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A Really Rotten Borough
latest update 12 February 2010

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Comments on the above story, published in the Wirral Globe

statictom, Bromborough says...
2:08pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Sounds like the council are trying to blackmail these people. You have to apply for money which you have been overcharged but it may effect your benefits. They will try anything. This is money that these people have already paid in charges. They should seek legal advice and sue the council not just for the overpayment but for compensation for being treated in this way. Just sounds like the council trying to worm its way out of the matter - it would not have come to this if they had not been overcharged. But because the people concerned are elderly the council will try their best to put obstacles in their way. No disrespect to the Wirral Advocacy Service who offer good advice, this is a job for a good solicitor to represent all people overcharged.

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
2:17pm Thu 14 Jan 10

It is about time that behaviour of this kind was made a criminal offence.I saw ythis happen to a client of mine twenty odd years ago . Driven to retire from the NHS through ill health caused by stress after ytrying to clean up a Theaters in a group of hospitals. She refused to sign off on theaters that it was her responsibilty to certify as clean.
Death by negligence in the NHS or care should attract a manslaughter charge not a slap on the wrist.

statictom, Bromborough says...
2:24pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Further to my last note - these people should all claim what they are entitled to. THEN IF NECESSARY WHEN THEY RECEIVE PAYMENT - GIVE IT TO A LOVED ONE/RELATIVE, ETC/CHARITY - anyone other than letting the council keep it. This way it shoud not effect benefits.

hugo2008, Wirral says...
2:31pm Thu 14 Jan 10

If this does not result in some heads rolling from very senior positions in WBC employ, then there is something very seriously wrong, and a public enquiry is required. The sheer scandal of the situation Mr Morton was placed in was bad enough, but the callous taking advantage of those unable to defend themselves is a public disgrace. The entire Wirral Council Executive should hang their heads in shame. Plus our so called elected council representatives must also accept some responsibility for this appalling episode, that went for some considerable time and to their knowledge.

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
2:38pm Thu 14 Jan 10

So they are basically saying "yeah, we stole the money. So what ? Want it back ? Try it. The SS will have it off you anyway so we don't really give a toss what happens."
Of course, the council Should be tackling this themselves and issuing cheques to everyone they stole from with a full and frank apology admitting liability.
Defrauding and now blackmailing the vulnerable and sick. Has this council no shame, no sense of common decency whatsoever ? How low can they go ?
I'd like to see one single SS officer stand up and publicly try to justify reducing anyone's benefits in this case. Any monies repaid under these circumstances are not compensation, they are not savings, they are not capital. They were stolen.
MPs that represent these people should be coming forward immediately to protect and fight for them not leaving it to the individuals to fight this alone. If there was ever a time to step up and do what they are paid for its now.
Where is Frank Field on this ??

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
2:49pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Before you slag off WBC compare them to TOTBAY BC. They are reviewing employees contracts with up to 25% pay cuts in mind.
The one group of employees exempt from this exercise are the executives of the Council.
As recent immagrant from Devon
I must congratulate the park keepers. Your Health services are better on the Whole. Highways however have made me raise my eyebrows. Potholes are more common in this area, and very very slowly treated.
The public are much the same, always shouting for more services provided they can get others to pay for them. But then we are all British arn't we?

Veridici, Wirral says...
3:10pm Thu 14 Jan 10

It's disgraceful that this Director of Law has decreed that people with learning disabilities have to claim back SOME of the money which was taken illegally by the Council because they "might" be eligible for a refund.

The amount involved is only HALF of what was stolen by the Counci. What has happened to the other half? You might well ask.

The same Director of Law has already decreed that it would be ILLEGAL to assess people retrospectively, yet that is precisely what is being done now.

Instead of refunding the money taken illegally in full the Council will now ILLEGALLY assess those people RETROSPECTIVELY and charge them what they MIGHT have charged them IF a certain decision had been made eight years ago.

This cannot be decided on what MIGHT have been or SHOULD have been. It has to be on what actually happened.

Veridici, Wirral says...
3:23pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Ivorromaleyn, you mention Torbay. Is it any coincidence that Wirral's current Director of Law came to Wirral from Torbay?
A closer investigation of that on-going 'relationship' would prove fruitful ...

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
3:49pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Statictom. Your comments would apply, if the application of common sense was recognised in law.
However despite appeals to Common sense from Rosie Winterton and David Cameron
Political correctness rules OK.
Veridici NO! I was not aware of the
Wirral's Director of law's origins.
However He might tell us if it is true that common sense and morality have to be abandoned at the door of Law School?

piggymalone, wirral says...
5:23pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Isnt it about time our honest, hard working councillors stood up to Norman and told him about morals.
Councillors can overturn recommendations from council officers, so lets have some guts shown by our elected representatives.....
some hope!

piggymalone, wirral says...
5:28pm Thu 14 Jan 10

And to Martin Morton, it appears to me that 100% of the population of Wirral support your actions, dont give up, the only people after you are the crooks in Wallasey Town Hall and they are showing signs of nervous guilt.

