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Can We Trust the Ombudsman With Our Complaints?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 19 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
Ombudsman Complaints Complaining

The local government ombudsmen are supposed to be there to represent the interests of the public but they have been accused of bias and maladministration. Can we really trust them with our complaints?

Watching the Watchmen

If somebody has an unresolved complaint about a local council then the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is there to investigate whether it is justified, offer independent advice and act as an impartial referee between the two parties.

Or at least that is their appointed role - one group strongly believes that they are allied with the organisation they are assigned to guard and dismissive of those they are paid to protect.

The LGO Watch

The campaign consumer group, Local Government Ombudsman Watch (LGO Watch), has been set up in an effort to weed out bad practise within local English government by exposing the bias and maladministration within the Local Government Ombudsman’s office.

LGO Watch is far from the work of a few disgruntled complainants, even the LGO’s own customer satisfaction survey revealed that a whopping 73% of complainants were dissatisfied by the outcome of their individual cases. Since its founding in 2003, the Watch has amassed a legion of supporters nationwide, and a similar Scottish watch has since been set up to target the corruption in local government north of the border.

Pro-Council Bias Allegations

With less than 2% of submitted complaints declared by the LGO as maladministration, there is a certain weight to the claims that the tax-funded service is not wholly committed to securing justice for the public.

One reason the LGO Watch provides to explain allegations of pro-council bias within the office is the alarming fact that all three current LGOs were themselves previously chief executives of local authorities. In fact evidence shows that many of the LGO’s investigators previously worked in local government.

If you took a damning complaint about the local police force to an independent, publicly-funded investigation and adjudication group, would it be fair to have a former chief of that same organisation handle your case?

Citizen Insurance Support

The LGO Watch is further vindicated in their crusade by the ample correspondence they receive from citizens complaining about the LGO’s bias. Many of these people have suffered anguish and even illness by their experience with the watchdog.

The greatest source of grievance about local councils and the LGO is their unaccountability in dealing with the vulnerable members of society, such as those suffering economic hardship, poor health or substandard living conditions.

Other Watches

The LGO Watch is not alone in their surveillance over the bad practice of the LGO, other websites share their impassioned feelings of injustice and have set out to expose their misdemeanours. These include the LGO Reporter Blog, the Public Service Ombudsman Watches and Trevor R Nunn’s ‘Local Government Ombudsman Watcher’ page, which is dedicated to all those who have “suffered injustice because of the unfair, biased and unaccountable LGO”.

Is There A Solution?

It’s all very well highlighting the failings of the LGO but does the Watch have a realistic solution to the problem?

The LGO Watch calls for the closure of the LGO and its replacement with a genuinely independent local government complaints commission. This new office would not employ anybody with previous influence within the local council. The ideal of the group, and no doubt most of the public at large, would be for councils to have something to fear when people complain to the local government watchdog.

