Wirral Council, whistleblowing and what lies beneath…….

Wirral Council is sitting on a a £250,000 report which is expected to unveil a ghastly saga of mismanagement and cover-ups in relation to the scandalous over-charging of vulnerable adults in its care. The matter came to light when concerned worker Michael Morton  spoke out – and was then bullied and victimised until being forced out with a forty grand gobstopper.

Only he didnt keep his mouth shut, he went  to the Press. The whole can of worms came squirming out, leading to enquiries and an apology for him personally and the affected social care adults being reimbursed to the tune of £250,000 . The main report revealing the dirty details of the Town Hall shenigans has been concluded but is sitting in a drawer  enabling those under fire to consider their right to reply. So, the rights of these individuals apparently supercede the public interest.

However, an interim report by investigator Anna Klonowski into Wirral’s corporate governance systems makes appalling reading. It’s something you might expect to have read after T Dan Smith was jailed for corruption in Newcastle or when Dame Shirley Porter was fined £12m for gerrymandering at Westminster City Council.

Since those infamous cases of abuses, systems have been thoroughly overhauled, havent’ they?  But this interim report indicates senior Wirral officials were ‘inwards and insular looking’, and that staff and service users were ‘submerged beneath bureaucratic machinations’. Orwell and Kafka all over again.

If this sort of thing has been happening in council run homes, what about those managed by suppliers? I mention this as someone I know very well works in a set up run by one of these organisations but funded by the council.

On a Sunday she does a doubleshift. This involves arriving at 7 am by taxi as she doesn’t drive. Finishing time is 10pm only she does not get paid for 15 hours – she is paid for nine, the other six hours being spent hanging around on the premises waiting for client appointments.

This is nothing short of slavery but it’s clear now that council officers can’t monitor their own responsibilities never mind those of outside contractors.

OH, and just to make matters even worse, the organisation has now decided the doubleshift ends at 11pm on a Sunday night. On other occasions she is responsible for FIFTY adults by herself.

It’s still a fight to get work though as they deliberately take on more staff than needed to encourage in-fighting and cover the invariable large turnover.

When my friend has escaped this hell to a new job I’ll tell you who they are.


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