Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Formal Complaint

As you may remember, a little while ago top NCC legal chump Jon Ludford-Thomas wrote to me to tell me off for being nasty and not to do it again. I replied to him by return.

However, it made me a bit angry and my publishing of the letter and reply, posting it to Indymedia and having it picked up by big name bloggers, resulting in large sections of the internet pointing and staring at him didn't quite seem enough. So, just before the end of last year I submitted a complaint via the NCC website.

I heard nothing so I submitted another one. I still heard nothing so I decided to do it properly this time. Here's what I sent -

"February 2010

Formal Complaint

I have twice contacted you via the online complaints system to complain about this matter but I have been ignored. I therefore have no choice but to make the matter public in the hope that this will shame you into finally taking some action.

On 17 December 2009 I received the following letter from one of your senior solicitors, Jon Ludford-Thomas -

“Dear Mr *****,

Nottingham City Council LOLS

I am writing regarding the above, which Nottingham City Council understands is written and/or edited by you and has the following website address: www.ncclols.blogspot.com.

Nottingham City Council notes that the Nottingham City Council LOLS blog (“ncclols”) contains personal, derogatory comments regarding a number of its councillors and employees that could cause distress to those individuals. Nottingham City Council requests that you please remove these personal, derogatory comments from ncclols and refrain from posting similar such comments on ncclols or elsewhere on the internet.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Ludford-Thomas

Senior Solicitor”

This is what I am told is known in legal circles as a 'cease and desist letter' and is normally the starting point of legal action for defamation. It is therefore an extremely threatening and intimidating thing to receive.

You have absolutely no right to subject me to such actions. You have absolutely no legal basis whatsoever to demand that I remove material from my blog and, as a solicitor, Mr Ludford-Thomas would be aware of this and would have advised the council as such. There can therefore be no doubt that the sole intention of this letter was intimidation of me and an attempt to silence my criticism of the council.

Furthermore, the letter clearly states that it is written on behalf of “councillors and employees” rather than the council itself. Individual councillors and employees are responsible for taking and funding their own legal actions so this is a clear misuse of resources.

I demand an immediate and public apology for this blatant maladministration and attempt to impede my freedom of expression.

I am copying this complaint to the leader of the council and the Chief Executive as well as publishing it as an open letter on my blog. If satisfactory action is not taken by 3 March 2010, bearing in mind this is the third time I have raised it with you, I will refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman."

And here it is about to be submitted on the website -

And here is the acknowledgement page -

And yes, it really does miss the 'r' off 'your'.

To be on the safe side I also copied it in to JoCo and jane Todd via email.

I'm fairly confident that they can't pretend they haven't received it this time and I shall post up the results.


Ceekay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ceekay said...

So much for the Councils own reply criteria "all letters and emails must be replied to within 10 working days". I found during my time there that the higher up the pecking order the more you could ignore this whilst the workers were taken to task if they didn't adhere to this ruling.


Matt Wardman said...

Big name bloggers ROFL :-)

What you do now is submit an FOI request via whatdotheyknow.com to find out what they did with it !

Niles said...

If you don't get a satisfactory response, there's always the Local Government Ombudsman. You do have to attempt normal channels first, though.

Andy said...

Yeah I did mention the Ombudsman at the end *is a seasoned campaigner*