Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolution

If anyone is stuck for a New Year Resolution may I suggest a few possibilities,

1) never submit a complaint to the discredited Local Government Ombudsmen.

2) do everything in your power to bring an end to the corrupt system of administrative justice currently operating in this country.

3) sign every petition that involves the discredited LGO. This one is about their involvement with Haringey.

4) do everything you can to expose the LGO for what they are, a bunch of biased ex council amateurs who do nothing more than peddle false hope whilst they bury maladministration for their friends and ex colleagues.

5) if you prefer to be a passive supporter then just let us know and we will add your name to our supporters list.

6) spread the word, tell your friends and family the truth about the discredited LGO.

Together we can make 2009 a year the LGO will never forget.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12 Years of LGO involvement: A festive verse.

During their twelve years of involvement,
the LGO gave to me
Twelve blatant lies,
Eleven perverse reasons,
Ten stupid excuses,
Nine devious tactics,
Eight reasons for delay,
Seven misdirections,
Seex new laws,
Five false hopes,
Four offers to settle,
Three biased investigators,
Two flawed reports,
And proof that they bury maladministration for a local authority.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I would like to wish all my readers a

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Each time we stand up for an ideal, or act to improve the lot of others, or strike out against injustice, we send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. - Robert Kennedy (7 June, 1966)

Monday, December 22, 2008

What came first the chicken or the stupid excuse?

When Cheshire County Council bodged the unadopted highway in the vicinity of my property I naturally submitted a complaint to the planning enforcement section at Vale Royal Borough Council because the work being carried out was in breach of planning permission. Vale Royal Borough Council's response provides a typical example of the perverse logic used by Councils and Local Government Ombudsmen when faced with a complaint they can't logically answer.

Vale Royal Borough Council state that the highway in question is an adopted highway and as such Cheshire Highways do not require planning permission. Then they go on to say that consequently this authority have no powers to act in this matter.

Whilst their first statement is true it's wholly irrelevant because at the material time of the planning breach the highway in question was not an adopted highway. In fact Cheshire Highways only bodged the road because they desperatly wanted to adopt it without completing the road in line with pre existing planning permission.

So what came first, the breach of planning permission or the adopted highway?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

With the LGO justice is never seen to be done!

In an article in the Times headlined Access all areas’ for media so justice is seen to be done there are some interesting comments from Jack Straw.

Mr Straw said yesterday: “My view is that public confidence depends crucially on the system being as open as possible – so the case for restrictions has to be a very strong one.”

A really important veil is being lifted on what happens in these courts,” he said.

Unfortunately the discredited Local Government Ombudsmen still operate like a court of star chamber denying even the most basic of rights such as natural justice and the right to cross examine, let alone allowing justice to be seen to be done. His comments do, however, explain why the Local Government Ombudsmen do not have the public's confidence and never will until they change their ways.

So come on Mr Straw, if you really believe that justice should be seen to be done why don't you also ensure that the administrative justice system in this country also operates in an open and honest way.

In most cases the Local Government Ombudsman even denies the complainant the right to see the evidence they base their perverse conclusions on. And I can vouch for that because that's exactly what happened in my case. As a result of never being allowed to see the council's defence to my complaints (or any other evidence conjured up by the LGO), I never had the opportunity to properly controvert anything they may, or may not have, used as evidence. It's a sad fact of life that the system of administrative justice in England is corrupt and just like the family courts needs a radical overall if they ever expect to gain the public's confidence.

Mr Straw, how an earth can a secretive and unfair system of administrative justice, controlled by a bunch of ex local authority amateurs, ever gain the confidence and respect of the general public? At least the family courts were run by proper judges.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seex' Law 6

Seex' sixth law: Avoid the concrete conclusion and cultivate the delightfully vague.

A review of Seex' earlier laws.

Seex's fourth law: When the going gets tough, make yourself scarce. Seex's fifth law: When you're unaccountable you can ignore normal things like fairness, natural justice and the truth. Seex' third law: If a particular piece of evidence doesn't fit your preferred conclusion just ignore it. (Even if it's a promise to another ombudsman.) Seex' second law: A Council can infringe a citizen's legal or human rights rights and deny them the right to challenge any interference by the simple ruse of refusing to tell the citizen concerned which statutory authority (law) they are relying on to legitimise their actions. Seex' first law: Further to my earlier post it appears that Mrs Seex has introduced a new legal excuse for a threat. Cheshire County Council have given me a choice of A or B with the threat of C [1] should I refuse to accept A or B. However, the York LGO, Anne Seex, doesn't accept it's a threat, as far as she is concerned Cheshire County Council are merely informing me of what they are going to do should I refuse to accept A or B. Therefore, if you are ever accused of threatening behaviour just use Seex' law as your defence. For example, 'I didn't threaten to hit the person who wouldn't give me their wallet, I was merely informing them of what I was going to do if they didn't give it to me.'

1) The Council refused to tell me what statutory authority allowed them to implement option C. Over the last 8 years the Council has also been refusing to tell me what statutory authority allowed them to implement the plan which was the subject of my complaint. The Ombudsman may find it convenient to turn a blind eye to their refusal to give me the information requested but I certainly don't. Please refer to Seex' second law for further information.

Slowly slowly catchy LGO.

Never trust a Local Government Ombudsman to look after your legal or human rights.

Fact:
A Local Government Ombudsman can and often does find a a council not guilty of maladministration even though they are guilty of infringing your legal and/or human rights. With the courts this situation could never happen because unlike a Local Government Ombudsman they have to take your legal and human rights into account. A situation which after 11 years I am about to be able to prove thanks to Cheshire County Council. And once I have the York LGO will have some very, very, serious questions to answer!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Council logic: The cost/benefit ratio.

A recent Freedom of information request highlights an interesting issue.

The Local Government Ombudsman issued a report against Haringey council finding maladministration causing injustice (06/A/12508). The Ombudsman recommended that Haringey should make a payment of about £250 to the complainant.

The report also identified that Haringey made use of external legal advisers in relation to the LGO investigation. The cost to Haringey council, or more precisely, the cost to Haringey council tax payers was £8000 + Vat.

What a waste of taxpayers money. If Haringey had apologised and settled for a few hundred pounds they could have saved £9,400 plus all their own internal costs. In addition the LGO's could have saves the taxpayer the thousands of pound it costs to produce a report. The LGO cost the taxpayer about £12 million year and they produce about 125 reports. That works out at £96,000 per report.

To put everything in context Haringey's attempt to save a few hundred pounds following an act of maladministration cost the taxpayer, one way or another, over £100,000. Multiply that by all the councils in the country and literally £millions must be wasted every year by Councils trying to evade paying out a few hundred pounds each in compensation.

