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Can We Trust the Ombudsman With Our Complaints?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 6 Nov 2020 | 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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I'vebeen a foster carer for 18 years and in top of that worked for local council respite home for 8 years I resigned 2017 after a safeguarding concern I made and was not investigated fully this prevented me from whistle blowing due to the fact the council continued to lie and not even speak to witnesses I named from beginning. I had no option to resign without disclosing informationof wrongdoing that was embedded within children's services.Through all the stress this had on my family life I ended up losing my marriage home and an 18 year fostering career I loved,in addition has had onmy mental state,of feeling noone wants to take responsibility of wrongdoing.
Ste - 6-Nov-20 @ 1:32 PM
PRESSURED with interference of medical procedures,or invasive treatment which penetrates her skin / body until such time the baby is due, the right to refuse blood withdrawal, have ULTRASOUNDS, have medical instruments to detect a baby's heartbeat on her body,take pain relief. She has a right to peace from Stockton Social Services to stop chasing her without grounds to do so. I then want a full independent review from the REGULATORS of social services overseeing their work, and the NHS CLINICAL ETHICS COMMITTEE with an apology into the midwife's and stockton social services practices, and why in clinical practice,are the staff allowed to probe and dig into a person's lifestyle choices, if it's not dangerous, it's not relevant to know. BACKGROUND FACTS & LAWS ON MY RIGHTS TO SAFE HOUSING DURING PREGNANCY: Building a picture or building a profile of someone and putting the jigsaw pieces together, needs good social skill and excellent careful judgement. At NO point during my conversations with social services over the telephone, was I dishonest, nor did I give any reason, cause for concern, which would IMPLICATE and backfire on me. Inevitably, I received excellent feedback from the social worker Emily Slater at all times, I complimented her work, and even talked about her and myself having a thyroid imbalance and what herbal and holistic supplements i'm taking, I described my gluten free sugar dairy free diet.I went on to tell her, up until the age of 11, I was brought up on a GYPSY CARAVAN SITE, I miss it, and want to return to it. I would express my concerns about Hartington Road on every call,I answered all her assessment questions, she asked me to get 'PROOF OF PREGNANCY' from the MIDWIFE which meant she did NOT accept the proof from NHS BIRMINGHAM, before she can type a support letter on my behalf. I STILL haven't been issued my MATB1 maternity certificate - despite asking many weeks ago for it, from NHS STOCKTON LEGAL & MEDICAL RECORDS DEPARTMENT,not having this document to hand, has been affecting my case for housing, how dare this be withheld from me? WHAT WAS relevant to know, is the counterproductivenessof hostel staff chatting to me when they're bored, but not sitting down with me aside in a private room next to the reception desk in the HOSTEL, so that my business is not aired in front of other tenants, and discussing my options in housing. I would like to further comment on this, there is an element of DATA PROTECTION, and if there are hostel visitors from spare rooms in nearby houses on Hartington road with restraining orders against them from seeing their children, they shouldn't be have been hearing my situation or been anywhere NEAR ME.People were sent there from PROBATION SERVICES ex-prison offenders and likely to re-offend especially in COVID19 troubling times of UNEMPLOYMENT, ECONOMY CRASH, WORLD WAR 3, it's common sense for the hostel support workers to take me aside an
Bond001 - 28-Oct-20 @ 2:14 PM
The fiasco below has left me so undignified, I think these organizations are biased, slow, draconian, and are there to gather DATA to use against a person, rather than actually HELP hands-on, with the housing and homelessness problem.   I trust, I have detailed in this lengthy email, enough to prompt an investigation, and I urge the readers not to hesitate asking me questions, I welcome questions rather than any of it being misinterpreted. None of the email is ambiguous or incoherent in any way, it sets out clearly what has happened, and requires a degree of concentration to read it.  Thanks.  ---------- Forwarded message --------- Date: Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 2:40 AM Subject: Complaint : Social Services, NHS midwifery, Stockton Council To: , , , , Birthrights Advice Line Re: Looking for an Arbitrary complaints escalation service or advocacy who can help me.  