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Rugby Borough Council (RBC) is allowing a 3 storey high house to be built at right behind my property, only inches away from the rear fence. I objected to the planning as it was not inline with Government planning policy. RBC totally ignored my objection. I'm told to complain to LGO Ombusman.After reading people comments on here, I don't know what to do now.
From Rugby - 19-Aug-17 @ 1:42 PM
The ombudsman has refused to investigate my complaint; it has not even attempted to make contact to take my view and any supporting evidence. It has become as cheapened as any councils' it investigates.
jones - 28-Jul-17 @ 5:31 PM
Dear LGO Watch, My case is with Tower Hamlet Council and Housing stock management company, 'Tower Hamlet Homes'. Which the LGO have been investigating. Please can you let me know how to get in contact with LGO Watch. Regards Mr Z Ahmed
Tip - 19-Jul-17 @ 5:33 PM
I have been trying to get the lgo to look into the disgusting bullying and lies from a children's service up to date nothing..... I have sent them proof that the I have and the local council have lost!!!! To prove it still nothing has been done 4 years this has been going on what do I do now????
Ladyp - 15-Jul-17 @ 1:43 PM
I have used the council ombudsman as far as my dealings were concerned they r completely inadequate and I'm in total agreement that all these ombudsmans should be completely removed from whomever they are investigating so as not to b biased the land registry is exactly the same In my case the same councillor on a different subject reared his head and managed to completely put the same bias back in to a situation They seem to use one example to say something is incorrect and the same example to say it is correct There is no hope of winning against the council even in law For there ombudsman to say that they r responsible to the general public not to waste their funds when if the council kept to there own regulations in my case a simple letter would have been the only cost I am convinced that all this is cut backs by whichever government and council officials are there simply to say a BIG no to everything
P - 1-Jul-17 @ 10:36 AM
Hello, Can anyone help and guide me. I've had an ongoing battle with my local council. After I separated the council wouldn't allow me the SPD. They wanted to know the new address for my former partner, I knew it,but as I'm not employeed by them, I didn't tell them and withheld the money until my discount was applied. Anyway, by some unscrupulous methods, they gained a charging order, I went in front of a District Judge, to my surprise, the Judge was absolutely great, she adjourned the final hearing, giving both parties time to exchange the evidence etc. Which me did. The story in between is rather lengthy, however, everything done, proof exchanged.On the last minute on the day of the hearing, a nasty solicitor attended with some weird exaggerated story. The Judge saw through his deceit and ordered him to remain quite. The Judge then turned to me and said Mr X I am not happy with this, there's not a great deal I can do but suggest, you seek urgent legal advice, you have 40 days. Not being a great fan of the Law Society ((a society, within a society to protect law firms) I decided to tackle the situation. Who better, but the one with 'first handle knowledge'. Before I wrote my first letter, two days after the court hearing i received a letter. On a plain piece of paper 80gsm white bond, a letter stating I broke the privacy law, and under the harassment act 1997 etc. etc. As we left court I was walk behind the solicitors as they were laughing, not knowing I was behind them. When they stopped at the cafe, I snapped a picture for my legal records in a public place, of two public servants. Bearing in mind this letter has no markings of the organisation which was being represented orher then a scanned signature and title 'solicitor ti the council', The envelope did have the name of the council as it was franked. I then went into a legal mode, replied to him quoted him the 'real law' on photographing in the public etc. Letters also went to all others involved in this extortion, fraud and deceit. I demanded, very peacefully answers to my questions using words they've probably never heard, law which they won't understand (after all, most are only paralegals). I couldn't afford to be threatening, as i) I was lawfully right in asking questions ii) my intention was to take it to court. The reply came to me by way of two constables at my door. When the door knocked, I opened it, one constable asked, are you Mr X, I said yes. They asked to come in, I let them in. One constable asked, did you write a letter to the council, to which I replied, 'no, I wrote about 6 letters' I offered to go to my office and get rhem copies. He said, I have a copy and have read it. I asked, is there a problem, to which he replies...well, no....I don't understand it but it's certainly not threatening. Then why are you here, I asked, he said I don't know, we had orders from the top. They then left. I took the name of the 'one at the top'
Unfair system - 11-May-17 @ 7:45 AM
It's not just the LGO, but in my experience, all ombudsmen. Energy is one which seems not to have a watcher's site, but the Parliamentary and health services does, the financial one does, and so does the Scottish equivalent of the LGO. Various law and courts related ones too - who are our last resort - also have systems which are deliberately obtuse, vague, slow, and who mismatch what we write with how they reply; they patronise and frustrate; they assess with vital evidence missing; they wilfully miss the point of your complaint and refuse to uphold many. There's no appeal; you have to fight to get to the independent assessor, if there is one, who can only assess the handling and not the outcome. I know people who've been left without money, with growing bills and threats of disconnection, in health crisis, and still the ombudsman have taken over a year, and often find no fault. There seems to be an increasing trend against finding in customers' favour. They disappear for months talking to the other side but give the public tiny deadlines. And the application forms (now often online) are very limiting, meaning that we can't put our case properly so that the outcome is skewed. We need an ombudsman overhaul.