Cheshire County Council is another example, they have spent thousands more on trying to avoid the consequences of maladministration than it would have cost them to amicably resolve the situation. However, the key reason behind doing this is that spending thousands on external legal advice allows a council concerned to block or seriously derail an LGO investigation.

Using external legal advice allows the council to move the issue from 'one of fault in procedure' (maladministration which the LGO can investigate) to 'one of merit' (which the LGO can't investigate). This may be an expensive and dubious tactic to use but it nicely excludes the LGO from getting too involved in anything the council doesn't want them to get involved in.

What makes this tactic even more interesting is that by law any legal advice the council receives is classed as privileged information so the council involved doesn't even have to show the LGO, or anyone else, the advice they received. The bottom line being that a council can hide behind legally privileged information and lie to the LGO and there is damn all the LGO can do about it.

If the council say they took legal advice (even if the legal advice didn't support their position) the LGO is history because the issue is has been moved from an argument about procedure to one of merit.

Unfortunately, the LGO realise that they can't let the complainant in on the trick because it will just expose the stupidity of the whole situation. Therefore, the LGO tend to hide the problem by finding the council guilty of a trivial act of maladministration, such as delay, whilst finding them not guilty of any issue they have managed to 'avoid' using the devious and dubious tactic outlined above.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Time has told (2)

Proof the York LGO's office is willing to lie to a complainant. This last week Cheshire County Council adopted the highways on phase one of the development, which is strange because the York LGO's office told me, apart from a small stretch in the vicinity of my property, they were adopted months ago.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time has told (1)

My initial complaint to the York LGO in 1997 consisted of 3 specific complaints. However, one of them was totally ignored by the York LGO without explanation. So although I submitted 3 complaints, her final report produced in 1998 only dealt with 2 of them. I complained to the York LGO about the fact she had ignored one of my complaint but never received a satisfactory answer. However, I now know why. The complaint that the York LGO ignored over 11 years ago was about the council bodging the highway to overcome their self created difficulties and that is exactly what they have just done.

Essentially the complaint ignored by the York LGO during 1997/8 was that the council may, as highway authority, reduce the standards of the planned highway to a much lower level than they would allow any developer ever to do so in order to get themselves out of their self created difficulties on the cheap.

Between 1997 and 2008 the council, as highway authority, tried (but failed) to stick me with their problem, as the developer had done between 1991 and 1997. However, the council as highway authority had one major advantage over the developer, they decide the adoption standards of roads in this area so they can bodge the road as much as they want, adopt it and maintain it's been constructed to adoptable standards. When in reality all they have done is reduce the standards to get themselves out of their self created difficulties.

I suggested to the York LGO during 1997 that either another council or an independant body should scrutinise any redesign of the highway to ensure that the council did not take the easy way out and bodge the highway.

Taking all the facts into account the only conclusion I can reach is that the York LGO knew that the council, should they fail to stick me with their problem, may decide to bodge their way out of the problem and left them an escape route. One that for the safety of the general public she should have closed 11 years ago.

This blog will continue to highlight the problems with the York LGO whilst my new blog will highlight the damage that can be done when the York LGO fails to do their job.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A new petition that involves the discredited LGO.

'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Investigate LGO Investigations into Child Protection in Haringey. The Country is shocked by the awful situation of Haringey Council and Baby 'P'. Since the Victoria Climbie affair, one hundred and fifteen (115) complaints have been made to the Local Government Ombudsman about child protection in Haringey Council. Only one (1) of these complaints has been upheld with a finding of 'maladministration with injustice' with a paltry settlement of £70. This outcome is a statistical impossibility and exposes the inadequacy of Administrative Justice within the UK. An independent judicial review is requested into these matters'

Please click here to sign the petition. To read the story that inspired the petition click here. To discuss this issue on the LGO watchers public forum click here. To view my own Freedom of Information request click here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A bodge by any other name.

Today Cheshire County Council bodged the highway in the vicinity of my property. As a result I am now splitting this blog into two. This one will continue to highlight the corrupt system of administrative justice in this country whilst my new blog will highlight all the faults with the highway in the vicinity of my property.

People who use the highway should not be put at extra and unnecessary risk of accident, injury or death due to a substandard highway just so the council can save themselves from the consequences of their self created difficulties.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honesty goes down the drain.

When Cheshire County Council first sent me their latest plan view of the works they intended to carry out in the vicinity of my property, even without the aid of a cross sectional plan, I immediately identified a serious design flaw. The plan showed that the surface water on some 40 feet of footway would drain onto my land. A major no-no by any stretch of the imagination.

I wrote to the council about my concerns only to be told that surface water from the footway would not drain onto my land because it would percolate into permeable material before reaching my land. However, their own plan showed no such permeable material or drains. Therefore, someone at Cheshire County Council was lying. Evidenced by the fact that when they arrived today to carry out the work across my vehicle access, one of the first things they did was to fit a drainage channel to the back edge of the footway. The only question remaining about the surface water is where does the afterthought and unplanned for drainage channel actually drain the surface water to, and is it adequate for the purpose? No doubt time and, if necessary, a dye test will tell.

Now I am not too concerned about Cheshire County Council staff lying to me because it is something they have been doing that for years, however, I am concerned that if I managed to identify a serious design flaw using nothing more than the plan view think how many more I may have been able to identify using the cross sectional view they still refuse to give me.

And that folks is why Cheshire County Council don't want, and have never wanted to, give me a copy of the cross sectional plans. They know I will be able to identify further serious design flaws with the works.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More than one way to skin a malicious 'Cheshire County Council' cat

After 11 years and 2 York LGO investigations Cheshire County Council are still refusing to provide a proper scaled and detailed cross sectional plan for works they intend to carry out in the vicinity of my property. That denies me the right to confirm the full impact of their works on my property rights and, if necessary, legally challenge them before the works are implemented. That, I am sure a judge will agree, is a malicious attempt to deny me my human rights to justice.

However, there is more than one way to skin a malicious 'Cheshire County Council' Cat. All I need to do is wait for the works to be completed. Then I can have the works surveyed and ask my own surveyor to reverse engineer a scaled cross sectional plan. That will enable me to identify any and all infringements with my property, legal and human rights together with any deviation from normal highway design guidance and take the appropriate action.

In addition, whilst I wait for my surveyor to produce a cross sectional plan I will be able to log and photograph every occasion in which I or my visitors have difficulty accessing and egressing my property, every occasion that surface water enters my property and every occasion that pedestrians have to walk in the road because they feel it's too dangerous to use the vehicular crossing.

Add Cheshire County Council's failure to provide a proper cross sectional plan to the fact that they have also removed the surface water drainage from their recent plan so surface water from the footway will flow onto my land (all previous plans produced by Cheshire County Council had surface water drainage) and I am sure I will have no trouble at all convincing a judge that their actions were done with malicious intent. That should significantly increase the amount of damages I am eventually awarded. Particularly since they could have resolved the situation amicably rather than resorting to oppressively carrying out the works with total disregard to highway & pedestrian safety and my property & human rights.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

York LGO: is their irrationality caused by surface water (on the brain)?

