Thanks to all our readers and commentators who have been very patient about our court ruling on not publishing comments during the Employment Tribunal involving Wirral Council which has been held over the last couple of weeks.
Fortunately we’ve had regular updates and contemporaneous notes on proceedings from interested attendees.
We were asked yesterday what our thoughts on the verdict would be and our response was:
Whatever the verdict there’s a story to be told here.
A very sad one – for all of us…..
So having found out that after a costly 10 day hearing Alison Mountney had failed to establish that she had suffered any detriment as a result of her whistleblowing we stick by that assessment. It comes to something when Wirral Council staff feel that the only way their concerns will be taken seriously if they take their complaints to an Employment Tribunal – even when it is unlikely to succeed.
Whatever the outcome it was very clear from the eyewitness accounts that we a still dealing with a toxic and dysfunctional organisation.
Management failings were described by Wirral Council’s solicitor Andrew Moore (Eversheds) as ‘learning points’ – a phrase that will most certainly enter the Wirral Leaks lexicon of shame.
What Wirral resident and Tribunal chair Judge Robinson must have thought about how his Council Tax was being spent we can only imagine. As he had no jurisdiction to rule on the whistleblowing allegations he apparently made reference in his summing up to them ‘floating in the air’. Yes, like a fart in a lift they stink to high heaven and there’s no escape from them.
This is a shame as no disrespect to respective parties but what interests us most are the whistleblowing issues. It is very dispiriting to hear that the usual suspects – senior management ,HR, Occupational Health , internal and external audit and Unison either don’t or won’t deal with the inconvenient ‘unpleasantness’ that comes with whistleblowing and they are left as Judge Robinson states – ‘floating in the air’.
Indeed we’d particularly like to advise Unison members to withdraw their membership and spend their subscription on alcohol, cake or whatever gets them through the working week as Unison will .
One interested spectator was Wirral Council whistleblower Martin Morton who apparently made an inexplicable blink-and you’ll-miss-it appearance on the witness stand . He has contacted us to say :
‘I’ve made some bad decisions in my life. Such as working for Wirral Council in the first place. However listening to the testimony at the Tribunal reassured me that I made the right decision in not returning to that wretched organisation. The poisonous atmosphere of covert recordings, suspicion, long term sickness, mistrust, mutual disrespect and a culture of fear and loathing is not something I would want to endure again’
However , we at Leaky Towers think the final word (or should we say final submission) should go to Wirral Council’s solicitor – the aforementioned Andrew Moore who by all accounts was professional , respectful and measured. Clearly Wirral Council needed to buy these qualities in – and I’m sure someone, somewhere will be doing an FOI request to find out exactly how much it cost us.
Mr Moore is absolutely right in his Tweet above that (some) people are c’s and they can be horrible to each other. Luckily for him it keeps him in very well remunerated work!