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Help me with my Local Government Ombudsman madness(79 Posts)
Many of you will know the sorry story of my battle with the LGO. I know this is long but it helps me to write it all out!!
I made a complaint about failing to arrange provision in March 2011.
In June 2011, the LGO issues a provisional judgment saying LA had done nothing wrong and I was premature in my complaint.
Within two weeks, LA had determined me a 'vexatious complainant'.
I got them to reopen the case as my son's provision had not been in place as they'd asserted. I also asked them to consider the vexatious determination.
In January 2012, they issued another provisional judgment. This said no maladministration still despite a senior Ass Ombudsman promising to amend this. It was clear that they had written only 2 letters in the 6 months before issuing this new judgment.
We challenged this. I had a leading firm of lawyers on my side acting for free and a charity submitting evidence about the wider implications of their stance. My MP also writes to support me. We asked for someone else to take over.
In June 2012, another investigator issues a final decision. Deeply offensive personal comments are made in an accompanying letter alleging that I had essentially been vexatious to the LGO complaint handler and had been copying people into my emails to her. Completely untrue. I challenge this and she says she no longer has the emails!! Lying cow. Judgment is still deeply flawed so I get lawyers to look at it. Have to transfer to public law specialists and pay. They issue pre action protocol letter.
In September 2012, the LGO withdraw their judgment and say they will issue a new one. No further explanation. We ask for different investigator to handle the new judgment.
In February 2013, they issue another final decision. Same investigator who made personal comments is dealing with it. It has barely been altered save to harden their stance and bolster the nasty comments on me, in particular my taking half a sentence from my MP's two page letter and using it against me. It is not clear what they have been doing for the 6 months between judgments. I think the delay is to make you look like you're flogging a dead horse and are a loon for pursuing an ancient complaint.
I write and say I will want to make a complaint about the way this has been handled and the inaccuracies in their judgment but lawyers are considering a judicial review. LGO write and confirm they will await outcome of JR response before dealing with complaint and will give me time to make submissions before doing anything.
Second pre-action protocol letter issued. Leading counsel and lawyers now acting for free. Both agree LGO are wrong. At the end of May 2013, we receive a rubbish response refusing to change the decision. It says, for example, that the duty to arrange provision does not mean that there is a duty to deliver it??? And that, despite SEN COP saying it has to be arranged from the day the statement is issued, it is reasonable for LAs to take 4 or 5 months. Not because of any pressing emergency but just because, well that sounds reasonable....
Lawyers say we will access their complaints/review process and then decide whether to challenge the judgment by JR. They ask for a timeline for the complaints process.
A week later, I get a special delivery one page letter closing the case, telling me a review has been conducted and the LGO are great. I had not filed a complaint!
I write to the ass ombudsman dealing with the case. She ignores me. I contact lawyers who write to their lawyers.
On 28 June, ass ombudsman agrees to let me have time to file submissions - 14 days! She says if you need more time ask.As you know I have DS out of school and have had meetings to organise his provision and have had to completely redraft his statement. I say I can't do it. Give me an extension.
She ignores me. I have to get lawyer to write to her. Ten days later she says you have 7 more days!
I write explaining I am asking only for an additional 14 days as I can only work weekends as I am teaching DS etc. I tell her after a meeting at school last Friday, I needed to redraft statement, get in costings etc before close of term and DS had to come first.
She says 'I don't have time to listen to this'. Tells me her deadline stands.
My lawyer writes telling her she is being completely unreasonable. She ignores her. My lawyers writes again threatening judicial review. She IGNORES her.
Deadline passed yesterday.
I am so shocked by this level of appalling practice. I just wanted to share it all and get it all off my chest.
What do you do? Two and half years and it comes to this. They take 6 months between judgment and do nothing of any note, but I get 14 days when I have a child at home to educate. It's the nastiness in their tone too, really nasty and personal, like I'm shit on their shoes.
To top it all I made a complaint about lack of OT provision for a YEAR to my LA. I didn't go to the LGO because, well, why would you? We paid for OT ourselves. But we had Tribunal proceedings ongoing so we raised it throughout. Then we tried to get DPs for it. We raised the lack of OT there. DPs were refused because the LA have a block contract for OT! Well DS wasn't getting any provision under it. It turns out that the OT we have instructed is also working under this block contract so they instruct her.
So DS could have had OT with her paid by them all along. So I complain. Stage one response says DS did have daily OT administered in accordance with specialist programme designed by OT and delivered by TA. This is news to me, TA, DS and school. I ask for a copy of this programme. They ignore me. I take it to stage 2.
Stage 2 response comes back and says OT attended annual review in march 2012 and no one mentioned the lack of a programme. They ignore the fact that lack of OT has been brought to their attention Tribunal proceediings, by DP application, and by 2013 annual review where it is clear I have paid for OT to attend and NHS OT is nowhere to be seen and doesn't file a report.
They send me a leaflet to go to the LGO!
How do you deal with these people? Really?
so your son has a school place?
You have far more stamina than me good luck I hope you get a favourable resolution
No my son is out of school.
That has nothing to do with a complaint to the LGO. It was not about a school place.
sigh...... it's never ending mymatemax!
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