Trevor Cowin’s complaint said to be ‘vexatious’

Friday 23rd September 2022 11:00 am
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The annual Tynwald Day ceremony at St John's - pictured is petitioner Trevor Cowin (Isle of Man Newspapers )

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An official has refused to investigate a complaint made by frequent Tynwald Day petitioner Trevor Cowin because she says it was ‘verging on the vexatious’.

Tynwald Commissioner of Administration Angela Main Thompson published a statement of reasons for her decision to be presented to Tynwald, detailing the decision to dismiss the complaint.

Mr Cowin, who lives in Peel, said: ‘She’s left it to “others” to decide whether her description of my complaint was justified, rather than justifying it herself.’

Ms Main Thompson’s conclusion comes after complaints made by Mr Cowin to the Manx Utilities Authority (MUA) and the authority’s handling of the complaints.

Mr Cowin was offered an opportunity to meet with the MUA to resolve these issues, however he declined, as he says the MUA did not consent to record the meeting.

Eight of 12 complaints against Manx Utilities were handled by the company secretary rather than anyone else.

Ms Main Thompson gave a ‘brief summary’ of the situation to Mr Cowin.

In her report she said: ‘The complaint as submitted was not the complaint made to the MUA and investigated by the listed authority and so section 10(1)(b) of the Tynwald Commissioner for Administration Act 2011 was not satisfied.’

Mr Cowin, a retired civil servant, said: ‘My complaint to the ombudsman was against the MUA – not against individual officers.’

Mr Cowin’s official complaint was concerning ‘failure by the MUA to provide me with a mechanism to enable me to exhaust the MUA’s “complaints procedures” under its “customer charter”.’

In her conclusion, Ms Main Thompson said: ‘He [Mr Cowin] took exception to my description of his complaint as “verging on the vexatious”.

‘I have, I hope, set out enough of the correspondence and history to enable others to determine whether the comment was justified.’

This remark is the only mention of the word vexatious in the entire report.

The legal definition of vexatious is: ‘An action that is brought without sufficient grounds for winning, purely to cause annoyance to the defendant.’

Ms Main Thompson’s verdict will be presented to Tynwald between October 18 and October 20.

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