their property has still not been adopted even though the then LGO recommended that it should be.

So that's two complainants still waiting for the remedy to their complaints some nine years after the LGO produced a report finding maladministration causing injustice.

A fact that appears to be missing from the LGO's latest annual report.
How convenient!

LGO fiddle statistics

The Local Government Ombudsmen have just published their latest annual report.

You can download a copy by clicking here.

If you look at page 9 you will find their compliance with recommendation statistics covering the last ten years.

I submitted a complaint in June 1997 which was formally reported as a finding of maladministration causing injustice during the year 1998/9. However, I am still waiting for the recommended remedy. The highway in the vicinity of my property has still not been completed to satisfactory standards and adopted. Therefore, why is my complaint not shown in the column marked Awaiting Remedy?

How many other 'awaiting remedy' complaints are missing from their statistics?

Only a few days left!

There are only a few days left in which to sign the e-government petition. If you want an open, honest and accountable system of administrative justice that properly identifies and reports true levels of local authority maladministration then please click on the link at the top of this page and sign the petition now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Update on chronology

September 19th 2007. Still no provisional report. Still not seen a copy of the Council's defence to my 2002 complaint and still not seen a copy of the cross sectional plan. (That's the one the Council should have produced for planning permission purposes during the spring of 2001. No doubt that's why they couldn't apply for, and thus obtain, the necessary planning permission.)

A link to my previous posting on the chronology of events.

Funny thing is that the developer (the one who finished the site in September 2001) is still maintaining highway verges, open spaces and a play area (even though they are in breach of a section 106 planning agreement), whilst the Council state (but won't guarantee*) that the highway in question is adopted. Conversely, during the same period the Council have maintained part of the roadway that has not been adopted.

* By law a Council Highway Authority has to maintain an adopted road gazetteer. You are legally entitled to read it at no cost but if you want a definitive statement in writing from the council they are allowed by law to charge you a fee. The gazetteer stated that the roadway in question was adopted so I asked them for a definitive statement. They wanted £50 before they would provide me with a definitive statement. I paid the fee and received their response. The response included a clause stating that the statement was not definitive. In essence they had charged me £50 for something the free gazetteer had already told me. I asked them to either provide me with a definitive statement, that the roadway was in fact adopted, or return the fee. They returned my money. Their failure to provide me with the necessary definitive statement proves that the roadway is not actually adopted and the gazetteer entry is false. That is clearly misfeasance.

And that's why the developer is still maintaining the highway in question six years after they left the site! That's also the reason why the developer still owns the play area (and open spaces) six years after they should have been transferred to the Council.

The Council has been turning a blind eye to planning breaches for over six years now. Why? Because they need to hide the truth, and with a system of administrative justice like ours they can.

Mission Creep

An Americanism that describes what happens when, over time, powers are used to ends not stated or even imagined when something is first introduced.

It would appear that the Local Government Ombudsman is now guilty of serious mission creep.

In 1974 the Government never expected the Local Government Ombudsman to use their powers to bury maladministration. In fact the whole reason for introducing Local Government Ombudsmen in the first place was to ensure that local government maladministration was fully investigated, exposed and publicly reported.

However, some 33 years later and what have got? Local Government Ombudsmen doing exactly the opposite of what was originally intended by Government. Local Government Ombudsmen now spend over £11 million pounds of tax payers money burying 18 times as much maladministration as they now report. Mission creep? more like mission abandoned!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The LGO

The Local Government Ombudsman

You may look to us for justice
because of trials you face
but often we don't have the power
we need to solve your case

And then our independance
may be compromised you see
- remember we have staff who are
ex council employees

So even if we take your case
you need to realise
we don't believe that council staff
are capable of lies

And even if your grievance
is proved in every way,
you ought to know we can't enforce
whatever we might say

So if you see the years roll by
at least you're not alone,
some have fought a decade
to prove what they had known

So when you choose the LGO
to fight the case for you
just be ready for the heartache
that we will put you through

(Copyright 2007 Anna Clyne)

Warning! This verse is copyright.
I have obtained permission to reproduce it here.
If you would like permission to reproduce it, please contact:
annaclyne[please ignore black anti spambot@text]psow.co.uk

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Another way to bury complaints?

Vale Royal Borough Council and Cheshire County Council (The Councils I submitted complaints about to the Ombudsman in March 2002) will probably cease to exist very shortly.

The Government is determined to introduce unitary Councils in Cheshire. That means at least one, but possibly both, will soon cease to exist. The Government are supposed to reach a decision in November 2007. However, they have already identified the option they prefer, two new unitary Councils, Chester City & West Cheshire Council and East Cheshire Council will take over from Cheshire County Council and the current borough Councils (including Vale Royal Borough Council).

That means that the Councils I submitted complaints about will no longer exist. Albeit most of the staff that I complained about will take up post in one or other of the two new unitary Councils.

Is this another tactic used by the LGO to protect their friends in Local Authorities? Delay investigating a complaints until the Councils complained about no longer exist.

My original 1997 complaint against Vale Royal Borough Council was derailed because Cheshire County Council took over the problem during 1998. Now a similar thing is happening again. Will Chester City and West Cheshire Council be the third Council I have to complain about and will the Ombudsman delay it long enough for them to be replaced?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Public Service News 2

There is another article in the Public-Servant-Daily. Read it in full here.

Council ditches 'too negative' ombudsman.

Trafford Council didn't agree with an Ombudsman's decision so they changed Ombudsmen. How convenient! Just a pity complainants can't do the same.

Is this what Local Government Ombudsmen call impartiality. If a Council doesn't agree with their findings then they can change Ombudsmen but if a complainant doesn't agree with their findings tough!

As far as the complaint against Trafford is concerned I think the Ombudsman was right. However, allowing the Council to publicly state they have ditched the Ombudsman because they think they are too negative just makes the system of administrative justice in this country (Local Government Ombudsmen) look like puppets of the Council.

Trafford Council: A case of 'my Ombudsman won't play ball so I am swapping Ombudsmen'. How pathetic!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Public Service News

'Local government does not observe much respect for the LGO, possibly because the compensation tends to be very low. Compensation should be raised to levels where managers/priorities/budgets/jobs/ are re-assessed'

In addition to recommending compensation, the LGO should be able to recommend structural/personnel changes at management levels of local government. When local government is forced to address matters raised by the LGO, the system will begin to work as normal citizens would expect'.

