The Never-ending Story

what you allow 3

Now if there’s one area of council business we receive more complaints about than any other it’s social services (be it children’s or adult services and particularly the transition between the two). Of course this might be expected. It’s an important component of public services and is a difficult area of work as it involves the most vulnerable people in our community and the involvement of statutory services is often required at times of crisis and distress.

With the push towards more integrated working with the NHS , includes moves to create an All-Age Disability Service – which we hear is not going down too well with staff as it it as seen as another way of undermining professional expertise and status of social workers – we are left to pity the poor carers and service users out there who find themselves all at sea trying to deal with what are now called ‘care navigators’ .

Earlier this week at the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting we had councillors  Christine Spriggs, Chris Jones and Phil Davies extolling the virtues of integrated working and how it would prevent carers telling their ‘story’  over and over again in an attempt to acquire a service to which they are legally entitled. Needless to say Cllr Bernie Mooney waded in to blame everything on Tory cuts but reassured everyone she had written to everyone she could think of to protest about how unfair it all was. This included a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. You can imagine the consternation in 10 Downing Street can’t you? as a special adviser whispers in the PM’s ear : “Psst ! Theresa – you’d better drop the Brexit negotiations and forget about that bit of bother you’ve got with Priti and Boris and Damian and Michael and whoever the next errant Tory is – Cllr Bernie Mooney is on the warpath and you wouldn’t like it when she gets angry!”

So what we’d like to do here is to provide a case study which is typical of the many complaints we receive from carers and which suggest the problems that Wirral Council have are not just about money it is, as ever ,about the CULTURE  of Wirral Council.  How about they look more closely at why they can’t recruit and retain quality staff and have to spend a fortune on consultants and agency staff.   Talking of which we hear a social services big hitter may soon be on their way out……we’ll bring you more when we get it.

Meanwhile read this never-ending story and weep :

I could fill a book about this but, in short, my severely autistic and learning-disabled son (aged 19) and I have just lost our second second social worker in 15 months.

Last August (2016) I got a call out of the blue from our social worker to say “I am going on secondment and I won’t be seeing you again.” 3 weeks earlier she had said, without prompting, that she would be “right beside you” for at least another year, as my son went through his last year at school and made crucial preparations for college and work placements. When I objected she said “Here’s the number of my immediate boss. Take up your concerns with him.” I kept phoning, over a good two weeks, only to get voice-mail. I left a message that wasn’t picked up, etc. Eventually it turns out that her immediate boss had already been on “indefinite sick leave” for quite a time already, something she must have known when she suggested I ring him.

My son still asks what happened to this social worker and wonders why she didn’t say goodbye.

A new social worker arrived from another borough in Sept 2016. (As did another person to replace the person who was on indefinite sick leave.) In January, the second of these two people gave a week’s notice and went back to South Wales, clearly defeated by Wirral Council’s complete inability to organise. . .anything. Our new social worker kept saying to me “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.” I have tried for a year now to get my son’s respite dates guaranteed to me in writing by Wirral Social Services. I have been in contact with the MP about it, and she has tried repeatedly to be in contact with them. They are usually on voice-mail, or don’t respond to emails, hers or mine. I still have no written guarantee.

The social worker, after lots of meetings/phonecalls with me, assured me at the start of June that my son’s two work placements would start this September. September came: no work placements. It turns out that the work placements hadn’t received the necessary paperwork from the social worker to enable my son to start work; Social Worker insisted that they had the necessary paperwork. Then she and I and the work placement people (Wirral Evolutions) have a meeting in which it is agreed that my son needs one-to-one support at both of the placements. “Don’t worry, I’ll get these sorted” social worker tells me. This was at the end of September. Yesterday (November 3rd), having heard nothing, I phoned the social worker to ask what the delay is. I get a person on the phone who says “Social Worker doesn’t work for Wirral Council anymore. She left 2 weeks ago. Who are you?” This person was, apparently, a receptionist, someone I’d never dealt with before, left with the task of telling x number of people that they have been abandoned.

