THE new leader of Wirral Council says he has discovered evidence that social services had been operating a deliberate – and illegal – policy of not acting as quickly as possible to introduce care packages for vulnerable people.

The shocking revelation follows “several years” of official denial by the town hall that any such policy existed.

In September of last year two whistle-blowers claimed Wirral Council social services operated the “illegal” delay in providing care to vulnerable people.

A former social services employee accused the council of operating a four-week wait to save money.

The council at the time disputed the allegation, saying internal and external advice “confirmed its arrangements complied with the law.”

It now appears, according to the council leader, that the whistle-blowers were right all along.

Writing on his blog, Cllr Jeff Green says: “Here in Wirral - where the 'abnormal' has become 'normal' - it has now been confirmed that the council was operating a deliberate policy of not acting as quickly as possible.

“This follows several years of official denials.

"Minutes of a meeting have been unearthed that prove a decision was taken not to implement care packages immediately but to delay for four weeks.

“For residents, this will have meant care that could have been provided quickly, wasn't. It's also considered to be illegal.”

He continues: “This is yet more evidence of a department that was in disarray and a prime example of why we are appointing an independent ombudsman to investigate concerns raised around council practices, particularly in the Department for Adult Social Services.

“As the new leader of the council and cabinet member for social care and inclusion, I have asked the new director to provide me with all of the documents and emails that surround this issue as a matter of urgency.

“I have also asked for a categorical assurance that there are no dubious or illegal processes in place leading to delays when vulnerable people are seeking care from the council."

More later....