Keith Brockwell - Cllr Crawley Borough Council

My comment: If local government doesn't observe much respect for the LGO (and we know complainants don't) then how can the LGO consider themselves to be a credible organisation?

Are national government aware that no one respects the LGO? Surely that's a good enough reason for scrapping the organisation?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Strange but true

The highway adjacent to my property is being maintained by the County Council even though it's unadopted. However, on another part of the development the highway is still being maintained by the developer (who completed the site six years ago) even though it's been adopted.

The question is why is a developer still maintaining an adopted highway six years after they left the site? In addition, they are still maintaining an area of open space and a playground six years after they were supposed to be transferred to the Council. In essence people have been living in some of the houses on the estate in breach of the section 106 planning agreement for over six year.

Funny how the Borough Council can ignore serious planning breaches by the developer and the County Council but take enforcement action over a young girl and a rabbit hutch.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chronology of delay

Chronology of delay? (It looks more like collusion to the average observer.)

Still no sign of the provisional report I was promised at the end of February 2007. Read my post on the subject here

6 Months just to finalise a provisional report appears to be an inordinate length of time when the Local Government Ombudsman boasts that the average complaint only takes them 14 weeks to complete.!

Here's the chronology so far:
June 1997 Borough Council threaten to complete a roadway that would impact on my property.
June 1997 Submitted my first complaint to Local Government Ombudsman.
October 1998 Ombudsman produced a report and asked the council to provide a remedy.
June 2001 County Council, without the necessary planning permission, attempt to redesign and complete the roadway. Their plans prove the roadway would still impact on my property.
March 13th 2002 Submitted a second complaint to Local Government Ombudsman.
March 20th 2002 Local Government Ombudsman end their involvement (supposed to be monitoring the Councils actions) with my first complaint.
April 2002 Local Government Ombudsman refuses to investigate my second complaint.
May 2006 After an epic 4 year struggle the Local Government Ombudsman agree to 'comeback' on my 2001 complaint. Informed by Ombudsman that due to the delay my case will now receive some priority.
February 2007 Informed by Ombudsman that the provisional report was nearly ready.
August 27th 2007 Still waiting for the Council to provide a remedy for my first complaint. No provisional report into my second complaint. At this time I have still not even seen the Councils defence of my second complaints.

Furthermore, I am still waiting for an explanation from the Local Government Ombudsman as to how two Councils could commit further acts of maladministration whilst they were ostensibly monitoring the Councils actions regarding their earlier finding of maladministration. Please note the date of my second complaint and the date the Local Government Ombudsman ended their involvement with my first complaint. Coincidence? Collusion? Incompetence? Impotence? You decide.

Over ten years and counting. I wonder how long I would have had to wait if my case hadn't been prioritised by the Ombudsman?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Open letter to MORI

An open letter for the attention of the Manager and/or Team responsible for the 2007 Local Government Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I was a customer of the Local Government Ombudsman during your 1999 Local Government Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey. I also agreed to take part in your survey, however, after the initial approach, when I made it clear that I was very dissatisfied with the Local Government Ombudsman, no further contact was made.

During the 1999 survey some 11% of the initial sample was excluded by the Local Government Ombudsman, an unusually large number by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, for a professional survey organisation such as yourself, no checks and balances appear to have been made on the real reason for the exclusion of such a large group of people. I believe I was one of those excluded by the LGO.

I am also in the unique position of being a customer of the Local Government Ombudsman during your current 2007 customer satisfaction survey. However, between the two surveys I also gave evidence to the Government Select Committee's investigation into the Role and Effectiveness of the Local Government Ombudsman. One of the complaints made against the Local Government Ombudsman was that they had discontinued the 5 yearly MORI survey because of the devastating results.

Obviously I am very pleased that external pressure has now forced the Local Government Ombudsman to reintroduce the MORI Customer Satisfaction Survey but still remain very concerned that the Local Government Ombudsman will attempt to manipulate the results of this latest survey, as they appeared to have done during 1999. Unfortunately, the problems you had with the Rotherham Council Bramley traffic scheme questionnaire don't exactly instill me with confidence.

I hope my concerns are unfounded and await the survey results with interest.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor R Nunn (Customer of the Local Government Ombudsmen from June 1997 to date.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1974 Local Government Act

The '1974 Local Government Act' button above now links to the UK Statute Law Database version of the Act. The launch of the UK Statute Database earlier this year has now made our copy redundant.

The Database now allows individuals to access statutory instruments on line so it's now very easy to check the validity of a statutory body's assertions. For example, earlier this year I used the Highway Act (among others) to prove that the County Council had lied to me regarding their need to obtain planning permission during 2001.

As most watchers are aware local authorities often quote some Act or other to support their position. Well you can now check the wording of the said Act for yourself to see if they are actually telling the truth or just spinning a line.

Knowledge is power

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Deja vue

I have just been reading the 2006/7 Local Government Ombudsman's annual review and came across an interesting case study. There are strong similarities to my complaint.

A Mr Smith complained that the council had mistakenly granted a certificate of lawfulness for his neighbours extension, which came right up to his boundary. Both the law and the council's policy required it to have planning permission.

The Ombudsman said the case was 'a tale of very substantial and serious error, incompetence and delay'. There is now a three story extension where there should not be one.

As far as my case is concerned the council certificated a local distributor road that a developer had started to construct in 1991, even though they had known for a year that it wasn't being constructed in the planned position and that it couldn't be completed without impacting on my property. During 2001 the County Council redesigned the highway and attempted to complete it, however, they did this without the necessary planning permission and in full knowledge that it would still impact on my property.

I consider this another 'tale of very substantial and serious error, incompetence and delay' for the following reasons. There is now a Class 3A local distributor road in a position it shouldn't be in. To complete it (in it's current position) they need to encroach on my land not just come right up to the boundary. Most people would agree that issuing a certificate for a highway that's in the wrong position is a very serious error, however, when you take into account that the council knew about the problem the year before issuing the certificate it beggars belief. In fact it takes local authority incompetence to a new level. Furthermore, most people would agree that 16 years is a significant delay. In addition, the County Council should, by law and council policy, have applied for planning permission but they failed to do so. However, what makes my case more damning is that the County Council then lied about their need for planning approval.

However, there is a distinct difference in the two cases, the Ombudsman has resolved Mr Smiths complaint. Mine has still not been resolved despite the fact that the Ombudsman has carried out two investigations (1997/8 and 2006/7) and been involved with my case for over ten years.

