This is Coram's letter with my reply below it.

11th November 2009.

Dear Mr Coram,

Referring to your letter of 3rd. November 2009. You appear to have completely misunderstood what my complaint was about Ė that is Jerry White lying to my MP. and Tony Redmond condoning that lie. I have provided evidence that this took place. My complaint was not about a decision by the Ombudsman. This is apparent if you take the trouble to read my letter to Alan Johnson of 28th September 2009.

The position at present is that you have Mr. Coram, on behalf of the Minister John Denham, condoned dishonesty by White and Redmond. This is not acceptable as both are employed by, and are responsible to, the taxpayer.

You may look at my complaint again and deal with it as written or, if you do not have the competence to do this, pass it on to someone who does.

You should be aware that this matter is being fully reported on my website the North Devon Link at www.northdevonlink.co.uk/council-lies

Sincerely,

Gordon Bray.

Copy to John Denham MP.

A reply has been received by Corum's "superior" Vanita Patel.  There is a letter attached to  a follow up e-mail:

The letter:

Dear Mr Bray

Local Government Ombudsman

Thank you for your letter of 11 November 2009 to the Secretary of State, following on from my Markís Coramís response to your letter of 28th September about the Local Government Ombudsman. Your letter has been passed to me for response because I am his line manager, and I also work in the team with responsibility for the sponsorship of the Local Government Ombudsman.

I am sorry that you did not find my colleague Mark Coramís reply helpful. I have read your correspondence of 28th September and reviewed Mr Coramís response to you of 3rd November 2009.

I have also taken the opportunity to review Mr Coramís reply of 29th April to your earlier letter of 16th April. I am content that Mr Coramís letter was both fair and adequate and attempted to address your concerns.

As Mr Coram explained in his earlier letter dated 29th April, the Ombudsmanís website (www.lgo.org.uk) sets out how you can complain about them, including the handling of your case and treatment by their staff. Markís further letter of 3rd November explained the relationship between the Ombudsman, this Department and the Government and explained why Ministers do not get involved. Mr Coram also explained the role of Her Majesty The Queen in the appointment process.

Furthermore your letters and Mr Coramís responses have been discussed and reviewed by my team leader, who also takes the view that Mr Coramís replies addressed your issues about Mr White, including providing advice on how to make a complaint.

To ensure their public accountability, the Local Government Ombudsman publishes a comprehensive annual review, which they are required to lay before Parliament to promote greater transparency to the Ombudsmanís work, showing performance against business goals for the year. As part of this each Local Commissioner is required is required to submit an annual report on the discharge of his functions to the Commission.

The Ombudsmen and their senior managers regularly review the lessons learned from considering complaints about their service so that they can improve the quality of their service. In this way, the outcome of their consideration of your complaint may directly help to improve the experience of others who use our service.

I hope the Ombudsmanís own complaints system can help you gain a satisfactory solution to your concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Vanita Patel

And the e-mail:

Dear Mr Bray,
 
I refer to your email correspondence below to my colleague Mark Coram, regarding your correspondence of 11th November.
 
My attached letter of 16th November responded to your letter, however the letter was posted as no email address was given in the letter. I am sorry if a copy of my letter has not reached you.

 

  If I may, I would like to reiterate the point made in my Mr Coram's earlier letter, the Ombudsman is independent of both central and local government and Ministers have no remit to intervene in or comment on their investigations or individual cases.

 

I consider that your complaint arises as a result of an investigation.  In that context, I am not going to comment on your allegations of dishonesty.

   

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not point out that if you wish to challenge the finding of an Ombudsman, you are free to seek redress yourself through the courts.  I would strongly advise you to seek independent legal advice before embarking on such a course of action.

 
Regards
 
 Vanita Patel
Democracy and Local Governance
Communities and Local Governmen

My reply to the Ms.Patel:

Dear Ms. Patel, my complaint to your office made it clear that this was against Jerry White for lying to my MP. and against Tony Redmond for condoning that lie.  It was not about an investigation nor a decision made by White.  I do not wish to challenge the findings of an Ombudsman.  It is not your place to presume to tell me what I am complaining about.  Both yourself and Mark Corum are avoiding the issue by pretending the complaint was about an investigation.  In my opinion your approach is devious and dishonest and insulting to myself whose only purpose is to expose dishonesty by employees paid for by the taxpayer.
 
I shall be publishing your actions on my website and I shall taking the matter further in due course.  You should show Mr Denham this e-mail and make sure he has full knowledge of the response to my complaint by yourself and Mark Corum.
 
Please arrange for my documents to be returned and confirm.
 
Gordon Bray

And a reply from Ms Patel's "superior" ( we are working our way up slowly - will we eventually get a response from John Denham MP?):

Dear Mr Bray,

 

Thank you for your e mail to Mrs Patel, continuing correspondence about the Local Government Ombudsman.  I am responding because I head the team that both Mr Coram and Mrs Patel work in.

