ANOTHER cover up?

I have every sympathy for Malcolm Lewis when he complains of a lack of response from his councillor (Letters, September 27). I have had similar experiences.

Gloucestershire County Council did not follow statutory guidance when dealing with fees for residential care for a 92-year-old suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

This was over a period of two years, until her death last year. I, as her Power of Attorney, repeatedly complained but to no avail. The head of adult services, the council’s legal department and the complaints department all maintained that they were acting correctly. I therefore contacted my county councillor (Stephen Hirst) but he took no action to help resolve the situation.

I then contacted the Local Government Ombudsman who agreed with me.

The council had to forego the £23,000 that they had been unjustly claiming but which they would have been entitled to, if they had done their job correctly.

This led me to consider the many other vulnerable people who may be suffering because of the Council’s maladministration, and also the council tax payers who have to pay for their inadequacies.

With this in mind, I contacted Stephen Hirst again. He promised to investigate, but never did, despite reminders.

I then contacted the chairman of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee (Carole Allaway-Martin). More promises but no action. I then reminded both, with a copy to the CEO (Peter Bungard).

This eventually did produce a response but not from any of them but from the Head of Complaints to say “the council will not be replying to any further communication on this or associated matters.”.

All I ask for is that the Council looks into the reasons for their previous errors and takes appropriate action.

This may involve the re-training of staff, reprimands or disciplinary action. Is this too much to ask? With Council’s refusal to engage, I can only assume that the maladministration continues at the expense of the vulnerable and the Council Tax payer. If one case has cost them £23,000, how much more is being wasted?

David Hillam