Want to know why? Well in Mr Smith's case the Ombudsman suggested a remedy to the council. However, the council can ignore the remedy and there is nothing Mr Smith (or the Ombudsman) can do about it. The bottom line is that his complaint is now closed and the best he can hope for is that the council actually deliver the remedy suggested by the Ombudsman.

My case is slightly different in that the County Council need some of my land in order to complete the highway. That means that if they ignore the Ombudsman's suggested remedy, as they did in 1998, it doesn't end the matter. So in essence the Ombudsman can't stuff me as easy as they do others.

That's why the County Council actions during 2001 led to another complaint. So what's the point in the Ombudsman making more recommendations they can't enforce when it's going to make them look like impotent fools. Hence the difficulty they are having winding up my complaint and the reason why it took them 5 years to start investigating my 2002 complaint in the first place.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's justice we want!

In their special report: Local Partnerships and Citizen Redress

Local Government Ombudsmen state '
Complainants.... want their complaint resolved and they want it resolved quickly'. [my emphasis]

If Local Government Ombudsmen know what a complainant wants, then why don't they provide it? It's no good telling everyone else then ignore it themselves. I have been waiting patiently for them to resolve my complaint for over ten years now. The Bachins had to wait 14 years.

However, I don't think the primary aim of any complainant is for their complaint to be resolved quickly. Mine has always been to secure justice by ensuring that the authority who committed the act of maladministration complained about is held to account. Put simply I want justice! and if that takes twenty years to obtain then I will wait twenty years.If the Ombudsman can't do their job in a reasonable amount of time then that's their problem not mine. They are the ones looking like incompetent and impotent idiots not me.

Local Government Ombudsmen only suggest that
'complainants want their complaint resolved quickly' as an excuse to impose local settlements. A well known method used by Local Government Ombudsmen to bury complaints. However, this is for the the benefit of the authority concerned and usually without the agreement of the complainant.


What complainants?

The Local Government Ombudsmen have just published a special report: Local partnerships and citizen redress.

They state that the report is aimed partly at the complainants themselves, who we hope will ultimately benefit from it. [my emphasis]

We consulted widely on a draft of this report and we thank the following who responded and provided helpful suggestions:

• Association of Directors of Social Services and Association of Directors of Children’s Services (joint response)

• Audit Commission

• Chief Executives’ London Committee

• Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

• Council on Tribunals

• Improvement and Development Agency (I&DeA)

• Local Government Association

London Borough of Islington

• Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

• Professor Martin Partington CBE (Law Commission)

Somerset County Council

• The Standards Board for England

We also gratefully acknowledge the input of Commission staff, especially

Peter MacMahon, in preparing this report.

Just a pity they didn't bother asking complainant's for their views!

It appears that the LGO still hold the view that organisations (the cause of the problems) know better than the citizen (the one's who suffer the injustice).

Impartial? What do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

LGO fact sheet

LGOwatch has just published a Local Government Ombudsman fact sheet that may be of interest to readers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tree V Highway

The Local Government Ombudsman's office investigating my complaint issued a report during 2004 finding of maladministration against Vale Royal Borough Council regarding a tree preservation order. Click here to read the report.

One of the recommendations was that the Council should follow correct procedures for imposing a TPO. [Tree preservation order][My emphasis]

In contrast during 2001 Cheshire County Council and Vale Royal Borough Council failed to follow the correct procedures when redesigning the highway in the vicinity of my property.

It would appear that if you complain about something trivial (failure to follow procedure when issuing a tree preservation order) then your complaint is resolved quite quickly but complain about something more serious (failure to follow correct planning procedures when removing a footway from a road), and the Local Government Ombudsman takes forever to investigate and produce a report!

FASSIT

Every now and again you come across a story so outrageous that it's impossible to believe.

Denise Robertson - ITV This Morning, stated
'the Sheer scale of the injustice is far worse than anyone can imagine'. So what's behind all this injustice? You've guessed it, none other than Social Services, yet another ineffective Local Authority institution that is governed by incompetent officials but perversely protected by Government. Just how bad do things have to be before MPs stand up against this sort of outrage!


Families Anti-Social Service Inquiry Team (Fassit) website explains more

Remember Social Service's next victim could be you!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A tale of two highway departments

There was an interesting article in the newspaper today about a little old lady who tends a public flowerbed. For years she spent time, money and effort in an attempt to make her village look more attractive to visitors. So much so that she was even encouraged by her local council and praised by residents. However the highway department now insist that she puts up three road signs, has two lookouts to watch for danger and also wears a bright yellow fluorescent safety jacket whilst tending the village flower garden. The highway authority concerned is obviously taking their responsibility for 'elf and safety' extremely seriously. One could even argue too seriously.

On the other hand Cheshire County Council redesigned a roadway in the vicinity of my property during 2001. (without the proper plans, planning approval or safety audit) Although the original plans for the class 3A distributor road shows a footpath on both sides of the road, the highway authority concerned decided in 2001 (in order to save themselves money) to remove the footpath on one side of the road altogether. This would force pedestrians to leave the relative safety of the footway and continue their journey by walking along the edge of the road.

If that's not bad enough the planned footway is actually on the bend of the road. A class 3A local distributor road is not even a quiet village or estate road, it is in fact only just below classified standard. In any event it's a damn sight more dangerous walking in the road than working in a large village flower garden so will Cheshire County Council put up road signs, post lookouts and offer pedestrians the use of a bright yellow fluorescent safety jackets? I doubt it. Unlike the highway authority above they appear more interested in saving money than saving peoples lives. However, this is the County Council who wasted money on roadwork signs written in Polish so anything is possible.

I wonder what they (and the Ombudsman) will do when someone is badly injured or killed? No doubt they will blame everybody but themselves.

It's not rocket science!

Some 18,000 people complain to the LGO (Local Government Ombudsman) every year. However, because the LGO don't clearly explain what they can and can't investigate only about 10,000 of those complaints actually fall within their remit. That means that some 8000 people a year waste time and effort submitting a complaint to the wrong body. The private sector wouldn't put up with such a drain on their resources and would soon find a way of educating people about their business. It's not rocket science after all it's simple marketing.

So why does the LGO accept this curious situation (nearly 50% of the people who complain to them shouldn't have done) , without seeking and promoting an effective remedy.