 

Reviewing that earlier correspondence, I note that Mr Coram has pointed out, and Mrs Patel has reiterated, that the Local Government Ombudsman is independent of central Government and that Ministers have no remit to interfere in individual cases.  

 

I agree with Mrs Patel that your accusation of dishonesty arises as a result of an Ombudsman's investigation.  With this direct link between investigation and accusation of dishonesty in place, she was right not to comment on your allegations, nor will I comment on them, nor would it be right for a Minister to comment upon them.

 

I will arrange for the return of your documentation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 
Steve McAllister
Local Governance
Department of Communities and Local Government

I have e-mailed McAllister asking for further information on his office's position on this matter:

Dear Mr Mcallister, would you kindly clarify a point as I wish to proceed further with this matter.  As you state in you e-mail you consider that my complaint arises from an investigation.  As I provided documentary evidence of the lying by White and the covering up by Redmond which you did neither refute nor even challenge, would I be right in assuming that your office is prepared to sanction dishonesty if it arises from such an investigation?
 
I expect you to keep Mr Denham fully informed.
 
Sincerely, Gordon Bray.

And Mcallister's reply:

Dear Mr Bray,

 

Thank you for your e mail.

 

To reiterate the response in my earlier e mail, as we consider that your allegation arises as a result of an Ombudsmanís investigation, I am not going to comment upon your allegations, nor would it be right for a Minister to comment upon them.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Steve McAllister
Local Governance
Department of Communities and Local Government

My response:

Dear Mr Mcallister, thanks for your e-mail which confirms that your department is willing to sanction dishonesty within the Ombudsman service as detailed in my complaint and supported by documentary proof.
 
Your reason for avoiding dealing with this complaint is ridiculous, the Ombudsman does nothing else but investigate.
 
It is understood that you do not interfere with a decision an Ombudsman makes but my complaint was about dishonesty, lying and covering up lying, by White and Redmond.  It was not about a decision.
 
The response by your department to my complaint was to avoid being of service to myself, the taxpayer, and to protect the cheats and liars in the Ombudsman service.  This is unacceptable.
 
The Minister John Denham is now in the untenable position of presiding over a department that sanctions dishonesty.
 
This is not the end of the matter.
 
Please make sure that Mr Denham is fully aware of his position and confirm that this has been done.
 
Sincerely, Gordon Bray. 

And McAllisters reply:

Dear Mr Bray,
 
Thank you for your e mail.  As it does not raise any new issues, I refer you to my earlier reply, below.
 
Further correspondence will be acknowledged but, unless it raises any new issues, will not receive a substantive reply.
 
Yours sincerely,

Steve McAllister
Local Governance
Department of Communities and Local Government
0303 44 42582

My reply to McAllister:

Dear Mr McAllister, as requested in my e-mail of 15th Jan. 2010 please confirm that you have made John Denham fully aware of his position.
 
Gordon Bray.

Will this rather stupid fellow answer my request?  

Yes, finally admitting he has not informed John Denham MP:

Dear Mr Bray,
 
Thank you for your e mail.
 
As I explained in my e mail earlier today, it would be inappropriate for a Minister to comment on this matter.  That being the case, I have not forwarded your remarks to John Denham.
 
Yours sincerely,

Steve McAllister
Local Governance
Department of Communities and Local Government

To ensure that John Denham MP. is aware of the situation I have e-mailed him as follows:

Dear Mr Denham, I recently made a complaint to your department about dishonesty within the Ombudsman Service.  This was dealt with finally by Stephen McAllister who decided not to investigate my claims thereby, in my opinion, sanctioning lying by former Ombudsman Jerry White and covering up the lie by Tony Redmond.
 
As he has not kept you informed of this matter and, as I intend to make a complaint to Parliamentary Ombudsman, I feel you should first have an opportunity to review McAllister's decision.
 
In the event you would like to look at the correspondence this is all on my website the North Devon Link.  The full story of my campaign against dishonesty is at: www.northdevonlink.co.uk/council-lies.htm 
 
There is a link to correspondence between myself and your department at the bottom of the page or you can go direct to the page at; www.northdevonlink.co.uk/denham.htm 
 
There is also a summary of the whole rotten saga at www.northdevonlink.co.uk/summary.htm
 
Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely, Gordon Bray.

A read receipt was received for this e-mail but, not suprisingly, no answer.

Readers will notice that all these employees conveniently avoid dealing with the dishonesty shown by White and Redmond which is supported by documentary evidence.  They all try to sidestep the issue by pretending that the complaint is about a decision or, in the case of McAllister, about an "investigation".  Anyone following this saga will see that it is about lying and cheating by the ombudsman service and the covering up of that dishonesty by John Denham's department.