I currently have a dispute with Torridge lodged with the Ombudsman. Oh yes … just a note about that (I’m not going to say anything about the complaint until the matter is resolved – it’s not fair to the Ombudsman to do otherwise) … At the top of the letter from Torridge I was informed that disagreement was no grounds for complaint. Now, I read that as meaning that disagreement with their findings was no grounds for complaint. I am certain that’s exactly what they intend you to think which is why so few complaints were taken to the Ombudsman (although their annual report had to be changed because they’d said there were only 4 when actually there were 12. I just happened to mention the figure to the Ombudsman who got them to alter their report). What this phrase actually refers to is that disagreement with council policy is no grounds for complaint. But that’s not what they infer in these letters. … Nasty little people!
Anyway … here’s a bit of family history back in the days of Poll Tax, but Torridge really hasn’t changed. My brother was diabetic. He was registered blind. The ankle bones in one foot were crumbling away such that his foot would eventually fuse to his leg. He got a gangrene infection in the other leg which had to be amputated. The Local Authority couldn’t even get their act together to put in a stair-lift for him.
They messed up how much he owed in Poll Tax. He kept telling them what he should be paying and they kept sending him threatening letters. They hounded him for 2 years. He told them he didn’t think they realised how ill he was. They threatened him with prision (something they stopped doing when they realised people were more than prepared to do that and they’d end up without their money, while the state would have to pay for the stay in prison). Eventually he got to speak to a supervisor who tutted at him “Look, Mr Brookhouse, you owe … blahde blah.” which was the exact figure he’d been telling them all along he owed. He said “Well if you know that and I know that, why don’t your minions know that?” He was told to pay it in one go. He told them he would pay in instalments since they had messed him around so much. He told my mum it would serve them right if he died before he paid up. He died with one payment to make aged 31.
That’s Torridge for you.