to return to
A Really Rotten Borough
latest update 12 February 2010

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The thoughts of Joe/Jo Public

From Wirral Globe

MX, Wirral says... 24 Sep 09
From what I witnessed last night John Webb and Cllr.McLoughlin should do the honourable thing and resign NOW.
But they wouldn't know how to do the honourable thing would they?.
I wanted to be sick listening to what had gone on.Beyond belief.

piggymalone, wirral says... 24 Sep 09
My contacts within Social Services have told me on a number of occasions that this "rip off" of vulnerable people was widely known about by many members of the social services team but in the end only one person had the b*lls to stand up and be counted. God bless him for standing up to the bullies and crooks in the town hall and I sincerely hope that the pressure has been lifted from his shoulders

Natasha Eubank, Oxton says... 24 Sep 09
How can the Council honestly expect us to continue to maintain trust in their commitment of working for the good of Wirral Residents now?

We have already been betrayed on an unparalleled scale through the heinous SAR.

But now, now the most vulnerable amongst us have the been the victims of the most appalling breach of trust by Council Officers.

Let us be clear about what has happened here. At any one point in time over the last 10 years or so, the Council could have put this right. Individual Council Officers elected NOT to. They were aware this was, in effect, institutional financial abuse, and they chose NOT to put it right.

They discussed it in the most cynical manner in inter-departmental emails. They use expressions like 'Cover's Blown' when referring to the potential disclosure of overcharging. They chose NOT to put it right.

I believe there are other ongoing issues which demonstrate that the Council has a reluctance to rectify financial abuse in such services.

So, when along came a person who voiced his concerns, this was a massive inconvenience.

At this point, the Council could have put this right. They chose NOT to. They chose to grind one man into the ground, rather than pay back some of the most vulnerable people in this borough the money they were rightly owed.

These are the people who are supposed to be working for our good.

Two of the most senior departmental staff who were implicated are back in post, by the way, the others, and there were a few, jumped ship (or were they pushed?), before this became public.

You see, because of this, we, the residents are going to get hammered by the council again in the next few years. We are facing massive cuts in public spending. This is inevitable. The Department of Adult Social Services are so far down the financial hole, the end result of this (and it's unlikely to be a hundred-odd thousand, but considerably more) is REALLY going to hurt.

It's going to hurt US!

Ultimately, we will suffer for this. The most vulnerable people on Wirral will suffer for this. Because of the high-handed arrogance and dishonesty of council officers.

Do we really want these people working for us? Senior Officers who view Wirral as their own personal playground, where decisions that affect the quality of peoples lives can be decided in the time it takes to write an email?

slumdog, wallasey says... 25 Sep 09
Natasha, thank you for taking the time to write, and I can't disagree with you.

slumdog, wallasey says... 25 Sep 09
piggy, absolutely spot on! I too wish Martin Morton all the very best and thank him for what he was brave enough to do.

TheLooseCannon, Wirral says... 25 Sep 09
It's frankly disgraceful that this mealy-mouthed response by WBC, presumably backed by the full approval of the Director of Law, is still not telling the truth!

It reads:
"The report discussed by the Audit and Risk Management Committee focused on the issues investigated by the Audit Commission, namely the council’s application of the Department of Health’s Fairer Charging Policy and arrangements for the commissioning and monitoring of contracts for supported living and supported people services."

That is, at best misleading and at worst a downright lie.

The minutes of the Committee, dated 30 September 2008 show:
Item 20
Resolved (3) "That the officers be requested to investigate whether a charging policy had been in place dating back to 1999 and, if so, whether or not it had not been
approved by members."

At the meeting Internal Audit had to admit under close questioning that Martin Morton had given them 14 pages of documentation covering this but they had only bothered with "the bit we were looking into".

Why did they not speak up when the Committee was questioning exactly when Social Services officers realised the charges were unreasonable?

Why did they not say they already had the proof? For the same reason they told the same committee that I had not provided them with specific information - to assist with the monumental cover-up the Council's STILL trying to maintain?

It was only after my Councillor - who chairs the Committee - persisted several times on my behalf that they crawled back to admit they "had found a pencilled note of the information"

Last Wednesday, Madam Chairman was so wedded to her party's line that she protect the ruling Lab/LibDem stranglehold of the Council at all costs that she could not find even a soupcon of courage to ignore the bleatings in her ear from the Director of Law.

At a public external inquiry the right people would be asked the right questions, and more unpalatable truths would emerge.

