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Disgusting Treatment by Local Council


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Help!

 

I would like to know if it possible to take legal action against my local council over appalling treatment I received from them. I was investigated and interviewed for fraud last year over my housing and council tax benefits. The charge was dropped during the interview as it was obvious that the accusation was clearly invalid but their handling of the entire affair was disgusting. I had to attend the interview although I was seriously ill at the time, and despite being told on numerous occasions, and the fact that my original claim was completed by my mother (when I was in hospital) they did not recognise this.

I have been told that I have grounds to seek some justice though litigation but I don't really understand how this works, if I have sufficient grounds and if so where to start. Can anyone help? :roll:

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Help!

 

I would like to know if it possible to take legal action against my local council over appalling treatment I received from them. I was investigated and interviewed for fraud last year over my housing and council tax benefits. The charge was dropped during the interview as it was obvious that the accusation was clearly invalid but their handling of the entire affair was disgusting. I had to attend the interview although I was seriously ill at the time, and despite being told on numerous occasions, and the fact that my original claim was completed by my mother (when I was in hospital) they did not recognise this.

 

I have been told that I have grounds to seek some justice though litigation but I don't really understand how this works, if I have sufficient grounds and if so where to start. Can anyone help? :roll:

 

 

Hello,

 

Sorry to hear about the way your council treated you - I once took on a local council which ended up going to the House of Lords many years ago and would think that most cases of unfair treatment can be better accessed by the pople who need them nowasdays.

 

I found this site which I hope will help you - I don't know the area you are in so this site lists all.

'If you have a complaint about a government department, you can take it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (also called the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration). The Ombudsman deals with complaints from members of the public about poor service, unfair treatment or administrative failures of government departments and some other public bodies (including the NHS in England - see Complaints about NHS services, below) which the Ombudsman can investigate.

Before contacting the Ombudsman, you should try to make your complaint to the organisation involved. If you don't receive a satisfactory answer, or if you don't get a response, ask your MP to send your complaint to the Ombudsman, or use the Ombudsman’s online form to check whether your complaint is one the Ombudsman is able to deal with.

To find out if the organisation you want to complain about is one the Ombudsman can look at, check the list of relevant organisations.'

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/RightsAndResponsibilities/Yourrights/DG_10013518

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Hi Awakenow! :)

 

Thank you for your advice, it will help. I have finally tracked down a solicitor who deals with benefit issues so I am hoping that, with my limited research and all the info I have gathered (some thanks to you) that I will get somewhere. How did you get on when you took on your local council?

 

Czarziebar

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Hi Awakenow! :)

 

Thank you for your advice, it will help. I have finally tracked down a solicitor who deals with benefit issues so I am hoping that, with my limited research and all the info I have gathered (some thanks to you) that I will get somewhere. How did you get on when you took on your local council?

 

Czarziebar

 

 

Hello Czarziebar

 

It was many years ago when I fought for the rights of my family to live without fear from being considered ‘different’.

 

The case, which was a test case, did not go through simply due to the fact it was felt I had been able to help my family out of a dire situation and therefore could not claim victimisation to the extent that I did in the sense of being totally helpless.

 

This was actually funny because I wasn’t able to do it on my own but rather after several years, looking for outside help and much research, at libraries and visiting many, many solicitors miles away.

 

Despite this the case was fairly instrumental in opening the eyes of the Law makers to what really goes on in places where ‘difference’ can lead to many years of terrorisation with the local authorities condoning the lawbreaking due to inaction and negligence and worse.

 

The point is if you have a good case, (the onus is definitely on you to provide hard evidence), are willing to do some homework by researching (through the internet) as well as getting legal advice from a solicitor which specialises in that aspect of law, then today it is far easier to 'make the wrong - right'.

 

Be firm and as concise as you can when speaking to anyone concerned with the ‘opposite’ side.

 

Write notes of every conversation including all phone calls of times, dates you see anyone about the case, kept in chronological order – even little details clarify the picture and if need be you are then able to bring up something which has been said and maybe forgotten.