Watcher of all ombud - 10-May-17 @ 10:42 PM
Kindly send me the petition against the ombudsman because I totally agree with you . And what more can we do and how can I go to judiciary review ?
Bear - 24-Apr-17 @ 7:22 AM
Can anyone help me with my ongoing problems with LGO and local planning g dept it has been going on now since 2005
Eil - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:00 PM
My complaint is that at a meeting in April 2016 the local council passed our park home site to become fully residential and then wouldn't let us have it and took it to a meeting in May 2016 and disallowed the vote the events were not recorded properly in those 2 minutes of the meeting and we have been battling since with the said Council and the LGO has backed the Council in every respect
Eil - 15-Apr-17 @ 12:31 PM
It is difficult to say who is the most corrupt but certainly Local Authority corruption is increasing and the body of people who are paid to control such a thing are completely ineffectual in their role.This of course allows Local Authorities to do what they want without any accountability or policing. Can a body of people such as the Local Government Ombudsman Service carry out a job knowingly participating in a process which is not true fair and independent ? I can't imagine having such a job.There are sadly lots of dishonest people in this world but when they have the title of investigator in my view that is what they must do. If they don't then they should be counted amongthose people whom Oscar Wild described as being in pursuit of the 'uneatables' (when referring to 'fox hunting' ).Sadly that is how I consider them. .
Alan Walton - 10-Apr-17 @ 8:29 PM
These people are more fraudulent and corrupt than the ones they are supposed to investigate.
Henry - 31-Mar-17 @ 11:29 AM
I thought - no I hoped that the LGO would assist myself and my neighbours with the most appalling actions of Durham Council- yet they have stood together and produced the most disgraceful self serving report that shows no due dilligence or any application to the law. What can we do to have this disgraceful organisation refused funding?
sari - 30-Mar-17 @ 7:08 AM
Continued... We submitted a complaint toSouth Lanarkshire Council about this manager and our complaint was passed to that same manager for investigation????? the outcome? well yet another thing they refuse to acknowledge. We asked for a new assessment to assess our sons needs and so far this has been refused on the grounds that they feel there is no need for another assessment. so why did i say Labour was bullying my son? well here it goes: We approached the Scottish government for help and they replied that ministers cannot intervene on council decisions, so that despite the law breaking and bullying they would not help. we approached our local council representatives from Labour SNP and Conservativesfor help and advice: SNP are trying their best but insist they cannot intervene in education decisions: Labour said they would look into it then did not reply and have since refused to answer any further contact: Conservatives just ignored us without even a reply. So at this point we had John Swinneys department and Nicola Sturgeons' secretary state they cannot get involvedas ministers cannot intervene in council decisionsREMEMBER THIS POINT!!!! When the CSP was refused we received an undated letter stating why, so far no reason for bashing Labour HOWEVER!!!!!!!!! We received an email showingSouth Lanarkshire Council and Labour had breached the Councillors code of conduct sections 3.4 inclusive and 3.5.5 and had broken data protection act 1998 by sending an email regarding their CSP decision to an unintended 3rd party. The email was sent asking a high ranking elected Labour official to approve the CSP refusal and had a copy of the letter we received for this individual to approve before it was sent to us?????? Now we had been told previously that NO MINISTERS OR ELECTED OFFICIALS can get involved yet the council are asking the a Labour party elected official to approve an education decision???????????????? When we contacted South Lanarkshire Council and they have stated that the individual involved should not have been asked and it was an admin error??????So the head ofSouth Lanarkshire Council admin mistakenly sent an email to this individuals secretary on a first name basis and asked asked for this individual in person/nameby accident??????? I contacted Labour for an explanation and they refuse to give me one stating i would need to contact the individual myself but i already did and he states no such email was sent. So South Lanarkshire Council have broken 5 laws and Labour have broken the Councillors code of conduct and the complaint process will take roughly another 3-4 months to draw a conclusion conveniently after the local elections, i refuse to wait that long and will start a campaign to show the country how Labour are willing to flaunt the laws and regulations. despite all this public standards commission say there is no evidence to conduct an investigation
George - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:53 PM