Spiffy, Wallasey says... 25 Sep 09
Natasha - *clap* *clap* *clap* - very well said.

piggymalone, wirral says... 25 Sep 09
I assume that Martin Morton is following all the outcomes of this case and is also recovering from the mentral trauma imposed on him by our lords and masters in Wallasey Town Hall.
Well, Martin it would appear to me that, rightly, you have 100% support from the residents of Wirral and indeed, from my contacts, numerous members of the social services team. Certain Wirral Council officers and councillors are committing the criminal offence of "malfeasance in public office" not only in this case but other matters and its about time that legal action was taken against the guilty parties

Natasha Eubank, Oxton says... 25 Sep 09
Malfeasance is EXACTLY what has happened here. The Crown Prosecution Service guidelines say that the elements of this offence are when:

A public officer acting as such;
Wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself;
To such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the office holder;
Without reasonable excuse or justification.

In view of this, perhaps Cllr. Southwood and Bill Norman (Director of Law) can explain why they stated a police investigation WASN'T appropriate in this instance??????

GotTheirNumber, Wirral says... 25 Sep 09
I hope the Globe goes after them...

They will, won't they?

Bill Gates, wirral says... 25 Sep 09
Councillor Mountney and Martin Morton would appear to believe that the financial abuse of disabled people in this case is the tip of the iceburgh, that is certainly the case.
I can confirm that the overcharging of disabled service users on the wirral still continues today with the full knowledge of the Wirral Social Services department and at least one of the officers that had been suspended. This abuse is present outside of the locations mentioned in the report and when exposed will form another phase of the Wirral Gate saga!

Marleys Ghost, Wirral says... 24 Sep 09
It is now clear to everyone that the charges made in the Moreton supported living establishments were unlawful and should therefore be repaid. The debate now centres on whether these charges were excessive and thus unlawful from their inception in 1997 or whether they only became unlawful following Fairer Charges for Care which should have been implemented in 2003 but, in this case, was delayed until 2006. I think that plenty of evidence has been put forward to show that, beyond any reasonable doubt, these charges were excessive from the outset. They were more than double that of the highest charging neighbouring authority, and this at a time when most authorities were providing free care. Having Wirral’s Internal Audit paw over this ground for yet another month only serves to delay and obscure things still further. The Authority should now get on with reimbursing this money to these people as quickly as possible and in a way that will not affect their benefits. However, I do agree with the Committee in saying that we still need further information. What we now need to know why was there a lengthy and expensive cover-up, who sanctioned it, and why the whistleblower, who we now know to be Martin Morton, was treated so appallingly? This is not a matter that can be left to Internal Audit as they are implicated by their own inaction in the past. The only way that these matters can be aired properly is for there to be a full independent public inquiry.

piggymalone, wirral says... 24 Sep 09
Never mind public enquiry, malfeasance in public office is a very serious criminal offence and therefore the police should be called to investigate.

slumdog, wallasey says... 25 Sep 09
100% agree with the former Jacob. You too have a good point piggy.

GotTheirNumber, Wirral says... Fri 25 Sep 09
Maddox and Miller - and Webb, to a certain extent - should hang their heads in shame.

As always, though, there is more to this - and I've already passed it on to the Globe.
Maddox and Miller - and Webb, to a certain extent - should hang their heads in shame. As always, though, there is more to this - and I've already passed it on to the Globe.

From Wirral Globe

GotTheirNumber, Wirral says... 23 Sep 09
Fi, fo, foe, fum, I smell the desperate measures of PR department gum.

Do they REALLY expect anyone to believe this?

A missing document found at the 11th hour?

How very bloody convenient.

Next we'll be told the 60000+ who protested against library closures were "probably mistaken".
What a bunch of (alleged) crooks.

piggymalone, wirral says... 23 Sep 09
I have it on good authority that numerous council employees were aware of this overcharging. It is now recognised that this over charging was illegal. Knowingly committing an illegal action is the very serious criminal offence of malfeasance in public office and I am at a loss as to understand why the police have not been called in to investigate.

Spiffy, Wallasey says... 24 Sep 09
Whats all this "on balance, probably reasonable and lawful" ? Overcharging vulnerable people was either reasonable or it wasnt. It was either lawful or it wasnt. So which is it ?
If just one case was unreasonable and unlawful then that one case needs looking at and those responsible held accountable.
It beats me why councils are even allowed to audit themselves.

MX, Wirral says... 24 Sep 09
Sham 2009.
I knew this case was about Council corruption but it gets worse.This is the same case where suspended officers returned to work isn't it?.
Is anyone going to take responsibility for this unholy mess or do we just accept that this is how the Council operates.
Taking money from vulnerable people because you're up the swanee.How low can you go?.
Sham 2009. I knew this case was about Council corruption but it gets worse.This is the same case where suspended officers returned to work isn't it?. Is anyone going to take responsibility for this unholy mess or do we just accept that this is how the Council operates. Taking money from vulnerable people because you're up the swanee.How low can you go?.

slumdog, wallasey says... 25 Sep 09
Mx, I dont think you can get any lower. Worms belly maybe?


© copyright individual authors . Reproduced under fair use for the purposes of comment, news reporting and their preservation

No comments:

Post a Comment