Recently a new law was introduced to stop people draining surface water from their land onto a public highway. So why does a Cheshire County Council highway authority engineer think it's acceptable to allow surface water from part of a public highway, the footway, to flow onto my land without my permission? Especially since other Councils state that every step should be taken to ensure that surface water does not flow into private property from the highway as a result of the construction of a crossover.

Whilst the York LGO was involved with my complaint Cheshire County Council's plans included drains for the surface water but after she declared herself functus officio (That's Latin for sticking her head up her backside so she can no longer be blamed for the ongoing council maladministration she failed to resolve.) Cheshire County Council drew a new plan without surface water drains. Did Cheshire County Council remove the surface water drains out of malice because I wouldn't accept a ramp on my land to get them out of their self created difficulties?

Ironically the York LGO ended their involvement with my 1997 complaint because the highway authority promised her the highway would be completed without any impact on my property. I fail to see how draining a public footway onto my property fulfils that promise, but there again, thankfully, I don't have the illogical and perverse brain of a Local Government Ombudsman. Neither do I stick my head up my backside so I don't see Council maladministration causing injustice!

Monday, November 17, 2008

LGO V Courts

An example of why it's always better to use the courts rather than attempt to use the discredited Local Government Ombudsman.

'A local authority has been ordered to pay more than £70,000 compensation to villagers whose early mornings have been made intolerable by the din of refuse trucks.

East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire also faces a massive legal costs bill following the High Court victory won by 71-year-old William Bontoft and two of his neighbours in the village of Manby, near Louth.

Judge John Leighton Williams QC, sitting in London, ruled today that the residents could not reasonably have been expected to bear the noise nuisance caused by more than 20 refuse trucks passing their homes at 6.30am.'

If they had taken their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman they would have been lucky to get a finding of maladministration and a paltry few pounds compensation [1]. In this case a judge agreed there was an actionable nuisance and awarded the three complainants a total of £70,000.

So kick the waste of space LGO into touch and use the courts to protect yourself against councils. You know it makes sense.

[1] The chance of obtaining a finding of maladministration using the Local Government Ombudsman is 0.68%, that's 1 complaint in every 147 complaints submitted. The average compensation obtained through the Local Government Ombudsman is about £650.

11 years, two York LGOs and still no cross sectional plan or statutory authority provided.

Cheshire County Council recently sent me their latest plan view for the works they threaten to carry out in the vicinity of my property but still haven't given me a proper cross sectional view of their plans to prove they won't interfere with my legal and human rights. All they have provided is a not to scale sketch without levels making it a complete waste of time. They argue the works won't interfere with my rights but refuse to prove it by providing a proper cross sectional plan. On one hand they suggest I should seek advice on their plans but on the other refuse to give me a copy of the cross sectional plans on which to do so! The York LGO has a lot to answer for.

I also asked the council to provide me with the specific statutory authority that allowed them to carry out works if they interfered with my legal and human rights. Again they refused.

So after 11 years and 2 Local Government Ombudsman's investigations (1997/98 - 2002/08) I am still waiting for the council to provide a copy of the cross sectional plans for the works they threaten to carry out and/or the statutory authority that allows them to carry out the works if they interfere with my legal and human rights.

And the Local Government Ombudsman has the audacity to wonder why I and many others think they are a complete waste of time!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

None standard highway design and the risks involved for a Highway Authority

Cheshire County Council have recently produced yet another plan to complete the highway in the vicinity of my property.

Essentially they have now decided to minimise any impact on my property by bodging the highway footway further to well below normal highway design standards and ignore the need for adequate and proper drainage. Whilst this is excellent news for me regarding my right of way, the news is not so good for future highway users, particularly pedestrians. In essence all they have done is exchange one legal issue, my right of way, with others, actionable nuisance caused by flooding of my land due to their failure to provide adequate and proper drainage and claims by highway users should they injure themselves as a result of their none standard and dangerous design. Ironically, they have also opened the door for 'no win no fee' brigade to take them to the cleaners should anyone fall on the footway in the vicinity of my property.

I submitted a Freedom of Information request for a copy of the risk assessment they carried out because their design deviated from normal design practice only to be told by their solicitor that the roadway was designed within guidelines (using their own guidelines it is demonstrably not) and as such they didn't need to carry out a risk assessment (music to the ears of 'no win no fee solicitors'). Particularly when I tell a claimants solicitor that I would have accepted compensation or sold the Council the land necessary for them to complete the roadway to safe and normal adopted road standards. However, rather than accepting my gracious offer they chose to put peoples lives at risk and save the money it would cost doing the job properly.

You can view the Practical Guide to Appendix C of The Roads Board report "Well Maintained Highways - Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management" by clicking here.

I have extracted part of the document below and highlighted the relevant parts in blue.

4.1.3 Providing a defence for new works


Similar principles will be used in providing a defence. A local authority will need to provide evidence that:

new works were safe and properly designed, and did not inadvertently trap road users into danger.

a local authority may wish to cite in evidence that the works complied with appropriate standards or design guidance or according to principles that have been properly applied.

4.1.4 A system to manage risks

The local authority should operate a system that enables risks to be identified, assessed, and appropriately managed, with a record kept at each stage.

Local authority departments must cooperate in the introduction of risk assessment systems for all highways associated functions. Systems will need to identify areas of high claims experience and instigate lines of investigation to reduce the extent of potential claims.

Simply sitting back and hoping the problem will go away, or not happen, is a recipe for disaster. There needs to be a "culture" change in most organisations for both members and officers if everyone is to be aware of risk management. It is likely to be difficult to demonstrate that criteria for highways management or design are objective, where they have been influenced by short term political needs.

Information from the system should be communicated within and outside the local authority.

Interesting times ahead if someone is badly injured or killed as a result of their dangerous design. Especially since it was only done to get themselves out of their self created difficulties on the cheap. Their own solicitor's words not mine! Even worse for the York LGO because she stated that she was happy with what they are doing. Talk about putting your head on the block for your friends! If a child gets killed on the highway in the vicinity of my property we will have another Haringey. I warned Cheshire County Council and I warned the LGO neither would listen so on their heads be it.

