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A Really Rotten Borough
latest update 12 February 2010

Friday, 15 January 2010

Comments on the above story, published in Wirral Globe

djrimmer, Wallasey says...
12:00pm Fri 15 Jan 10

"Clearly, not our finest hour" and it still isnt, forcing these people into having to "claim" the money back. Why didnt you and your fellow councillors over rule Norman and just graciuosly pay the money back without the trauma of having to approach you......the public know what you are up to....hoping that some of them will not be bothered....shameful

kmka, prenton says...
12:20pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Just when you thought that this council couldn't stoop any lower, along comes this. Not satisied with trying to sell off libraries, swimming pools and schools, we now find that they have been knowingly ripping off vulnerable adults. What next? Stealing sweets from children? Selling lead from church rooves?It's about time all members of this council did the decent thing and resign.

Natasha Eubank, Oxton says...
12:22pm Fri 15 Jan 10

There are a series of questions that need to be asked:

The Council, through its records, will be aware of the individuals that this overcharging has affected - Why then are the victims required to make a 'claim'?

The Council claims that the reimbursement of this money would negatively affect the victims entitlement to state benefit - What representations has the Council made to the DWP, to advise them that this situation has resulted out of the Councils inability to provide appropriate care and support for vulnerable people and therefore the victims of this overcharging should not be unfairly penalised for the Councils ineptitude?

Finally, Councillor Foulkes has stated that this 'affair had proved that anyone within the council with a complaint - "or a whistleblower, as the term has been used in this case" - would have their grievances properly investigated and acted upon'. I assure you that there are very few people working for the Council who hold any faith whatsoever in the Wirrals Whistleblowing Policy after the treatment meted out to Mr. Morton. This man endured bullying from Directors and Assistant Directors of Adult Social Services and Elected Members as a result of his disclosure. Furthermore, it took 9 YEARS(!) before this matter finally received the attention it deserved and even then, has been subsequently minimised and distorted by senior officers and members, so yes Councillor Foulkes, the Whistleblowing system in Wirral Council is a real shining beacon of Equity and Transparency isn't it?

If anyone in the Council had any faith in the Whistleblowing policy, you would have been ripped seven ways from Sunday over WBC's inability to prevent financial abuse in one particular supported accommodation provider.

So, my final question is directed solely to Councillor Foulkes - How can you sleep at night?

Casey Jones 01, Wirral City says...
12:34pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Totally agree with your sentiments Natasha - another question would be, how many of these vulnerable service users have died in the meantime and what happens to the money that WBC has stolen from them? Morbid question, I know - but it may be too late to "reimburse" some of these victims and why should WBC benefit in those cases?

piggymalone, wirral says...
1:44pm Fri 15 Jan 10

As I understand it, Casey, 3 of the affected residents have subsequently passed away and presumably the reason no councillor has challenged Normans recommendation to force the people in question to have to apply to the council for the refund is in the hope that they do or cannot apply, cynical maybe but look at the continuing treatment of Martin Morton

Message to Leig or Justin;

How about running internet replies to this story alongside Mr Mortons reply next week to show the 100% public support for him. This will also show councillors the shear bad taste in the mouths of the electorate over this affair

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
2:01pm Fri 15 Jan 10

How about the Globe organising a petition against victims of this fraud having to claim back their own money and demanding it is repaid automatically using councils own accounts records to do so ?
How about the globe organising an interview with a senior SS officer and get the official position on any repayments to benefit recipients ? That would save every single claimant having to find out for themselves, some may not be capable of doing so without a great deal of assistance that they may feel either too proud or unable to ask for.
How about the Globe organising an online petition signed en masse selectively worded to precisely express the populations of Wirrals deep revulsion at the despicable treatment of Mr Morton and all the victims of fraud ?
How about Mr Morton himself and a mass gathering of supporters marching to the town hall and handing over these petitions directly to Foulkes himself - with local press present. ?

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
2:03pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Oh and since the amount owed is almost that which they are trying to scam off us all for hot dinners and butties we could all throw mouldy bread at him too :)

hugo2008, Wirral says...
2:06pm Fri 15 Jan 10

It goes without question that somebody in a high place needs to answer some important questions, What is Steve Maddox going to do with the people resposible for this outrageous treatment of those in the least possible circumstances to fend for themselves. And what is the attitude of our so highly paid MPs in Wirral to this complete missuse of authority by Concil Employees and Social Services.
I urge folk to remember all this when MPs come calling for your support. Likewise so called elected Councilors who have been fully aware of the circumstances for some considerable time.

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
2:16pm Fri 15 Jan 10

"I urge folk to remember all this when MPs come calling for your support. Likewise so called elected Councilors who have been fully aware of the circumstances for some considerable time."
Good point Hugo. I'd like to see the Globe investigating and printing a list of all the names of everyone involved at any point in this massive cover-up. No allegations just names.
If those persons then feel the need to explain their involvement then fair enough. I doubt many people would be happy to allow the electorate to speculate on it though. Truth will out.

hugo2008, Wirral says...
5:22pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Stephen Hesford, Can I ask you an open question, this set of incidents connected to Mr Morton and the whole whistle blowing episode, has some very important legal implications, what are you doing about it, you have legal training and must have an opinion, are you prepared to make a comment to your constituents.
I think people who elected you would expect some kind of reaction, just for the sake of fair play, and a bit of open honesty.

piggymalone, wirral says...
6:53pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Dont hold your breath Hugo, we would hate to lose you.