The answer is simple. The LGO use these 8,000 people to manipulate their headline grabbing statistics. The average cost of resolving a complaint provides an example. The LGO, unlike other Ombudsmen, include all complaints (curiously even those that don't even fall within their remit to investigate). As a result they can imply that each complaint cost them some £600 rather than £1,100 to resolve.

Are they really suggesting that it costs them an average of £600 just to send a complainant a letter telling them that their complaint is outside their remit to investigate. Surely it would be more cost effective to market their service correctly so people know exactly what they can and can't do in the first place.

If people kept knocking at your door asking for someone who didn't live at your house, how long would it be before you put a sign on your door. However, I bet you would remove the sign if I promised to give you £600 for everyone you redirected.

Here's one of my statistics. Using the LGO's own figures it costs the taxpayer about £4.8 million a year just to tell 8,000 people they can't investigate their complaint. I wonder why the Audit Commission puts up with such an extravagant use of taxpayers cash?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Are the LGO a social evil?

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has launched a study to identify what are today's social evils.

If you think the Local Government Ombudsman may be a social evil then why not visit the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and complete their very short survey. No personal information needs to be given. Although I have included my name and email address hoping that my suggestions, of what I think today's social evils are, will be taken more seriously.

Public Services unfit for the pupose.

The influential Public Administration Select Committee states that there is a lack of leadership at the top of the civil service and serious deficiencies in the way Whitehall carries on its business. They state that not one Government department is fit for the purpose.

Most citizens already know that the same is true of Local Government departments. One of the main reasons being the weak and ineffective watchdogs known as Local Government Ombudsmen. Whilst Local Government Ombudsmen are allowed to help Local Government bury maladministration rather than expose it there will never be any incentive to improve the situation. The same can be said about the Information Commissioner and other watchdogs.

However, the Public Administration Select Committee suggests that yet another so called 'independent watchdog' could be set up to scrutinise civil service performance.

It’s ironic how the Public Select Committee think that they can improve ineffective government departments by adding another ineffective watchdog! Will they never learn?

Looks like the Public Administration Select Committee is also unfit for the purpose!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

LGO: Unfit for the purpose 3

Another of the complaints I submitted during March 2002 was that the Councils 'acted unreasonably and took inappropriate decisions because of self-imposed constraints and ulterior motives'.

This was one of the self imposed constraints imposed by the Councils. [Evidenced in writing]

The chief executive of the County Council stated that he was not prepared to allow me to have a veto over the design and final construction of the roadway in the vicinity of my property. (Even though the roadway couldn't be completed without impacting on my property.)

This was one of their ulterior motives. [Evidenced in writing/meeting transcripts/behaviour]

They didn't want to pay to resolve the problem they helped create.

This is one of their inappropriate decisions. [Evidenced by their dodgy plan and their failure to produce cross sectional drawings and seek the necessary planning approval before they attempted to complete the works.]

Triggering the insurance bond in an attempt to get a third party to do their dirty work.

Another complaint in which a six year old child would have had no difficulty in finding maladministration in days, yet five and a half years later here I am still waiting for a decision from the Local Government Ombudsman!

Knowing Local Government Ombudsmen it's doubtful that they will even find the maladministration I complained about but even if they do just what is the point of having an Ombudsman who can't do their job in a reasonable amount of time.

A well known maxim is that 'Justice delayed is justice denied'

So by definition 'delay' is unjust and hence delay is 'maladministration'.


Curious how both Local Authorities and Local Government Ombudsmen are not afraid to commit acts of maladministration whilst carrying out their duties.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Provisional Report

I have been told that a draft report regarding my March 2002 complaints is now with the Ombudsman. However, I have still not seen (let alone been given a copy of) the County Council's defence to any of my complaints and neither have I seen (or been given a copy of) the cross sectional plans on which they base their assertions. In fact as far as I am aware the Ombudsman hasn't been able to obtain the documents in question.

If the Ombudsman has the powers of a high court judge, as they often assert, then obtaining the necessary documents should have been easy. In any event if they follow normal legal practice, and the Council has not submitted a substantive defence, then they should find in my favour.

However, knowing how Local Government Ombudsmen operate I am not holding out much hope.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another tale of two Ombudsmen

Recently the Local Government Ombudsman's office in Coventry found a Council guilty of maladministration because they didn't follow their own policy guidelines. However, the Local Government Ombudsman's office in York recently told me that a Council doesn't have to follow their own policy guidelines because they are merely guidelines and not a legal requirement.

Funny how two Ombudsmen supposedly doing the same job in different parts of the country hold opposing views.

Looks like we now have 'post code' LGO justice as well as 'post code' health care and 'post code' care for our senior citizens.

Friday, July 27, 2007

LGO: Unfit for the purpose? Part 2

In my earlier post 'LGO: Unfit for the purpose?' I used one of my complaints to illustrate how Local Government Ombudsmen appear to have difficulty identifying an unequivocal case of maladministration. Here I present another of my complaints to prove that it wasn't a one off mistake.

This is the third of the seven complaints I submitted during March 2002.

Without the necessary authority proceeded to execute plan CE/11329/50/29.

The road in question is not yet a highway. Under the terms of the Section 38 Agreement the Highway Authority only had the contractual right to complete the works in default. Or in the case of triggering the bond, (which they did) specify the default work to be carried out. Plan CE/11329/50/29 shows work which, under the terms of the Section 38 agreement, does not constitute default work. Therefore the Highway Authority has no statutory or contractual authority to implement plan CE/11329/50/29.

In addition they didn't even have planning approval or permission for plan CE/11329/50/29.

Adding to those acts of maladministration they later lied about their need to obtain planning permission.

So we have another situation in which a child could have proven maladministration within weeks of receiving my complaint, however, after 5 years the Local Government Ombudsman still appears to be having some difficulty.

Further supporting the argument that the Local Government Ombudsman is unfit for the purpose.

More examples to follow!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A tale of two Ombudsmen: Part 2

Why can one Local Government Ombudsman find maladministration in six months whilst another can't find it after six years? Because Local Government Ombudsmen are only interested in resolving problems for the benefit of their friends in Local Authorities.

Most people know that Local Government Ombudsmen use a battery of tactics to block or derail complaints but many don't realise that they also have a tactic to deal with those complaints that they can't divert. That's the tactic used by the Coventry Ombudsman in the case below, find the Local Authority guilty of maladministration but only award a few paltry pounds compensation to the complainant for all the misery and injustice. As far as the Ombudsman is concerned that is an end to the matter, job done, no more problems for their friends in the Local Authority.