 

Keep your solicitor on his/her toes. S/he will have other cases but make sure yours isn’t one of those kept in the ‘to do’ file because of your inactivity in keeping in regular contact.

 

Always remember, the council have a duty to look after its residents and if it has failed then it needs to change its outlook and the only way you can do that is by meeting the problem full on.

 

Never be afraid and don’t let anyone in authority bully you. If you feel strongly enough that the council will not change its policy without legal intervention, be fearless.

 

If you need any help there are many good people on here that will help and support you along the journey.

 

Good luck and keep strong.

 

Maria

P.S. Start by making a complaint to the relevant section of your council, you should find the address on their letterheads to you, even if you put 'Complaints Department' the letter should get there. Keep a copy and send it Recorded Delivery.

Give a summary of the dates the offence happened and details of who came to visit, tell them you haven't recieved an apology (if you haven't) and you seek for the matter to be investigated to your full satisifaction. Wait 2 weeks for a response, if you haven't received any response, which includes confirmation that that they have got your letter, the next step could be legal action. I shall take a browse through on line to see if I can find anything which might help.

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From the C.A.B. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/life/benefits/problems_with_benefits_and_tax_credits.htm

Making a complaint about benefit and tax credit service standards

You have the right to expect a reasonable standard of service from the people dealing with benefits, tax credits and national insurance. If you have received poor service or have been disadvantaged because of errors or a slow response, you should consider complaining.

Service includes things such as meeting target times for dealing with claims and providing interpretation facilities. Most agencies that deal with benefits, including local authorities, will have a charter or statement of standards of service that sets out and what you can expect. You will be able to get this from their offices or websites.

You can complain whether or not you have made a claim. However, if you have claimed a benefit or tax credit and you think a decision is wrong, you will not be able to change the decision by making a complaint. You will have to challenge the decision as well, which involves a different, separate process – see the heading Challenging a benefit or tax credit decision.

If you make a complaint it may result in:-

an apology for what has happened

an explanation of how the problem occurred

a promise that the problem will be put right, if this is possible

a change in procedure – this will help other people in the future, and could help you if you have to use the same office again

financial compensation, although this only applies in certain circumstances – see the heading Compensation.

Find you local CAB office: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice

Ok found this little appetizer from: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/about_us/departmental/AntiFraud_Corruption_Strategy/fraud_response_plan.htm

I dare say this will be pretty standard procedure across the country

“Malicious allegations

If an allegation is made frivolously, in bad faith, maliciously or for personal gain, disciplinary action may be taken against the person making the allegation.

In cases where an individual is suspected of fraud which a subsequent investigation does not substantiate, it is important that the potential damage to the individual’s reputation is minimised. Whoever originally reported the suspected fraud or irregularity will be informed that the investigation has revealed no wrongdoing.

Once the investigation has been completed, a written report will be prepared which states the facts discovered by the investigation. The report will avoid speculation and no statement shall be made that cannot be supported by the facts.”

Another bit of information from: http://www.hastings.gov.uk/tackling_fraud/confidential_reporting_policy.aspx

It looks as if there are grounds to sue for compensation in the event of wrongful allegations made no matter the outcome.

“If You are Suspected

The Authority has a duty to investigate all reports of irregularity. This does not mean that the Authority supports the allegation. The investigation process will seek to determine impartially whether or not an irregularity has been committed, and if so, by whom.

In many cases, the investigation proves that the allegation is untrue. The relevant director or manager may then require a review of procedures and practices to minimise the risk of wrongful allegations being made again.”

Just a thought but I think you should put in a written request to see your file to see whether the council has put the allegation of fraud inside it. If it has, it’s a clear indication that the allegation was made and your local government failure to clear your name.

This is The Law Society’s own site to help you track down a solicitor to help you:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/findasolicitor.law

Hope something from the above helps. My first place to visit would be the CAB on line section.

Once again, good luck.

Maria

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