Manchester City Council Harasses a Tenant

The Local Government Ombudsman supports the Council

My story begins with trivia - hedges! However, hedges are a camouflage for Manchester City Council to force tenants into buying their properties. My tenancy agreement states under two clauses, Clause 4.18, Community Responsibilities, and Clause 6.13, Tenants' Responsibilities, that I am responsible for the gardens and hedges. My neighbour and I live in two bungalows set back off Catterick Road, Didsbury. We are surrounded by three roads; Catterick Road, Catterick Avenue and Willow Way. We have only one access via a passageway.

Approximately six months after signing the tenancy agreement, a council tenant from Catterick Avenue cut down the hedge backing onto council tenants' property, by my kitchen window, from approximately twenty five feet to two feet. I informed the council - nothing was said - nothing was done. Three months later I cut down the next hedge. This hedge backs onto council tenants who have bought their council house. The neighbour complained. Ms Debbie Phelan, Local Authority Environment Officer, failed to contact me. Believing I was hiding in the bungalow, she arranged for the Police to break into my home by telling the officer, "She knew I had a history of collapsing and was concerned for my welfare." On my return from shops Debbie Phelan and Maria Swanston approached me and began verbally attacking me. Debbie Phelan did most of the attacking by saying I had no rights and that she could evict me now. I contacted a solicitor who stopped the case when Debbie Phelan's lie came to light in the Police report. My doctor produced a report to the effect that I do not have a history of collapsing.

I contacted D Wellington, Principal Team Leader of Manchester Housing, who supported Debbie Phelan, I then went through the stages of the complaints procedure, with R Smith, Assistant Director, Larry Patrick, Assistant Director, Steve Rumbelow, Director of Housing and finally, Howard Bernstein who all supported Debbie Phelan in her lie. I was advised to contact the Local Government Ombudsman's York office, under Patricia Thomas (now retired). The Local Govenment Ombudsman supported Manchester City Council. I received no report.

I contacted Manchester City Council concerning a loft conversion of another neighbour in Willow Way who was finally allowed to finish the conversion with dormer windows instead of skylights. My neighbour and I pleaded with the Council in the early stages of the design for the dormer windows to be replaced with skylights as our privacy would be violated. Manchester City Council allowed the conversion to go ahead with dormer windows.

I then asked Manchester City Council for permission to erect a self assembly garden room consisting of plastic windows and galvanised steel. Steve Preston sent me a letter to the effect that I had the permission if I accepted their conditions. I did accept their conditions. However, one year later I was sent a spurious copy letter which stated I did not have the permission. I contacted the Local Government Ombudsman again. He said there was nothing he could do as Manchester City Council was not in error of maladministration.

I had had enough! I contacted the Royal Courts of Justice for judicial review. I was advised by Justice Collins that I had to produce 'erring of law' and that my claim against the Local Government Ombudsman in York was "utterly hopeless". I said that Manchester City Council had breached the tenancy agreement and I believed breach of statute was 'erring of law'. I was granted a half hour hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on 16 March 2005. Mr. Justice Bean refused permission for a judicial review against Manchester City Council even though I produced 'erring of law'. He would not give me his reasons why. The Royal Courts of Justice then put pressure on me concerning my claim against the bias and corruption of the Local Government Ombudsman. I wrote many letters to the Royal Courts of Justice explaining that I had joined Local Government Ombudsmanwatch and needed more time to prepare my case against the Local Government Ombudsman in York as new evidence was coming to light. They forced the case to be heard on 11 August 2005 even though I informed the Courts that I would not be attending.

The harassment from Manchester City Council continued and I began a further claim against Manchester City Council and the Local Government Ombudsman in York. On 16 March 06 I received the Acknowledgement of Service from the Local Government Ombudsman who asked the Courts for a restraining order to be placed on me and costs of 1,075. I have contacted Tony Blair, John Prescott, Lord Chief Justice Nolan (who has refused to reply to any of my three letters), the BBC, and many others.

I received on 26 April 06 form N39 to appear at Manchester County Court for questioning. I borrowed the money and went down to Manchester County Court to prove I had paid it. They told me that this was not one of their reference numbers. After looking into the matter I was told by S Jones that the High Court had arranged this hearing!!! I asked Manchester County Court to inform the High Court of my objections to paying this amount. I have recently paid 1,008 for this case so that I could continue with my present claim. However, on Friday 12 May 06 I received an order from the Royal Courts of Justice to refuse permission. I have no alternative now but to let this matter drop as the bias and corruption is too deep for me to continue alone, without any legal help and support.

There is much more but it is very difficult to put each item of harassment into words. I am not only being harassed by Manchester City Council officials but also neighbours who are watching and following me. My health has been permanently damaged, physically as well as mentally.

God bless.

Corrine O'Keeffe.

Return to contents list.


Copyright © 2006 - Corrine O'Keeffe
All Rights Reserved
E-mail smithjohnp@btinternet.com