Purpose of contacting you:  I want to file / lodge an official complaint against Stockton On Teesside Children's social services for the RELENTLESS, PURSUIT OF  LAWLESS, BASELESS & UNJUSTIFIED HARASSMENT from STOCKTON CHILDREN'S SOCIAL SERVICES  I want to raise both legal issues and other NON-LEGAL issues, on moral grounds of respect in relation to my cultural beliefs, some ( not all of it ) will be protected under the Equality Act for Gypsy Travellers, although some may argue I don't meet the definition of this label, and that is a matter of opinion NOT fact, therefore should not be held against me in any way shape or form.   Someone doesn't have to be ACTIVELY living within the gypsy community to have folklore beliefs.  Just like someone doesn't have to pray at a church, mosque or synagogue to 'prove' their 'STATUS' in a community or set of beliefs, if living outside the community.  All phone calls / telephone contact and / or emails I presume are recorded by social services during communications with me, but just I wanted to clarify this, please respond to me, together with information I have requested.  I now need you to READ my story very carefully, in order to refer me to the most appropriate and suitable advocacy coordinator or service.  Please bear in mind I'm moving from Stockton to Warrington on Wednesday 4th November 2020, so it might be easier to signpost me to a local Warrington, Cheshire project or service, who can help.   This may go to court, because I believe I am owed compensation for the inconvenience and stress it has caused, so I wonder if you can let me know of a NO WIN NO FEE SOLICITOR please? No thanks to the people supposed to help, and all services unfit for purpose, i've researched the internet to stumble across a caravan site in Warrington, who are happy to hire a caravan to me.   My Personal Background fully explained :  Note the COMPLEXITY of how I ended up, and what led to t
Bond001 - 28-Oct-20 @ 1:26 PM
Kitchen with no storage Suffered this for nearly 5 years There was no kitchen plan and I proved it The council lied I was given a slight upgrade, 2 gloss doors, handles, worktop, I didn't claim for a damaged floor Where the oven was going was a cupboard Council argued for a year there was a plan All the time my kitchen things were on the lounge floor, I had to pick up things to cook. After a year I was told they would re-do the kitchen BUT take away what they had given me. They refused to add to my kitchen Shafted by a solicitor who pressured me to settle He took 3/4 of my compensation Gave it to me over 5 months Not enough to buy the cheapest kitchen. Now the council are holding me to ransom over a radiator. NO faith in the government Ombudsman or Anyone
Shafted - 25-Oct-20 @ 8:58 AM
Hi, I've booked my tickets through tripmonster and since then, they have contacted me twice saying the airline has changed my tickets and in order to confirm the changes, I need to pay them more money.The total cost of the tickets have now exceeded the cost of what the airline charge directly. I have tried contacting tripmonster on multiple occasions through phone, however, their wait time is over 2 hours and they disconnect the call after.They only deal with emails and do not answer queries except for asking to make a payment.I have contacted the airline who confirm my tickets are booked and I dont need to do anything, however, tripmonster insist I need to pay them more money. I need help.I dont know what else to do. Plz assist.
Milfred - 30-Sep-20 @ 4:15 PM
The LGCO is a law unto themselves the council lied to the Ombudsman and Colin Oxley failed to property investigate.I complained to the director of the Ombudsman and my complaint against Colin Oxley was handed back to him to see fault with himself.They refer to process of a Judicial review at your expense.An incompetent person cannot be punished for failing to do their job.Therefore no win there.Then after spending thousands of pounds of your own money at best a Judicial review can ask to Ombudsman to reconsider. I re complained to the Ombudsman to say the council has failed in the last year to change the situation with a derelict property. They gave my complaint back to Colin Oxley who referred me to a letter he sent me last year.So back to the same excuse.I said the situation is still the same and The council has not achieved anything. They don't care they are hiding behind process and PO Box numbers and backing each other up or costing you thousands for an attempt at Justice. I am now seeking to complain in other ways.
Dawson - 29-Sep-20 @ 3:35 PM
Hi Housing, I reached out to Mr King using this email address: m.king@lgo.org.uk I received a follow up response from someone more senior Mr King had allocated the case to, but still a fob off. I’ve subsequently written to national media about this and am waiting to hear. It looks like a lot of people have been aggravated by the LGO. Is there a way to join up forces, maybe through this organisation, and start class action? I imagine we can find NGOs that will be willing to support with legal fees, etc.
