A Lack of Discretion

Finance 014
Five years ago, we were a local authority in crisis: focused on cuts and on the verge of government intervention. Since then, we’ve been recognised as the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Most Improved Council’, experiencing the fastest turnaround of any council in the UK. So what’s changed? In a nutshell, we refuse to give up; we never stop moving. Our pragmatic, innovative and bold plan, ‘2020 Vision’ will ensure that we’re getting the basics right; that we’re achieving more; that we’re changing the way we do things. In this role, you’ll take us to the next level and create a legacy for yourself in the process.
As you can see from Wirral Council’s positively vomitous advert they’ve been trying to recruit a Director of Finance and Investment claiming that five years ago they were a local authority in crisis. Of course they fail to omit to say why they were in crisis. ‘So what’s changed?’ they ask. Fuck all  as far as we’re concerned and particularly in the Department of Finance and Investment!
We state this, as following on from our last story where we referenced the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) whistleblowing scandal we are proud to publish the first hand account of the whistleblower involved.
It gives a clear indication of what it must be like to work in such an oppressive atmosphere where management is rammed with those types – yes, we mean the likes of  Trish, Nicky and Lisa – who want to get through Monday to Friday without pesky staff making their job difficult whilst they’re busy advancing their careers/income. Read it and weep:
Payments (DHP) budget never attempted to manage it in terms of need/  demand etc. She took no interest and just left me to it , if I raised any concerns , she was verbally abusive . 
I was the Team Leader responsible for DHP’s . Once HvS  ( Hardy v Sandwell ) case law came in ( I was responsible for reading and interpreting the case law  and suggesting changes to procedures , which I did)  it became impossible to do my job , because my manager instructed me to ignore it . As I said myself and the appeals manager raised concerns from March 2015 . Nothing changed until mid 2016 , as a result of my WB (whistleblow). The council were in breach of the Equality Act . 
Success with an application depended on the time of year you applied . So in April when the money was put in the pot , there was plenty of money , so your application stood a good chance of success , later on in the year they would decide to be more careful , usually at the end of the year instructions would be issued to get it spent. Most years the budget was not spent . The surplus could not be carried over to the next year , and of course if you did not spend all your budget , this affected how much you received the following year .
I believe it was mostly an abuse of power . She used to repeatedly say ” well they have more disposable income” I am the parent of a disabled son , plus I run a small group for families who have a family member with Down’s Syndrome and I know how much they struggle financially . 
As an example of her abuse of power , I attended a meeting with her at the request of the Housing Options Team . Basically Housing Options wanted us to start refusing DHP for people in 4 bed houses so they would be free for larger families . When I raised objections / concerns the Housing Options Manager said “my violin is this big” and made the gesture of playing a tiny violin on his shoulder . 
My manager made me write new guidance for people in 4/5 bed homes. Myself and the appeals manager voiced our concerns , as this was not in line with DHP guidance etc.
Myself and my team ignored the new guidance and continued to make awards in accordance with the DWP  (Department of Work & Pensions) rules . 
I did raise another Whistle blowing , as she instructed the IT section to remove a question of the online DHP application form which allowed people to apply for rent in advance . (People should be able to apply for rent in advance ) . She said ” I am not paying rent twice”. There were three witnesses to this, they were interviewed by (internal) audit . 

This meant very vulnerable people could not secure homes. She would only pay it for Housing Options applications . 

Yes, folks  – these are the lovely people who are in charge of local government and responsible for spending your hard earned money – mainly it would appear on themselves and not on the people who keep them in well paid jobs!

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18 thoughts on “A Lack of Discretion

  1. It is a great shame that this piece of damning evidence of the gross malfeasance within Wirral Council cannot be brought to the attention of the voters and Council Tax payers. They elected the councillors who have allowed such appalling practices to become the norm in Wallasey Town Hall and have failed to control the highly paid executives who, together with Councillor Davies and his cohorts, appear to run the peninsular as their own, personal, fiefdom.

    I wonder if the appalling female manager mentioned in the piece is still in post?
    Knowing W.B.C. the answer is probably, “Yes. And promoted.”
    Any knowledge out there?

