Using Watchdogs and Ombudsman

  spuds 10:55 03 May 2006

Have you ever had need to use the services of a Ombudsman, Watchdog or Trade Association and dispute procedures. If so, how did you fair, and did you achieve your final goal.

Over the years, I have used or attempted to use various procedures of re-address, and each case or problem as had individual good or sadness, attachment.

Care to share your experiences on this matter!.

  spuds 15:33 04 May 2006

Must be true,by the response to this thread :o))

  Shortstop 16:11 04 May 2006

Sorry Spuds, but any issues I have had have never got as far as needing the intervention of an Ombusman so I can't post anything along the lines of your request ......



  PurplePenny 16:28 04 May 2006

Yes, we went to the planning ombudsman and he ruled that the district council should pay us some compensation. It was too late to put right the abysmal planning decision but at least we had the satisfaction of making life very difficult for the planner who made said decision.

  spuds 17:48 04 May 2006

Planning ombudsman for district council. You wouldn't happen to mean the LGO (Local Government Ombudsman), would you!.

  Fred the flour grader 19:25 04 May 2006

Went to the financial ombudsman over my endownment policy for my utter waste of time. They found I was correct in my assumption that I was mis-sold the policy, their penalty to this well known insurance company.
To compensate me the amount that I had paid into the policy and pay a mortgage arrangement fee of £250.00 and put me "back where I started" in mortgage terms. As a result, higher monthly payments due to a 50% increase in life insurance fees and all associated costs plus life insurance must be taken out with the original insurance company. Any investment vehicle used to pay off the mortgage was to be supplied by the original insurance company. After failing with an endowment policy, I was expected to use this company for my new mortgage as part of the terms of "compensation".
Rip off Britain, too bloody right it is.

  PurplePenny 21:47 04 May 2006

Yes, I would.

  spuds 23:06 04 May 2006

PurplePenny. Glad to hear that the LGO sorted your problem out. My own personal experiences and that of many other people are totally different to the one you successfully experienced.

As an example:A planning problem in the Norfolk area, left a couple in total dire straights (all documented), with no support from the LGO. This resulted in the couple seeking re-address at the very highest level over a period of many, many years.Many obstacles were placed in their path, thoughout those years. Recently by the action of a number of supporters and court reviews, this couple were awarded compensation in the six figured bracket range. There are very many similar cases to this one.

I do not know if you know, that the LGO cost the taxpayer over twelve million pounds a year to run, and they are seeking further increased funding for each future year. There was also a government select committee investigation as to the efficiency of the LGO, and a white paper was produced, initially in draft form for urgency, some damning evidence came to light. The literature produced by the LGO state that they treat each case with total impartiality and independence, yet the three regional head ombudsman are all ex council chief executives.Recently the northern office had a replacement head ombudsman who previously worked as the chief executive for the Norwich council. Also a good percentage of the LGO staff have had some previous working connections with councils.I asked the LGO, the question as to how many of the staff employed by the three regional LGO's, were or had previous employment with council's. Their reply was that the didn't know, as they never keep records.That would suggest, that job applications and cv's have no reference to filling vacancies!.

Going back to my own personal experiences, when an assistant ombudsman states that he cannot contradict what the council says, then in my and other peoples opinion, that speaks absolute volumes as to the services provided.

  anskyber 10:11 05 May 2006

Blimey! Unfortunately I have to go out in a minute or two but I shall try and post something later if I can. I know this is speakers corner but there is still some responsibilty on all of us to differentiate between facts and opinions, the latter of which can sometimes be based upon a prejudicial view of the world. And no I'm not looking at any post to this thread in particular.

My experience has been twofold, firstly dealing with the thankfully rare examples of the LGO investigating my own department as a chief officer (Planning, engineering etc etc)in a local authority and secondly since my retirement having gone though the process of referring two Councils to the LGO.

My general conclusion is there is in my view a lack of consistency, some confusion, and a thoroughly laberinthine process which even someone like me sometimes had difficulties following. Perhaps I'm confusing fact with opinion!

  spuds 11:21 05 May 2006

If you are referring to the LGO,I think your last paragraph is very true.

Other experiences that I can equate to, are via 'trade' associations who also seem to have their discrepancies in the way they approach public concern. Yet some of these establishments, which cost a fortune to run, some by taxpayer funding, seem to miss out on the basics of common sense.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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