Alternative Complaints Procedure:
This and the 3 pages below reflect the immense amount of misinformation/misrepresentation given to the Ombudsman.
One of the most infuriating thing about a Council like South Tyneside (STC) is that they conflate a complaint about way they handle a complaint with the complaint itself. There are, however, lots of other ways they misuse or corrupt their own complaints procedure described in Undercurrents.
The best example of conflation however, comes not from the Council but from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO). It followed my complaint to them that their first inspector, Adele Reynolds, had been misinformed by STC:
|I consider that your latest complaint remains that of your previous complaint which has already been determined (whether or not to your satisfaction) and the opportunity to request a review of that decision has passed. P.Lewis@coinweb.lgo.org.uk 30-May-17|
I had explained to him precisely what was wrong with the drawing sent to Adele by the Senior Planning officer but he took no notice of the fact that she had been deceived and I will just quote the last three paragraphs of the email to Mr Lewis, 26-May-17:
|I could see from your Inspector’s first draft, 9th March, that she had bypassed the main point of my complaint, i.e. we were told that the cover was built to approved plans when it had not and she had ignored the height question completely.|
|If the Council had admitted that the cover was 2.7m too high when we had protested in 2013 about it, we would not have needed to raise a complaint about it in January 2014 and certainly not needed to involve the LGO and I hope I have explained why I had not responded within the ‘time limit’.|
|That a Senior Council Planner (# 31) thought that he could get away with passing off an unauthorised drawing from 1997 as a legal one from 1996 (#34) is shocking but sadly it appears to have worked, and it does not reflect very well on the office of the Local Government Ombudsman.|
There were many more items of misinformation/misrepresentation given to the first inspector than that in paragraph 34 and they have been listed on later pages though some may be Non sequiturs rather than misrepresentations.
Since writing to Mr Lewis in 2017, the ‘opportunity’ has been reduced to one month. The LGO appears to be a law unto itself and not fit for purpose. Not only has it no teeth but their office appears to be being put to use by corrupt Councils to cover up malpractice. I say Councils because I’m sure that South Tyneside is not the only Council misusing the Ombudsman in this way.
To see how the Council have corrupted the whole complaints process one needs to go to Undercurrents where the current state of the complaints procedure is to be examined using examples taken from mine and other Resident’s experiences with the way South Tyneside Council have allowed UK Docks to build and use the slipway cover on their yard on River Drive.
The pages below are based the relevant paragraphs in Adele’s findings.
Page 2 : 19-26 covers the width, Page 3 : 30-38 covers the height and the last page gives an overall view and considers the Sunday working.