Eva - 10-Sep-20 @ 11:14 AM
Back in 2008 my son then aged 10 was starting to misbehave himself. Im a Single Parent. One day after being excluded from school I was taking him to Saturday school. He ran away from me, i eventually found him hiding in bushes. I snapped I was stressed depressed repressed I had no support in the new area we moved to 1.5 years before. I hit him with a belt to never do that againnot done before. He was shocked at my behaviour and called the police. I was going to leave my house and go somewhere else but i was too tired of everything. So I stayed and the Police Promptly came and arrested me. I didnt want Solicitor because I naively thought they will see my side and possibly offer support. They did not, instead they took my son said he should stay else where with family and I was charged with Common Assault.I worked in Social Care at the time Learning Disabilities. so I had to declare what happened coupled with the stress of what happened, what was happening, and me being mentally stressed & no one to talk to. This was when my worries were exacerbated when Social Services kept asking me to go to meetings and a someone kept coming every week to check on my son, during this for me i lost control how to discipline my son with all what was happening. My son saw this opportunity to continue with his badness with no repercussions from me only Social Service guidance telling me I cant be the strong mother i was. I did not hit my son growing up. We talked things over. I wanted him to learn reasoning and logic and discipline. My son is a Black Boy with a Useless father who paid for his upkeep but no presence or influence. Fast forward Social Services took me to court to take my son aged 12 completely or i have shared care. 7 years later my son amassed 40 Criminal Convictions and currently in jail for 15 years. Now if the Police investigated their charge they wouldve seen the scratches in my sons legs came from the Bushes he was hiding in. They said I did it with a belt. I love my son and would not hit him Viciously as they made out I did. I complained to IPCC about this but as Usual they declined my appeal that they were right and I was Wrong. The Police and Social Services F**** up my Childs life based on a discipline incident. NOT Abuse. They moved him 31 times in 5 years!!!! Which normal person can cope with that?much less a child. I needed help and No One offered me any only insults and Parenting Classes....I complained to the Social Services last year and they did not respond I have now gone to the Ombudsman awaiting their response. I am not happy with the presumptuous lying police (another incident they came to my home assaulted me and then they all lied and made me out to be a crazy screaming woman 2018 I work with Elderly now who love me The think they can do right & no wrong Social Services of Hammersmith and Fulham. I'm putting this out there "for the Rest of My Life I will make noise what you have done to me and mine" Until They accept Li
OnaMission - 8-Sep-20 @ 11:41 AM
Hi Eva, I have read through the threads on this page & can totally relate to you recent problems regarding Newham council & it's complaints process & procedures. I have been trying to find a contact for Michael king in relation to a housing issue I have been in since November last year. Would be great to hear back from you & find out what channels to go down in order to bring this to the attention of Michael king....good luck with your complaint & I hope you get the answers you are looking for.
Housing - 24-Aug-20 @ 9:21 PM
Guys, I'm setting up a Facebook page named NIMBY - as in; Not In My Back Yard ! Fancy taking your noise pollution/ commercial business in a residential area/ Antisocial behaviour/ Trading without a license/ Breaching Planning regulation - ridden issues and complaints to this Facebook page ? I've had enough of my local Council working for the millionaires, and had enough of the LGO taking liberties ! Come on, of we don't make noise on an independent platform - we will be never be heard, and that's what most councils want, for us to go away and die in a corner somewhere ! If you fancy letting off some steam and giving the Golden middle finger salute to your abusers sat at senior level of your Council then be my guest and send me a message on FB. Let's see what we can do. I'm not sticking around for this LGO rubbish.
Ric - 22-Jul-20 @ 6:23 PM
The LGO are a complete waste of time and tax payer money they "Investigate" a fraction of the complaints they recieve prefering to use one of their well worn, well used excuses why they shouldn't investigate. They have a reason not to investigate regardless of your complaint and to cover every possible scenario. Their "Investigation" consists of a couple of phone calls to the authority concerned where they take their point without question, shelve it a few weeks making you think their investigating then tell you their not investigating for some rediculous reason. Local authorities encourage you to complain to the Ombudsmen because they know they won't do anything and their decision is final so you are totally stuffed. Local authorities won't improve while this system operates as they have nothing to fear from the LGO
Dave - 24-May-20 @ 3:42 PM
I was left shocked by the response I received from the LGO on a complaint against Newham Council. I’ve just written to Michael King. I’m copying my final point below: Based on my dealings with the LGO, I believe you may be experiencing a culture problem in your organisation. Throughout my dealings with the LGO, I’ve felt a ‘fobbing-off’ attitude from your officers. I found the writing in your decisions to be an inaccurate and biased reflection of my complaint. I believe your officers have picked and chosen what to include in the decision write-up so as not to raise eyebrows when the decision is published on your website. I was left in shock that an organisation which is supposed to be about fairness can be so unfair and biased.
