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'Survivors' of truama and abuse caused by Ombudsman... Reply from LGOwatch....

Colin Revell | 24.01.2007 14:06 | Health | Repression | Social Struggles | World

I am tryingto gather up further support and ask further advice and any action that needs to be taken urgently on this matter with Local Goverment Ombudsman's abusive behaviour is being monitored by Gary Powell and other at LGOWatch, in which is impacting on some of the most vulnerable disabled people and their familes and carers within our society here in the UK which is causing many 'victims' of basic human rights abuses.

With others within the disabled peoples and other movements in the UK I am asking for allies within the UK and global indymedia on this urgent basic human rights matter. Please read below....

Dear Shan and Bill Oakes (Voice International) and Gary Powell (LGO Ombudsmanwatch)

Can I thank you all for the support you all have given me in my case on this matter with the LGO. As I said I have the time to assist Ombudswatch in anyway I can and also I will send a copy of Gary Powells' letter out within the local, national and international disabled people's, mental health survivors, neurodiversity, independent living and inclusive living movements and also to my own MP Graham Stuart for all their urgent attention and also Simone Aspis at United Kingdom Disabled People's Council, formely British Council of Disabled People(BCODP) who have 70 groups run by disabled people in the UK at national level. Between them our member groups have a total membership of around 350,000 disabled people. I will send a copy of this email to all my friends and colleagues within the UN Disabilty Convention. I will also send a copy to the Indymedia.

I will try and gather up further support and ask further advice and any action that needs to be taken urgently on this matter which impacts on some of the most vulnerable disabled people and their familes and carers within our society here in the UK which is causing many 'victims' of basic human rights abuses.

I know that I can gather up support on this matter and from this support with others contacting their own MP's that a protest and lobby outside Parliament could be organised?

I will ask everyone to freely disseminate this email to others within all their networks to gather up much need support for all the vulnerable people who are 'survivors' of trauma and abuse at the hands of maladminstration, injusctices and basic human rights abuses of the Local Government Ombudsman.

Kind Regards

Yours Sincerely

Colin Revell... See replies from Gary Powell (LGOwatch to Shan Oakes (Voice-International below.......

Hello Colin..

Hope you’re well.

Below is the reply to the LGOwatch email I sent….its the old story of people getting exhausted trying to address the failings of our insensitive systems.

Best, in haste,

VOICE International

3 Norwood


East Yorkshire

HU17 9ET, UK

tel +44 (0)1482 862085, 07769 607710(mob)

From: LGOWatch [mailto:]
Sent: 21 January 2007 22:37
To: Shan Oakes
Subject: Re: Autism - advice please

Thank you for your e-mail. I am appalled and dismayed to read of Colin's experiences at the hands of the LGO, inter alia.

I am very sorry to have to tell you that I am not able to offer any advice apart from that included below in my standard reply to enquirers. I am desperate to expose the corruption of the LGO office, and am dismayed to hear of cases such as Colin's, but my attempts to set up a campaign organisation with a branch willing to get involved in trying to help people such as Colin has not come to fruition, as although over 200 people have contacted me since I set up the website in 2003, most have (in many cases understandably) been preoccupied with their own personal complaint rather than the general campaign to expose the LGO, and have also lacked the time or energy to get involved in helping others with their difficulties. Once people have hit a final brick wall, they tend to withdraw exhausted and sometimes traumatised, and often do not want any reminder of their experiences.

For three years I personally tried to keep the campaign running, draft the select committee and cabinet office submissions practically single-handed, organised a national conference and did what I could to help and encourage individuals with their problems; and all that while, more and more people were appealing for my help. The result of this was a period of ill-health, and so now I have to focus my energies on keeping the website active and responding to e-mails from members of the public.

I very much regret I am not able to do more than send you the standard reply below. In it, however, there is information as to how to join an LGO discussion forum, where someone perhaps might be able to make a helpful suggestion if you were to post a request for advice there.

I very much hope that there is eventually a positive outcome for Colin to resolve his appalling situation.

Best regards

Gary Powell

Dear Enquirer,

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Local Government Ombudsman Watch, (LGOWatch), which is a website associated with a growing number of supporters who wish for the disreputable dealings of the Local Government Ombudsman service (LGO) to get a wider airing, in the service of bringing
about the abolition of the biased LGO in its current form.

