No 3 on the list of abuses of the Council’s use of the Complaints Procedure and is the way that they say that a complaint about a complaint has been handled is the same as the complaint itself.
I wrote to the Chief Executive complaining about them misinforming the LGO and received a letter from his Corporate Lead stating:
Thank you for your letter to Martin Swales, Chief Executive dated 8 July 2016, requesting matters related to your previous complaint to be raised as a new complaint, I manage the process and staff that support customer complaints and compliments. Your letter has therefore been forwarded to me to consider and respond.
She then goes on to say:
There is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Misinformation is false information that is simply wrong irrespective of whether it is deliberate or accidental, a genuine mistake or criminal incompetence. In view of the way the Council have handled the UK Docks business on River Drive it would be safe to assume the last point is most relevant here.
Further on she says:
I consider the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision final and must now draw a close to this matter.
I refer you to an email sent on 9 December 2015 from Alison Hoy, regarding the repeated contacts to the Council concerning issues you had raised in your original complaint regarding the boat repair shed built by UK Docks. Since the Ombudsman’s final decision on your complaint on 15 April 2015, you have sent further emails/letters to Council officers, Elected Members and Members of Parliament, reiterating aspects of the complaint:
The email of 9 December was taken to a solicitor for advice because it was obvious that the Corporate lead was either being mislead by the Planning Office or misinterpreting what was being told to her.
It was also obvious that from the initial drafts provided by the Ombudsman that she was being misinformed and I wrote to the MP more than two weeks before, not since, the final draft appeared. Of the the two lists of bullet points made by the Corporate lead none stand up any to scrutiny (see misinformation above) and she finishes by saying:
I now consider this matter closed. Should you continue to repeat historic complaint issues in your contacts, we will consider imposing formal restrictions on your contact with the Council. Should you continue to repeat this same complaint already investigated by the Council or the Ombudsman, including historical plans or perceived misinformation, we will not acknowledge, or respond to those communication.
We will however, ensure that any separate complaints you raise, including any that may arise from a new planning application, are dealt with appropriately and that you receive a response where necessary.
Corporate Lead Strategy and Performance