I am writing this is in sheer desperate exhaustion as we have had to endure a torrid 11 months from South Lanarkshire Council and their continuous bullying and and breaking the law like they have no accountability, or maybe this behavior comes from the fact that the complaint process in place right now is purely designed to grind people into giving up their complaints. My 9 year old autistic son was able to walk out of school un-noticed on 6th May 2016 and was found approx 1.7 miles away by a member of the public, this was only the start of our nightmare. South Lanarkshire refuse to investigate and we have a response to show that they feel the situation did not justify a full investigation and a joke report that looks like it was written by a primary school child was all we would receive and the excuse for what happened? playground monitor bent down to tie another kids shoe??? really??? This report does not even come close to being accurate and is full of obvious lies that show no intention of even looking into what happened as they cannot even get the basic facts right like what time the schoolcalled the police, the police report for 6th May states a time that is 17 minutes off the time this joke report states and South Lanarkshire Council 100% ignore this in any correspondence avoiding the subject whenever they can. Further to this the school did not even bother to call either of his parents and left a message with a 15 year old girl (his big sister), yet another topic avoided in all correspondence. We have been asking for a risk assessment on that school since 2014 after our son had twice stated he was out the school grounds, so far this is also being ignored. We asked for a CSP in January 2016, the normal process is a response in 16 weeks or 24 weeks in extenuating circumstances yet it took South Lanarkshire Council 1 year to give us an answer, which they refused to do (and more about Labour corruption on this will follow). We asked for a subject access request FOI request which again was 6 weeks over legal guidelines . Part of this FOI shows an email from Educational psychology to the education department stating that they had safety and security concerns about that school because our son was not the first child to get out and the education department are well aware of this. We submitted a placing request for a grant funded school and this was refused on the grounds of expense yet after months of bullying and our son having no school we had no choice but to accept a place withinSouth Lanarkshire Councilbut this placement would include an extra teacher and support teacher for that class???? is this cheaper than the fees for the school???? The other school requireSouth Lanarkshire Council to do an assessment whichSouth Lanarkshire Council outright refuse to complete and because of this we are unable to proceed to to a tribunal so more bullying on the part ofSouth Lanarkshire Council. We submitted a
George - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:43 PM
Hi Unheard people I have 2 campaigns/petitions and a facebook group set up but no one doesn't seem to be joining in spite of me sharing the names of them on here.What I've noticed; some people talk and moan about the system but not prepared to do anything positive about it.I tried posting the direct links on here but the admin don't seem to accept links. {{{The Local Government Ombudsman's final decision on Council and HMO landlord.They are all really one (government) organisation with different names. And the LGO is not an independent organisation as claimed... They are the council's Lawyer. I'm very disappointed with all 3 outcomes after 16 months of agony, stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, mild stroke and hospitalised, all because the council forced this HMO situation upon me. Is as if they have put a loaded gun to my head! The whole system is stacked against the ordinary people and there is no justice for us! They can do as they choose and get away with it, because they know we're helpless against them! I'm told the only option left for me now, is to challenge their decision through the judicial review in the High Court. The LGO 'final' decision wasn't any different from their 'draft' decision...in spite of all my evidence I submitted in support of my complaint; they were ignored because investigator already made her mind up with her draft decision to defend and support the council}}} I would have posted the final decision and my comments & defence on here, but this page doesn't allow long posts.So, anyone wants to read it will have to join my campaigns/petitions or facebook group. I've been doing everything over the last 16 months to get justice and also expose the council/s and LGO for what they are...
Norby - 12-Mar-17 @ 12:36 PM
The local goverment ombudsman and the housing ombudsman are totally ignorant bias and corrupt maybe the public should raise a petition to get rid of the lot of them and put normal caring people in charge, they don't deserve to paid a wage for the useless work they carry out. Hopefully one day what goes around will come around and slap them in the face twice as hard. I really do feel for all who have been through the same appalling corrupt treatment as I have too.They will never change unless we all stick together and force that change, we are human too and should be treated with more respect, not something wiped off the bottom of their shoes, I was destroyed by these people who considered it ok to kept on hold for a year and a half, and like many others guess what no fault found, they bury their heads in the sand and haven't got a no customer care skills at all, looking forward to the day when they are investigated and broadcast all over the news and are held accountable for all the corrupt bias cases they have investigated.
Unheard people - 21-Feb-17 @ 1:36 AM
I didn't realise that one can only post a limited amount of texts at once. So, I had to post in 4 sections so to post the whole report.So not to be confused, you'll have to read from 1st post below (Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:48 PM) upward...then (Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:58 PM) then (Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:00 PM) then finally (Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:03 PM). Thank you!
Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:28 PM