In March 2005 Government published a draft Corporate Manslaughter Bill. The bill would introduce a new, specific offence of corporate manslaughter. An organisation would be prosecuted for this if a gross failing by its senior managers to take reasonable care for the safety of their workers or members of the public caused a person’s death. There have been some concerns that Highway Authorities may be liable under Corporate Manslaughter if it is found that a defect in design has resulted in death, and that this may stifle innovation in street design. The Government is alert to this issue and does not want to give design guidance the status of mandatory requirement by introducing the offence of Corporate Manslaughter. Authorities will need to show that they have carried out a risk assessment if departing from guidance, however. Again this points to the need for a documented and balanced design sign-off system that allows for authorities to move beyond normal design standards when appropriate. Cheshire County Council have not done that so it looks as though a Corporate Manslaughter charge against Cheshire County Council could be brought should anyone die as a result of their stupid and dangerous design.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Haringey: The Role and Ineffectiveness of the LGO

'SOCIAL workers in Haringey have been the subject of 115 complaints to the local government watchdog in the years since the death of Victoria ClimbiƩ......The local government ombudsman dealt with the stream of complaints amid claims of serious failings by the council since 2000.....The ombudsman said that, of the 115 complaints it deal with, there was a finding in one case of maladministration causing injustice.'

Read the full story here.

How many more children have to die? How many more people have to suffer injustice as a result of council maladministration before the LGO wake up and do their job. They are supposed to investigate complaints not bury them for their friends and ex colleges in councils.

The deaths through council maladministration has to stop and the injustice through council maladministration has to stop! And if the LGO prefer to ignore the problem then the government need to sack them and get a really independent body to act as a watchdog.

Here's another example from Manchester.

Ironically one of the Local Government Ombudsmen used to work for Haringey and another for Manchester. Could the problem be that all Local Government Ombudsmen are ex council chief executives making them what most members of the public would refer to as part of 'the old boys network'.

To read about some of the other cases that happened after the Victoria ClimbiƩ case but before the latest cases click here.

Another website exposing more council cock ups.

'Without any notice to the affected residents, Wakefield Planning Department allowed South Yorkshre Housing Association (SYHA) to submit plans for a 3 storey "Super Home"; the largest residential building in Normanton, after only allowing residents to see outline plans for bungalows abutting their properties'...Please click here to visit the website.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Brent Council and the LGO

Yet another blogger exposing a corrupt council and the 'incompetent' Local Government Ombudsman providing even more evidence of the LGO's predisposition to believe anything a council tells them in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Please click here to visit the Bent Council blog or use the link in the side bar.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The truth is out there!

'Where it is found that maladministration has occurred, the ombudsman produces a report recommending the sorts of remedy that the authority concerned might want to pursue.' [My emphasis]

The reason they do this is that councils can and do ignore them with impunity so if they don't suck up to councils and offer a solution that a Council is happy with nothing will be resolved and the Ombudsman just looks impotent.

Would Local Government Ombudsmen ever admit to only recommending the sorts of remedies that the authority concerned might want to pursue... after all this does give the game away. Well yes they would because the statement above was made in a recruitment advert that secured the services of the current York LGO.

The following statement was also made in the recruitment advert 'In most cases, the council will have to stump up a formal apology and a few hundred quid in compensation.'

Time has told.

During a November 2006 post I reiterated an earlier comment

'Only time will tell but it's not looking good so far. They [The LGO] appear more interested in resolving the problem for the County Council than investigating my complaint. Two months and they still haven't asked the Council for a formal response to the allegations I made during 2002.'

The York LGO published her report some three months ago [August 2008] but I still haven't seen a copy of Cheshire County Council's defence to my complaint or a copy of the plans I complained about let alone be given the chance to controvert them. If that's what the York LGO considers justice God help us all. More like arse covering for their failure to persuade the councils to fulfil their 1999 promise to complete the works without any impact on my property.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Quote

Any report that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for acceptance is a bad report.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last chance to sign Wilma Wright's petition.

Only a few days left in which to sign Wilma Wright's petition. Please help Carly's family to get the justice they deserve. Sign her mother's petition now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The LGO: A legal way to pervert the course of justice?

Although most people are aware that Local Government Ombudsmen can't determine a complainants legal and human rights (only a court can do that) many people don't actually realise that Local Government Ombudsmen don't even attempt to identify any legal or human rights issues involved in their complaint let alone do anything about them during the course of an investigation.

This can lead to frightening miscarriages of justice for those complainants who are unaware of this critical fact. Many complaints, as mine does, consists of more than just simple maladministration, they also include potential legal and human rights issues. However, the Local Government Ombudsman only seeks to identify (and then remedy) simple maladministration and overlooks any legal and human rights issues.

Whether the Local Government Ombudsman finds the council guilty of a maladministration or not is irrelevant. The problem is that most complaints naively accept a Local Government Ombudsman's findings as final and, one way or another, an the end of their complaint. They wrongly assume that the Ombudsman has addressed all the issues involved in their complaint. What makes matters worse is that Local Government Ombudsmen do little if anything to advertise the fact that their involvement is concerned only with maladministration. Once the Ombudsman's investigation is over most Councils then use the Ombudsman's report to support their unlawful actions.

Ironically a council is also guilty of maladministration for any infringement of your legal or human rights. However, Local Government Ombudsmen can ignore them with impunity until they have been determined in a court of law.

Therefore, there is a catch 22 situation. A council infringes (or threatens to infringe) your legal or human rights, the Local Government Ombudsman can and does ignore them until they are determined in a court of law. Up to that point, no matter how compelling the evidence, the Local Government Ombudsman can argue they are mere allegations and ignore them. Once determined in a court of law they will of course also become an act of maladministration but once that has been done just what purpose do Local Government Ombudsmn serve?

Fact: With a Local Government Ombudsman a council can be found not guilty of maladministration whilst still remaining (potentially) guilty of infringing your legal and/or human rights. With the courts this situation could never happen because unlike a Local Government Ombudsman they can't ignore your legal and human rights before reaching a decision.


When the LGO state they are an alternative to court they are attempting to con the public. Don't let them con you! If this practice was perpetrated by an individual or private organisation they would be guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Redress in the round (and round the mulberry bush)

I recently received a letter from the current York LGO informing me that she was satisfied with what Cheshire County Council planned to do next. Whilst I am still unaware of what that is I find the LGO's comments offensive. Particularly since all Cheshire County Council have done up to now is threaten to infringe my legal and human rights. Therefore, is she implying that she is satisfied that Cheshire County Council will complete the works whist infringing my legal or human rights? If not why not tell me what they plan to do next? Just what is the big secret?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

LGO and Misdirection

I spotted this video on Neil Herron's blog. Although it's about road safety in London (Excellent work Borris) it can also be used to illustrate how the LGO, LGA and Councils (and other magicians) can use misdirection as an method of misleading people.

Keep your eye on the ball and you will see how easy it is for the LGO to use devious misdirection techniques. Now re-read the report (or letters) they sent you and I think you will find they have added quite a lot of irrelevances to distract you from the seeing the obvious wrongdoings they are desperately trying to hide for their friends and ex colleagues in Local Government.

