On July 8th 2008 I will be 60 years old. I first started to complain to the Borough Council, about the roadway in front of my property, when I was 43. 17 years clearly demonstrates just how public authorities, with the help of the Local Government Ombudsman, can draw out the complaints procedure in an attempt to exhaust complainants well before they exhaust the complaints procedure.
When you eventually get to the LGO your problems are far from over, in fact they are really only just beginning. The LGO has been involved in my case for over 11 years and still hasn't resolved the problem. Initially they tried to block my second complaint but for the last few years they have concentrated on trying to de-construct it instead.
Even though the Borough Council promised the then LGO that the County Council would complete the roadway (without it having any impact on my property) in 1998, the LGO still did nothing when in 2001 the County Council attempted to complete the roadway in such a way it would impact on my property.
Essentially they attempted to maladminister their way out of the problem that the Borough Council had previously maladministered their way into. During 2001 the County Council's actions ensured that the roadway cannot be completed without it impacting on my property.
The County Council have admitted they only did it to save money. As with Trafford Council they think public authorities should be excused from the consequences of their acts of maladministration. They suggest that local taxpayers would have to pick up the bill. However, that's not the full story, what they are really frightened of is local taxpayers realising that their council employ a load of incompetents and start to lobby their councillors to sack the idiots concerned.
So just what has the Ombudsman done over the last few years. For me, up to now, not a lot but for some reason they have spent a lot of time and effort trying to get the County Council out of their self created difficulties.
There is also an ironic twist in the tail. For the last few years the County Council, with the help of the LGO, has been seeking a zero (or very low) cost solution to their problems. The irony is that if they had just admitted to me during 2001 that they couldn't finish the roadway without it impacting on my land I could have offered them a zero cost solution. Unfortunately, they didn't, they decided to con me instead and tried to persuade me that they had the power to do the impossible. A power the LGO still maintains the County Council have. Funny how they keep saying that they can do the impossible but never actually get around to doing it.