Eva - 18-Apr-20 @ 3:55 PM
Note to “Admin”: I don’t know if you have noticed this, but “Tony” left a long post on 9 Dec 19 @ 7:19 am which was duplicated , probably accidentally, straight after at 7:21 pm. Also, is this only meant for comments about the Local Government Ombudsman, otherwise why did you delete my detailed comment about the Legal Ombudsman yesterday, which has useful information, yet you left Tony’s duplicate untouched? Why not at least leave an explanation? Will you also delete this (which I have copied) also?
CrookedLawyers - 25-Feb-20 @ 3:20 PM
The log is a complete and utter joke and doesn’t Patrice what claims to deliver it has not got a clue about the equality act 2010 they think they are god you carnt speak to anyone you have to get a call back in my case that doesn’t work at all plus they don’t understand the equality and when you complain about there service Dumas your complain as not a complain they are all clueless for people who have disability and are ring illness and should be abolished
N - 27-Jan-20 @ 1:14 PM
Part 2: It’s a completely dodgy and crooked process we are subjected to. They can dismiss a complaint they want to get rid of for no good reason using this Scheme Rule 5.7n. This is what investigator Elle Y and ombudswoman L Smith did to me. L Smith dismissed my complaint in a way that was highly dishonest, insulting, offensive and outrageous! They dismiss a lot of complaints using this Rule 5.7n! I wasn’t warned about this rule beforehand. They don't advertise it on the website, or in their correspondence or literature. When the investigator was supposed to come back to me with a preliminary decision, instead she wrote and told me she was going to ask an ombudsman to dismiss my case based on this rule. She gave me a deadline to write to say why this should not be done, but by that time I had read online of other people’s experiences with the Le O and whenever the time came for an ombudsman’s decision, people always said that “the ombudsman agreed with the investigator”, so I knew that once she asked her colleague to dismiss my case, it would be dismissed, no matter what I said. And it was. I have a document from the lawyers’ representative organisation, the Law Society, where they state that they provide 80% of the Legal Ombudsmans’ funding, so their salaries are paid by the lawyers they overwhelmingly favour. As a result 80% of lawyers are happy with their services, but only 36% of ethnic minority complainants, according to their own survey. They have only been given a very narrow remit of investigating “poor service”. They don’t deal with professional misconduct, bad ethics or malpractice. Complaints involving these are supposed to be given to the Solicitors Regulation Authority who are notorious and even worse than the Le O! The SRA hardly ever investigate complaints about solicitors! For example, in 2012 they rejected 94% of complaints. Most of the complaints they did not reject, the solicitors were only given a friendly "letter of advice" informing them they had done something wrong. Only 0.6% of all complained about were subject to any disciplinary procedure! This is, of course, pure corruption!! The situation has been like this because for hundreds of years the government and Parliament has allowed and enabled the legal profession to regulate itself, but if there is any profession which should never be allowed to regulate itself, it is surely the legal profession. You can download a pdf file of the Le O Scheme Rules from their website. I found that in dismissing complaints they adopt the “Blame the Victim” strategy. Investigator turned ombudswoman L. Smith condoned dishonest, abusive, manipulative and fraudulent behaviour from the most senior solicitor/director of wills and probate law firm Gedye & Sons in dismissing my complaint. She virtually acted as a spokeswoman for the firm. When I told investigator E. Yates that the Risk Manager of Gedye & Sons had lied to me by telling me if I went to the Legal Ombudsman, I would be c
CorruptSystem - 17-Dec-19 @ 1:53 PM