However, what if that was not the end of the matter?

That is the reason why the York Office still haven't found maladministration after six years. They know that the award of a paltry few pounds for maladministration wouldn't end the matter it would still leave their friends in the Local Authority with a significant problem. And that's why my complaints are taking so long to resolve, nothing to do with the difficulty in finding maladministration and everything to do with finding a way out of the situation for their friends in the Local Authority.

I have suffered an additional six years of injustice just because the York Ombudsman's office are having difficulty engineering a solution more favourable, and hence more acceptable, to their friends in the Local Authority.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A tale of two Ombudsmen

Coventry: An innocent woman was wrongly given an ASBO by Manchester City Council. The Local Authority in question never validated the allegations or even bothered to put them to the woman before issuing the ASBO. It took the woman three months to get the ASBO overturned and a further three months before the case was withdrawn following an internal review. Local Government Ombudsman, Jerry Wright found Manchester City Council guilty of maladministration, ordered them to pay the woman £2000 and told them to review their procedures. The Ombudsman stated that this was an abuse of power of nightmarish proportions.

York: Cheshire County Council created a plan that was technically and legally impossible to implement. The Local Authority in question never validated their plans before trying to implement them. They also blocked any independent scrutiny of them by failing to obtain the necessary planning permission. They even lied about their need to obtain planning permission. I was also blocked when I tried to bring this to the attention of local councillors. See my posting below. This all happened in 2001 but after six years, not six months as in the case above, the York Ombudsman has still not reached any conclusions.

I say, look at the facts, it was clearly an abuse of power of nightmarish proportions.

Keeping me waiting six years for a determination of my complaint is just more abuse by a different authority.

A further posting will explain why I think the Coventry Ombudsman managed to reach a conclusion after six months but the York Ombudsman still hasn't reached a conclusion after six years.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

LGO: unfit for the purpose?

I submitted the following complaint (along with six others) to the Local Government Ombudsman during March 2002.

[That the Council] breached their own complaints procedures and policy guidelines by blocking access to a panel of Councillors after the Chief Executive of Vale Royal Borough Council failed to satisfactorily respond to our complaint about them triggering of the bond.

During May 2006 after a four year delay the Local Government Ombudsman agreed to comeback on my complaints . To date, after another 14 months my complaints have still not been resolved. However, when you analyse the complaints it's very easy to prove one way or the other within days let alone years.

Question 1: Did the Council's complaints procedure include access to a panel of Councillors.?

Answer: Yes. (This can be proven quite easily by anyone who can read.)

Question 2: Did the Council have a policy of allowing complainants to access a panel of Councillors?

Answer: Yes they did. (Again this can be proven quite easily by anyone who can read.)

Question: Did I ask the Chief Executive Officer for access to a panel of Councillors?

Answer: Yes I did. Again this can be proven quite easily by anyone who can read.

Question 3: Did the Chief Executive Officer allow me access to a panel of Councillors?

Answer: No, they told me to take my complaint elsewhere. (Again this can be proven quite easily by anyone who can read.)

So the Chief Executive Officer breached their own complaints procedure by refusing me access to a panel of Councillors. That's called maladministration. Furthermore I suffered injustice as a result.

So we have a situation in which a child could have proven maladministration within weeks of receiving my complaint, however, after 5 years the Local Government Ombudsman still appears to be having some difficulty.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting my other complaints with an analysis of how they could have proven maladministration within weeks if they had wanted to.

That alone clearly makes the Local Government Ombudsman unfit for the purpose.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The impotent Ombudsman

When you start to investigate the reasons for the constant delays in resolving your complaint you soon realise that the majority of them can be traced back to an impotent Ombudsman.

That's the underlying reason why they give the Council months to answer letters whilst expecting complainants to answer within a few weeks. The critical point is that Councils know the Ombudsman is impotent and aren't afraid to use that weakness to their advantage. Initially, the poor old complainant isn't aware so accepts unnecessary delay as a normal part of the Ombudsman's work.

That's also the underlying reason why Local Government Ombudsmen introduced local settlements. If a Local Government Ombudsman finds maladministration they can only suggest, not enforce, a remedy. The only thing the Local Government Ombudsman can force the Council to do, should they find maladministration, is publish their report in a local newspaper. That would cost the Council no more than £500. That means that if the Local Government Ombudsman can keep the remedy below £500 it is cheaper for the Council to meet the cost of the remedy than the newspaper costs.

So if the Council agree to provide the remedy (on average a lot less than the cost of publishing a report) the Local Government Ombudsman states that there was a 'local settlement' and drops the complaint. That way the Council don't have to meet the cost of publishing the report and use the money to provide the remedy suggested by the Local Government Ombudsman.

That's also the underling reason why they always believe the Council (see earlier posting). Essentially there is not a lot they can do even if they know the Council is lying to them. If they confronted the problem it would just prove they are impotent so it's better for them to live in a world of self denial.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A lie (maladministration) by any other name

It's amazing how many times an Ombudsman will excuse Councils under investigation over their lies and misrepresentations. What chance has a complainant got when Council lies (maladministration) are dismissed by the Ombudsman as 'innocent mistakes' or 'a simple misunderstanding'.

This has happened to me on numerous occasions during the Ombudsman's 10 year involvement with my complaints. Blatant lies by Council staff have been dismissed by the Ombudsman as innocent mistakes or simple misunderstandings.

When I questioned this policy the Ombudsman's office stated 'A Council wouldn't lie to us, would they?'.

Are Local Government Ombudsmen naive or biased?
They must be one or the other to maintain a policy of believing the Council no matter what they say!
For another example of Council lies, sorry misunderstandings, read the article on the River and Lake Swimming Association website about the Local Government Ombudsman.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Reorganisation

Over the next few months there are going to be some significant changes. Although my blog will continue a few of my associates are going to concentrate on running the Public Service Ombudsman Watchers website website rather than trying to write and maintain their own individual blogs. If you have a story or an interesting snippet of news about Public Service Ombudsmen please submit it to the psow.co.uk website.

Don't forget that Local Government Ombudsmen will soon be trying to distance themselves from the negative publicity generated by Local Government Ombudsman Watch by re branding themselves Public Service Ombudsmen.

We will be waiting

The LGO: Betraying the good citizen

Another website that's going to publish a story about the failure of the Local Government Ombudsman.

