North East Lincolnshire's Lying Policy

The request was partially successful.

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

There is evidence that North East Lincolnshire Council lie to members of the public who bring about complaints of maladministration to the council.

The evidence specifically relates to complaints about the council's bailiff contractor 'Rossendales'. However, the authority's "Lying Policy" is not likely to be limited to this. I'm convinced the council's policy to lie would extend to all allegations of maladministration.

For example the council require staff dealing with queries and complaints to be obstructive, lie and misinform residents about Rossendales' malpractice.

By defending bailiff charges, council staff dealing with complaints are abetting their contractors to thieve from the public.

Fraudulent gains, for which councils are responsible, could easily run into millions for bailiff firms.

Standard responses to complaints, which as a matter of course, dismiss their validity and assumes all those raising issues are liars themselves, can be as lame as:

"Regarding their charges, I have been assured by Rossendales that all charges used are set down in statute"

"they are governed by National Standards for Enforcement Agents"

NELC are refuting allegations of crime, simply on the grounds that their bailiff firm is contracted to some level of standard. Because they are contracted to operate to some standard and there are statutory fees, this is clearly no guarantee they're put into practice or adhered to.

The council's policy to lie in such circumstances makes it no better than a mafia organisation, and serves to aid its contracted enforcement firm to defraud £millions from the public.

Q.1. Whose responsibility within the council is it to decide policy requiring staff dealing with queries and complaints to refute allegations of maladministration without first making preliminary investigations into their validity?

Q.2. If it is nobody's responsibility within NELC to decide policy detailed in Q1, is this decided by central government? i.e. is the council given guidelines?

Q.3. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to consider that a complaint may be investigated, rather than dismissed?

Q.4. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to uphold a complaint?

Q.5. What provision is there that allows the council to address valid issues raised by residents (unknown to them) who the council successfully managed to fob-off with its "Lying policy"?

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

Mike Taylor left an annotation ()

This FOI request seems perfectly legitimate. Perhaps the truth hurts which is why it's been flagged up. If this request fails to be answered, then we, the public, have no hope of any transparency or truth with regards to those in PUBLIC office who should always be answerable to us.

Come on Lincolnshire Council, if you have nothing to hide, then just answer the questions. Keep trying to avoid these questions then my own questions have been answered.

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I hope the following doesn't signify that North East Lincolnshire council is going to be able to get out of providing the information I've requested:

"THIS REQUEST HAS BEEN REPORTED AS NEEDING ADMINISTRATOR ATTENTION (PERHAPS BECAUSE IT IS VEXATIOUS, OR A REQUEST FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION)"

The request is neither vexatious nor a request for personal information.

The request will be re-submitted directly to North East Lincolnshire council if the whatdotheyknow site decide to block my emails to the council via its website.

This is a serious request for information. The council will hold the information and therefore is valid I ask for it.

The request is in the public interest and I can see no reason why the council will be able to cite any legislation which will exempt them from supplying it.

North East Lincolnshire council would have to prove that the request contained unfounded allegations of criminal activity it were to make such a claim. If it thinks it could do that, I wish it the best of luck.

Ellis, Paul, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information received on 24/06/2012 , which has been allocated the reference number 3017_1213.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving the response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-and-de...

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation
North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt 

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 3017_1213, which
includes a number of unfounded statements. North East Lincolnshire Council
is happy to respond to your questions, but ask that future requests focus
on the information you require and do not include unfounded or unnecessary
statements. If you are unhappy with any of our services then we ask that
you use the Council's Feedback process, details of which can be found on
our website at
[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co...

 

In response to the questions you raised, we are pleased to provide the
following information

 

Q.1. The Policy for dealing with queries and complaints?

 

The Feedback Policy that explains how the Council deals with queries and
complaints is available on the council website -
[2]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/polici...

 

Q.2. Is the council given guidelines?

    

The Council followed guidelines that are published by the Local Government
Ombudsman for all Local Authorities to follow and best practice in the
development of its Feedback Policy and the administration of its
complaints process.

 

Q.3 & 4.

 

Please see the responses to questions 1 and 2

 

Q.5. What provision is there that allows the Council to address valid
issues raised by residents?

 

The complaints process allows customers / citizens to raise issues or
complaints, which are investigated by the Council in accordance with the
Feedback Policy. If they are unsatisfied with the response they receive,
they have the right to go to the Local Government Ombudsman.

