Many times over the last 6+ years I have been advised that I should complain to the Ombudsman. Well, it is done.
Unfortunately, one of the first things I did was to complain to the Ombudsman …. about …. the Ombudsman’s site !! Not a good start (but it was seriously user-UNfriendly).
Back to the real complaint: Conwy Council and Peter Jones-Hughes, in particular. Why now?? Well, I received the final planning permission on 1.10.14 so I can forge ahead with the repairs and renovation of the house, without repeats of earlier threats of non-co-operation to hold things up. Of course, Peter Jones-Hughes has apparently retired and certainly the attitude of the other council officers has altered (to the good) in an almost unbelieveable way. So why don’t I just let it go?
A couple of incidents in my life have influenced this.
Many years ago the electricity supply company came into my garden and, without permission, they removed all the branches down one side of a beautiful, spreading wych elm tree, in order to run a wire through. The mutilated tree had to be removed. I sued. A little while later I re-counted this to a woman at a party and she said that they had done the same to a cherry tree of hers. I asked her what she had done about it, she said “I didn’t do anything – what can you do”. I thought “if she had sued, my wych elm would not have been destroyed”.
When my son was 10 years old he was left by himself at the isolated home rugby ground when the team returned 2 hours early from an away game. Before he drove off, the man in charge said to him “You’ll be alright” …. Much later, when challenged, his response was “Well nothing happened so it’s alright” …. This man was a teacher and would have many opportunities to leave children in dangerous situations – and he thought it was “alright”. If another time it happened and went badly wrong, and the grieving mother said to me “When it happened to your son, what did you do about it” – was I EVER going to say “I didn’t do anything – what can you do”. No, I was not. I did lots.
Now planning difficulties are not in the same league as child protection, but the principle is the same.
I now face months of tedious e-mails, copying documents, blah, blah, blah. There is nothing the Ombudsman can do for me – he has no teeth – he cannot compensate me for the years of costs.
So …… future planning Applicants ….
This is for you.