River and Lake Swimming Association

It may be a couple of weeks before they publish their story so please be patient and keep checking.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The reason for delay

One of the main reasons why Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield recommended abolishing the current role of the Local Government Ombudsman was because of the time it took a complainant to secure any sort of justice through them. My case is a paradigm example of how the LGO introduces unwarranted, unfair and excessive delays into their proceedings.

I have already shown that the LGO are ineffective and inefficient but the question worth exploring is why?

A Judge once stated that delay in itself was unjust because delay defeats justice. A Council member of staff is also on record stating that any delay is beneficial to them.

Delay is useful to the LGO and Council because a complainants circumstances often change whilst their long and drawn out investigations are being undertaken. Many people move, some people die, other become so sick and tired that they just give up, the list goes on and on. As a result most complaints are time sensitive, in my case one of my co-complainants moved away and their complaint fell by the wayside. A definite advantage to the LGO and the Council but nobody could argue that justice was done. Essentially the Council got away with maladministration by the LGO's tactic of introducing unnecessary delay.

Delay is also the tactic that the LGO and the Council have been using on me for the last ten years. They hoped that circumstances would change so they could bury the maladministration that I had complained about.

10 years to resolve a problem created by Council maladministration, there can be no other conclusion!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Camden Council Blog


The Camden Council blogger is now back on line after a few hiccups.

10th Anniversary

It's the 10th anniversary of the Local Government Ombudsman's involvement with my case.

Some observers suggest Local Government Ombudsmen are incompetent, some that they are impotent, others go as far as suggesting that they collude with Councils to bury or derail complaints of maladministration.

However, whatever the reason there can be no argument that Local Government Ombudsmen are totally ineffective.

As a taxpayer I also suffer a doubly whammy. My taxes contributes towards the Local Government Ombudsman's £11 million pound annual running costs and my local property taxes contribute towards Local Government. As a result I help support the Council that caused the injustice through maladministration and the Local Government Ombudsman who does nothing about it. Now that's what I call injustice!

Please don't forget to sign the petition , why should we pay for ineffective Local Government Ombudsmen.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sign the metric martyr petition

Steve Thorburn was entrapped by undercover Council officials. He sold goods in metric or imperial weights, as customers desired, and sold the Council official some bananas for 40p at 25p a pound. Arrested by two policeman (in a city where real crime is out of control) and then prosecuted, he suffered the indignity of a criminal conviction for pursuing an honest living and supporting his young family. This honest man was given a criminal record & then faced bankruptcy if he pursued his case to appeal as Sunderland Council threatened to pursue full costs. Before he completed his protest he died of a heart attack. Since then, Europe has decided that imperial measurements aren't so bad! But this decision came too late for Mr Thorburn.

The petition asks the Prime Minister to obtain a Royal Pardon for him and give his family peace of mind. (Please click here and sign it now!)

Please note!

The Metric Martyr petition has disappeared, however, on the 9th April 2007 the following appeared on the Number 10 website.


Asked whether Government considered that the conviction of the greengrocer Stephen Thoburn benefited the public, the PMS said that it showed the legislation which had been introduced in 1994 was valid. He pointed out that legislation required all goods sold loose by weight to be sold in metric units after 31 December 1999. It was based on an EU Directive of 1989 which had become legislation in 1994. This Government had given a 10-year extension to 2009 for produce to be advertised in metric and imperial units.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The last piece of the puzzle

The County Council stated that they redesigned the roadway (in the vicinity of my property) in line with national and local road design guidelines. However, that is simply not true. Their 2001 redesign does not meet any of the national or local highway guidelines. That's probably why they didn't seek planning permission at the time and have never sought it since. However, the Ombudsman excuses all this by stating that there is no legal requirement forcing a Council to follow guidelines. I accept that, however, that doesn't change the fact that the Council lied (maladministration) about their design meeting the guidelines and it doesn't change the fact that departing from those guidelines without a valid reason also constitutes maladministration (maladministration doesn't have to be illegal). Especially when public safety has been ignored and people may be killed or seriously injured as a result of their poor design. And it doesn't change the fact that they failed to obtain the necessary planning permission (maladministration) before trying to complete the works and it doesn't change the fact that they lied (maladministration) when they stated that their plan didn't need planning permission.

All this was obvious in 2002 when I submitted my complaints to the Ombudsman but after a 5 year delay and 12 months of investigation the Ombudsman is still asking me to provide irrelevant information and evidence in a desperate attempt to find a solution to the underlying problem for the County Council. However, the Ombudsman is statutory empowered to investigate complaints of maladministration not find a way out for a Council.

Essentially that's the reason behind 10 years of injustice that I have suffered. The Ombudsman thought they had provided a way out for the Council in their 1998 report into my initial complaint, however, that seriously backfired and caused the Council even more problems. Ironically, whilst attempting to stuff me in 1998 they inadvertently stuffed the Council instead.

Ever since the Ombudsman has simply ignored further maladministration (at my expense) whilst trying to extricate the Council from the situation they helped create.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Puzzle solved!

The final piece of the puzzle has recently fallen into place regarding my complaints.

I can now start to write the last chapters of my story about Local Authority maladministration and the abject failure of the Local Government Ombudsmen using my 1997 and 2001 complaints as a case study.

I now know why the Ombudsman has been doing their level best to bury my complaints for the last ten years. Knowing that puts everything they have done (or not done) over the last ten years into perspective. Therefore, I don't have to wait any longer to complete my story. In fact any further delay in resolving my complaints will just reinforce my arguments that the Ombudsman prefers to resolve the underlying problem for the benefit of the Council rather than investigate any complaints of maladministration.

More information soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A visitor's website

Problems with Social Services, home education and the Ombudsman!

Trevor

The SS/LEA have been a disaster. We contacted the LGO, and their actions were as described on your site (and others). We involved our MP, which got us a bit further forward, but not much!

The fact that these people can behave as they do, and still live with themselves, never ceases to amaze me. As I've said, I can have no respect for them. I do not suppose that bothers them in the least, but I like to think that I, at least, have some sort of standard/integrity.

Keep plugging away, but don't ruin your health for the sake of these people. They really are the lowest of the low.

Cheers. Mr L

Ineffective Ombudsmen?

It's been 12 months since the Ombudsman agreed to comeback on my 2002 complaint. However, I have still not received a copy of the Council's defence to my complaint nor a copy of the associated plans.