…The officers went to the neighbouring property to close doors while another officer observed the resulting noise from Mr X’s home. I do not find any evidence of fault in how the Council conducted these visits. 28. I understand Council officers also visited the HMO and asked Mr Y to adjust the fire doors so that they closed more slowly to reduce the likelihood of them banging shut. Mr X says the officers did not visit his home again to see if it had reduced the noise heard in his home. The Council accepts its officers did not do so however I do not consider this amounts to fault. This is because officers had already determined the noise heard from Mr X’s home did not constitute a statutory nuisance. Therefore whether the adjustments made by the HMO owner resulted in any noise reduction or not there would still not have been grounds for the Council to take further action. 29. Furthermore it should be noted the Council did not have to ask Mr Y to make adjustments as it had not identified a statutory nuisance. The Council did this to help resolve matters for Mr X in the absence of it being able to take any formal action. 30. Mr X says the Council’s investigation was biased and a cover-up. For the reasons set out above I do not agree and I have seen no evidence which supports Mr X’s contention. 31. I am also aware that Mr X has made accusations that officers lied to him when at his home and made comments that they do not want to help or care about this problems. The Council says its officers did not act in this way. I was not privy to these incidents and so I cannot come to a view on what did or did not occur. 32. Finally Mr X says the Council’s investigation should not have focussed so heavily on whether or not a statutory nuisance occurred. I do not agree. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 local authorities can only take formal action against a statutory nuisance. While I appreciate that Mr X considers the noise to be a nuisance it is for the council officers to use their professional judgement to determine if it constitutes a statutory nuisance. I have found no evidence of fault in the Council’s investigation of Mr X’s reports and therefore there are no grounds on which I can questions the merits of its decision on this matter. Final decision 33. I have found no evidence of fault by the Council in its handling of Mr X’s reports of noise nuisance. I have therefore ended my investigation of this complaint. Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman Final
Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:03 PM
…Mr X told the officers who attended that the main perpetrator was not there again. The officers witnessed a few occasions of doors closing but the resulting noise did not constitute a statutory nuisance. 20. Mr X continued to complain about the problem. In April officers visited Mr X’s home and the neighbouring property. During the visit one officer stayed at the neighbouring property and shut doors so the other officer could assess the noise from different rooms in Mr X’s home. Although some noise could be heard in Mr X’s home the Council explained to him that it did not amount to a statutory nuisance. Mr X did not accept the Council’s view. 21. Unhappy with the Council’s actions, Mr X complained to the Council about its handling of his reports. In particular he said the Council’s investigation of his concerns was flawed. The Council investigated his concerns at all stages of its complaints procedure but did not uphold Mr X’s complaint. 22. Mr X remains unhappy and says the Council’s decision not to take further action was wrong. Analysis 23. Mr X says the Council did not have regard to the diary sheets he completed. I do not agree. The information contained in the diary sheets was influential in the Council’s decision to place noise recording equipment at his home. Information from the diary sheets also helped to identify the times the nuisance was most likely to occur and the best times for officers to visit Mr X’s home to witness the nuisance. 24. Concerns have also been raised by Mr X about the noise recording equipment installed at his home. Mr X says the equipment is not suitable for recording the type of noise he has reported. I do not agree. The recording equipment is able to record noise of various frequencies and pitches. It is also able to record noise levels. 25. Mr X also says the noise recording equipment was installed when the main perpetrator was not present. The Council had regard to these concerns and installed the equipment again. I am therefore satisfied the Council took appropriate action in response to his concerns. 26. Additionally Mr X says the Council said that some of the recordings taken at his home were not admissible. The Council says this was not the case. The incidents recorded by Mr X were listened to by the Council but officers concluded the noise recorded did not amount to a statutory nuisance. I note the Council installed recording equipment at Mr X’s home on two occasions. I consider it had sufficient recordings to come to a balanced view regardless of whether there was a problem with an individual recording, as alleged by Mr X. 27. Council officers also visited Mr X’s home to witness the noise but decided there was no statutory nuisance. The Council visited Mr X’s home during the early Final decision 4 evening, the time which his diary sheets indicated was the peak time for noise to occur. The officers went to the neighbouring property to c
Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:00 PM
