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NEWPORT BUILDER FAILS TO CHOOSE OMBUDSMAN FOR COUNCIL COMPLAINT

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A Newport building contractor failed in his High Court bid to have his complaint against Newport BC heard by a Loca...
A Newport building contractor failed in his High Court bid to have his complaint against Newport BC heard by a Local Government Ombudsman outside Gwent.

Abdul Ghafoor, of (Brynglas Farm), St Brides, Newport, claimed that if his complaint were dealt with by a Gwent Ombudsman he risked being a victim of bias. Mr Ghafoor said Gwent Ombudsman, Mr Elwyn Moseley, had written a critical report about him when a Cardiff City Council officer. He agreed that Mr Moseley had delegated the hearing of his complaint against Newport BC to a colleague, David Bowen.

But he claimed that the only way of ensuring there was no bias was by having it heard by an Ombudsman outside Gwent altogether. But Mr Justice MacPherson threw out Mr Ghafoor's challenge, saying Mr Moseley had acted entirely properly.

Mr Ghafoor, 50, had complained to the Ombudsman for Local Government in Wales about a ban imposed by the Borough Council on his company bidding for million pound council contracts. But he learnt that when Mr Moseley was Director of Law and Administration with Cardiff City Council in 1986, he reported on a South Wales Constabulary investigation into Mr Ghafoor and his company, Shahid Building Construction Limited.

That report related to alleged presents of wine and spirits to council staff and did not lead to any prosecution. But Mr Ghafoor and his company were later banned from bidding for Borough Council contracts. Representing himself in court today, Mr Ghafoor claimed he could not get a fair hearing from Mr Bowen, who 'shared an office' with Mr Moseley. This application for leave to seek a full Judicial Review is refused.'
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