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Friday, 18 September 2009

The Internal Auditor's Report - Easy Read version

In 1997 Wirral Social Services moved 16 people out of a big care home.

The people went to live in three small groups in ordinary houses in Moreton. One house was in Bermuda Road, one was in Curlew Way and the third was in Edgehill Road.


Between 1997 and 2006 the Council took too much money from the people in the three houses.

The Council called this a "Special Charging Policy".

It is "Special" because the Council decided to take money from some people, but not all people.

This meant that some people living in the houses did not have enough money to buy clothes.


In 2000 someone who worked in Wirral Social Services told his bosses that the Council was taking too much money from the people.

The Council calls this person the Whistleblower but he has a real name too.

The Whistleblower kept trying to get the Council to stop taking too much money, but his bosses said he was wrong.


In 2003 the Government said all Councils had to be more fair in what money they took from people.

This is called the Fairer Charging Policy

Wirral Council started using the Fairer Charging Policy in 2006.

When that happened people only had to pay £18 each week to the Council.

Before that they had been paying over £80 to the Council each week for the same things.


So Wirral Council kept on taking too much money from the people in the three houses for another three years.

It is wrong to take too much money from people and not give it back to them.

The law calls this "unlawful" because it is not allowed.


The Whistleblower still kept trying to get his bosses to take less money from the people in the three houses but they ignored him.

In 2007 the Whistleblower told The Audit Commission about the Council taking too much money from some people in Wirral.

The Audit Commission is a Government organisation that makes sure Councils do the right thing with money.


In 2008 the Council paid some money to the Whistleblower so he would leave the Council and not be a nuisance any more.

Although the Whistleblower did not work for the Council any more he still kept trying to get them to pay back the money they had taken from the people in the three houses.


On Wednesday 23 September this story will be talked about at a meeting, so that Councillors can decide what to do next.

The meeting will be at 6 o'clock in the evening at Wallasey Town Hall. Anybody can go to the meeting to find out what is said.


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