The County Council should have submitted a full set of plans to the Borough Council during 2001 for planning permission but they didn't. If they had I would have been able to comment on the plans then. However, at that time the County Council needed to circumvented any real scrutiny of their plans so they just lied about the need for planning permission and stated they were exempt.

5 years after I first submitted a complaint about this matter to the Local Government Ombudsman and 1 year after they agreed to comeback on my complaint and the Ombudsman still hasn't obtained a copy of the plans for me to comment on.

Whatever the reason, whether it be impotence or incompetence it does at least prove they are ineffective when it comes to offering any sort of remedy for local authority maladministration.

When a Council officer is on record saying that delay is helpful to them it makes you wonder!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Once an Ombudsman...

In a few weeks it will be 10 years since the LGO first became involved with my complaint.

During that period they have used every trick in the book (many of them more than once) to bury serious acts of maladministration committed by both Borough and County Council staff.

One of my friends wondered why an Ombudsman would do that. "Surely", my friend argued, "if the Ombudsman knows that they are being scrutinised they would do their level best to be seen to be doing a good job"?

My answer to them........ "It's in their nature"!

A scorpion asks a frog for help crossing a river. Intimidated by the scorpion's prominent stinger, the frog demurs.

"Don't be scared,'' the scorpion says. "If something happens to you, I'll drown.'' Moved by this logic, the frog puts the scorpion on his back and wades into the river. Half way across, the scorpion stings the frog.

The dying frog croaks, "How could you -- you know that you'll drown?''

"It's my nature,'' gasps the sinking scorpion.

Once a scorpion always a scorpion.

Once a chief executive always a chief executive.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

3.8 minus 0.7 = between 3.5 and 3.8?

It does if you apply Ombudsman logic.

The road (carriageway) adjacent to my property should have been constructed 3.8 metres from my boundary. (Official approved and bonded plans prove that beyond a shadow of doubt.) The County Council are on record stating that the road has been constructed 0.7 metres closer to my boundary than it should be. (Council plans and surveys also prove that beyond a shadow of doubt.) That clearly proves that the road is now only 3.1 metres from my boundary or conversely my boundary is only 3.1 metres from the edge of the road.

However, in spite of Council plans and statements proving the position of my boundary beyond a shadow of doubt the Ombudsman is still trying to argue that my boundary is between 3.5 to 3.8 metres from the road.

Why does the Ombudsman's office use warped logic? Because they always reach a decision first and then manipulate the facts to support their decision.

So if, 3.1 equals maladministration and 3.5 to 3.8 equals no maladministration then their only option, if they want to bury the maladministration, is to argue that 3.8 - 0.7 = 3.5 to 3.8.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Human Rights

Public Authorities (This includes Local Government Ombudsmen) may also have a positive obligation under the HR constitution. As a result it is envisaged that a situation may arise in which they have to take positive steps to protect an individuals human rights from being infringed by another public authority.

Another LGO petition.

Another petition has been posted on the Government petition website by William Fribbence. I do not know Mrs & Mrs Fribbence but I would like to wish them good luck with their petition.

Their petition states

'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that Laws are created to ensure that the Local Government Ombudsman, has to issue a report and name the local authority concerned when maladministration is found. Further that any financial settlement fairly reflects the situation from the aggrieved party's point of view and is not used as a way to let a council of the hook'.

If you would like to add your name to their petition please click here.

Obviously Mr & Mrs Fribbence have been victims of the LGO local settlement scam.

If anyone knows Mr & Mrs Fribbence please tell them that they are not alone.

Tell them to visit LGOwatch or psow.co.uk

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's a kind of magic!

Further to my last post. How does the council manage to give the illusion that they can complete a ramp with a gradient of 1 in 12 when in reality the best they could ever achieve is 1 in 7.6 (and that's before any drains and transitions are taken into account.) Easy, they just use part of the gradient to pull off their illusion.

Here's how the trick it works, instead of quoting the gradient for the full length of the ramp they just quote the gradient for part of the ramp. What they don't explain is that the rest of the ramp has to have a gradient of 1 in 2.5 in order to to pull off their trick.

A cross sectional plan would prove how the council has bent reality but in spite of numerous requests I have still not been given one. A magician uses an attractive assistant to distract the observer, however, the council's favourite is to introduce a number of irrelevant issues in an attempt distract the observer.

This simple trick appears to have fooled the Ombudsman's office for nearly 6 years, which makes me wonder if the ombudsman is in fact part of the act, a kind of stooge to give credibility to the council's illusion. Only time will tell but if an average ten year old child can understand how the council illusion works why is the Ombudsman's office having so much difficulty?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

12 * 0.5 = less than 3.8!

The roadway adjacent to my property has been constructed some 500 millimetres (0.5 metres) higher than the existing land level. The Council assert that they can now construct a ramp with a gradient of 1 in 12 to overcome the height differential. Using simple maths that would require 6 metres of land (12 * 0.5 = 6) on which to accommodate a ramp!

However, there is less than 3.8 metres of land on which to construct a ramp, so how can the Council construct a 1 in 12 ramp to overcome a land differential of 0.5 metres in less that 3.8 metres? Easy, they just say they can do it and the Ombudsman appears to accept it.

I wonder how long I have to wait before the penny drops and the Ombudsman finally realises that the reason why the Council haven't done it over the last 6 years is because it's impossible!

Or has the penny dropped and that's the reason why the Ombudsman is now suggesting that my land is only worth £20 per square metre?

See posting below.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

LGO impartial? No chance!

During 1999 I sold a small parcel of land to a neighbour for a price of approx £150 per square metre. During 2003 I was offered £125 per square metre for all of my land. Luckily I turned the offer down because land prices have more than doubled since then . (Valuation Office Agency state they have increased by a factor of 2.17 times.) During 2005 I sold another small parcel of land to another neighbour for £350 per square metre.

Yet an investigator working for the Local Government Ombudsman recently told me that my land was only worth £20 per square metre. Why would an investigator try and persuade me my land was worth much less than it is?

Could it be because a Council need some of my land to finish a highway and they were trying to help them get it on the cheap?

Local Government Ombudsman, impartial, what do you think?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

E.Government Petition


Please click here to sign my petition now!


Although every British citizen can add their name to the petition due to an anomaly in the e-gov website they only allow one vote per e-mail address. Each family member must use a unique e-mail address rather than a joint family one.