 

I trust that this has answered the queries, if you are unhappy with the
response you have received, you have the right to request an internal
review by the Council. If following this you are still dissatisfied you
may contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to
request an internal review, please contact me and I will make the
necessary arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Paul Ellis

Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation,
Informatics and Research| North East Lincolnshire Council

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Thank you for your 4 July 2012 email.

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'North East Lincolnshire's Lying Policy'.

Contrary to what you have written in your email I have not included any unfounded statements and have focussed specifically on the information I require.

All statements I included are founded and based on first hand experience with the council.

The statements included in my request were necessary to avoid ambiguity and best convey exactly the information I was asking for.

If I had been more diplomatic with my wording I would have made myself unclear as to exactly what information I required.

Unfortunately, as is the nature of local authorities, to clearly detail a request such as this, without making reference to lies, misinforming residents, malpractice, crime and maladministration would be almost impossible.

How I formed the request was a valid way of clarifying exactly what information I was requesting and was done to avoid exactly the response I have received today.

Please review my request with original questions (not those you have devised yourself) in terms of the introductory text in my 24 June 2012 email.

"Q.1. Whose responsibility within the council is it to decide policy requiring staff dealing with queries and complaints to refute allegations of maladministration without first making preliminary investigations into their validity?

Q.2. If it is nobody's responsibility within NELC to decide policy detailed in Q1, is this decided by central government? i.e. is the council given guidelines?

Q.3. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to consider that a complaint may be investigated, rather than dismissed?

Q.4. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to uphold a complaint?

*Q.5. What provision is there that allows the council to address valid issues raised by residents (unknown to them) in instances where they'd been successfully fobbed-off with its "Lying policy"?"

* Edited to clarify.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/no...

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

An Internal Review has taken place into North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request FOI_3017_1213.

I have reviewed the responses provided to you on and find that North East Lincolnshire Council has met its responsibilities to you under the Freedom of Information Act, namely:

• To inform you whether or not the information is held by North East Lincolnshire Council;
• To comply with the request within the statutory time of 20 working days;
• To provide you with the information disclosable under the Act; and
• To provide you with your rights of appeal.

The Freedom of Information Act provides you with access to recorded information held by the council and in response to your questions we have provided you with details of the council's policy on feedback.

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Ian Hollingsworth

Informatics and Research Team

North East Lincolnshire Council

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your 6 July 2012 email.

I would agree that North East Lincolnshire Council has met its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act, only in the following:

• Informed me whether or not the information is held by North East Lincolnshire Council;

• Complied with the request within the statutory time of 20 working days; (only in as much as it has replied) and

• Provided me with my rights of appeal.

However, I disagree that NELC has provided the information disclosable under the Act.

This has been a serious request for information. The council will hold the information and therefore is valid I ask for it. The council, however, has refused to supply it.

The request is in the public interest and I can see no reason why the council has refused to supply it so consequently this will be escalated to the Information Commissioners Office.

In the meantime I welcome an explanation from the council into why it persistently refuses to co-operate with requests for information. This inevitably leads to more taxpayers money being spent on disputes with the council and ICO, not to mention the time unnecessarily spent of those requesting information.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Thank you for your correspondence which identified that you would welcome an explanation from the council into 'why it persistently refuses to co-operate with requests for information'. In response to this request I would like to offer you the opportunity of a meeting to discuss and resolve any issues you may have in relation to Freedom of Information or your requests for information.

If you would like to arrange a meeting please contact me on by telephone or e-mail to agree a suitable time.

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research| North East Lincolnshire Council
T: (01472) 32 3372 | [email address]

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your 6 July 2012 email and the offer of an opportunity to discuss this request.

I would appreciate that NELC also arrange to attend any discussion, the Council leader, Chief Executive, and representatives of both the Local Government Ombudsman and Humberside Police’s economic crime unit.

This would ideally coincide with the distribution of a report intended for the Serious Fraud Office into North East Lincolnshire council's:

i) fraudulently obtained revenue through Council Tax liability order applications, and

ii) enforcement contractors ‘Rossendales Ltd'.