…How a statutory nuisance is determined 6. A statutory nuisance must be witnessed by an Environmental Health Officer who will come to a judgement on whether the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance. When making this decision the officer should have regard to the level of noise, its length, timing and location. The Council Environmental Noise Policy and Procedure 7. This document sets out what action the Council will take when a report of noise nuisance is received, the methods it will use to investigate and how it will communicate with the parties involved. Key events 8. Mr X owns his home. In August 2015, the owner of the property, Mr Y, next door converted it into a ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO). Mr Y did not require a HMO license as there are less than six people living in the property. As part of the conversion works, Mr Y installed fire doors. 9. In late November 2015 Mr X complained to the Council about noise from banging fire doors at the HMO. The Council sent Mr X some diary sheets for him to complete so it could get a better understanding of the problem. 10. The Council told Mr X in December that it would contact Mr Y about the noise that he had reported and visit the premises. The Council asked Mr Y to adjust the selfclosers on the fire doors so that they closed more quietly. 11. The Council visited the property and found the fire doors had been adjusted. The Council asked Mr Y to ask his tenants to avoid banging the fire doors. 12. The Council contacted Mr X to see if the noise was any better and he said there had been a recent improvement. 13. However Mr X contacted the Council in late December to advise the problem had recurred. The Council sent him further diary sheets to complete. 14. Mr X’s completed diary sheets showed the worst noise was in the mornings and evenings. Mr X asked the Council to provide recording equipment as he did not consider a visit from an officer would be useful. 15. In late January the Council installed recording equipment at Mr X’s home for a week. It listened to the recordings but found no evidence of excessive noise and therefore it could not conclude that there was a statutory nuisance. 16. Mr X disputed the Council’s findings and raised questions about whether the tenants at the property were aware that recording equipment had been installed at his home. Final decision 3 17. For this reason the Council installed recording equipment at Mr X’s home in late February for a further week. Officers from the Council also visited Mr X’s home while the recording equipment was in place. Mr X advised them the main perpetrator of the noise did not appear to be at home. 18. The Council considered the noise recordings. While the sound of the fire doors closing could be heard the Council did not consider the noise constituted a statutory nuisance. 19. The Council visited Mr X’s home again during the evening. Mr X told the officers who attende
Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:58 PM
YES, THE COUNCIL'S ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER CARRIED OUT THE ACTUAL TASK TO DO THE NOISE INVESTIGATION.BUT IT'S THE BIASED WAY SHE DONE IT, BY COVERING UP THE FINDINGS AND LIED.BECAUSE THERE WERE NO 2nd RECORDING OF NOISE (THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LOUDER THAN FIRST RECORDING), I WAS TOLD BY THE OFFICER THAT THE RECORDER MUST HAVE BROKEN DOWN...WHICH HER BOSS ADMITTED TO IN A LETTER TO ME.BUT (THAT'S ONLY ONE EXAMPLE) THE LGO INVESTIGATOR DISMISSED.BY READING THE FINAL DECISION REPORT (below), IT'S EXACTLY WHAT vjhv (on here) STATED. 22 November 2016 Complaint reference: 15 020 901 Complaint against: Stevenage Borough Council The Ombudsman’s final decision Summary: Mr X says the Council is at fault in its investigation of his reports of noise nuisance. The Ombudsman has found no evidence of fault by the Council and so she has ended her investigation of this complaint. The complaint 1. Mr X says the Council is at fault in its handling of his reports of noise nuisance from a neighbouring property. In particular he says the Council’s investigation of his reports was flawed and therefore its decision not to take action against the owner of the property was wrong. Mr X says the Council’s failure to take action has left him living in a home which is too noisy and this is affecting his health. He says to resolve the matter the Council should purchase his property at the full market value. The Ombudsman’s role and powers 2. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word fault to refer to these. She must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. If there has been fault which has caused an injustice, she may suggest a remedy. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26(1) and 26A(1)) 3. The Ombudsman cannot question whether a council’s decision is right or wrong simply because the complainant disagrees with it. She must consider whether there was fault in the way the decision was reached. (Local Government Act 1974, section 34(3)) How I considered this complaint 4. As part of my investigation I considered Mr X’s complaint and the information he provided. I asked the Council to provide me with information from its investigation of Mr X’s reports and I considered this.I set out my initial thoughts on the complaint in a draft decision statement and I invited Mr X and the Council to comment. Final decision 2 What I found Statutory nuisance Environmental Protection Act 1990 5. This Act provides that when considering a complaint about noise local authorities must consider if the noise is a statutory nuisance. For a noise to be a statutory nuisance it must be either: ? Unreasonably and substantially interfere with the use or enjoyment of home or other premises or; ? Injure health or be likely to injure health. How a statut
Norby - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:48 PM