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
5:38pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Piggy Malone is right.
Why don't the public petition the Queen to recognise Mt Morton in New Years Honours list.
He is much more worthy than some of the other jobs worths.
Her address is Buckingham Palace in a joint called London.

TheLooseCannon, Wirral says...
6:19pm Thu 14 Jan 10

The truly disgusting aspect of this is that the Council is already laying the groundwork for clawing back everything it refunds.

I'm sure that they could, if the will was there, negotiate over the Income Support regulations as there must be some way in which these refunds can be ignored in exceptional circumstances - and they don't come much more exceptional!

Instead of doing that they are already issuing warnings that once the money is refunded these people will no longer be able to claim Income Support, Housing Benefit, and other support benefits.

No doubt that would enable the Council to reclaim every penny, and more.

This council, this Director of Law, these officers, these councillors all have to be stopped and if the only way that can happen is by the carers and next-of-kin dragging the Council through the courts, then so be it.

The Council has had nine years to right these wrongs. If these spineless Councillors don't do the right thing now, and continue to hide behind each other, then they are all as guilty as the DASS bullies.

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
6:54pm Thu 14 Jan 10

I have already written to her Majesty pointing out that she is about the only person left in the Kingdom that might be able to exrcise common sense.
Bill Norman I fear is a lawyer, and is unable to apply common sense or decency
I have requested her recognition of Mr Morton's services to the community.I have also pointed to the declining standards in our public administration and the need for a signal from the top.

MX, Wirral says...
6:59pm Thu 14 Jan 10

This case is mindblowing.The so -called "whistleblower" (sorry Martin Morton) seems to have been right in every aspect of his claims and it has been reported in the press and on a previous post that he has stated that £500K is owed by the Council to disabled people.

Something doesn't add up. Talking of which this case seems to have involved cover-up,negligence,
al abuse,delay,waste of public money and sheer malice by the Council if Mr.Morton's claims of bullying are to be believed and yet he was the one to lose his job.As I said mindblowing!.

What happened to that promised bullying investigation by the way?.
If all this money is owed it should ABSOLUTELY be paid back but I would suggest NOT by the long-suffering Council Tax payer.I would suggest the "Shirley Porter" approach and all those Councillors and Council officers who have covered this up should be surcharged on the grounds of their "malfesance" and personally pay this money back.Then and only then will those responsible for this mess be held accountable.
Oh and I agree about the OBE!.
Well I mean, hasn't Steve Maddox got one?.

piggymalone, wirral says...
8:31pm Thu 14 Jan 10

There has rarely been a Wirral Council "incident" that has seen 100% criticism from the general public but this affair has rallied the support of the electorate for one man and shamed the responsible councillors and officers.
They didnt even have the guts tonight to over-rule Norman with his reccommendation to force the victims to apply to the council in writing for a refund of the overpayments.....abs
olute disgrace

Ivorromaleyn, New Brighton says...
9:42pm Thu 14 Jan 10

ask the Queento signal our disgust please . It is the only option left in this so called democracy

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
9:47pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Perhaps the most hypocritical too-faced twisted comment so far:
"The regulations for such benefits are framed in such a way as to preclude individuals or those acting on their behalf from taking such actions, in any way, which may be regarded as an evasion of benefit regulations."
The implication is that even to receive a substantial refund of monies stolen is tantamount to benefit fraud. The thieves are accusing the victims of being thieves themselves.
This stinks SO bad.

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
9:48pm Thu 14 Jan 10


piggymalone, wirral says...
10:25pm Thu 14 Jan 10

I cant argue that refunding these overpayments may well affect peoples benefits but isnt that up to the person in question to decide and deal with, that is none of Normans business. He is obviously trying to frighten the claimants into not applying for the money back, what a.......... this man is

MX, Wirral says...
10:28pm Thu 14 Jan 10

Yes Spiffy this stinks (to high heaven) and all those responsible should go to hell in a handcart.