Please let me know if this is possible.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

Colin Webb left an annotation ()

Further information to substantiate Mr Gilliatt’s legitimate request can be found on the link below.

http://www.rottencouncil.co.uk/vindictiv...

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Mr Webb,

Thank you for supplying the link to the supportive evidence. This has strengthened my assertion that this request is entirely valid and in the public interest.

It is likely then that my statements, claimed by the council to be unfounded, will in fact be based on real events and the response is just another example of the council's policy to deny everything and admit nothing.

Let's hope this process will serve to expose some of the corruption within councils and will, in a small way function to eradicate some of the rot which is endemic in these organisations. Or, at least raise awareness for those unfortunate enough to find themselves embroiled in the council's lies and cover-ups. Somehow though, I doubt anything will change and the lies, corruption and maladministration will continue to thrive.

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Thank you for your correspondence dated July 6th, responding to my offer to meet to discuss the Freedom of Information Act and the Council's handling of your requests for information.

In your correspondence you state 'I would appreciate that NELC also arrange to attend any discussion, the Council leader, Chief Executive, and representatives of both the Local Government Ombudsman and Humberside Police’s economic crime unit. This would ideally coincide with the distribution of a report intended for the Serious Fraud Office into North East Lincolnshire council's: i) fraudulently obtained revenue through Council Tax liability order applications, and ii) enforcement contractors ‘Rossendales Ltd'. '

The offer to meet with you was to explain our access to information procedures and the handling of your information requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. You have asked that the Council also meet with representatives of both the Local Government Ombudsman and Humberside Police’s economic crime unit in relation to this. We are not aware of either the Local Government Ombudsman or Humberside Police’s economic crime unit have any concerns in relation to the Council's activities. If however either the Local Government Ombudsman or Humberside Police’s economic crime unit do have any concerns over our processes then we would be willing to meet with them at their request.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research| North East Lincolnshire Council

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recipient be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the
contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this
electronic message in error, please telephone or email the number(s) or address
above immediately. Activity and use of the North East Lincolnshire email system
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Conolly, Liz, North East Lincolnshire Council

Great!

Kind regards
Liz

Liz Conolly, Head of Legal Services, Resources, North East Lincolnshire Council
Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU DX13536 Grimsby 1 M: Telephone number 01472 324016| :: [email address]

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Thank you for your 19 July 2012 email.

You wrote:

"We are not aware of either the Local Government Ombudsman or Humberside Police’s economic crime unit have any concerns in relation to the Council's activities. If however either the Local Government Ombudsman or Humberside Police’s economic crime unit do have any concerns over our processes then we would be willing to meet with them at their request."

I didn't say the LGO or the police did have any concerns in relation to the Council's activities. However, I believe they should have. This is why I proposed they attended.

Could you please explain; what was the purpose of the Head of legal services' short email message?

QUOTE:

"Great"

END QUOTE

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Thank you for your 6 July 2012 email.

I'd like to pick up on a point you made in that correspondence.

"The Freedom of Information Act provides you with access to recorded information held by the council and in response to your questions we have provided you with details of the council's policy on feedback."

Can you please point me to where in the Freedom of Information Act it states that information subject to the Act for release to the public is limited only "to recorded information held by the council" and excludes any other which may not strictly be classified as recorded?

Whether or not the information detailed in my request is classified as recorded, the whole truth of the matter is that complaints and enquiries are dealt with by the council in the way I detailed in my request. NELC is not the only council. I know local authorities in general consistently take the same approach. For there not to be a formal procedure instructing that staff lie to, obstruct and fob-off the complainant is quite honestly unbelievable and if not recorded will certainly be policy.

One example where this is documented is in a Local Government Ombudsman's report in this link:

http://www.lgo.org.uk/GetAsset.aspx?id=f...

There is something which might have a bearing on why the public are met with obstruction from the council. Is it that aggrieved residents, wishing to raise concerns with the council, would have their telephone enquiries diverted, and dealt with by a corporate call centre, outside of the Income & Payments Services?

Yours faithfully,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Further to your enquiry, I am pleased to provide an explanation for the message of 'great' from the Head of Legal Services

Ms Conolly as head of legal and as deputy monitoring Officer made the comment of 'great' as the response accords with the legal advice.