Mrs Trevor

Housewife to serious campaigner thanks to one letter from the LGO.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mrs Trevor

Trevor is not well at the moment so he may not be able to post anything for a week or two. After his blood pressure and sugar levels are back under control he will be back with a vengeance.

In the meantime I am splitting my time between looking after Trevor and visiting my Mother

Whilst you wait for normal service to be resumed why not read how the Local Government Ombudsman is ruining what's left of my Mothers life.

Mrs Trevor

Monday, March 19, 2007

Amazing but true!

During 2001 the County Council as Highway Authority redesigned the private road next to my property. The Highway Authority should have applied for planning permission but didn't. They wrongly stated at the time that they were exempt (a lie). The reason why they couldn't apply for planning permission is because the Borough Council (as planning authority) would have had to give me neighbour notification of the planned works together with a chance to comment before planning permission could be granted. However, the Highway Authority falsified my boundary on their plans so they wouldn't have stood up to close scrutiny. In addition the plans proved they were attempting to interfere with my right of way so there was no way planning permission would have been granted.

Hence the reason why they didn't apply for planning permission. They just attempted to carry out the illegal work by wrongly stating that they were exempt.

Ironically the Ombudsman was ostensibly monitoring events during 2001 because of a 1998 finding of maladministration against the Borough Council. So the County Council actually committed numerous acts of maladministration right under the nose of the Ombudsman.

No wonder it took me until 2006 to persuade the Ombudsman to investigate events. If they find the County Council guilty of maladministration they would have to admit their monitoring of events during 2001 was woefully inadequate and was the cause of my family's 5 years of unnecessary and additional injustice. A bit like being mugged knowing the police were watching but doing nothing about it.

A difficult decision for the current Ombudsmen. Do you now find the County Council guilty of maladministration, proving that your predecessor was guilty of maladministration, or do you bury all the maladministration in an attempt to protect the integrity of your office?

Friday, March 02, 2007

One way or another the end is in sight.

I have just been informed that the Ombudsmen is close to producing a provisional decision on my 2001 complaints. That means that a final decision will not be far behind. As soon as I have the final decision I will be able to complete my story and publish the full facts.

However, my provisional view is that my premonition was correct because the ombudsman appears to be trying to stuff me for the benefit of the council.

Whilst you wait for my final explosive update about the Local Government Ombudsman why not read what one of my relatives has had to endure.

I still find it difficult to accept that the ombudsman can reach a provisional decision when I haven't yet seen the evidence they are going to rely on let alone been given the opportunity to controvert it. I think that proves the ombudsman is not interested in the the rules of law and the concept of natural justice.

How an earth can an ombudsman's assert they're impartial whilst refusing to show one party to the argument the evidence they are going to rely on when reaching their decision. I appreciate I may eventually be able to see the evidence but it's a bit late after they have taken a provisional decision and had the view coloured by evidence which may well be flawed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another anti council website!

Yet another website has been started about council maladministration. How many people have to start websites and blogs before MPs and government sit up and take notice.

I wonder how the local government ombudsman is going to explain why people now prefer to start their own website and blogs rather than turn to them for help. Could it be that the majority of complainants (98.4%) find it a complete waste of time and effort.

Click here to visit the new website

Anti council websites and blogs expose the maladministration that the local government ombudsmen try to bury.
That's why many people don't bother with ombudsmen any more.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Update by premonition

A recent letter from the Ombudsman's office appears to suggest that my earlier premonition was right.

After 10 months I still haven't been given a copy of the councils' response to my complaints and all the Ombudsman's office appear concerned with is resolving the problem for the benefit of the councils. No doubt I will be given a copy after a decisions has been taken so I can't respond with contradictory evidence.

E Government Petition

The Local Government Ombudsman Watchers Wiki Website is hosting a petition to abolish the LGO. Eventually the petition will be submitted to the E-Gov Petition website. If more than 100 people sign the petition the Prime Minister must provide a written response.

Join in and add your comments and opinions.

Please don't forget to sign the petition when it's eventually submitted.

Monday, February 19, 2007

WIKI type LGO site started.

The Shadow Local Government Ombudsman has started a wiki type site about Local Government Ombudsmen. This allows everyone to help develop the site.


Don't forget to contribute information about the LGO that may be useful to others.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another blog started!

Another person who has suffered as a result of Council and Ombudsman maladministration has started another blog. Click here to visit.

Friday, February 02, 2007

LGOWatch News Release

LGOWatch have just published their latest News Release. For those that didn't receive a copy you can read it by Clicking here.

Reading the news release reminded me of an incident that I have experienced, I complained to a Chief Executive Officer that one of his staff had lied to me. The CEO stated that he would not investigate my complaint because I had called one of his staff a liar.

Note the CEOs defence 'attack the person who complained' rather than investigate the complaint. It would now appear that the Ombudsman intends to use the same perverse logic and argument to block valid complaints.

The Manor House fiasco

Another council (Lewisham), another fiasco and another failure of the Ombudsman to sort the problem out. Read Peter Richardson's story by clicking here.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New LGO Forum

Join the new LGO discussion forum now.

Click here to visit the forum

Click on register to join.

Please note this new forum is now open to everyone.

I would advise you to contact trusted members back channel for private/confidential discussions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Damage limitation?

A fellow Ombudsman Watcher has just informed me that Public Administration International (PAI) are running a two week study/conference called;

When Citizens Complain

The Role of the Ombudsman in Improving Public Services (two weeks)

For ombudsman offices, complaint-handling and human rights organisations and their senior staff. Also relevant for policy makers from countries which have an ombudsman system or which are in the process of setting one up. Covers issues of both principle and practice relating to the ombudsman’s role and includes briefings, discussion sessions, visits to ombudsman and related offices, practical work and action planning. Run in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Our next programme will take place from 14 to 25 May 2007.

http://www.public-admin.co.uk/

As far as I am concerned UK Ombudsmen have been around for 40 years but they haven't improved public service. Rather the opposite is true, public services are worse than they have ever been. All UK Ombudsmen do is hide true levels of maladministration and that helps no one.

Whilst the Ombudmen have a policy of believing the authority (even when they lie) whilst ignoring rock solid evidence supplied by a complainant, public services will never be improved. As a result the only role UK Ombudsmen currently have is to reduce the standards in public service.

I note an advisor to the PAI is an ex Ombudsman. I smell a damage limitation exercise not a study/conference.