I have been in regular correspondence since June 2018 about a car breakers yard operating in my street. I was told, immediately, by Luton Borough Council's Head if Licensing that the business was operating without licence or planning permission. On investigation I quickly found out that it was also working without a waste disposal licence. After lengthy email and phone discussions with Licensing, and being told that "various departments ha e visited sute",I was eventually told, "Notice has been served". THAT was in July 2018! LBC' s Head of Planning then became involved along with a local councillor. After much discussion, scores and scores of emails; formal online complaints on LBC's web site and complaints to the LGO,I was told in September 2019that "Notice has been served" AGAIN!. That notice is due to expire on 17th December, which, I believe means the yard should close. I have little to no faith this will happen. Throughout this whole process, I have been complaining about the knock-on effects of this business, like wrecks being parked, some without tax, some on double yellow lines, on streets all over this ward. I discovered that the end user for these activities is Euro Parts, a multi-million pound business with a huge warehouse here in Luton! I have sent dozens of photos along with my complaints over the last 18 months - vehicles, including the several car transporters being used, parked on double yellow lines; vehicles with exposed engine compartments with sharp ragged metal edges. All Luton Borough have done is sent staff around advising them of my complaints and pointing out how to lower their profile. Local Governments were totally exposed to corruption in the 60's and are well overdue for a repeat. WHY would a council allow, indeed assist, a multi-million pound company to operate a car breakers yard in a densely populated residential area, without planning permission or licence? And why does DEFRA allow them to operate without a waste disposal licence after their initial response that they would take action against them? And why, after all this time has the LGO allowed it to go on? My councillor stopped responding to me in July so I informed them I would withhold council tax payments till normal service was resumed. I made an official complaint about this too but heard nothing from them. I have now £850 in a seperate online account waiting to be released when I get some satisfaction but, as yet, can't see where this will end up. From where I stand these people are all in it together. They control the ombudsman, police, local press my MP, who is an "old buddy" of my tongue tied councillor, and magistrates! What chance do the paying public have!!!? They're all CORRUPT and it STINKS!
Tony - 9-Dec-19 @ 7:21 AM
I have been in regular correspondence since June 2018 about a car breakers yard operating in my street. I was told, immediately, by Luton Borough Council's Head if Licensing that the business was operating without licence or planning permission. On investigation I quickly found out that it was also working without a waste disposal licence. After lengthy email and phone discussions with Licensing, and being told that "various departments ha e visited sute",I was eventually told, "Notice has been served". THAT was in July 2018! LBC' s Head of Planning then became involved along with a local councillor. After much discussion, scores and scores of emails; formal online complaints on LBC's web site and complaints to the LGO,I was told in September 2019that "Notice has been served" AGAIN!. That notice is due to expire on 17th December, which, I believe means the yard should close. I have little to no faith this will happen. Throughout this whole process, I have been complaining about the knock-on effects of this business, like wrecks being parked, some without tax, some on double yellow lines, on streets all over this ward. I discovered that the end user for these activities is Euro Parts, a multi-million pound business with a huge warehouse here in Luton! I have sent dozens of photos along with my complaints over the last 18 months - vehicles, including the several car transporters being used, parked on double yellow lines; vehicles with exposed engine compartments with sharp ragged metal edges. All Luton Borough have done is sent staff around advising them of my complaints and pointing out how to lower their profile. Local Governments were totally exposed to corruption in the 60's and are well overdue for a repeat. WHY would a council allow, indeed assist, a multi-million pound company to operate a car breakers yard in a densely populated residential area, without planning permission or licence? And why does DEFRA allow them to operate without a waste disposal licence after their initial response that they would take action against them? And why, after all this time has the LGO allowed it to go on? My councillor stopped responding to me in July so I informed them I would withhold council tax payments till normal service was resumed. I made an official complaint about this too but heard nothing from them. I have now £850 in a seperate online account waiting to be released when I get some satisfaction but, as yet, can't see where this will end up. From where I stand these people are all in it together. They control the ombudsman, police, local press my MP, who is an "old buddy" of my tongue tied councillor, and magistrates! What chance do the paying public have!!!? They're all CORRUPT and it STINKS!
