A GARDENER has won a battle with Kirklees Council after he was kicked off his allotment.
Since 1999 the council had been asking the man - who has not been identified by the ombudsman - to keep his grass short and look after his plot better.
Finally the man, whose family are Polish, asked the council to make it clear what they meant by better maintenance and if the council's actions were because he was Polish.
The council saw this as an accusation of racism and told him the allotment was no longer his to rent.
Local Government Ombudsman Patricia Thomas has found the council guilty of maladministration, causing injustice.
Her report said: "The investigation showed that the council had warned the man on several occasions from 1999 onwards that the land must be properly maintained and that it had complained, in particular, that the grass must be kept cut.
"When the man complained formally to the council he asked if its actions had been racially or politically motivated. He says that this was not an accusation but a request for information.
"The council took strong exception to what it saw as a slur on the integrity of its officers and, instead of dealing with his complaint, terminated the rental agreement for the garden plot."
Mrs Thomas has ordered Kirklees to pay £400 for any distress caused and find the man a new allotment.
A council spokesman refused to comment, but said the complaints procedure was being reviewed.