Thursday, December 21, 2006

An update on the update!

Yesterday I mentioned that I had not seen the councils' responses to my 2002 complaints even though the Ombudsman agreed to comeback on my case some nine months ago.

Well would you believe it, one working day before the Xmas holidays and I receive much of the information I have been waiting for.

No doubt it was just a coincidence that it arrived at this moment in time. At least it will give me a few good laughs over the holidays. More fun than the jokes in a Cristmas cracker.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Xmas update

Some nine months since the Ombudsman cameback on my 2002 complaint and I still haven't seen the councils' responses yet. Let's hope 2007 ushers in their responses and a little more transparency from the Ombudsman's office.

At the moment I feel like a Turkey, nothing to look forward to other than a good stuffing by the Ombudsman.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Back in 2007, Trevor.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Council another long fight.

There is an article on SurreyOnline that tells of yet another person fighting a Council for 13 years in order to obtain justice.

This one is about a Council that wrongly used the courts (abuse of process) in an attempt to get its own way.

I have also been threatened with court action (abuse of power) just so the County Council can get its own way. Up to now the County Council have never followed through with their threats but if they do I intend to prove abuse of power as David Wilkinson has done.

This is just bully boy tactics by practically unaccountable councils. Let's hope that David gets the compensation he deserves.

The problem now facing David is that he appears unaware of the biased Local Government Ombudsman. They will probably just re-interpret the facts in an attempt to put forward a fallacious argument that it was all David's fault in the first place and exonerate the council.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This must be a worlds first!

The normal policy of the Ombudsman (supposedly) is to put the complainant back into the position they were before the act of maladministration took place. Unless of course that’s impossible. The Local Government Ombudsman’s 2005/6 annual report gives an extreme example, a person died because of council maladministration. Obviously it would be impossible for the Ombudsman to put the family of the deceased back into the position they were before the maladministration took place. Hence the Ombudsman awarding the family a few hundred pounds and the cost of a memorial.

However, I recently experienced a new twist to the Ombudsman’s policy. The Ombudsman doesn’t want to put me back into the position I was in before the acts of maladministration took place Even though that’s exactly what the council promised in 1998 to resolve an earlier complaint of maladministration. [Highway works would be carried out without any impact on my property.]

Incredulously the Ombudsman now wants me to help the council out of their self created difficulties by allowing the works to impact on my property.

So we now have the ludicrous situation where an Ombudsman found a council guilty of maladministration in 1997. But during 2001, in order to save the expense of moving the road, they decide to complete the Highway so that it will impact on my property.

When I complain to the Ombudsman the Ombudsman at first refuses to get involved. After a 5 year battle the Ombudsman decides to comeback on my complaint but immediately suggests that that I should now allow the council to complete the works, knowing that they will impact on my property.

Yes, you heard it here first, the Ombudsman actually wants me to supply the remedy for numerous acts of maladministration carried out against me by a council. Just to save the council the cost of the alternative.

Is this a worlds first?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Proof that the LGO have raised the bar.

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.

Crossman, Crossman who?

The long and winding road away from what complainants want, what Crossman expected and what current Ombudsmen actually deliver.

When Ombudsmen were introduced Crossman, the leader of the house of commons stated

We have not tried to define injustice by using such terms as `loss or damage'. These may have legal overtones which could be held to exclude one thing which I am particularly anxious shall remain ‚– the sense of outrage aroused by unfair or incompetent administration, even where the complainant has suffered no actual loss. We intend that the outraged citizen ....shall have the right to an investigation, even where he has suffered no loss or damage in the legal sense of those terms, but is simply a good citizen who has nothing to lose and wishes to clear up a sense of outrage and indignation at what he believes to be maladministration." My emphasis.

An earlier posting of mine 'LGO raise the bar' commented on the method used in the past by Ombudsmen to dismantle the Crossman catalogue by introducing qualifying words such as significant or material when talking about injustice.

However, recent developments prove that things have taken a turn for the worse. An Assistant Ombudsman has stated that the level of injustice is now the Ombudsman's principle means of keeping the number of complaints they have to investigate to an acceptable level. That means that they just alter the level of the bar to suit themselves. If they want to investigate x percentage of complaints then they just alter the level of the bar.

Can you imagine what an Ombudsman could now tell their staff, sod maladministration, sod injustice, lets just keep increasing the level of injustice a complainant is expected suffer (as a result of maladministration) until we don't have to investigate anything.

If we're lucky they will keep on going until they fiddle themselves out of a job.