Tony - 9-Dec-19 @ 7:19 AM
I can only echo the comments of everyone,when you think that they possibly can'tgive you another brush off they do whither their clever talk.The lengths the council will take to cover up wrong doing is disturbing and your left feeling isolated and helpless.whan a simple investigation can reveal the truth and could be addressed before it snowballs and made worse because now it shows that councils are above the law.The whole thing has prevented me from whistleblowing because I've lost all confidence and trust. All of this hurts and affects your wellbeing because you have none else to turn to or you get remarks from people who think you should just let it go.
Ste - 28-Nov-19 @ 4:29 PM
Yes, certainly change.org should be used, I'd be up for that. The thing would be to send links to relevant articles on online newspapers once it's going. Those of us let down by an ombudsman probably feel largely isolated - I did till I started finding sites like this. I don't know what this site permits in terms of contact - I can't even see how some posts here seem to have been made as replies.
LeeW - 22-Nov-19 @ 3:48 PM
I agree with the various posts outlined above, about the possibility of a petition. A 100,000 signatures is enough to get to the heart of government - and a hearing in the House of Commons.The upheaval we have all had to go through at the hands of the Local Government Ombudsman is totally unacceptable, and only the Central Government can make them change their procedures.I also agree with the admission in some of the posts listed above, that the LGO should be shut down and replaced with a more reliable organisation.Everyone deserves better service than this.What about starting a petition via Change.org.uk?I have used the website and signed a number of petitions in this way - all they ask is for a minimum of 3 people to start it, and you canopt out of making a donation.Any interest?
FM - 20-Nov-19 @ 9:57 PM
I have had children taken off me by the state. Several months (8 months actually) prior I asked for an assessment that should be provided (if asked) which is in statute law.(Children Act 17ZD if you’re interested). It was never done. After those 8 months, we ended up in court ultimately losing my children to forced adoption. 18 months later, Judicial proceedings concluded I complain to the statutory authorities about that assessment not being provided. I have to give them their ‘due process’. The Local Authority Complaints team not investigating because it’s ‘been discussed in court’. So, I escalate my complaint to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman as we all know are there to investigate failings by the Local Authority. They are not going to investigate because, you guessed it, ‘discussed in court’. At no point has the Local Authority been held to account for not providing this assessment. As a consequence of not doing so, a family has been torn apart. I should point out, it’s fair to say we had a lot of support from the local authority, but because the assessment wasn’t done, insufficient to meet relevant needs and other routes prior to one as draconian as shredding a family to pieces. It appears, similar to other comments, the Ombudsman has assessed the complaint and found a way to back out of punishing those they should be holding to account. So, once again but at additional cost, time and emotional expense I’m escalating the matter to a high court for a judicial review.
Iggyica - 8-Nov-19 @ 6:11 PM
In my experience, it is highly unlikely that a solicitor would take a case like this on, the risk involved is too high and costs could escalate out of control.The amount of research and documentation required to support the witness statements would make it virtually impossible for the average person to proceed down the legal route.You can make your case independently but the time lines are tight and if you have a full time job and family matters to deal with this is also virtually impossible.
Mar - 8-Nov-19 @ 11:09 AM
In my experience The Ombudsman were a complete waste of time! you want something dealt with fairly go see a solicitor.
Justice4all - 7-Nov-19 @ 10:00 PM
I have now received my final response from the LGO regarding a complaint about flawed planning documents and no response received from the council to my Stage 2 complaint.The development that the council allowed was huge and quite literally on my front door step.The council blocked me in so much that I never saw the dustman, postman or daylight for the best part of 3 years. A clear breach of my human rights but the LGO has sent me a letter that addresses no part of my complaint.Apparently, they can choose what they investigate and what evidence they look at.I am horrified and now realise why the council laughed, lied and mocked me all the way through my awful distress. Shut the LGO down, no one get a fair outcome, nothing in the final response is accurate.To add insult to injury, their final response includes inaccuracies about how I felt and what I thought.It is the covering letter that contains more detail on my real complaint but of course, this will never be seen by anyone but me!How disgusting is this system that allows and aids unlawful behaviours and stamps on the people it should be protecting.I feel angry and betrayed by a system that is hard to challenge.