Wirral Council/Wirral Social Services are grossly incompetent. They are rude. They have no regard for their clients and their clients’ families. They don’t even show the most basic courtesies or consideration. In due course, I daresay I’ll get a call from whoever the replacement social worker is, and the replacement will say “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.”

Basically, it is the same thing over and over and over: incompetence, very poor communication (with me, but also with other agencies and between themselves), rudeness, poor or non-existent note-taking, people leaving at short notice and with no proper explanation, etc etc. It just goes on and on.

When the Klonowski enquiry produced its damning report, I briefly hoped that the people found to be grossly incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) would be removed. Disheartening, to say the least, to see people like Steve Foulkes still in place. Where is the accountability? There simply is none.

It beggars belief that Wirral Council has not been placed in special measures. I daresay the reasons behind that are political. The Tories asking for it are being hypocritical because part of the problem is chronic underfunding from central govt but I do think that being placed in special measures would be the best thing. The only thing, actually, that would give people like me and my son the chance at least of a semi-decent service. I know special measures are not a panacea but they would be our best chance.

Apparently the new person to whom my son and I have been allotted is going to be in contact “in due course.” Big deal. The “leader” of the “integrated” (!) team for disabilities at Wirral Social Services since January is someone who clearly does not lead. When I told him at that point (no-one had told us the previous man had left, I found out by chance) that Wirral Social Services is a shambles, he replied with “But that’s just your opinion.”  No-one with a shred of conscience can stay working with these people for any length of time: they either go off sick, having had some kind of breakdown, or they are “let go.” The people there for any significant length of time are, almost by definition, dead wood.

When my son is going to get his work placements is anyone’s guess. Ever? SW who has just gone was saying to me most of the past 12 months “It’s very important that your son gets a 5-day week”. .. I know, I had never suggested otherwise!”

31 thoughts on “The Never-ending Story

  1. OMG this persons letter could be mine. I am a full time carer for my disabled sister and we have had appointed care navigators who come, who go, no warning or notification. Things left unattended and outstanding. You phone, email and get no response, no messaging service and phones ring out. The whole process of assessment, delay and utter imcompentence has to start all over when a newly appointed care navigator is appointed. When Girtrell Court closed Phil Davies told all the carers at the Town Hall meetings that there was plenty of scope within the private sector to cover respite needs. Well Phil, I have been pushed from pillar to post. Had assessment after assessment and guess what – I lost my 6 weeks respite 2017 because of social services delays communicating with the proposed new respite provider. More delays now mean this wont, if at all, get resolved till 2018. My respite entitlement was messed up in 2016 when Girtrell closure was announced and previous attempts to use “suitable alternatives” as recommended by social workers in 2015 turned out to be an utter disaster because unbeknown to me they recommended a place where the council send “urgent” respite placements and my respite was cancelled at last minute. So while Phil and co enjoy their annual holidays I haven’t had a breakd for years. This council are a bloody disgrace.

    • Oh Christine
      What can we say ? we get these stories all the time.
      We get asked not to publish because carers are concerned that the Council will take punitive measures against them or their loved one.
      It’s all topsy-turvy – these people are public servants who are accountable to us.
      All we can do is share the horror stories in the hope that they are shamed into action. However we have discovered time and time again that this is a council seemingly without shame.
      Take care.

      • I found out that the way my severely disabled 11 year old son’s respite service was to be provided was changing via a Facebook group! I registered a Stage 1 complaint then went on to ask for it to be escalated to a Stage 2. I’ve just recently received a letter saying they will not take it to Stage 2 so I’m now taking it to the LGO.
        This council closed my son’s SEN school, Lyndale. They now have a situation where the majority of existing SEN schools are over-subscribed. Closed Girtrell Court, where my son would most likely have had respite when he moved over to adult services. Apparently Willowtree (children’s respite facility) has a few full time children in residence which means that other families are having their respite cancelled, some at short notice, with no posibility of having those nights rearranged. When is this council going to stop attacking services for the most vulnerable!!

