The Local Government Ombudsman looks at complaints about councils is how
they introduce their website.
Contrary to what you might imagine from the existence of this website, I have
made only one complaint about Bexley council in the 24 years I have lived in the
borough, and my enquiries to Bexley council have averaged far fewer than one per annum. However the
consistent result is that they dont reply unless put under enormous
pressure. This is probably because I only enquire about things where the
mismanagement and incompetence appears to have no excuse whatever and the fact
that they dont seem to have answers tends to confirm that suspicion. Sometimes
the L.G.O. may be the solution.
My experience was that a telephone call to 0300 061 0614 met with a helpful and sympathetic response. The adviser was most interested in the total failure to acknowledge an enquiry after four weeks of reminders and told me to ensure that the council knew that I was making a formal complaint and to wait three months before informing the L.G.O. of the result. I was given a four digit reference number and I formally advised Bexleys Chief Executive of my complaint. The threat of the Ombudsman was enough to rouse even the normally mute Andrew Bashford from his slumbers. Unfortunately the Transport Research Laboratory to which I sent his reply said it was meaningless, but that is another story.
Whilst my experience with the L.G.O. was reasonably positive there is plenty of evidence on the web to suggest they are nothing but a cosy cartel in league with the corrupt councils they are meant to protect us from. A good place to learn about L.G.O. malpractice is Ombudsman Watch.
See also busheywood.com and the lgo blog which exposes the L.G.O. as yet another corrupt quango. Worst of all is perhaps rottenborough.org from which you can download the document which the L.G.O. issues to councils to advise them on how to silence complainers.