This was intended as an internal communication and I wish to apologise for any confusion it may have caused.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research| North East Lincolnshire Council

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<p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>This electronic message contains information from North East Lincolnshire Council
which may be privileged or confidential. The information is intended to be for
the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. If you are not the intended
recipient be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the
contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this
electronic message in error, please telephone or email the number(s) or address
above immediately. Activity and use of the North East Lincolnshire email system
is monitored to secure its effective operation and for other lawful business
purposes. Communications using this system will also be monitored and may be
recorded to secure effective operation and for other lawful business purposes.
Scanned by Anti Virus Software</span></p>
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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your 25 July 2012 email explaining the unexpected appearance of the email message from Ms Conolly (as head of legal and as deputy monitoring Officer).

I must admit though, I'm still unsure if I know why email communications from the head of legal services would be involved in Freedom of Information requests.

I can only speculate that the council must consider itself to be on such dodgy ground that legal advice is thought necessary before releasing any information in fear it could be used as evidence against it. For example, in an allegation of fraud.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Thank you for your enquiry which asked 'Can you please point me to where in the Freedom of Information Act it states that information subject to the Act for release to the public is limited only "to recorded information held by the council" and excludes any other which may not strictly be classified as recorded?'

Section 84 (Interpretation) of the Freedom of Information Act (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...), includes the following

“information” (subject to sections 51(8) and 75(2)) means information recorded in any form;

I trust this clarifies my earlier response

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your 27 July 2012 email.

I have looked at the quoted legislation in your link and cannot interpret this to mean that information is limited exclusively to recorded information.

“information” (subject to sections 51(8) and 75(2)) means information recorded in any form;

75(2) for example contains the following:

“information” includes unrecorded information.

In the context of this paragraph it would seem that the information referred to, is that of the "applicant".

However, the "information" referred to in the following is not:

51(8) In this section “information” includes unrecorded information.

With all this aside, the information I wish to obtain would be recorded in some form. For example, members of staff don't perform duties without instructions.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

Thank you for your further correspondence in relation to your information request FOI3017_1213.

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis
Informatics and Research Team
North East Lincolnshire Council

show quoted sections

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended)

Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your 30 July 2012 email.

I have already requested an internal review with regards FOI 3017_1213. The council responded on the 6 July 2012 and provided nothing in the way of information which I requested. I therefore see no point in wasting any more time with another review.

I have contacted the Information Commissioner on this and received confirmation.

Could you please acknowledge whether NELC has also been contacted by the Information Commissioner regarding FOI 3017_1213.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Gilliatt

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

I am pleased to confirm that the Council has been contacted by the Information Commissioner in relation to this request

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research
North East Lincolnshire Council

show quoted sections

Mike Taylor left an annotation ()

Is there any update on this?

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Hi Mike,

Thanks for taking an interest.

This is part contents of the latest correspondence sent by the Information Commissioner in respect of this issue.

"Dear Mr Gilliatt

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
Your request to North East Lincolnshire Council (the council) about the ‘lying policy’

Further to our letter of 20 July 2012, I write to inform you that your case has now been allocated to me to investigate.

What happens now

Where possible the Commissioner prefers complaints to be resolved informally and we ask both parties to be open to compromise. With this in mind, I will write to the public authority and ask it to revisit your request. It may wish to reverse or amend its position. If it does, it will contact you again directly about this.

In any event, it must provide us with its full and final arguments in support of its position. Once I receive its arguments, I will consider its reply before either contacting you to discuss the matter further or preparing a decision notice. Further information is available on our website:

The council responded on 4 July 2012 and explained that it had interpreted your requests in more general terms as it considered that the requests included unfounded statements. It then provided a link to the Feedback Policy and some additional information about the complaints procedure.

You were dissatisfied with the council’s interpretation of your request and asked for an internal review to consider the requests as you had worded them.

The council provided an internal review on 6 July 2012 in which you found that the council had met its responsibilities under the FOIA.

The scope of the case

The focus of my investigation will be to determine whether the council handled your request in accordance with the FOIA. Specifically, I will look at whether the council holds any information falling in the scope of your requests.

Please contact me within the next 10 working days, that is, by 7 November 2012, if there are matters other than these that you believe should be addressed. This will help avoid any unnecessary delay in investigating your complaint. If I do not hear from you by this date, my investigation will focus only upon the matters identified above."

Other than that, the only other correspondence has been the following response:

"Dear Ms Xxxxxx

Thank you for you letter.

