Complaining To Cornwall Council – What You Should Know.


Blog posted 10 December 2016

         Complaining To Cornwall Council – What You Should Know.

The following email was sent to Cornwall Council CEO Kate Kennally, members of the Cabinet and others, on 09 December 2016. I am repeating it here because I received no confirmation from the Council that it was received. It offers an insight to how the Council deals with complaints – or not. A list of the email recipients is included at the bottom.


Dear CEO Kate Kennally

I write further to my email to you and Council Cabinet Members on 24 November 2016.

You will recall I gave you a number of valid reasons why Simon JR Mansell MBE cannot deal with my official complaint lodged on the Council’s website on 09 November 2016.

Regretfully, you and the Cabinet Members willfuly chose to ignore those reasons and had Mansell reply on your behalf and that of the Cabinet on 25 November 2016.

Not only did Mansell not explain why I was given 4 different reference numbers in as many days to my official complaint on the Council’s website but he closed the complaint and advised me to address my concerns me to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).

Mansell recently reminded me that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) supported his decision to declare me vexatious in 2015 and to stop me making further Freedom of Information Requests and exposing further Council failures.

Part of the ICO reasoning for supporting the Council related to a decision made by the LGO to a complaint in 2014 regarding the Council and Sanctuary Housing unlawfully ring fencing Homechoice properties and deception and the Council and the Cornwall Foundation Trust rigging Homechoice Welfare Priority Assessments which abused and cheated the mentally ill and the vulnerable.

The LGO ruled in the Council’s favour and Mansell, on behalf of the Council, later suggested to the ICO I had a problem accepting the LGO’s decision and that I was therefore vexatious.

What Mansell neglected to mention to the ICO was that the LGO did not have the jurisdiction to investigate Sanctuary Housing, with regard to ring fencing and deception, or the Trust regarding rigged Welfare Assessments.

Had the LGO had the jurisdiction to question the Trust the LGO would have discovered the Trust employee described by the Council as a “Community Psychiatric Nurse” (CPN) on a  Homechoice Welfare Priority Panel was nothing more than a support worker who was not qualified to be a Panel member. In his correspondence with the LGO, Mansell, on behalf of Cornwall Council, willfuly failed to correct this falsehood.

Also not taken into account was the perversity and injustice of the LGO ruling in the Council’s favour before I had even seen a copy of the Council’s reply to my complaint.

As I cannot deal with Mansell, whose only method in dealing with a complaint is to deny, mislead, corrupt, cover-up and investigate nothing, I wish to state the following for the record because I know it will eventually become important and the recipients of this email will be seen to have engaged in complicity.

I refer to Cornwall Council Reference number : 101002972666 to my complaint of 09 November 2016, as follows :

“I am lodging this complaint on the assumption Cornwall Council and Sanctuary Housing are continuing to unlawfully ring-fence Homechoice properties for the Council’s certain types at Timber Close, and which has created a covert toxic community previously and which left long term residents still feeling traumatized as a direct result of this illegal activity. Would you please advise me when Flat 40 Timber Close, which has people and property being moved in today, was advertised to Homechoice applicants.  My records show the last Timber Close Flat to be advertised was No 44 which remained empty for some 4 months and which Cllr Joyce Duffin has still not yet explained. I am also concerned Flat 40 was not cleared of some larger furniture when the flat was prepared for occupation again which serves to indicate Flat 40 was ring-fenced for a tenant/s with little in the way of furniture.”, unquote.

In reply to my complaint Alastair Spencer, Performance and Project Coordinator, confirmed that Flat 40 Timber Close was advertised for the period 3-7 Sep 16. Mr Spencer further confirmed the property was advertised with no preferences against it and was not ring fenced in any way by the Homechoice team. Mr Spencer also advised me, regarding my enquiry about Flat 44 which remained empty for some 4 months, that he is not able to comment on my enquiry to Cllr Duffin, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Environment.

Mr Spencer’s comments were later supported by Mansell on behalf of the Council in reply to an email in which I accused Mr Spencer’s comments as being “false and misleading.”

My reason for saying this is because Flat 40 was not advertised at all in 2016. The Homechoice property advertised for the period 3-7 September 16 was Homechoice Ref : 24008, and which I bidded for, and was Flat 44.

Mr Spencer was being somewhat coy when he said the property “was not ring fenced in any way by the Homechoice team”, unquote, because the property, like all the ring fenced properties at Timber Close, are ring fenced by Sanctuary Housing for Cornwall Council.

