Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Wirral Council whistleblower 'bullying' inquiry to go ahead
WIRRAL council has rejected calls for an independent inquiry into allegations of the overcharging of vulnerable adults in care.
In September this year, the authority’s audit and risk management committee discussed a report which confirmed that 15 people had been overcharged to the sum of £116,000 between 2003 and 2006.
It recommended that those affected were reimnbursed.
The committee was meeting again on Tuesday night to consider a further report from the director of adult social services which gave information on charging that took place between 1997-2003.
Based on its finding, the committee was expected make a decision on whether those affected at this time will also get their money back.
During a meeting of Wirral’s full council on Monday, Conservative Cllr Simon Mountney tabled a notice of motion in which he called for an independent review of the over-charging cases.
He said: "The council must be responsible for what it has put the public through.
"If this council does not act, it will be responsible for condoning the financial abuse it put people through."
It was agreed that an independent investigation will be made into allegations of bullying made by former social services manager Martin Morton, the whistleblower whose concerns about overcharging were revealed exclusively in the Globe on November 5 last year.
Labour Cllr Denise Roberts said there was no need for further investigation into overcharging.
She added: "A number of key reports have been produced.
"We are not dealing with internal fraud, decisions taken in malice or corruption.
"We are dealing with a mess that needs to be sorted out.
"We are dealing with decisions that were intended to improve the life of those in supported living.
"We are dealing with people who tried to do the best job they could, but the best job wasn’t good enough.
"There were clear financial frailties which need to be recognised.
"We need to ensure that these frailties do not happen again.
"It’s also right and proper that any individual who was overcharged is repaid."
* WIRRAL council has proposed spending £28,000 for officers to take part in a business conference in Shanghai next year.
The proposal is designed to promote the multi-billion Wirral Waters scheme to develop the Birkenhead and Wallasey docklands.
The council’s ruling cabinet committee will vote on the proposal this Thursday.
For updates on tonight’s meeting, stay with Globe online.