Wow!I'm learning more about this corrupt organisation/s all the time! And this is why, after council/s put one through the process of frustration and humiliation with their stages 1, 2 and 3 investigations...then willingly advised one to take one's complaint to the LGO if one's not happy with their own (crooked) investigations, because they know they are safe there too! Also, the Councillor/s and MP/s advise one to do the same too, because they are not bothered themselves. Exactly vjhv, they sent me the customer satisfaction form while I was still waiting for a final decision from the investigator.I informed them (inc. the investigator) "I won't fill the form and comment until I've had a response to the final decision is made."After about 2 weeks or so...I didn't get any response whatsoever.Because I knew the investigator had no intention to consider my comments and evidence, (going on previous actions...and contrary the promises...), I decided I had enough...waiting in vain, so I filled the CS form, obviously with the lowest scores and comments and criticised the LGO/investigator in it too.Then form I contacted investigator again with... (posted below, 3-Feb-17 @ 2:06 PM).Up to date 12/02/2017 no acknowledgement/reply. These are (I assume) ordinary people that were part of the public (like you and me) that we put into power; but when they get there, it seems they turn into rats.And it's all has to do with 'MONEY' and nothing about morality!These people/organisations build one's hope up and then destroy it!Is this part of what is known as the human race; and money & corruptions would always be in place?
Norby - 12-Feb-17 @ 1:39 PM
Tips re: Ombudsman - From my experience First: They will keep rewording your complaint to something they can more easily defend. They will insist that they understand your complaint even though they write it as different. Second: They send out their customer satisfaction survey before you receive your decision Third: They will dismiss anything that you say and heartily agree with anything the organisations say even if it goes against all evidence. After all, they are paid by those they defend to remain in the Ombudsman scheme. Fourth: My tip, hold some evidence back so you can throw it at their ridiculous decision when you get it. five: they only offer a preliminary decision so they can squash anything you raise against their decision and allow the other party they defend a second bite at the cherry. six: No matter what they are always supported by their line managers
vjhv - 11-Feb-17 @ 2:12 AM
As of date 03/02/2017, no confirmation nor response from LGO. The Council and the LGO are definitely corrupt!!!But, there is nothing we can do about them because they are the law onto themselves.I have gone through 15 months of horrendous fire doors noises, stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, high blood pressure and a mild stroke that has hospitalised me.The council's chief executive was informed by my doctor of my health, but he ignored doctor's letter.We are wasting our time and energy complaining to these people/organisations.For people that have never had dealings with the council and LGO before, they'll be shocked to the core with their attitude, lies and covering up of evidence!Trust me! My local council is Stevenage Borough council.They lied and covered up evidence of the severity of noise of 5 fire doors and 1 extra main entrance door from (their) HMO landlord's house.They had no proof of their lies...but still, the LGO agreed and supported them; where I have vital concrete proof to support my complaint, but, they weren't interested and dismissed them.It was as though I didn't make a complaint and didn't matter. Well now I know, I don't matter to them, where their HMO tenants do. Now after 15 months, fighting aginst a system that's corrupt and no one to fight in my corner, I understand the only option left is to take the council to court.But there again that in itself is expensive - about £60 p/h to hire a lawyer, and there is no legal aid, and the council will still be protected.So it doesn't matter whichever way we turn it is impossible to win the council because they are the law and regulations - that they can break and use to justify their own means and use them in their favour. The Councillor and MP were useless and didn't care either. So we can cry out as much as we want; "something ought to be done about the council and LGO," but it's falling on deaf ears because there aren't anyone listening - unless you have bags of money to take them to court.And even that's not 100% certain we'll win; because the whole system is corrupt and designed to benefit the elite!
Norby - 3-Feb-17 @ 3:27 PM
THIS IS MY ACCOUNT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN ATTITUDE AND UNFAIR PRACTISE. Correspondance: ME 15 December 2016, you informed me: “I am on annual leave from this afternoon until 4 January so my response will be sent on my return.” ME... I waited...and no contact from you. Then I contacted you again, 2 January 2017, informing you: “I forgot was to attach pictures of houses... Mine and HMO neighbour's house is exactly like the black house. And the white house is what the council have renovated and brought up to environmental standard - (sound proofing and stud walling etc). So, the white house used to be like the black house before the renovation that would have made it soundproof and eco-friendly.” INVESTIGATOR... 03 January 2017, you responded: “Thank you for your email of 2 January, receipt of which I confirm. I will have regard to this email alongside your earlier comments. I will write to you again shortly.” ME... 13 January 2017, I replied to you: “I'm just following up regarding the outcome of your final decision.” INVESTIGATOR... 