Anyone who submitted a complaint to a Local Government Ombudsman in the 90's will tell you that it was a lot easier then than it is now to persuade them that you had suffered the necessary level of injustice to warrant an investigation.
An example of the level of injustice an Ombudsman thought you should have to suffer in the 90's before they would investigate your complaint is shown below.
Couple win pay out over chickens 'too noisy in the night'
A Couple who complained about a chicken farm in the middle of rural Suffolk are in line for a £3,250 pay out. Noise experts called in by the owner showed that the farm made less noise than an owl in the woods.
The council ordered him to keep it down to 25 decibels, little more than a loud whisper. But psychotherapist Gillian Hoy and retired lecturer Mike Diffey, whose cottage is a quarter of a mile away, referred the case to the local government Ombudsman. Yesterday, to the amazement of farmer Peter Davidson, he ruled that Mid-Suffolk district council had not responded to their complaints adequately and that they should be compensated.
'It's been a farm ever since there's been farming, and they're right In the middle of the biggest poultry-producing area in England,' he said. 'I ve leant over backwards over the years to accommodate them.' He started the poultry operation in Pixey Green near Diss in 1988, and the complaints began almost at once.
'The council have made my life a misery because of Mr Diffey,' he said. 'They couldn't have done anything more for him other than having me arrested.'Last night Mr Diffey and Mrs Hoy, who say they have been seen as 'incomers' since arriving 20 years ago, said they were delighted, but had no plans to stop complaining. Mrs Hoy, 51, said their lives had been made a misery by night-time chicken catching and lorry loading.
The council has accepted the ruling of maladministration, but has yet to agree to pay compensation, which it can legally ignore.
Submit the same complaint today (or even one with significantly more injustice) and your complaint would be stopped in its tracks by the current Ombudsmen.