Now from what we’ve observed of an increasingly desperate Wirral Council leadership is that they’ve been told to do two things : a) praise council staff publicly even when treating them like crap and b) mention the utterly vacuous and meaningless window dressing that is their 20/20 Vision Wirral Plan at every opportunity ( “We have a plan ,we know what we’re doing – honestly”).
Well can we tell Wirral Council that judging by the increasing amount of correspondence we’re getting from the crime scene that is Wallasey Town Hall that council staff are getting increasingly pissed off with the fakery – seriously pissed off.
Nothing is pushing their badly-done-to button more than a case which in some ways is a microcosm of how Wirral Council operates. It’s a case which has been knocking about our inbox for some time and when one of our sources writes : ” I would appreciate anonymity as we all know what happens to WMBC whistleblowers…” this tells us everything we need to know about the poisonous culture which still seemingly infects the alleged “Most Improved Council in Britain” than any number of feelgood press releases.
Council staff are not so much singing like a canary but singing like Shirley Bassey and their song goes something like this:
“Lightfingered – he’s the man, the man with the petty cash , Council-tax payers cash……”
This doleful refrain concerns a certain Mr.T – T in this case stands for thief
We understand that Mr.T was suspended under that polite euphemism “misappropriation of funds” (something that Wirral Council have been quite adept at themselves) and although apparently Mr.T owned up the act, he was suspended on full pay during a lengthy investigation before he was recently dismissed.
However what is vexing Council staff is that it is alleged that this matter “was not reported to the police, central government, the audit commission or Wirral council tax payers and has been swept under the carpet in true WMBC style”.
No change there then you might say (no pun intended) – especially as this was someone caught with their hands in the petty cash till – as Wirral Council have an inglorious record of lurching towards the twin perils of “reputation management” and “cover up” when it comes to situations such as this.
We understand that the figure that has been filched is approximately £30,000 but common opinion among council staff is that as there was no thorough investigation that the actual figure could be much more than this.We understand that Mr.T could have been stealing money over a number of years and nobody knows the exact amount as Wirral Council only investigated what was stolen within a particular financial year.
Of course Wirral Council are welcome to deny any of these allegations…..
Questions and comments that have been put to us – although perhaps they should be put to Wirral Council leaders or even more pertinently to Merseyside Police are :
- Why was it so easy for Mr.T to steal thousands of pounds?
- Who countersigned any monies/petty cash? If not why not?
- I suspect this is due to the fact that said colleague had access to thousands of pounds in petty cash and was able to spend from the council budget until his heart was content as he was not managed for a minimum of 3 years
- Staff reviews should take place every year! but his line Manager left and he was then left to his own devices!! You have to ask why internal audit were not doing an annual audit? If they had this would have been picked up very early.
- It is now believed that he is working elsewhere and had faced no consequences for his actions besides dismissal
- This person has taken the Wirral taxpayers money and needs to be held to account.Where is the deterrent? Where is the accountability? Where is the public interest? Where’s our bloody money?
I think the only question we can actually answer is the one about Internal Audit.They were doing their usual job of obeying their political paymasters and/or being inept .However for the rest it would seem it is the usual tale of Wirral Council failing to take any responsibility for their own negligence in allowing this situation to arise in the first place.
We’re left wondering as to whether someone with £30,000 + of Council Tax arrears would avoid legal action quite so readily?. Indeed Wirral Council seem to be labouring (no pun intended again) under the misconception that the money they lose through their negligence/incompetence is THEIR money – so it can just be written off and forgotten about.
Consequently Wirral Council leaders rap sheet of cases where they protect their positions of power by protecting wrongdoers continues to grow.