There is just one point I would like to raise which you are probably aware of. I wish to emphasise that in my response to the council's internal review (6 July 2012), I had stated that the council had met its responsibilities under the FOIA only in the following respects:

• Informed me whether or not the information is held by North East Lincolnshire Council;

• Complied with the request within the statutory time of 20 working days; (only in as much as it has replied) and

• Provided me with my rights of appeal.

I had not agreed however, that NELC had provided the information disclosable under the Act.

Yours sincerely"

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Hi Mike

Another response from the Information Commissioner yesterday:

"14 November 2012

Dear Mr Gilliatt

I write further to my letter of 24 October 2012 regarding your complaint about your North East Lincolnshire Council (the council) for information on the lying policy.

Following my initial enquiries with the council, it has reconsidered your request as you had worded it. The council’s revised response is as follows:

Q.1. Whose responsibility within the council is it to decide policy requiring staff dealing with queries and complaints to refute allegations of maladministration without first making preliminary investigations into their validity?

“I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council does not have a policy which requires staff dealing with queries and complaints ‘to refute allegations of maladministration without first making preliminary investigations into their validity’”

Q.2. If it is nobody's responsibility within NELC to decide policy detailed in Q1, is this decided by central government? i.e. is the council given guidelines?

“This question is not applicable as North East Lincolnshire Council does not have the policy specified by the applicant in their request”

Q.3. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to consider that a complaint may be investigated, rather than dismissed?

“There are no specific procedures at North East Lincolnshire Council in relation to complaints about bailiff malpractice. If a complaint is received by North East Lincolnshire Council in relation to bailiffs acting on its behalf they would be considered in accordance with the our Feedback Policy. Our Feedback Policy is available on our website at http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co... "

Q.4. With regards the council's hierarchy, what level (if any) would an issue involving an allegation of bailiff malpractice need escalating, before council's policy allowed staff to uphold a complaint?

“All expressions of dissatisfaction are handled in accordance with the Council's Feedback Policy. Whilst every effort is made to resolve a complaint immediately, where this is not possible the complaint will be investigated at stage one of our corporate complaints process.

The only circumstances where an expression of dissatisfaction may not be investigated under our corporate complaints process is

a) where we recognise that there is a more appropriate process to investigate the complaint. This is further explained in part 3.2.18 of the Feedback Policy; or

b) where a complainant has been determined to be unreasonably persistent or vexatious in accordance with parts 3.2.1 to 3.2.9 of the Feedback Policy. This decision will be taken by the Council's chief executive or senior managers at executive director level following a warning to the complainant. Any new complaints from people who have come under the unreasonably persistent complainant’s policy will always be treated on their merits.

The investigation of a complaint will be allocated to the most appropriate officer to carry out. The Feedback Policy does not specify a minimum level of officer who can undertake the investigation of a complaint, therefore the decision whether or not to uphold a complaint could be taken by an officer at any level nominated to undertake an investigation.”

Q.5. What provision is there that allows the council to address valid issues raised by residents (unknown to them) in instances where they'd been successfully fobbed-off with its "Lying policy"?

“There are three stages within our corporate complaints procedure. Where a customer has exhausted all three stages of our complaints process, and is still dissatisfied with the Council's response, they will be advised of their right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman.”

I would be grateful if you could confirm whether you are now satisfied with the council’ response to your request, and therefore agree to withdraw this complaint. If you do not accept the council’s position, the next step would be to consider whether, on the balance of probabilities, further information falling within the scope of your request is held. Please provide me with your response within 10 working days, by 28 November 2012."

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The following response has been sent to the Information Commissioner expressing dissatisfaction in NELC's response:

Dear Ms...

Thank you for your recent correspondence.

I'm entirely dissatisfied with NELC's latest response. I believe, with good reason, there must be some protocol devised, either within the council or offered as guidance by the government, obliging staff dealing with queries and complaints to lie, and refute allegations of maladministration without first making preliminary investigations.

It seems the council was unable to answer any of the questions. The last (Question 5) was evidently not understood. The question queried whether the council addressed valid concerns raised through complaints despite not being upheld. In other words whether its formal complaints procedure was corrupt.

Yours sincerely

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The Information Commissioner has released its judgement for this complaint.