The purpose of this e-mail.

This e-mail has five purposes:

1 To offer some advice as to how to set up your own blog to publicise your experience of local government/ LGO injustice on the web;

2 To set out some further information about the growing campaign to expose the pro-council bias of the LGO;

3 To let you know about the Local Government Ombudsman Forum, where you can share experiences and thoughts with other people who have had negative dealings with the LGO. (NB: That Forum is independent, and is not run by, or connected to, Local Government Ombudsman Watch. LGOWatch does not necessarily agree with, or approve of, any statement or opinion, just
because it has been published on that Forum.)

4 To let you know about the Rotten Borough website, which contains a number of accounts of people's bad experiences with their councils and the LGO. (Again, the Rotten Borough website is independent, and is not run by, or connected to, Local Government Ombudsman Watch. LGOWatch does not necessarily agree with, or approve of, any statement or opinion, just because it has been published on that website.)

5 To let you know about the Public Sector Ombudsman Watchers website, (also independent from LGOWatch).


The following explains how to set up a simple blog (free personal website) to expose the unjust dealings of the Local Government Ombudsman that you may have experienced. The instructions below were written by one of our supporters, Trevor R Nunn, who has his own blogs at


If you would like to contact Trevor - who may be able to offer advice if you get stuck setting up your blog - please e-mail him directly via his blog.

Trevor's instructions follow:

Just click on the link below and you will go to the start page of Then just follow the instructions. Once you have joined, (e-mail address is the only thing you need,) you can start as
many blogs as you like. I decided to put the background story to my fight for justice on one blog and the evidence I have been uncovering on another blog. The background blog is a single entry blog, the other one I update on a regular basis. I have only been doing it since 3rd May, so I am no expert, but at least I am getting my evidence on the internet as a permanent record of my experience of the Local Government Ombudsman. I still have a long way to go but I am making headway.

Furthermore, it is very cathartic and enjoyable experience. I have also linked to Ombudsmanwatch and will link to all other blogs as and when they get on line. Hopefully the net result will eventually be hundreds of individual but linked blogs providing a substantial body of evidence against the LGO. In essence it is hoped that the blogs will provide the individual complainants' cases and the website will provide the collective case against the LGO.

The other good thing about a blog is that it provides a permanent record of a complainant's story for others to read. At the moment many people have evidence against the LGO but it is unavailable to others.

At the moment, should a complainant decide to stop their fight for justice, all their evidence is normally lost. If it was on a blog, it could stand as testament to the injustice they had to suffer, and help others long after they have moved on.

One further advantage of a blog is that you put your story or your evidence in your own words. You have no one telling you what you can and can't write. Though I would not advise anyone to publish factually incorrect material.

To start setting up your blog, click here:

If you do decide to write a blog about your experience with the Local Government Ombudsman, let me know (via an e-mail to LGOWatch) and I will link to your blog.



The Local Government Ombudsman institution, (the Commission for Local Administration,) is a morally corrupt bureaucracy whose main function is to protect incompetent and/or unprincipled senior local government managers from exposure of their maladministration. The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) proclaims itself to be impartial and fair when dealing with complaints, and maintain that those who claim it is biased are simply people who are disappointed that their invalid complaints were rejected, or who simply misunderstand the powers and remit of the LGO.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In 1999, MORI conducted a customer satisfaction survey on behalf of the LGO. The last survey of this kind had been conducted in 1995. The complainants included in the sample were taken from a Local Government Ombudsman complainant database of cases on which a decision had been made in 1998.

The MORI report states: 'Overall, almost 3 in 4 complainants are dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, including around half of the small number who obtained a decision of aladministration causing injustice. This is broadly similar to the satisfaction ratings recorded in the 1995 survey.' (Page 37, 'Satisfaction with Outcome'.)

In fact, of the 73% of dissatisfied complainants, 61% described themselves as 'very dissatisfied' with the final outcome of their complaint.

Astonishingly, following investigation, the LGO applies the description of 'maladministration' to fewer than 2% of the complaints that they say fall within their jurisdiction, and this is the percentage that is published in their reports. This lucky 2%, where maladministration is explicitly admitted by the LGO, can therefore be regarded as the most successful complainants. However, as the LGO's own MORI poll reveals that even half of these complainants are dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, the LGO's assertion of a clear correlation between complaint rejection and complainant
dissatisfaction, is clearly false.

