The Local Government Ombudsman has again found Hammersmith and Fulham's Conservative Administration guilty of maladministration. This time it is because Conservative councillors have been charging elderly residents living in sheltered housing twice as much for their water supply as H&F Council were buying it for from Thames Water.
This overcharging has been going on since 2007. Despite the pensioners spotting and then raising it four years ago, H&F Council kept double charging them while it took them through the charade of all three stages of its own internal complaints procedure. In the end the residents were forced to seek an external ruling from Dr. Jane Martin, the Ombudsman. Dr. Martin made H&F's Conservative Administration halt what it was doing and pay the pensioners all their £38,000 back that they had wrongly taken from them - plus interest and plus costs. You can read the Ombudsman's report here.
Regular readers will recall the last time H&F's Conservatives "maladministration" was recognised by the Ombudsman. They refused to offer the statutory homelessness help to a young pregnant woman who had been badly beaten up by her so-called partner in a horrible domestic violence incident. She was later found terrified sleeping in a local park a few weeks before she was due to give birth. Despite the Ombudsman's ruling H&F Conservatives took revenge on the homeless charity that found and supported the woman and drove them out of business in this Borough as you can read here.
H&F Conservatives have become adept at lifting money from unsuspecting residents with their staggering £64.5 million worth of stealth taxes which you can also read about here. I really hope this incident was an indication of their incompetence rather than another example of their many deliberate scams to stealthily grab cash from residents' wallets.