Its decision to find in the council's favour has been no surprise, however, it adds to the mounting evidence that these publicly funded "so called" independent watchdog organisations only really 'watch-out' for the public body falling under criticism and protecting that organisation against allegations of maladministration, corruption etc.

There's a distinct pattern – no public body is going to uphold a complaint made about another public body. Another clue as to why such cover-ups and corruption exists within these organisations, is because Rossendales (the council's bailiff contractor) is effectively an appendage grafted onto the Ministry of Justice.

You can include the LGO along with the Information Commissioner here for obtaining public money under false pretences. They both effectively defraud the taxpayer out of £millions each year by not doing the job they're funded for; instead, allowing endemic corruption within public authorities to thrive. They should in fairness, all be scrapped and replaced with truly independent organisations.

Adele Butterworth left an annotation ()

I see this FOI could hold the key to why there are so many issues with NELC

Emma Dale left an annotation ()

I have it on good authority that whilst being interviewed on Look North about whether the council had it in its sights to close Grimsby's Ice rink, the Councillor representing NELC gave the interviewer the distinct impression that he was being told porkies.

George Cant left an annotation ()

your 100% correct here.

the decision was taken behind closed doors in 2009. The public fought it. The council backed down

One certan councillor, put a caveat in, he said, if the ice machine breaks down, they would have to close it. ( 2009 i was at the meeting )

i know why they want to close it as well...

Emma Dale left an annotation ()

I see what you mean:

Your Questions Answered – Leisure Review & Ice Rink Fact Sheet

https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/committees/Fu...

"8. What is the proposed timescale for decommissioning Grimsby Leisure Centre and what are the existing maintenance commitments?

The intention of the Leisure Review proposals is that no facilities will be closed or decommissioned until all of the new facilities are up and running through the Building Schools for the Future programme. This means that no centre earmarked for decommissioning will be closed for between 5 and 10 years. We must however caveat this with the need to recognise the age of these facilities and should major breakdown occur then repair may not be possible, however, both North East Lincolnshire Council and our leisure management operator are committed to fully maintaining the existing facilities throughout this 5 - 10 year period. North East Lincolnshire Council and Sport & Leisure Management (who operate the facilities on behalf of the Council) would welcome any feedback with regards to current operations that can improve the service that is provided. Any feedback can be presented in writing via e-mail through the Leisure Review feedback process to leisurecontracts@nelincs.gov.uk. These can then be explored further with all partners concerned."

Lee Gower left an annotation ()

I appreciate this is an old matter, however, I have had recent correspondence with N E Lincs Council regarding a matter wherein an employee of the council is alleged to have provided false information about me. The council's final response is as follows:

Dear Mr Gower

Thank you for your further correspondence in relation to this matter. I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council takes any allegation of this nature seriously and investigates as appropriate. I am satisfied in these circumstances that nothing further can be done. Any action taken by the Council needs to be reasonable and proportionate, taking into account our duty to ensure effective use of public resources. In this case the circumstances do not allow any further investigation as the report regarding the abandoned car was made anonymously, therefore there is no information officers could have shared inappropriately.

An audit has been undertaken of all officers who had access to the details of this report and they have also been questioned and have confirmed they are not aware of knowing any individual who lives in St James Avenue, Grimsby. It is also confirmed that those who have accessed the record had a legitimate reason to.

It would not be reasonable or proportionate to carry out further investigations or to contact your neighbour for questioning. If an individual in the Council had communicated any information to your neighbour, it would be entirely fictional and not based on any information held. The only way to ascertain if this were the case would be to share your details and those of your neighbour with every Council employee, which I am sure you can appreciate would not be an acceptable course of action. Therefore we will not be investigating this matter any further or responding to any future correspondence on the same issues. Should any further information come to light that you feel would facilitate further investigation we will of course consider this.

I trust this assures you that your issue has been handled appropriately and all reasonable efforts made to investigate your claims. If you are dissatisfied you should contact the office of the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The subject of this FOI is no longer sufficiently 'hard core' for NELC, it has moved into another league.

http://www.bailiffhelpforum.co.uk/viewto...

Dorothy Matricks (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I think this request should be categorized as being partially successful. Some general information has been provided in relation to the Council's corporate complaints procedure including advising anyone dissatisfied with the Council's response that they have a right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

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