16 January 2017, you responded: “Thank you for your two emails sent of 13 January. I will be writing to you this week addressing the comments you have raised in response to my decision on your complaint. I am sorry I have not done so sooner however I have had a number of matters to address on my return to work. I have set aside a day later this week to consider your comments fully.” ME… 18 January 2017, I contacted you again: “Thanks for that...” “I've obtained the following information (from a person in a similar situation as me) for you to consider in support of my case/decision:” HMO regulations state that the only outside factor an HMO Committee must consider is potential noise disturbance due to "design flaws" in the building. Also look at article 8 of the human rights act. Local authorities have to take positive steps to protect you from noise. ME... 26 January 2017, I didn’t get a reply, so sent the following: “I suspect you have no intention to consider your draft decision.” “This draft decision answer has been going on for much too long while I'm still suffering! It seems to me I'm not important as the councils and their HMO landlord and you are not bothered, and already made your mind up in your draft decision.” And I suspect you're ignoring it, still in support and sticking up for the council, in spite of all my comments and evidence; where the council haven't submitted to you any hard evidence to their denials.” “You disregarded the importance of my complaint is appalling and you should be investigated!” If I don't get a positive reaction from you within the next week, I'll be starting legal proceeding against the council, and see if I can do the same against you/the LGO for the willful, biased way you've handled my complaint against the council and the disregard you had for me in the process of your "so-called" investigation.” “Confirm receipt
Norby - 3-Feb-17 @ 2:06 PM
The LGO has proved itself to me utterly biased against local community interest in judging a complaint and a submission for information in the last year the fact that I was refused to speak at a council committee meeting in public speaking time when no one else wanted to use the time was open to interpretation given the issue was part of the committees remit but not on that particular agenda by the LGO, but they refused to recognise the fact that having registered to speak two weeks in advance I was not told at any stage I would not be allowed to speak and was left siting in the meeting unapproached for one and a half hours, with other items brought forward on the agenda before public speaking time, waiting and expecting to speak only to be refused when public speaking time eventually was offered with no apology from the LA committee chair about my having been not informed and left to wait. It was a deliberate act from what I have heard subsequently. the LGO paid that treatment no attention whatsoever in judging against my complaint. The LGO has in the past spoken in favour of LA Scrutiny examining planning issues and when I discovered recently in trying to havea planning matter reviewed by Scrutiny at my LA that was refused on the basis the Localism Bill no longer allows planning matters to be reviewed inby the LA at Scrutiny (or it seems anywhere else). When I pressed the matter asking my LA simply if it had read the material that had been submitted to it they refused to even confirm that, never mind failing to deal with several key questions that needed answering over their dealing with a particular planning issue, and on closing their book on the issue told me if I persisted in pressing these questions they would consider me to be becoming 'vexatious'. I wrote to the LGO to point out how disappointing this lack of engagement by an LA with a needed review of a planning issue was and suggesting how disappointed they must be given their past support for planning issues in meriting review by an LA Scrutiny. Response? The LGO refused to respond to my missive; even to the minimal point of simply thanking me for contacting them about this. Worse than useless. As a community campaigner of many years standing what I am seeing now from Government, LAs and their pet poodle organisations such as the LGO in a concerted move to restrict public and community engagement in their decision making process at all levels. These are indeed dark times for UK democracy. Day to day our lives ever more fall under the heavy hand of elective dictatorship. The LGO as it now operates constitutes one of the fingers on that hand. Localism and its operative tentacles in this context is far more a barrier to public engagement in local government decision making processes than a conduit to enable it.
JANICULUM - 23-Jan-17 @ 5:26 PM
For all those many thousands who have been the subject of misjustice by the LGO and for all those who have failed in their duty in relation to reform of this perverse body, just remember the following: Exodus 23:1 "For the price of promotion And justice to sell May the judged be their judges when they rot down in hell"
The Truth - 15-Jan-17 @ 12:26 PM
I complained to the Ombudsman about maladministration at the Environment Agency which has unknowingly and seriously affected over 50 people over the years. She closed it within les than 2 weeks saying that it was out of time even though i proved that i was not out of time. It emerged that, even though my MP had sent the evidence to the Parliamentary Ombudsman the Environment Agency had asked the Local Government Ombudsman to take the case. Why should they choose who takes the case unless they are trying to manipulate the outcome? Indeed on the LGO web site there isn't one case where the Environment Agency have lost. They don't have the knowledge to investigate more complicated cases and jnstead of gaining information from other parties they find any excuse to dismiss the case. They are reassessing the case after my MPs involvment but i expect that they will find against me and consequently all the other 50 + people affected. It is a complete sham and disgracewhich leaves these Government Agencies with their massive legal departments free to carry on as they want with no fear of ANY redress for their maladministration.
Hawks - 27-Nov-16 @ 11:22 PM
I also share and highly agree with Abby’s and Wolfgang and further add in saying that the FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE are the most corrupted crooks around helping to fill their own pockets by siding with the crooks to help them rather than helping the victims. Financial Ombudsman Service is a waste of space abusing their power by giving wrong and unfair decision in favour of the crooks
tony - 13-Oct-16 @ 10:46 AM
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