AN extraordinary Freedom Of Information request has this week revealed more claims of “abnormal” practices at Wirral Council.

Former council employee-turned-whistle-blower Martin Morton - who sent shockwaves through the town hall after a series of revelations of abuse and malpractice - has made yet more alarming allegations against the authority.

In his FOI request published on the website “What Do They Know”, he claims a senior social services manager deliberately shredded “secret reports” containing information vital to Mr Morton’s grievance complaint against the council.

But unknown to his managers, Mr Morton always had copies of these papers.

And after repeated denials that the documents even existed – typified by a statement from the authority which said: “Wirral Council has no knowledge of these alleged reports ever having existed and we have no copies of them on our systems” – he was able to produce them.

This embarrassment forced the council to backtrack during an unpublished inquiry into Mr Morton's accusations of bullying.

While the full content of the bullying investigation has never been released, it was of sufficient gravity to persuade the council leader to apologise to Mr Morton for the "disgraceful" way he had been treated and to offer him his job back.

Other new claims include that managers made notes on Mr Morton’s personnel file, writing sarcastically: “Martin is always right," "Martin knows best," and then: "Everyone despises him."

He also reveals his managers were being given special training in how to conduct themselves at his grievance appeal hearing.

Notes written by persons unknown on the grievance file are alleged to say: “Presentation: starting point - always - poor isolated member of staff. Don’t be flip, don’t be light - very business like. Sad and Angry.”

Mr Morton finishes his request – which demands files relating to his case should be released – by saying: “Please note that unfortunately I didn't experience the ‘Sad’ approach, just the ‘Angry.’”

Wirral's director of law Bill Norman said: “An independent investigation regarding these allegations was carried out by Martin Smith who was appointed on the recommendation of the North-West Employers Organisation.

“His redacted report was published in January, 2012.

"His findings have been in the public domain for some time and all necessary issues are being addressed.

“We have thanked Martin for his actions in raising his concerns and have apologised to him. We will provide a response to his Freedom Of Information request as soon as possible.”

Last year, consultant Anna Klonowski wrote a highly-critical report following her year-long probe into both the authority’s corporate governance and Mr Morton's claims of malpractice.

She summed up with the devastating conclusion that “practices other authorities would consider abnormal are commonplace in Wirral.”

Mr Morton first raised concerns in 2008 that disabled residents in council care were being systematically over-charged by social services for their accommodation.

The former adult social services officer exclusively told the Globe his bosses had turned a deaf ear to his warnings and that he was eventually bullied out of his job, signing a "compromise agreement" - a waiver to his right to take legal action against Wirral Council.

But it emerged these over-charging claims - admitted to be true years later by the council - were the tip of an iceberg which later, via Klonowski, revealed vulnerable people in care homes were victims of violence, sexual abuse and theft of their benefits.

Days before the consultant’s report was published, two senior officers from social services were offered voluntary severance and left the employment of the authority.

The Klonowski probe was commissioned by council leader Cllr Jeff Green in 2010 and cost in the region of £250,000.

Wirral Council has since set up several high-powered committees tasked with improving perfomance. They are being helped in this by officers from the Local Government Association.

You can read Mr Morton's FOI request for yourself by clicking the above link.