I was as perusing the papers yesterday when I espied the front page headline headline ” Wirral Council Charges Scandal” on the front of the Liverpool Echo. I assumed Verity had been raiding the Wirral Leaks archive and had a Proustian moment remembering the heady days of 2008 and the first rumblings that something was seriously amiss at Wirral Council.
There I was reminiscing about cover ups and crimes and Bentleys and baseball bats when Lady W returned from her afternoon perambulation, prodded me with her shooting stick and pointed to the date on the front of the paper: September 5, 2013!.
I readjusted by monocle,checked the date and read the sub-heading – EXCLUSIVE “Two mental health patients left tens of thousands out of pocket…then staff tried to keep it secret “.
By jove, yes, it was Back to the Future!.Although this time it was more Marty McFly than Martin Morton. Turning to page 13 (unlucky for some) the sense of deja vu rises as we see political opportunist Cllr Jefferson Green bemoaning that the new regime “has not learned the lessons of the past”.
Council spokesperson and Super-Duper Director Clare Fish is assigned the onerous task of defending the indefensible and delivering a masterclass in the use of weasel-words says that this was an “historical case” discovered through ” due diligence”. Which is Wirral Council-speak for : “The unlawful charging of two people with mental health needs went on for SEVEN YEARS and we only ‘fessed up because of the previous overcharging scandal and only then after someone made a Freedom of Information request” .
Ms.Fish goes on to reassure us this was an “accounting error” and “the amount was concerned was less than £60,000 and therefore it would not have been appropriate to take this matter to cabinet” .
And so the matter of nearly 30 grand each being unlawfully taken from 2 people is airily dismissed as only someone on a Super Duper Director salary could possibly do.
As I said to Lady W : ” She’s no Fish out of water is she?,she be OK swimming with the sharks of Wallasey Town Hall…or should I say the testicle eating Pacu fish allegedly invading British waters?”
” Oh don’t be silly dear…” she replied ” we all know Wallasey Town Hall is a scrotum-free zone” .