FAO Wallace Filbert
Customer Service Adviser
Local Government Ombudsman
3 June 2011
Dear Wallace Filbert
I do not wish to be handed back into their incompetent and offensive hands. I want a seriously independent review of this and I want compensation for the disasters it has precipitated. In their "Statutory Complaints Procedure" it states that "The Ombudsman will not only look into the merits of your complaint but may investigate how the County Council has dealt with it." That is what I require. I have exhausted their complaints procedure. It is seven and a half months since the first letter of complaint. There have been five further letters and two phone calls from me to them. They have done virtually nothing but stone wall me.
You say "Before the Local Government Ombudsman can investigate a complaint it has to complete the Statutory Complaint Procedure first." The problem is not that "I" have not carried out my part but that they are refusing to carry out their part. I cannot wait forever for them to carry out their part before I complain to a higher body or their avoidance tactics are simply successful in stopping the complaint ever being dealt with. My first complaint was in a letter dated 22 October 2010. In their "Statutory Complaint Procedure" it states that they should acknowledge my complaint within two working days. Even if they could not resolve the issue within 10 working days they were to keep me informed of progress. They did nothing and it is 224 days, as I write, since that letter. I have written 5 times since then and the original issues have not been addressed.
Since they should have provided me with the complaints procedure but didn't, I could not request an "Independent Investigation". I cannot be held responsible for not carrying out their "Statutory Complaint Procedure" when they have not carried out their "Statutory Duty" to provide me with it.
Only when I requested information about their complaint procedure did they send me a photocopy in a letter dated 22 February 2011. They have successfully delayed things by many months already. If I were to be held captive by their complaints procedure this could go on forever. I did complain to the Complaints Department and they were supposed to respond within two working days. They did not. I waited. Eventually, 24 days after I wrote to them, I phoned. I was assured by an assistant that someone would be in touch within a day or two. I waited. Nothing happened. Seven days later I phoned again. I was told exactly the same thing: Someone would be in touch within a day or two. I waited. Nothing happened. I waited another week and three days when I gave up and, 46 days after that complaint, I finally wrote
to the Local Government Ombudsman.
This is entirely unacceptable. I hope you can understand my frustration at trying to follow some procedure which they seem at liberty to totally ignore.
They have failed miserably in their obligation to carry out their own Statutory Complaints Procedure. This issue is constantly causing me and my daughter harm. If they are not supposed to treat us this way my Socratic question would be "Why not?" Eventually one understands that they are committing an offense against us. I have chosen to write to the Ombudsman because I have tried repeatedly to complain to them with no satisfactory response.
It is as if they think they can just ignore the problem and it will magically disappear. This cannot go on forever. Is someone going to pay me for all my wasted time and effort? Is someone going to undo the physical, emotional and psychological damage we have suffered? Is someone going to get my daughter her education so that when she reaches the age she is now she has already had it? How can the damage that is being perpetrated be redressed? Time matters and this constant delaying is irresponsible and an active assault on us.
I am rapidly getting to the point of having no faith at all in the Sumshire Authorities' abilities to act promptly and responsibly to its citizens. Would you please deal with this and not just shuffle it about in an endless game of pillar to post.
You requested the name of the council I am complaining about. The Children Services that have caused the complaint is based in Biston. Their address is: Children Services, Main Street, Biston, BN1 1NB. I hope that information is what you require.
B.A. M.Sc. MBCS CITP