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latest update 12 February 2010

Friday, 9 October 2009

Email from The Loose Cannon to ARMC members

The following email has been made available to this site by 'The Loose Cannon':

----- Original Message -----
From: The Loose Cannon
To: Southwood, Paula M. (Councillor)
Cc: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 3:38 PM
Subject: Draft minutes ARMC.

Dear Paula,

Minutes are the official, written record of a meeting, but having read the lastest draft minutes of the ARMC we cannot believe it was the meeting we attended. We are appalled that Bill Norman and Mark Delap are treating members of the public with such open contempt.

Instead of a record of the proceedings they have offered a public relations document that simply paraphrases the (erroneous) findings of the internal audit report.

How deceitful, when someone has been allowed to address the committee, to then ignore every single point made by them. It smacks of Stalinist Russia rather than the Wirral we know.

Why no mention of the allegations of hardship suffered by at least one tenant, solely due to the unlawful special charging policy - a man with learning disabilities who had to go to the Welfare Fund for money for clothes?

Why no mention of the fifteen reasons Martin Morton gave for the special charging policy being unfair - something the Department of Health clearly believed, hence the Fairer Charging Policy - yet Bill Norman's 'opinon' is allowed to prevail?

Why no mention of Martin's allegation that, contrary to the report, the residents at the three properties were NOT assessed, and that they were charged according to their means and not according to their needs, which is unlawful.

Why no mention that Martin alleged it was untrue to claim the special charging policy was intended to be applied elsewhere?

Why no mention that the members of the public present, as well as the Conservative councillors, clearly did not believe the explanations about the document 'found in DASS' and made their feelings known?

Why no mention of Cllr Mountney's question about financial abuse at Balls Road?

Why no mention that Martin refuted the claim he had not mentioned Balls Road in his Grievance/Whistleblowing documents? Or the excerpt he read from them?

Why no mention that Martin quoted an email from his Grievance/Whistleblowing documents, as did Cllr Mountney, which clearly shows that two Assistant Directors of DASS, Mike Fowler and Maura Noone, were aware the special charging policy was unfair in February 2000? You must surely have known it was the email which Cllr Mountney gave to Bill Norman last year, prompting their suspension. If you weren't, how duplicitous of Bill Norman not to confirm its authenticity to you. In fact, how duplicitous of him not to confirm its authenticity to the Committee.

Why no mention of Martin's allegations of bullying?

Below "It was further moved by Councillor Mountney and seconded by Councillor Fraser that ..." the minutes read:
(a) Implement the principle of reimbursement of service users at Bermuda Road, Curlew Way and Edgehill Road Moreton, between 1997 and 2003 in so far as the sums actually paid by an individual service user exceeded what they might reasonably have been required to pay had the principles contained in Fairer Charging been applied throughout that period ...

Although this may be what the Council would prefer, it is not correct. Cllr Mountney called for the reimbursement of all monies paid by service users at the three properties in so far as the sums actually paid by them exceeded what other service users in the borough were paying at the time, which was nothing.

Finally, why no mention that you refused the offer made by the Audit Commission to investigate 1997-2003?
You have had first-hand experience of the duplicity of Lester Roughley; you know he lied to committee regarding the information I had given him; you are aware that a file containing all the special charging policy documents was handed to him in DASS, prior to the April meeting, which subsequently appears to have mysteriously vanished, yet you made the decision to put the investigation back in his hands. In our opinion it is not the chairman's place to make unilateral decisions, and you certainly did not gain the confidence of the public present.

While on the subject of your handling of the meeting, we felt you were not objective, as any chairman should be, but far too biased towards your own party line. We were very disappointed that you put your political allegiance above humanity and inconvenient truths.


© Reproduced with kind permission of The Loose Cannon.

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