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


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 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.