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

Friday, 25 September 2009

Wirral Council launches investigation into allegation of bullying

Liverpool Daily Post - by Liam Murphy

WIRRAL Council has launched an investigation into allegations of bullying of a whistleblower which he says forced him to leave his job.

Martin Morton had attempted to make Wirral Council repay money which was taken from vulnerable adults in the authority’s care under a so-called "special charging policy".

Reports by the Audit Commission and an internal investigation revealed that people with severe learning difficulties and disabilities at three council-run establishments had been over charged more than £100,000.

However, an audit committee meeting earlier this week was told the real figures could be much higher.

At the same meeting Mr Morton told councillors of the bullying and isolation imposed on him after he revealed the extent of the over-charging and tried to get the money repaid.

At a meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet last night, Cllr Simon Holbrook led calls for an investigation into Mr Morton’s allegations.

Cllr Simon Mountney, who has backed Mr Morton’s efforts to have the council investigate the overcharging and repay the money said he was "absolutely delighted" at the cabinet decision.

He said: "It’s fantastic - it has taken eight years to get this far, but perhaps we’re getting there now.

"I believe the investigation will further verify Martin’s allegations against the council and hopefully people will see those allegations are all correct and true and people will be repaid back to 1997 when the special charging policy was introduced."

The cabinet agreed to welcome and support the decisions taken by the Audit and Risk Management Committee on September 23.

It also ordered that the Director of Law, HR and Asset Management, be instructed to commence an investigation into the treatment of Mr Morton in relation to allegations of bullying.

Cllr Holbrook said: "Cabinet lends its support to the recommendations of the Audit and Risk Management Committee on September 23 in relation to the charging policies in existence in Social Services between 1997 and 2006.

"However, during that meeting Mr Morton made serious allegations with regard to bullying whilst employed by the Council. These allegations are so serious that they cannot be allowed to stand with the Council taking no action on them.

"As Audit and Risk Management Committee did not have the opportunity to address this point, the appropriate response is for Cabinet to order an immediate investigation into these allegations. Such a serious matter requires thorough investigation."


© copyright Liverpool Daily Post. Reproduced under fair use for the dual purposes of comment and news reporting

No comments:

Post a Comment