LGOWatch has worked hard to expose the fact that the LGO is damned by its own commissioned MORI polls, and provided evidence of this to the ODPM Select Committee in March 2005. These MORI polls were going to be an ongoing cause of embarrassment to the LGO, and the LGO responded by abolishing them. In an attempt to deflect criticism that they abolished the MORI customer satisfaction surveys because they exposed how widespread public dissatisfaction is, the LGO has replaced it with a BMG customer satisfaction survey that included only 45 complainants, as opposed to MORI's survey of 1,000 complainants, and the new BMG survey skilfully steers well away from any kind of questioning that would replicate the damning statistics previously produced by the MORI polls. Our supporters know such spin-doctoring to be a defining characteristic of the LGO.

The Local Government Association has the final say in the appointment of individual ombudsmen. All three current Local Government Ombudsmen for England are former Chief Executives of local councils. They do not tend to publicise that fact. The vast majority of senior staff at the LGO are
ex-council bosses. The current most senior LGO, is a Council member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. A number of those entitled to vote in CIPFA council elections are local authority bosses, and the ombudsman has been seen socialising with council bosses and finance
directors at a CIPFA dinner. The conflict of interests is glaringly obvious.

The LGO farce enjoys the enthusiastic support of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). If the true extent of local government maladministration and corruption were to come to light, it would be a political disaster for the Government, and it is therefore in the Government's interests to keep the LGO whitewash machine functioning and to protect it from public criticism of bias. LGOWatch has found the ODPM to be extremely obstructive with regard to considering fairly the evidence of LGO bias and maladministration that has been submitted to it. Another source of
support for the biased status quo is the current Labour leadership of the Select Committee on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has refused to publish comment on the evidence of LGO bias submitted to it in March 2005, evidence that was published in its Report on the Role and
Effectiveness of the Local Government Ombudsmen for England. The current chairperson of the ODPM Committee herself used be the leader of a council, and we regard her actions in blocking a substantive ODPM Committee response to the evidence submitted, as arrogant, irresponsible, and entirely against the public interest.

To experience injustice from a local authority, only then to experience further injustice from the LGO, who dishonestly proclaim themselves to be concerned about objectivity, evidence and justice, can be a crushing experience to cope with. People who contact us after discovering at first hand how biased the LGO is, are often quite worn down by their protracted battle for justice, and shocked at their discovery of how the very institution funded by taxpayers ostensibly to provide justice to victims of local government maladministration, is so clearly hand-in-glove with local

Should you bother to complain to the LGO?

Other people contact us after discovering our website, to ask us whether it is worth their time and trouble submitting a complaint to the LGO. Although the LGO is biased and should be replaced with a truly independent watchdog, LGOWatch cannot offer advice, either on an individual or a general basis, as to whether people should or should not submit a complaint to the LGO. The following link provides a statement of our position on this matter:

Although complaining to the LGO can lead to the LGO endorsing and failing to acknowledge maladministration committed by the council, which puts the complainant in a weaker position as the council can then defend itself by referring to the LGO's findings, it is still the case that the LGO does
identify that the council was at fault in a number of cases, (about 27% within jurisdiction). Of these, in most cases, the LGO will ask for a 'local settlement', which may or may not be regarded as satisfactory by the complainant, and only in about 1.7% of complaints within jurisdiction will the LGO publicly admit there has been maladministration. Even in these, the remedies recommended by the LGO are regarded by many complainants as unsatisfactory. However, in some cases, the LGO does seem to end up upholding complaints and suggesting remedies that are satisfactory to the

Sometimes people may feel they have nothing to lose by submitting a complaint, in case they might end up as one of the lucky ones. If the LGO dismissed all complaints, its bias would quickly become
transparent to the general public; as it is, the LGO skilfully balances its value of protecting its council boss friends and colleagues from criticism by making unjust rulings in the majority of cases, with the value of keeping the LGO whitewash machine running by upholding enough complaints on paper to
be an effective smokescreen to hide its bias. Success with the LGO is very much a lottery. Even in lotteries, there are some winners...but sometimes the stake needed to play can entail negative consequences if you lose. It really does have to be a personal decision whether or not to submit a
complaint to the LGO, and we regret not being able to provide advice that will rescue enquirers from this very difficult decision.