glenn, moreton, says...
8:11pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Absolutely disgraceful to rip-off vulnerable people who have entrusted their finances to the council in return for a service only for the council - in particular, that venerable man in the grey suit, bill norman- to arrogantly assert that the victims must APPLY to claim back the money which was ROBBED from them. Only in this country could such extortion at the highest level a la MPs expenses be excused from punishment - what a pathetic bunch of weak and sycophantic(to civil servants and mandarins) leaders we have. I won't bother to suggest the council leader to hang his head in shame because he has none. UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL

Jayo, Wallasey says...
8:43pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Like with the library fiasco are the government going to get involved in this ?
The actions of this council are criminal acts and are bringing the WBC into disrepute. They are doing this in our name and are shaming all of Wirral.
How must Wirral look to the rest of the world ?
This Norman character is a shyster what are his qualifications ?

TheLooseCannon, Wirral says...
8:51pm Fri 15 Jan 10

I accompanied Mr Morton to a surgery of Frank Field's before Christmas so I can state quite categorically that he is well aware of the situation. Obviously I am not in a position to give details of the discussion, suffice to say Mr Field gave some curious but illuminating answers on how modern politics works.
I accompanied Mr Morton to a surgery of Frank Field's before Christmas so I can state quite categorically that he is well aware of the situation. Obviously I am not in a position to give details of the discussion, suffice to say Mr Field gave some curious but illuminating answers on how modern politics works.

MX, Wirral says...
9:00pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Glenn,you've hit the nail on the head.
There has been a complete lack of leadership in this case.Why hasn't the Leader of the Council,the Health & Social Care Lead,the Chief Executive or local MP stepped in long before now to sort this appalling mess out?.
The failure to take decisive action invites speculation that this is to serve political and/or personal interests and this is the tip of a very dodgy iceberg.

statictom, Bromborough says...
11:39am Sat 16 Jan 10

Its nice to see so many comments raised on this matter. What these people need is good legal advice to take this council to the cleaners. Not only for the overpaid money to be returned, but also due compensation. This council are making it harder for these people to claim back what they are owed. Since a number of the people owed money are now no longer with us, their families should now fight for what was legally their loved ones cash. Anything to make this council cough up what they are duly obliged to do. As for the benefits system the council are trying to wriggle out of their moral responsibility to the people. Oh, sorry this council have no morals. If the people owed this money have problems getting it back then use the councils own system to seek justice, ie, tribunals and the ombudsman. Anything to shame this council.

MX, Wirral says...
7:23pm Sat 16 Jan 10

Apologies I've missed a previous post.
The Loose Cannon says that Frank Field knows about this?.
And he thinks this is OK?.................
Oh by the way I know that Stephen Hesford Knows about this too.However how would any one of sound mind entrust anything of any worth in the incapable hands of Mr.Hesford.
He seems to think that wearing a bobbly red scarf makes him a socialist.
Get this self-serving filth off the Wirral.NOW!

Helen A, bromborough says...
8:55pm Sat 16 Jan 10

I have been following this sorry saga since it broke and cannot believe that this Council continue to exploit these people the way they do. Surely the social services dept has a duty of care towards vulnerable people so why oh why isn't their director, John Webb, stepping in and doing the right thing? Has he no conscience, integrity or even a simple desire to do the right thing? Oh of course he hasn't as he is implicated throughout this shameful debacle isn't he? Surely him and his cronies are not fit to continue in such highly paid, responsible positions, and should be subjected to a vote of no confidence by those who pay their wages ie the taxpayers of Wirral. I'm fairly certain what the outcome would be and then we could dole them out some paltry benefits to live on and see how they fare? Seriously though, it's a disgrace that they are all still in post and someone in this Council needs to do something to remedy this situation now

MX, Wirral says...
9:37pm Sat 16 Jan 10

I think there was a vote of no confidence in John Webb and that's why Batman was drafted in as Deputy Director (you couldn't make it up).Well lets face it they'd already sorted out the Robbin' (geddit?).
But then Batman wrote that appalling report that was presented to Cabinet on Thursday.
He doesn't give a **** though does he?.No doubt it's part of his early retirement deal.
"OK Chrissy-baby ,we know it's wrong and you know absolutely nothing about this case but put your name on the bottom of the report and we'll see you right".
Italian Riviera in the spring with the missus is it Chris?. Shame on you.
You complain that Adult Social Services has a bullying culture but you don't do anything about it do you?.Of course not you're visualising sipping amaretto on the terrazza.

maninthestreet, upton says...
10:16pm Sat 16 Jan 10

Well done Wirral Globe for helping Mr Morton to expose this scandal. If Mr Morton thinks more people are involved then the matter needs to be properly investigated so that every single victim is fully reimbursed. The people of Wirral should demand a public enquiry to expose the thieving scumbags in WBC. Can't wait to hear what our elected representitives have to say on the matter.

piggymalone, wirral says...
10:46pm Sat 16 Jan 10

The lack of response from MP`s and councillors is appalling (believe me every one of them is aware of this case and indeed a number of them have been aware for many years). The lack of positive action (even the "independent" investigation into Mr Mortons treatment will turn into a scam) shows Wirral Council up for the dishonest bunch they are. The only real positive action the public can take is to get rid of this rubbish at the comming general and local elections althouh I suppose we could all make complaints to the Ombudsman......anyone believe that action would do any good?

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