    • Yes she is still in post , carrying on as if she was not found guilty of bullying and taking no responsility for her part in breaking the law by breaching the Equality Act and ignoring the Hardy V Sandwell caselaw.

      • And of course no thought for the impact of her behaviour on the vulnerable people who were facing eviction and homelessness .

  2. G’day Leaks

    They are an absolute disgrace to the human race those that have sat through it all doing nought except claiming their allowances and going to the footy/golf/fete.

    Davies
    Davies
    Jones
    Foulkes
    Jones
    Doughty
    Crabtree
    Abbott
    Williamson

    Other fat arsed parasites are there and available at a price.

    Then there is the scum and dross of officers

    Burgess
    Adderley
    Tour
    Armstrong
    Wilkie
    Ball
    Basnett
    Bradbury
    Norman

    All shit ridden and have been stewing in it for years.

    The opposition parties ha ha ha ha have done nothing they are in the same cosy sewer.

    It was the same at Wirral “Funny” Bizz, knock off went on for years, no team meetings, the criminals would just go to the co-directors with their many schemes and scams and everyone would bitch about it and sit back and reap the reward of over pay.

    Lots apparently talked about it before I came along.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Look at me now

    Debt ridden and 12,000 miles from my family stuck in this mire of Merseyside and embedded in the welfare state since meeting with Adderley and Basnett.

    May God shit all over this effluent.

    Ooroo

    James

    Luv, respect and admiration for you My Lord XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  3. Was an internal audit ever undertaken or completed into Wirral’s Discretionary Housing Payments?

    The empty boxes below seem to indicate that it never was, and that somebody somewhere has knowledge of the above failures but is not updating the public or our councillors. Would that be Mr Niblock?

    The next question is what are the names of the councillors waving this sort of failure through, and why are they not kicking up a stink?

    I’d suggest the situation at Wirral Council is far more serious than simply “a group of bullies pulling the wool over senior officers’ eyes”.

    The leaked Surjit Tour email suggests this has gone right to the very top and seniors appear to be in league with councillors (all parties?), frantically spinning and concealing in order to present a bogus picture – which extends to the woeful response to the FOI request. It’s another one for my local councillor Adrian Jones, successor to the criminal, as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

    So was this audited?

    So was this risk managed?

    We don’t know. Which doesn’t provide much reassurance if you’re one of the victims of all this, and all your worldly goods, your furniture and your family are sitting out on the pavement, waiting to be packed off to God knows where…………….which includes being made homeless.

    If you’re reading this Councillor Adrian Jones, I’m a constituent of yours and here’s an FOI request. How many Seacombe families were evicted during the 18 month period when your council were breaking the law and covering up?

    https://goo.gl/AnuDYj

    • They use “The Pretend Friend” for all their shit and deceit Paul, he boasts about always having an audit trail boyo.

      He is one of the most vile with his smile, wink, stab you in the back and cider sodden brain.

      He stinks like Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant wirral Waters.

      May he rot in the bogs of Bangor.

      Ooroo

      James

      Sad pathetic old man.

  4. ‘Trish, Nicky and Lisa’ … (‘0oer’ as the Aussie would say) They sound like real Wirral Gals…..

    (Note my Lord how I am not adding anything further….)

  5. Still no winding down then and what about freedom of speech? Why won’t you publish both sides of stories as you are censoring mine??

  6. As I said on your last post this woman and her sidekick should be sacked , not offered EVR . Your hands dirty with this one too Paddy Cleary if you weren’t so crooked you would be up in arms about this woman getting another months pay nevermind EVR!

    • And this is exactly how the Wirral Council toxic culture continues to thrive and advance itself. Bullies are shielded, defended, promoted, rewarded. When found out and reported by junior level honest brokers, these deadbeats go to their union reps seeking a return on their investment. Where Paddy Cleary might know he’s dealing with a crooked waste of space, but doesn’t take the option of calling them out and having them investigated and disciplined because that might threaten his own position and salary. So it’s easier to bend to the will of allies in management, let the whistleblower take both barrels (even if they are a Unison member) and have them forced out to restore the status quo – despite their 3 decades of excellent service, and the bullies’ few years of lazy, brown nosing around the bosses and swinging of the lead.

