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.

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