Gloucestershire County Council

I have been through twelve months and more of severe mental stress caused in part (a large part) by the actions of Gloucestershire County Council.

A brief summary of events is that in April 2009 my ex-wife took my daughter away to a refuge and made a whole series of allegations against me which the council social services duly recorded on an initial assessment form. I was not interviewed and although her claims were recorded in detail my brief telephone conversation was dismissed as "Issues" and not recorded, so the initial assessment was biased. When I received this assessment on 15 May 2009 I immediately wrote to the council and lodged a formal complaint as I had not been seen, my daughter had said she wanted to come home to me and the social worker (Susan Lloyd) over ruled her sayiong mum had parental responsibility. (It is recorded that my daughter stated mum had not looked after her for the past 8 months but that was conveniently ignored!!).

My complaint was investigated by Mary Holland and a letter was received from Jackie Ellis which actually raised more questions as it contradicted the initial assessment and also alleged that the police had given the council advice not to disclose my daughter's address to me. I then escalated the complaint process to Level 2 and received a leaked email stating that the council planned to use Mary Holland again to do Stage 2 as I did not know her name from stage 1. I complained to the council that this was not on and had a meeting with Tim Browne who stated he knew nothing of my case, that the planned use of same staff was inappropriate and heads would roll. (What he did not tell me was he had received 9 or 10 emails prior to my meeting so he knew all about me. He also failed to reveal that a correcting email had been sent stating if the LGO found out about using the same person then that would cause problems).

I was offered an independent person to carry out the Stage 2 complaint process which I accepted but now realise that the person who did this was not so independent and her activities were restricted as the legal department refused to be looked at and one of the chief people in the council was conveniently on sick leave. When the Stage 2 report was completed, Tim Brown wanted to meet me before sending the report for my perusal and I refused. He then adjudicated on it and refused to answer my queries when I did eventually see the report - there were anomalies in this.

I did a Data Protection Release and found that on 20 May a council employee sent an email round to 3 other managers as a briefing note stating there were allegations of sexual abuse and domestic violence not yet proven. The Local Government Ombudsman has ruled that no such allegations existed. A simple message from the police that they would not help me find my daughter became "Police advice due to allegations of domestic abuse". The council also released an opinion of the refuge to the court that I posed a risk to other residents if I found the address of the refuge - they had already disclosed this to me three weeks earlier on the initial assessment.

For all the lies I have been subjected to and the denial of any knowledge of my daughter for thirteen months the LGO has considered awarding compensation for "hurt feelings". The amount he suggests is 250 and the matter to be closed under local resolution - he is working with the council to keep it sweet and honest looking. Where is the justice in this country when you think that a speeding ticket is 60 while my reputation is totally rubbished and I get 250? I am now taking court action against the individuals concerned and the council as their employer.

Geoff Salter
58 Thatcham Avenue

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