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Complaining about a Council

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've been involved with an ongoing dispute with Leeds City Council about the state of one of their garages for about 2 years now. And by ongoing dispute, what I really mean is that I write/email to them, and they either ignore me, tell me they're going to reply and then don't, or tell me either that I'm making the problem up, or that as I am not a council tenant I have no right to complain to them.

The reason I'm so bothered is that this particular garage stands on a driveway shared with my property (which I'm trying to sell) and is at best devaluing it by something in the region of £5000, and at worst making it unsaleable. It features shards of broken glass and flaking asbestos, and has been labelled a severe health and safety risk by the surveyors who assessed my property and thought it was mine. Plus it looks like absolute crap. I don't blame people for not wanting to buy my house when that shitheap is right outside your front door.

I can't keep doing this merry dance with the council - surely there must be something I can do? I've found a website for the Local Government Ombudsman, but not sure if they're the right people to talk to.

Legal types - help!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Perhaps if the local vandals came and demolished the garage they'd have no choice but to shovel away the rubble?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hurt yourself on it when taking the bins out and sue them... ok, not so helpful, tempting though?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Perhaps if the local vandals came and demolished the garage they'd have no choice but to shovel away the rubble?

    To be honest it pretty much IS rubble now, and they've not come and shovelled it in 3 years.

    I'd pay myself for the damn thing to be knocked down and taken away (did this for my own garage and it was only £300, ffs) but they've told me I can't cause this would be classed as damaging council property :banghead:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    hurt yourself on it when taking the bins out and sue them... ok, not so helpful, tempting though?

    SO tempting. I'd be well out there gashing myself on the 12" shards of glass (I shit you not - I've sent them photos and surveys and everything), if I weren't concerned about catching actual death from the damn thing.

    I'm also quite concerned that one of the local kids will hurt themselves on it while playing on my drive and then try and sue ME! :mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    contact your local MP? they usually have open surgeries scheduled which you'll find on their website, or write them a letter.

    they should do something
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    contact your local MP? they usually have open surgeries scheduled which you'll find on their website, or write them a letter.

    they should do something

    I copied him in on the last email (sent 2 weeks ago). No response yet, but it does say on his website that he answers all his mails personally, so could take a while, I guess.

    My dad reckons if he doesn't reply in another week I should email Gordon Brown and copy in the local MP. But then we are talking about a man who wrote a complaint letter to the CEO of Tesco cause his online shopping was a day late :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't bother about emailing your MP, they're next to useless. Gordon Brown won't even read his, it will be some lowly secretary.

    Rather than emailing you need to explain that the council property is causing danger to you and your family in a proper letter (lay on discussions of risk with a trowel) and post it to the Chief Executive's Office. State on the letter quite clearly that you have not had a response to previous email complaints (enclose those) and because of this the complaint should be escalated to a level three complaint.

    It's normally a good idea to copy the legal department in on to any letters you send; talk of risk to them will definitely ensure a rocket goes up the correct arse. If no response/unstatisfactory response to this letter then got o the Ombudsman.

    Make sure you say "this is an official complaint at level three due to no previous response" otherwise the council staff have a habit of deciding that it's not a complaint at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Kermit! That's really helpful. I'll try it and see if I get any joy.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just an update - success!

    They haven't responded to me at all (rude!) but my mum passed the house today and the garage is gone and they've cleared up all the shit. Finally!

    Thanks to all who helped :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ooh, congratulations :p
    Pleased for you.
    Leeds Council were uber helpful to me today, but that was because I told them that I was no longer a student and needed to pay them more money :grump:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm glad it got sorted. Talk of risk normally works because risk = being sued = lots of work = expensive legal bills.
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