Mar - 6-Nov-19 @ 11:30 AM
I'm tempted to say I think we need one of these online petition sites involved, but sadly though I am oddly inspired to read of others in the same place when I'd felt alone in all this constant unchecked misconduct, I would think we are still fairly isolated, with many victims of misconduct probably not even beginning to complain. I'm making notes for an article on this matter, something to polish enough for publication in a printed national newspaper, and am thinking it might be good to pool experiences. I don't know if I can leave contact email here so I will just send this for now and see if there's interest. I've looked at the Transparency International website though and will be sending them my details in the hope that it can be among others' ripples. As far as I'm concerned the LGO and the housing ombudsman, identical in their practices, should be shut down immediately - nothing justifies their current existence. Public money being spent on stitching us up is an outrage. Imagine working for them too, a pathetic and shabby existence.
LeeW - 30-Oct-19 @ 3:15 PM
I agree, the LGO should be closed down in favour of an impartial group. I have just received the final decision after spending a a full day responding to the draft decision where the LGO found wholeheartedly in favour of the SLDC. These Councils know they are untouchable and with the backing of the LGO. It is a total fiasco. Don't waste your time or your life under the impression that your complaint will be considered, that decision has already been made. I was warned before I started the process but thought I would give it a try. I can see by all the comments here, that other people thought the same as me. If you have the money, go to a solicitor as you won't get anywhere with the LGO
Bea - 30-Oct-19 @ 11:38 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with the other comments. The LGO Ombudsman should be closed down and a totally impartial body set up in it's place. I have just received the final decision from the LGO after spending a whole day supplying even more information on the investigator's draft decision where she found completely for the Council. These Councils appear to be untouchables and can make decisions when they know full well, the public do not have a leg to stand on as they have the full backing of the LGO Ombudsman. Unless we have thousands to spend on solicitors, and who does these day?, this fiasco is a complete waste of your life. Somebody did warn me before I contacted the Ombudsman but I thought I would give it a try. How wrong I was andcan see now by all these comments that it is just an exercise they hsve you going through but the decision has already been made!!
Bea - 30-Oct-19 @ 11:29 AM
I have been in a dispute with my local council for nearly four years and have followed 'procedure' including its internal complaints fiasco, which led to blatant and stupid stonewalling from start to finish, on to engagement with the housing ombudsman, which did not even deal with my central complaint, that two staff lied about what went on in a meeting we had at which I was coerced to return to my flat when unsafe. The police would not investigate despite this fraudulent representation of the meeting legally constituting fraud, malpractice in office. I was then banned from the Civic Centre as a reaction to my angry emails and letters (none of them making threats other than regarding legal consequences and that I would not give up). The main liar complained that I had caused distress when she had at that point caused me three years of distress. Crocodile tears if ever there were some. I made a Subject Access Request (do this, you may be shocked at the results) to obtain emails that went between the ombudsman and council and saw blatant character assassination and crass bigotry. I approached the local government ombudsman about the banning and they have after brief and negligent discussion declined to process my case. I am now making a complaint about that and thinking about what to do next. We should, by rights, in these situations be assigned legal representation, automatically. The situation has impacted greatly on my health. Stress leaves me with three hours sleep a night if I'm lucky. I too want the ombudsman 'services' closed down and replaced with something impartial, staffed by conscientious human rights lawyers and people of that ilk. I am often weighed down badly by all this, but googling corrupt council and finding this site in particular has fired me up. Best wishes all.
LeeW - 25-Oct-19 @ 5:07 PM
Still persevering with LGO's assessment stage, I honestly feel as though the so called 'investigator' is only going through the motions and has already decided in favour of the council. But I shall carry on, even though the stress is seriously affecting my health. This whole situation was caused by the failings of the local council to thoroughly investigate an extremely serious wrongdoing by 2 members of their staff. Update as and when!
Chiminee - 5-Oct-19 @ 12:38 AM
I am a retired solicitor who has had to deal with the LGO with regard to a number of personal matters not least relating to safeguarding failures relating to when my 94 year old mother (who has a diagnosis of Alzheimers) was a patient in an NHS Hospital and also safeguarding failures on the part of the care home where my mother is a private fee paying resident.Further I also had to deal with the LGO relating to DOLS imposed upon my mother by Staffordshire county council who unlawfully impose a DOLS.I have never come across such an incompetent biased self protecting organisation and its leader Michael King is morally and ethically corrupt
Retired Solicitor - 25-Sep-19 @ 10:55 PM
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