WIRRAL’S council leader has pledged to publish a detailed report into the actions taken following a damning report on the local authority.

Councillor Phil Davies’ comments came at a full council meeting as the issues surrounding whistleblower Martin Morton were debated.

Mr Morton blew the whistle on systematic overcharging of vulnerable adults living in council care homes and his revelations lit the fuse that eventually led to a highly-critical review by consultant investigator Anna Klonowski.
And last night’s debate centred around the issue of two senior council officers being able to walk away from their jobs with huge pay-offs just days before the report was published.

Tory leader Jeff Green had put forward a notice of motion calling for a review of the full circumstances surrounding that decision and said a resolution needed to be sought with Mr Morton.

He said: “This council wrecked Martin Morton's life but for some reason no-one wants to take the blame. How can it be right when he suffering like he is when the people have skipped away scot-free. We have never had an explanation why those officers were allowed to go the day before AKA report.”

Prior to the debate, Mr Morton had also questioned why severance payments totalling more than £100,000 had previously not been considered by all councillors and if improvements had been made.

Councillor Davies said the processes had all been “open and transparent” but any future payments would be subject to approval by full council following new Government guidance in February of this year.

In response to the Tories’ notice of motion, Cllr Davies said he agreed with all three party leaders meeting the chief executive for a “timeline of resolution” for Mr Morton but could not support publishing an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the two senior officers’ departure.

Cllr Davies said: “It's time to draw a line under this and focus on challenges of future rather than being stuck in past. We need to be clear on what kind of council we want to be in ten years.

“I propose that we will put forward a report detailing actions taken in relation to all findings.”

In a statement, chief executive Graham Burgess said the council is now dealing directly with Mr Morton’s solicitor to reach a  resolution.

He added that following legal advice, it was not “lawful or practical to allow further investigation into the circumstances surrounding the two officers in question.”