      So whistleblowers and complainants are singled out, targeted, treated as ‘troublemakers’, told that they are “out of step with the rest of the team” and forced down either the tribunal route – where now isn’t it wonderful? (thanks to non-exec Director of the Bank of England, Dave Prentis, hard right Unison leader) because you’ll get the minimum of legal advice and you no longer have to fork out £1,200 to be stitched up – or then there’s the cheaper option of going to ACAS, where they go all touchy-feely and tell you it’s ‘six of one, half a dozen of the other’ and you find yourself given the bum’s rush, swiftly out on your arse clutching a COT3 agreement and enough bogus “voluntary redundancy” money to last you a couple of months while you search for another job.

      Twas ever thus. At Wirral Council there are now no honest persons left in positions that might wield for you even the slimmest chance of a fair hearing. They’ve been gotten rid of. So the whole thing goes spiralling down into a kind of poisonous morass of hatred, blame, name-calling and back-stabbing. With whistleblowers and complainants at the bottom of the pile, branded as “failed”, and dispensed with from the output end. Like the executive going for a shit. The smell of which is concealed by air fresheners in the form of elegant “most improved” window-dressing, twattish senior job ads and press releases on “Growth” and “2020 Vision” which promise much and deliver shite… because the dross that remain are no longer capable of respecting each other let alone functioning as a public sector organisation.

      • G’day Paul

        As you are aware I have met this person and what a wonderful, decent, honest person of the kind that there cannot be too many left at wirral.

        I knew this person was really nice, hard working and honest before I heard the story.

        God Bless the family.

        God damn Turgid Sewer and cohort and why would I not think that little welsh egit was involved.

        Where there is shite there he is in his santa suit……..smirking.

        Ooroo

        James

        .

      • This aptly describes the situation within the Housing Options Team Wirral Council.There has been a mass exodus of staff over the past couple of years relating to bullying and bad practice. An external mediation company was employed at great expense to look at addressing poor management /staff relationships and lack of training.Each member of staff was interviewed in May 2016, the full findings have never been made available.

      • You are a brave woman Mrs Neil and the woman who has been protected by surjit tour, hr seniors, Cleary,all directors, ceo and 66 councillors, has previous for bullying (abuse of power). I once read an email from her, the tone sarcasm and arrogance for a senior manager was astounding, I tried to encourage the recipient to complain, no one should speak to their staff in this way, they wouldn’t because like most people they needed the job. What this council needs is a whistleblower champion , not a bunch of hr nodding dogs. Grant Thornton don’t seem to have informed the we don’t ask questions audit and risk management comittee of this whistleblowing AGAIN. How bout you get a lay person on that committee how about a wmbc whistleblower, take your pick which one, as whistleblowers have a sense of obligation which you councillors really should understand (although I realise by lack of action) you are unable to emulate, it might let, certainly current opposition councillors (ruling party too far gone) regain trust from employees and maybe but that’s a lot of hard work for you, respect. I’ve met the new Tour replacement, what an arrogant man he is already been briefed on who he should be “aware” of and “their” sides of colluded stories, any chance you could see your briefing for what it is, cover up of the usual guilty parties, Mr Griffiths has a list, or would that cost the Wirral tax payer a mite more than the £800 a day we are paying you? Go on call a whistleblower ask them to help you, be prepared to hear the complaints they ALL still have bit once they are heard and issues made good, what an innovative asset wmbc would have …sorry guys (whistleblowers) I thought stating the bleeding obvious might help ..but luckily I’m not keen on blue so won’t hold my breath ..sorry Mrs Neill on behalf o decent loyal hardworking wmbc staff that you and yours have suffered on our behalf to bring these people to account.

  7. Thank You . Yes there have been previous complaints about the person who bullied me, brushed under the carpet by Paddy Cleary . My colleague was left in a state of anxiety and despair over Christmas 2015 . A member of my team reported bullying by the same person , I reported it a very senior manager , she said there was nothing she could do .

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