Monday, November 17, 2008

LGO V Courts

An example of why it's always better to use the courts rather than attempt to use the discredited Local Government Ombudsman.

'A local authority has been ordered to pay more than £70,000 compensation to villagers whose early mornings have been made intolerable by the din of refuse trucks.

East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire also faces a massive legal costs bill following the High Court victory won by 71-year-old William Bontoft and two of his neighbours in the village of Manby, near Louth.

Judge John Leighton Williams QC, sitting in London, ruled today that the residents could not reasonably have been expected to bear the noise nuisance caused by more than 20 refuse trucks passing their homes at 6.30am.'

If they had taken their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman they would have been lucky to get a finding of maladministration and a paltry few pounds compensation [1]. In this case a judge agreed there was an actionable nuisance and awarded the three complainants a total of £70,000.

So kick the waste of space LGO into touch and use the courts to protect yourself against councils. You know it makes sense.

[1] The chance of obtaining a finding of maladministration using the Local Government Ombudsman is 0.68%, that's 1 complaint in every 147 complaints submitted. The average compensation obtained through the Local Government Ombudsman is about £650.

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