GLOBE: How does it feel now your revelations have finally been fully vindicated?

ANDY CAMPBELL: It was never a question of personal vindication, more a case of Department for Adult Social Services showing some accountability.

"I don't feel vindicated but I do feel angry that I have had to spend so much time and energy trying to expose the truth and the council have spent so much time, energy and public money covering it up.

"I feel angry that the public have been so badly let down by the very people charged with looking after our most vulnerable people, and that they and their families have suffered unnecessarily as a result of this unofficial policy.

"It was hugely frustrating being told you were wrong when you have a welter of evidence to the contrary and then instead of a robust and wide ranging investigation you see first-thand how power is abused and seeks to covers up the truth.

"It really shouldn't have to have been this difficult to uncover the true facts of the case.

"It’s also a sad reflection on Wirral Council, that even in the aftermath of Martin Morton’s whistle-blowing, my concerns were not genuinely taken seriously.

"When I first raised concerns under WBC’s whistle-blowing procedures via email, I received an automated response: 'your email has been deleted without being read'.

"This set the tone for the whole slipshod 'investigation'.

"It took months for the council to respond, they failed to observe their own timescales set out in their own whistle-blowing procedures, and when they finally did furnish me with a reply, it stated: 'I am satisfied that from an operational point of view there was no blanket delay'.

"I was then thanked for my disclosure and told that as a result 'managers and staff will be reminded of their responsibilities to prioritise and arrange support packages on the basis of need.'

"What I found staggering was the mindset of those who thought this system was somehow OK. But hey, this is Wirral Council where the 'abnormal is normal.'"


GLOBE: When Martin Morton blew the whistle that led to the Anna Klonowski report, the way he was treated by the council had an all-but devastating effect on his health. What personal toll has the whistle-blow taken on your life?

AC: "Working in such an environment has had a dreadful effect on my health, the stress and bullying culture which was endemic in DASS, meant morale was nonexistent and if anybody questioned the party line they were immediately labelled as not being 'team players'.

"Having been moved to DASS as a re-deployee on the grounds of ill health after being diagnosed with a chronic condition my health has deteriorated to such an extent whereas I am unable to work at present.

"It seems to be a sad fact of life that whistle-blowers who raise genuine concerns in good faith are intimidated, smeared, cast as lone malcontents, isolated and often forced out of the work place."


GLOBE: What do you hope is the outcome from this new team Cllr Jeff Green is setting up?

AC: Two words: “Action” and “Accountability”.

"Councillor Green is making all the right noises and I welcome that, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

"What I would like to see is real accountability. Having read the Anna Klonowski report I was as shocked and appalled as anybody, and am staggered that there has still been no disciplinary action.

"Given that background, I still remain a little cynical but genuinely hope this is not another exercise in spin.

"In this case yet again, we see officers willfully misleading elected members and MPs, however thanks to the Globe, the public have spoken.

"Their unequivocal message is 'no more!'

"They now demand action. Warm words and window dressing will simply not cut it.

"I also wonder who exactly the 'social workers' will be on this 'hotline'.

"As any who were in post at the time of the four week delay will be well aware of it and if this is about transparency, honesty and reconciliation they'll have to admit to the callers that there was indeed a four week delay.

"I do hope callers are not given the 'we were prioritising cases' party line.

"Surely the managers who were at that fateful budget meeting [when the policy was decided in 2008] cannot be trusted to be part of this investigation?"