Once you know what to look for it becomes obvious. However, most people just accept what they are told (or shown) without looking any deeper. The recent LGA poll is an excellent example of misdirection in action.

Do not to focus on what they want you to focus on, focus and what they are trying to distract you from.

In my case just replace the moonwalking bear with

(1) a step that interferes with my legal and human rights.
(2) the councils failure to provide me with proper plans.
(3) the councils failure to tell me the statutory authority they relied on to do the work.

and you will understand how the LGO used misdirection when writing their reports in an attempt to get me and other readers to take their eyes off the bear and onto their ball (irrelevant facts, manipulated evidence, general spin and other LGO nonsense).

By any stretch of the imagination any of the above constitute maladministration. Using the Local Government Ombudsman's own list we have failure to follow procedures or the law, failure to provide information and incorrect action or failure to take any action, yet all the York LGO found them guilty of was delay, which is rather ironic since most of the delay over the last 7 years was caused by the York LGO themselves.

Even though I made it clear at the draft report stage I wouldn't fall for their tricks they still included misdirection techniques in their final report. The only conclusion I can reach is that they weren't trying to misdirect me, they were trying to distract others (councillors, MP, courts and the public).

LGA guilty of producing an Icelandic red herring poll

The LGA are using the findings of a recent poll to deflect criticism away from councils.

Read the questions: I too think it's reasonable for a council to earn interest on public money and I too think councils were caught up in a worldwide banking problem. But that is not what they were being criticised for. The criticism was about putting public money into the more dodgy financial institutions to earn a higher level of interest. The banking crisis just exposed the problem.

This LGA poll is a fraud, one big red herring, designed to deflect criticism away from the fact that some councils were essentially gambling with public money. To make matters worse the LGA used public money to pay for their dodgy dossier.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

LGO maxim number 1: Do as we say not as we do.

The LGO has a section for advisors on their website which offers a long list of things which could be maladministration:
  • delay
  • incorrect action or failure to take any action
  • failure to follow procedures or the law
  • failure to provide information
  • inadequate record-keeping
  • failure to investigate
  • failure to reply
  • misleading or inaccurate statements
  • inadequate liaison
  • inadequate consultation
  • broken promises
However, they are guilty of committing all the above 'sins' whilst investigating my complaint (most of them more than once). So it's a bit rich when they define maladministration for others but then ignore everything on the list themselves.

Do Local Government Ombudsmen and their staff have to take an oath of Hypocrisy when appointed?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A typical example

This is a typical example of what's wrong with local councils.

Kevin Dicks, acting Chief Executive of both Bromsgrove District Council and the Borough Council in Redditch, was heavily criticised by the Tribunal in Birmingham when it found he had unfairly dismissed another officer.

'........the tribunal also criticised several councillors from both parties including, June Griffiths, Margaret Sherrey and Peter McDonald. Other officers criticised were Mr Hazlehurst’s immediate superior, Phil Street, and Jo Pitman, the Head of Human Resources.
The tribunal awarded Mr Hazlehurst nearly £64,000, the maximum amount of compensation possible. The Judge, Alan McCarry, said the panel would have awarded him a far greater sum if it had had the power to do so.'
Whilst the council replied 'We respect the judgement of the tribunal but we still maintain we acted in the interests of delivering the best services to our residents...'

The new way to run a council? Ignore unfair dismissal laws and tribunals and then argue that they acted in the interests of delivering the best services to their residents. I for one don't think £200,000 plus costs were in the best interest of delivering the best services to their residents, more like the best interest of local councillors and the CEO.

This is similar to a Trafford Council case in which they also wasted £170,000 defending a sex discrimination case.

What will happen when a council decides that 'in the interest of delivering the best services to their residents' they can also ignore other laws and Human Rights in order to stuff a member of staff or a citizen.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is the LGO bubble about to burst?

Just how long can the Local Government Ombudsmen (LGO) keep up the pretence that the current administrative justice system is an effective deterrent to council maladministration, mismanagement and wrongdoing?

The LGO report council maladministration in only 0.68% of all complaints submitted (0.34% as far as the York office is concerned). However, many of those are also ignored by councils so the true figure of 'reported' and 'remedied' maladministration is less that 0.5%. (0.25% as far as the York office is concerned).

No doubt that's why the press is always full of stories about council mismanagement, incompetence, maladministration and general wrongdoing.

The LGO is the cause of the council bad behaviour bubble just as loose FSA control was the cause of the banking bubble. Councils are now behaving just like the bankers did before their bubble burst. Head in the sand, excessive pay, spin, denial and of course with the current LGO the councils know they can get away with practically anything! Until the bubble bursts that is.


Where will it end and just what purpose do the LGO now serve?

More Cheshire County Council mismanagement

Cheshire County Council leave £8.5million in Icelandic banks months after one adviser was telling councils of the significant danger. In fact councils were advised to quit Iclandic banks as long ago as 2006. "The problems with Iceland's banks have not arisen overnight."

"Mark Horsfield, director of Arlingclose, an adviser to the public sector, said he had long been telling the 45 councils on the firm’s books of the dangers: “These banks have been getting steadily worse for quite a long time.”

Arlingclose advises over 10% of local councils. Surely Cheshire County Council advisers knew about the problem! No doubt the poor old taxpayer will have to pick up the bill for council mismanagement yet again.
"Campaign director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, Mark Wallace, said: "People will be shocked that the councils had this money stashed away in the first place.
Every year we hear that councils don't have enough money and need to raise taxes but it seems they have had sufficient excess tax to salt tens of millions of pounds away.
The fact that they have invested this money and seem to have lost it is even more shocking and is sadly yet another reminder of the poor financial management in local councils.
In short, they should not have stashed this money in the first place and they simply weren't equipped to try to be clever in the markets with it.
It's an absolute disgrace. If the councils can't get their money back, the people who took these excesses should seriously consider their positions as councillors."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Blog visit by the European Court of Justice.

Civil Justice Council.

Even the Civil Justice Council agree there is a problem.

'The CJC is anxious to close what it considers to be a gap in "access to justice” affecting a wide range of consumers, small businesses and employees who are prevented from bringing difficult but meritorious lawsuits because of the costs involved. Under the current system, a patchwork of regulators, ombudsmen and consumer protection groups can go some way to bridging this gap.
But often they lack the desire, powers or resources to bring the sort of lawsuits on behalf of consumers that we could see if the rules are changed.' [my emphasis]

I suggest that one of the first 'collective actions' should be against the LGO.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

York LGO: Catastrohpic fall from grace? (2)

Further to my previous post York LGO: Catastrohpic fall from grace? which included the following statement from the Irish Ombudsman: 'Any action or inaction by the Ombudsman which shows him or her to be less than independent, fair, or zealous when dealing with a complaint, can lead to a catastrophic fall from grace.'

Here are a few examples of the LGO's actions and inactions that have helped them fall from grace. There are many more!