Flat 44 was advertised earlier as Homechoice property Ref : 23335 for the period 2-6 July 16 and which remained empty for some 4 months. This being the Homechoice property Cllr Duffin remains silent over.

I have recently requested a Parliamentary solution to a number of issues I have one of which is collusion between Cornwall Council and Sanctuary Housing to ring fence Homechoice properties and unlawfully deceive Homechoice bidders/applicants. Another is the rigging of Homechoice Welfare Priority Assessments.

The only reason the Council and Sanctuary have been getting away with the unlawful practise of ring fencing and rigged Welfare Priority Assessments for years is because no Ombudsman has the jurisdiction to investigate a Council partner involved in a complaint against the Council.

Property Ref : 23335, a 1 Bed 1st Floor Flat, was advertised for the period 2-6 July 16 and was advertised without any preferences despite a bizarre reference to it not having a “lift”. A reference I have not seen before for any Timber Close Flat.

64 Homechoice bidders were deceived by this advertisement because the property did have a Stair Lift which was not mentioned in the advertisement or any preferences. I believe the Council was still paying for the Stair Lift which was installed by Tremorvah Industries in 2012 for a tenant in receipt of benefits who moved out in June 2016. Tremorvah Industries being a supported workshop under the umbrella of Cornwall Council.

Although I advised the Council and Sanctuary Housing Flat 44 had a Stair Lift the only change that followed was the property was re-advertised as Property Ref : 24008, a 1 Bed 1st Floor Flat, for the period 3-7 September 16. The major difference being a Service Charge increase from £2.55 (Ref : 23335) to £22.38 (Ref : 24008) per week to cover the cost for the Stair Lift despite no mention of a Stair Lift or any preferences in the re-advertised Flat.

On 04 October, some three and a half months after Flat 44 became empty the Stair Lift was removed and disposed of whilst the maintenance men were still preparing Flat 44 for occupation and before they later began preparing Flat 40 for occupation. On 22 October the new tenant moved into Flat 44 and on 09 November a new tenant took over Flat 40.

If Flat 40 was Property Ref : 24008 for the period 3-7 September 16, according to Spencer, Mansell and Cornwall Council, then 104 Homechoice bidders were deceived into bidding for an advertised property which was willfuly misleading and which would have deterred some Homechoice applicants bidding for it due to the extortionate weekly Service Charge of £22.38 without explanation. A property I bidded for but received no amendments, updates or corrections for the misleading advertisement which the Council must have known about whilst the Stair Lift remained in the property.

Flat 40 had no adaptions to warrant a Service Charge of nearly £90 a month hence why Flat 40 was not advertised in 2016.

Whoever Flat 44 and Flat 40 was awarded to it had nothing to do with fair play or a level playing field to bidders/applicants and everything to do with deceiving them because the Council’s housing partner had been caught out engaging in criminality and deception again.

As per usual both Flats were advertised with misleading pictures, a practise which has gone on since 2009 or before, and both maps pinpointed the same house, thanks largely to a willfuly blind ICO who doesn’t believe this recorded information is misleading. Duh.

As Mansell is well aware this is not the first time this has happened or the first time Mansell has engaged in willful blindness or made defensive remarks like “The flat is the property of Sanctuary Housing and as such I would ask you to contact them directly as they are not part of Cornwall Council or Cornwall Housing”, unquote.

A clear admission by Cornwall Council that it will not investigate any complaint involving the potential of criminality or collusion between Cornwall Council or Cornwall Housing and one of its partners. Be it in Housing or Health.

I once said Cornwall Council and Sanctuary Housing are so far up each other that it would take a week in surgery to separate them. Nothing has changed and this is perhaps best demonstrated with the ongoing fraud and protection involving Bennett’s Folly.

I am also still mindful that the Council has twice had me falsely arrested by its corrupt bought and paid for Police Force to protect itself and its partners in crime and which has also yet to be resolved properly.

Yours sincerely


Geoff McLaughlin

34 Timber Close, St Austell, Cornwall. PL25 5NZ.


Email recipients :

CEO Kate Kennally, Leader of the Council Cllr John Pollard, Cllr Joyce Duffin, Cllr Geoff Brown, Cllr Adam Paynter, Cllr Jeremy Rowe, Cllr Jim McKenna, Cllr Andrew Wallis, Cllr Bert Biscoe, Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cllr Julian German. Local Government Ombudsman, Paul Masters, Trevor Doughty, Cath Robinson, Information Commissioner’s Office, Alastair Spencer, Panorama.



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