Please understand the LGOWatch administrator's limits ...

LGOWatch is essentially a nationwide network of individuals who share the common aim of exposing LGO bias and campaigning for its replacement with a truly independent and just body that is genuinely concerned with identifying and challenging local government maladministration. The person receiving e-mail enquiries from the public has the central role of maintaining the website, advertisement and membership list, but is not a local government specialist, and regrettably does not have anywhere near the time needed to become involved in any of the many individual complaints or queries he regularly receives, which are also usually quite complicated. The work he
does for LGOWatch is entirely voluntary, and given his full-time job and other commitments, as well as the volume of emails from enquirers, some in quite desperate circumstances, it is simply not possible.

The best outcome would be for the hundreds of people who have written to us to complain about the LGO, and the hundreds of people who will do so in the future, each to write their own Internet blog, to publicise what an appalling affront to justice and fairness the Local Government Ombudsman insitution is. Unless individuals take action themselves, by writing to their M.P. and setting up
their own Internet blog/website to publicise their experiences, then the policitians will be under no pressure to change the status quo. If you have experienced injustice at the hands of the LGO, then we need YOU to take action.


We have an Ebulletin list, which is the e-mail database for the LGOWatch newsletter. The Ebulletin is sent by e-mail from time to time. Although we shall add your name to this list, please tell us if you wish it to be removed, and this will be done immediately. Recipients of the newsletter can unsubscribe form it at any time, simply by clicking on a link. The Ebulletin subscription list has almost certainly been infiltrated by LGO staff/ their supporters.


We take confidentiality very seriously, and information you provide, including your e-mail address or any other personal details, such as your address or telephone number, will not be disclosed to any external body. The details sent in your messages will not kept private by the administrator who
receives them. and will not be disclosed to anyone at all, including other LGOWatch supporters, without your express prior consent. If it is the case that the recipient would like to forward your e-mail(s) for consideration by another LGOWatch supporter, this would not be done without your prior permission.


The LGOWatch administrator who replies to enquiry e-mails cannot give advice or enter into personal correspondence. LGOWatch is a website set up by a very busy, unpaid volunteer. There is certainly a need for an organisation to help people deal emotionally and practically with their experiences of injustice from the council/LGO, but LGOWatch does not, and for practical reasons, cannot have that function. It is exclusively a campaign website.


If you would like to join a forum that will enable you to share your experiences of injustice with those who may have suffered similar, express views about the LGO service, and possibly make contact with others who may be able to offer some advice regarding your problems, then you might like to send an e-mail to the Forum owner, Martin Humphrey, at , requesting membership. That Forum is entirely independent from LGOWatch, and LGOWatch does not necessarily agree with, or approve of, any statement or opinion, just because it has been published on it. Please bear in mind that the LGO Forum has very probably been infiltrated by LGO staff, or people feeding information back to them.


If you wish to read others' accounts of alleged bad treatment from local authorities and the Local Government Ombudsman, you might like to visit . That website is entirely independent from LGOWatch, and LGOWatch does not necessarily agree with, or approve of, any statement or opinion, just because it has been published on it. If you wish for your own case to be considered for publication on that website, the owner, Ian Johnston, can be contacted vial the e-mail address given on the home page: .


You might like to visit the Public Sector Ombudsman Watchers website at . That website is entirely independent from LGOWatch, and LGOWatch does not necessarily agree with, or approve of, any statement or opinion, just because it has been published on it.

Local Government Ombudsman Watch

Campaigning for an Independent Local Government Complaints Commission

This e-mail, with any accompanying attachments, is intended solely for the addressee. LGOWatch will not be liable with regard to any computer virus, data corruption, interruption or delay associated with this e-mail, or with regard to unauthorised access to or amendment of its contents. Entering into correspondence with LGOWatch does not create any form of professional relationship. Any information or advice provided in this e-mail cannot be a replacement for independent professional advice, which should always be sought. LGOWatch makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the information in this e-mail, and accepts no liability for any direct, consequential or other damage resulting from your acting on any information or advice in it.

Colin Revell