Spiffy, Wallasey says...
1:23am Fri 15 Jan 10

Before I retire for the night I wondered..... how exactly would any SS officer declare receipt in repayment of the stolen monies as Anything other than the income that had ALREADY been assessed in calculation of due benefits ?
It is certainly not EXTRA income by any stretch of the imagination.
Perhaps the globe can conduct an interview with a senior SS officer and get the official lowdown on this particular issue. These threats should be countered wherever possible and I think that the local press can do more - in their official capacity - to dig deeper for the facts.

slumdog, wallasey says...
7:26am Fri 15 Jan 10

I have nothing to add to what has already been said here. This is very very wrong indeed. it does not surprise me that it should continue in the same unjust fashion. Contrary to popular belief it is not an easy thing to claim benefits of any kind, whether throgh local councils or other agencies. It can become tortuous to the point that only the very desperate persist. I hope somebody does so on behalf of these people, some of whom may have been put off already by the mere mention of more form filling.

Veridici, Wirral says...
9:24am Fri 15 Jan 10

Conspicuous by its absence is any comment - any comment at all - from the chair of the Social Care & Health Committee who has been overseeing this for years.
Cllr McLoughlin must be asked about her prior knowledge of this 'special charging policy', and her failure to comment at last November's council meeting because the matter was "of potential interest to a personal friend".
She must name that personal friend and explain why that friendship should take precedence over her Council duties to vulnerable people in our community.
She is unfit to continue to hold that office and must resign NOW!

hugo2008, Wirral says...
11:38am Fri 15 Jan 10

Where do our National MPs stand in all this debacle, they will soon be asking for your vote. Give it to them in no uncertain manner.
Cllr Mcloughlin, normally has a mouth big enough to shovel sandwiches into, what does she have to say, with her inside knowledge.
Steve Maddox is the so called leader, surprisingly very silent on this issue, I wonder why.
Come on Martin Morton write your memoirs or a book, certain to sell many thousands just in Wirral Alone.

djrimmer, Wallasey says...
12:19pm Fri 15 Jan 10

Hugo, a very good point about the local MP`s. I cant remember one of them commenting on this case. Are they keeping their heads down for a reason? Where they complicant in the case? Do they have something to hide? is it a case of Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns? me thinks it may well be.

PaulCa, Wallasey says...
11:57pm Fri 15 Jan 10

When commenting here, the Globe cites personal responsibility and states "Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious". Hence there are no comments from the crooks involved.......

piggymalone, wirral says...
11:10am Sat 16 Jan 10

I think the affected constituents were Chis Blakeley`s and Simon Mountneys
(if I am wrong I appologise) and I am well aware that Chis in particular trawls this site and in the past has commented. Chris, I think its about time you broke the silence and let all these voters know where you stand on this issue. Martin Morton and the overcharge residents need support not only from the public but some honest politicians if there are any left. So come on Chris and Simon, it was your constituents that were ripped off

MX, Wirral says...
1:45pm Sat 16 Jan 10

Wasn't Councillor Simon Mountney responsible for bringing this matter to such prominence in the first place Piggy?.
Wasn't there an article in the Globe where he called investigations carried out by the Council as a "sham"?.
It's certainly not him that needs prompting on this matter it's the likes of Cllr Bridson and Cllr.McLoughlin who as far as I can make out are the Councillors overseeing this area of Council work.
An earlier post referred to Cllr.McLoughlin failing to comment because the matter was of "potential interest to a personal friend".This is disgraceful.When somebody's personal loyalties take precedence over their civic responsibilities they need to make up their mind what's more important -dinner parties or disability rights.

piggymalone, wirral says...
5:22pm Sat 16 Jan 10

Yes, you are correct MX but I was wanting to know what their (Cllr Mountney and Cllr Blakeley) reaction was to Normans despicapable move to put the responsibility on to the affected people to have to make a claim. Not one councillor has commented on this uttlery disgracful move by a non elected officer. Yes, I know the move was approved by cabinet but that doesnt mean every councillor approves of such a decision. I suspect this will be a case of whips telling members to keep their mouths shut, except maybe in the case of the conservatives. I am surprised and disappointed the independent candidate, David Kirwan, has kept quiet over this very didturbing and serious matter

MX, Wirral says...
10:02pm Sat 16 Jan 10

"I am surprised and disappointed the independent candidate, David Kirwan, has kept quiet over this very disturbing and serious matter".

Please don't be disappointed and don't be surprised Piggy.Have a good night's sleep.

piggymalone, wirral says...
10:55pm Sat 16 Jan 10

MX, I suppose I was being facetious concerning Mr Kirwan particularly as you probably know, I support independent candidates through the Residents Alliance. Independents have no party whips to bow down to so I would expect them to comment on this very serious matter, but hey ho, you could argue that David Kirwan was not elected as an independent but only threw teddy in the corner when he fell out with the tories.
Anyhow good night to you and all our other fellow contributors


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