  • Refusing to let complainants see the evidence relied on.
  • Refusing to investigate valid complaints.
  • Minimising the impact of a complaint for local authorities.
  • Failing to take relevant evidence into account, introducing irrelevant evidence and generally manipulating evidence.
  • Lack of true independence.
  • Colluding with local authorities to reproduce documentation or block complainant access to particular documentation.
  • Demonstrable bias towards those under investigation and against complainants.
  • Fiddling statistics and survey results.
  • Lying to and/or misleading complainants.
  • Manipulating reports to minimise judicial reviews.
  • Failure to improve the system.
There is something rotten in the LGO system...Tis an unweeded garden.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

York LGO: Catastrohpic fall from grace?

A speech by Emily O'Reilly: Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, Ireland

The following is a short extract from the above speech.

Every Ombudsman's Office begins with a number of inbuilt advantages. The primary one is the halo effect; any Office that has as its core function, the rooting out of maladministration and the defence from that maladministration of some of our most vulnerable is bound to strike a popular chord with the public, and by extension with the media who see themselves in that space as well, as I've already outlined.

It is imperative that that perception is assiduously nurtured and maintained. Any action or inaction by the Ombudsman which shows him or her to be less than independent, fair, or zealous when dealing with a complaint, can lead to a catastrophic fall from grace.
Truer words have never been spoken.
Was Emily O'Reilly thinking of Local Government Ombudsmen when she wrote her speech?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

LGO orders new office furniture.

The cost of council incompetence, intransigence and maladministration for local taxpayers.

During 1991 a developer tried to do what Cheshire County Council have been threatening to do since 2001. That led to court action and the eventual demise of the developer concerned because they didn't have the money to pay my court costs.

Cheshire County Council could have resolved the problem during 1999 but instead their staff decided to play the same 'threats and intimidation' card that the developer had tried in an attempt to get me to agree to their plans without demur. Bullying didn't work then and it won't work now. 17 years later and all they have done is increase the eventual cost of resolving their problem.

I offered to sell the council the land they needed to finish the road way back in 1999 but they refused, so they only have themselves to blame if they now haven't got enough land to complete the highway without it interfering with my legal and human rights. Cheshire County Council staff took imprudent decisions and Cheshire County Council will now have to live with the consequences.

For I will not allow Cheshire County Council to interfere with my right of way just to save them from the consequences of their own staff's imprudent decision making. Why should I, particularly since all their staff have done over the last 7 years is threaten and intimidate me in an attempt to get me to agree to their plans without demur. I self abated during 2002 and if necessary I intend to self abate again. Fair warning!

LGO York: Dominant, servient or just downright incompetent? (2)

Further to my previous post LGO York: Dominant, servient or just downright incompetent?

Between 1997 and 2008 Vale Royal Borough Council and Cheshire County Council have continually threatened to modify my right of way without my agreement. What they have been threatening to do is unlawful and also constitutes maladministration.

The York LGO's recent suggestion, that Cheshire County Council does not need my agreement to carry out work on their land is, as most of her conclusions have been in my case, seriously flawed. As owner of the dominant tenement land I am entitled in law to protect my right of way over the servient land. Cheshire County Council would not be able to block my vehicular right of way with a building or a wall so just how is a step any different?

So what is the point of an Ombudsman who doesn't understand the basic issues let alone the law surrounding them. Or even worse one who does understand the issues and the law but prefers to twist or ignore them for the benefit of a council. Either way the York LGO has a lot of explaining to do.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seex' law 5

Seex's fifth law: When you're unaccountable you can ignore normal things like fairness, natural justice and the truth.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Local Government Ombudsmen are the problem not the cure!

The problem: The Commission for Local Administration in England, better known as the The Local Government Ombudsman is a demonstrably flawed system of administrative justice that has been further corrupted by the incessant recruitment of ex local authority staff who clearly run the system for the benefit of their friends and ex colleagues who still work in local authorities.

The cure: There is no cure, the system has been fatally corrupted. The only solution is to avoid them like the plague. This is exactly what you would do if any business short changed you or continually delivered faulty goods, failed to deliver on their promises and lied to you.

The alternatives: In many cases you may be able to self abate and/or use the courts to protect your legal and/or human rights (As I am just about to prove you can.). If not you would be much better off exposing the problem locally than trying to use the Local Government Ombudsman, for all they will do is try and bury the problem for the benefit of their friends and ex colleagues.

Do not accept a flawed, corrupt and third rate administrative justice system. Expose the problem, the flaws, the corrupt system and do everything you can to highlight the problem in order to force the government to introduce a fair, open and honest system of administrative justice in England.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

17 years and counting

During 1991, 17 years ago, I told the council that the developer was constructing the new roadway in the wrong position and too close to my property for it to be completed without it impacting on my property and that was something I did not want and would not allow. Rather than resolve the problem then and get the developer to move the road they ignored my warning and let the developer continue to build and sell houses. The developer was in breach of the road adoption agreement during 1994 but they still gave them planning permission to start phase 2. Even worse they had no road adoption agreement on this phase at all.

The council only started to get worried when the developer went bust leaving an unfinished and unadopted road. During 1997 they offered me a step at the boundary of my property or a ramp on my land. I refused both pointing out that they had not only caused the problem due to their failure to enforce planning breaches they had also ignored my repeated warnings. After the first LGO investigation they promised the then LGO that they would move the road in order to resolve the problem.

However, after they planned and costed the work they decided not to bother and attempted to complete the works during 2001 by constructing a ramp on my land instead. I self abated and complained to the LGO naively thinking that she would find the council guilty for not fulfilling their earlier promise. Unfortunately the current LGO now thinks that I should allow the council to complete the roadway in a way that impacts on my property in order to get them out of their self created difficulties on the cheap. My question is why should I? As the victim in all this why should I go out of my way to help the council, when all they have done over the last 11 years is attempt to threaten and intimate me into allowing them to complete the works without demur. This was a huge mistake on their part because although I am sympathetic to open and honest negotiation I will not tolerate threats and intimidation of any kind.

Why did Vale Royal Borough Council allow the developer to continue building and selling houses long after they knew about the problem? Why are they still reluctant to enforce planning obligations on phase two and three of the site? There are two separate section 106 planning obligations that stipulate that a number of houses on phase two and phase three of the site should not be occupied until the open space and play area have been transferred to the council. 12 years after the developer built and sold all the houses on phase 2 and 7 years after another developer built and sold all the houses on phase three, the play area and open space have still not been transferred to the council and no enforcement action has been taken.

In addition. why is a developer still cutting the verges on an adopted part of the road whilst the council are cutting the verges on an unadopted part of the road? And why does the LGO assert that except for a small section of road adjacent to my property the other roads on the development are adopted when Cheshire County Council's own road adoption gazetteer show them as unadopted. Why did Cheshire County Council return the £50 definative statement fee when I asked for the adoption status of the road rather than supply me with a definitive statement? Why has the LGO repeatedly misinformed and mislead me? Why did the LGO manipulate the expert evidence? Why has the LGO refused to give me a copy of most of the evidence given to them by Cheshire County Council. Why am I having to complain to the Information Commissioner because Cheshire County Council won't give me a copy of the information they gave the LGO? And the list goes on and on.....

As far as I am concerned something stinks in the planning enforcement office at Vale Royal Borough Council, the highway and legal departments of Cheshire County Council and the Local Government Ombudsman's office and I smell one big cover up. Either that or the people involved are the most incompetent public servants of all time. Confusion or collusion? You decide.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apology arrived (at last)

When I rang home tonight my wife informed me that the promised apology from Cheshire County Council had arrived at last. Sent in a plain brown envelope, what's all that about? It took 177 days to arrive after the Ombudsman told me to expect it imminently.

Now all we need to know is when to book the JCB to remove the planned step!!! That's the STEP that the Ombudsman conveniently ignored during her investigation. The one that will infringe our legal and human rights.

Define STEP: a construction designed to bridge a vertical distance, an interference to a vehicular right of way, an impossible structure for a wheelchair or motorised disability scooter to negotiate unaided, something a Local Government Ombudsman will ignore if it helps the council.

Below is a plan view similar to the one provided by Cheshire County Council.

Below is a cross sectional view of the same plan. Note how a plan view can't show a change in vertical levels but a cross sectional plan can. Cheshire County Council refused to supply a copy of the cross sectional plan that my complaint was based on and still refuse to supply a copy of a cross sectional plan for option C. The plan they threaten to implement if I don't agree to plan A or B.

This is basically what plan A and B offer by the way of a solution. A 5 metre (or thereabouts) ramp on my land.

Below is what the developer should have provided and what the council actually planned to do after the Ombudsman's first report. (This is the plan they produced when they promised the then Ombudsman that the road would be completed without any impact on my property.) Until of course Cheshire County Council costed it out and realises that it would be easier and cheaper to stuff me with their problem instead of moving the road.


It's not rocket science but it's enough to confuse the Local Government Ombudsmen. But then the truth usually does when they need to protect their ex colleagues and friends still in local government! Confusion or collusion? You decide.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DIY LGO (3)

Further to my previous posts DIY LGO and DIY LGO (2)

The LGO and the Councils often conspire to hide the truth as well as to bury maladministration. Therefore, you should never accept any of their assertions without validation, never stop investigating the matter yourself and never stop collecting evidence.

The statute law database is an excellent research tool. As is the What Do they Know freedom of information website. Here is a link to my submissions through their website. Another useful service is the Information Commissioner's Office, here you can find out about your rights when it comes to personal information held by organisations and more about your rights when it comes to freedom of information. In addition there are a number of websites that can help you such as LGOwatch, Public Service Ombudsman Watchers, The public forum where you can make contact with others that have suffered due to the corrupt system of administrative justice in England, Rotten Borough that hosts stories about rotten councils, the Human Rights Act, a little case law, Advice if you wish to be a litigant in person, Liberty, and the list of help and advice goes on and on.

Public authorities haven't yet realised it but the Internet is the great equaliser and is bringing power to the people whether they like it or not. Why not start your own blog and tell the world about your experience with your own council. Or the Local Government Ombudsman like this blog.

Complaint sent to the Information Commissioner.

I submitted three Freedom of Information requests on the 13th August to Vale Royal Borough Council using the new What Do They Know website. I have failed to get a response within the statutory 20 working days. In addition they are unnecessary delaying matters even further by wrongly suggesting that they need information from other parties to answer my query.

During 2005 I received the information requested without any of this nonsense. Therefore, I would like to submit a complaint about the way in which Vale Royal Borough Council have been delaying giving me the information requested.

The following links provide all the information necessary.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cu...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/st...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/st...

LGO the myths exploded (3)

Local Government Ombudsmen are an alternative to court.

Unfortunately this is just a myth The fact is in most cases they aren't and because of they way they operate they can actually be a positive hindrance to people seeking justice.

Fact: The LGO cannot determine any of your legal or human rights.

Fact: A council can be found not guilty of maladministration even if they are guilty of infringing your legal and human rights. That would and could not happen in a court of law.

Fact: The LGO take so long to investigate a complaint most complainants are statute barred from taking court action for an infringements of their legal and/or human rights.

Fact: An LGO report/determination finding no maladministration, even if there are legal and/or human rights implications, is often used by the council to defend their illegal acts.

Fact: The LGO often fail to explain to a complainant the options available to them and the severe limitations of their service.

Fact: The LGO fail to explain to a council in their reports that a finding of no maladministration does not necessarily mean that their actions are also legal and/or compliant with the Human Rights Act.

Fact: The LGO operate in a way that positively hinders administrative justice in England.

Opinion: The only thing the LGO are an alternative to is a laxative.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Damp squib

England has invented a new missile. It's called a Local Government Ombudsman. It doesn't work and it can't be fired.

LGO the myths exploded (2)

Local Government Ombudsmen and their staff know what they are doing.
Unfortunately this is just a myth The fact is in many cases they don't. They simply do not have the technical skills or knowledge necessary to understand let alone correctly determine many of the complaints submitted to them. The only experience the Ombudsmen and the majority of their staff have is working for a public authority that has itself been found guilty of maladministration. The administrative justice system in England is run by poachers turned gamekeepers for the benefit of their friends and ex colleagues who are still poachers.

Seex' law 4

Seex's fourth law: When the going gets tough, make yourself scarce.

Putting the DEMO(lition) back into democracy!

'Personally I think that private property has a right to be defended. Our civilisation is built up on property, and can only be defended by private property.' Winston Churchill, 11 August 1947

Friday, September 19, 2008

So just who is telling the truth? (2)

Even Government ministers can't get their facts right when it comes to Local Government Ombudsmen and Local Government maladministration.

Question

Bob Neill
(Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government; Bromley & Chislehurst, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many complaints of maladministration upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman resulted in a formal ruling that was not implemented by the local authority in question in each year since 1997-98; and to which local authorities such rulings related.
John Healey (Minister of State (Local Government), Department for Communities and Local Government; Wentworth, Labour) |
Where the Local Government Ombudsman finds maladministration that has caused injustice, a report is issued that includes recommendations for a remedy for the complainant, with around a 100 reports issued annually.
Authorities who have failed to provide satisfactory remedies
Year of issue of report Authority
1997-98 Mid Suffolk DC

Salford City C

Walsall MBC


1998-99 None


1999-2000 Newark and Sherwood DC

Basildon DC

Sefton MBC

Click here to visit the 'They Work For You' Website to read the full answer.

Then scroll down to read all the comments. Mine are also reproduced below

(Comment 1) The answer is incomplete. For example during 1998 the Local Government Ombudsman based in York found my local Council, Vale Royal Borough Council, guilty of maladministration and recommended a remedy. Vale Royal promised the Ombudsman during January 1999 that the roadway adjacent to my property would be completed without any impact on my property. The roadway has still not been completed and now Cheshire County Council are threatening to do what Vale Royal threatened to do in 1997 and complete the roadway in a way that will impact on my property. A 2 foot step across my vehicular access could hardly be described as having no impact.

So please get your facts right. Complainants are sick and tired of government spin pretending everything in the LGO garden is rosy. The system of administrative justice in England is corrupt and it's about time something was done about it.

(Comment 2) This is an extract from Trafford Council's response to a freedom of information request.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/local_government_ombud...

a) Our records go back to 2001. In the last seven years there have been five findings of maladministration against Trafford Council by the Local Government Ombudsman

b) In four of the cases, the Council did not accept the finding in full or in part. [Curiously they are only listed once in the minister's answer.]

(Comment 3) John Healey states: Where the Local Government Ombudsman finds maladministration that has caused injustice, a report is issued that includes recommendations for a remedy for the complainant, with around a 100 reports issued annually.

That is simply not true. In the vast majority of cases where maladministration if found by a Local Government Ombudsman they locally settle it with the council concerned. The complainant has no say in the matter but the council is allowed to buy off a reported finding of maladministration for a few hundred pounds whilst the Ombudsman saves time and effort because they don't need to write a report. The only person to suffer is the complainant. And of course citizens in general because local settlements are nothing more than a devious way of burying local government maladministration. Therefore, local citizens don't really know just how bad their local councils are.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Radio Ga Ga (update)

Further to my previous post Radio Ga Ga

Following further investigation it appears that Mrs Seex, York Local Government Ombudsman, misled listeners when she suggested it was rare for a council to ignore an Ombudsman.

This is an extract from Trafford Council's response to a freedom of information request.

a) Our records go back to 2001. In the last seven years there have been five findings of maladministration against Trafford Council by the Local Government Ombudsman

b) In four of the cases, the Council did not accept the finding in full or in part.

So we have Trafford Council, the council also asked to take part in the radio programme, admitting that they ignore the Ombudsman, in full or in part, 80% of the time whilst the Ombudsman told listeners it was rare for a council to ignore an ombudsman. Up to now we have also identified about 20 other councils that have also ignored the ombudsman.

The York LGO only produced about 20 reports this last reporting year and at least 20% of those were ignored in full or in part by the councils concerned.

[A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement with the intention to deceive, often with the further intention to maintain a secret or reputation, ...]

LGO the myths exploded (1)

You will find the following information on the Local Government Ombudsman's home page.
It is an independent, impartial and free service.
Unfortunately this is just a myth[1] The fact is that they do not provide an independent, impartial and free service.
  • 100% of all Local Government Ombudsmen are ex council
  • 100% of all Deputy Ombudsmen are ex council
  • 61% of all Assistant Ombudsmen are ex council
  • 68% of all Investigators are ex council
In addition they cost the taxpayer over £12million pounds a year.

[We say that such and such is a myth when the term "urban legend" or outright lie might be better.]

So just who is telling the truth? Another update!

Further to my previous post: So just who is telling the truth? An update.

Some of the houses on phase 2 and phase 3 of the development in question should not have been occupied until the open space, play area and highway were under the control of the council. The developer has been in breach of planing permission and a section 106 agreement for over 7 years. In addition this is not the first time I have attempted to bring this matter to the attention of Vale Royal Borough Council. The last time I was told (bear in mind that the people occupying the restricted houses had been paying council tax to Vale Royal Borough Council since 2001 when the developer left the site) that they had no way of knowing if any of the houses were occupied. They even suggested that it was up to the developer to bring any planning breaches to their attention.

Here's my recent Freedom of Information requests in an attempt to find out the truth.

Who has started cutting the grass verges, open spaces and play area?

Who is responsible for the play area?

Who is responsible for the open space?

And this is the response I received on the 16th September 2008. Don't forget the developer completed and sold all the houses on the site over 7 years ago.

With regard to why these areas have remained with the developer, our Head of Streetscene needs to do some further investigation as any officers dealing with that site have since left the Authority. I have asked the Head of Service to let me have his reply as soon as possible and I will in turn ensure that you are informed without delay.

In the meantime, you have also asked who cut the grass on the highway verge, play area and open space between Firtree Close and Linwood and why. I have spoken to our Streetcare Manager and he has confirmed that his officers have not carried out this work. He does not know who did, but his operatives have reported seeing what they assumed was a contractor maintaining the grass in that area. [my emphasis]

I hope the above information is helpful. I will write again as soon as I have further information for you.

I have submitted another Freedom of Iiformation request in an attempt to get to the truth.

I would like to know why a developer's private contractor rather than Vale Royal Borough Council is cutting the highway verges on an adopted part of Rookery Rise. More particularly the part of Rookery Rise between Firtree Close and Linwood Winsford.

I would also like to know why Vale Royal Borough Council is cutting the verges on an unadopted part of Rookery Rise. More particularly the part of Rookery Rise between Beechfields and Fernway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Seex' law 3

Seex' third law: If a particular piece of evidence doesn't fit your preferred conclusion just ignore it. (Even if it's a promise to another ombudsman.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seex' law 2

Human rights Act: Article 1 of the first protocol 1

This Convention right provides that every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.

An interference with property must also satisfy the requirements of legal certainty. In other words, there must be a law which permits the interference and that law must be sufficiently certain and accessible. There must also be procedural safeguards against arbitrary State decisions.

For over 8 years the Cheshire County Council has refused to tell me which specific statutory authority (law) gave them to power to implement the plan, which was the subject of my complaint to the York LGO, without my agreement.

Recently I also asked Cheshire County Council
which specific statutory authority (law) gave them the power to implement option C without my agreement, once again they declined to answer my question.

By any stretch of the imagination that is wrong wrong wrong, for they are denying me the right to challenge the statutory authority (law) on which they rely by simply refusing to tell me what it is.

Whether the law in question eventually favours me or Cheshire County Council is clearly a matter for a judge to decide, however, Cheshire County Council's refusal to give me the information requested is a clear and unequivocal act of maladministration.

Unless of course Mrs Seex, the York LGO is involved because she doesn't think a council refusing to tell you which statutory authority they are relying on is anything to be concerned about. The corollary of this defines Seex' second law: A Council can infringe a citizen's legal or human rights rights and deny them the right to challenge any interference by the simple ruse of refusing to tell the citizen concerned which specific statutory authority (law) they are relying on to legitimise their actions.