  2. Got to laugh at the recent email from Wirral,it was a perfect example of an oxymoron,it was titled ‘Wirral Intelligence!!!
    Grief ask you what moron thought this up?
    The Clowncil are really getting to grips with financial fraud,they have stop just outside of their own shenanigans!

  3. What is repeatedly lost is the deliberate deceit and misrepresentation by both councillors and council officers in the closure justification for Girtrell Court. The council “needed” to close Girtrell because over 50% of its user base wanted ” choice” which the council proved incapable of delivering. As a result, 90+% of Girtrell users have been shoehorned into Tollemache Road with the balance falling by the wayside.

    ” Choice” was not justified or wanted but just a convenient fiction upon which to hoodwink the public – shameful. Heads should roll but never do.

    • As we said – this is a council without shame.
      We particularly object to the fact that ‘ protecting the vulnerable’ is prominent among their so-called 20 pledges.
      Vulnerable people are a financial burden to them – they’d much rather be hobnobbing in the South of France and pretending to be international movers and shakers than looking after the people that pay their (over -inflated) wages.

    • PS Can we just say it needs to be asked how deliberate deceit and misrepresentation by both councillors and council officers is ‘repeatedly lost’
      We’ve been pointing it out for years – so the big question is how and why does it get ‘lost’ elsewhere?

      • Personally I would wish that all the disappointed go to next full council meeting and simply Moo throughout the proceedings to express their contempt

      • The ceo is a social/childrens expert , his wife is head of governance in the UK , he has more expensive senior managers, most of which do not live on the wirral, than most plc accountable organizations and a solicitor at £800 a day ! And still … Councillors cry we cant do anything, we know that but the greedy inflated ego truth is you won’t , get down to Westminster tie yourself to the railings and demand measures for Wirral DO something Lewis, Gilchrist. Stop saying you can’t it is pitiful and shameful you can’t but can take the money…Robinson get out of your office and man up.

      • Although we’re easily convinced that any partner of Eric Feeble would be the head of the household we find it hard to believe his wife is head of governance in the UK. Are you sure about that?

  4. G’day Leaks

    You can’t blame “Ankles” and the Laddy Mayoress they where in Sorrento sorting international relations.

    “Philly “Fucking” Liar was up his own arse looking for decency.

    Ooroo

    James

    No place for politics in wirral clowncil bring in ADMINISTRATION.

    Lets all go to the next full meeting and moo throughout.

    Luv ewes L XXXXXXXXX

      • 11 December.
        Place your bets now as to whether LRJ offers a full apology.
        Considering what other councillors have got away with we’d be mightily pissed off if we were her.

    • I am capable due to a balanced ego to say I am wrong..if indeed i am, I am not interested enough to check ..the point is enough to say he has too much at his disposal and with 2 years into the job (with 2 years of salary) to still have such abysmal provision in children’s and adult services.

  5. The horror story above is just one harrowing example of the unavoidable consequences of these officials doing precisely nothing, and then putting all their effort into hanging out reams of elaborate windowdressing on public display to proclaim, “ALL’S WELL, HONESTLY”.

    It’s the inescapable product of years of concealed abuse, failure and lies about bogus “improvement”. Pushed by people who basically want to carry on drawing their regular bounty but will NEVER put in the hard work required to turn the place around. That’s just impossible now because all those good people have been offloaded, and only the bullies, browbeaters and their dunderhead lackeys remain.

    So it’s a case of….let’s put all our eggs in one basket and rely on the PR message spun by the likes of Martin Liptrot, Kevin McCallum, and page after page of happy clappy pigswill in the bollox-laden Wirral View that no bastard with two or more brain cells to rub together reads.

    And it’s basically the unheralded “Option 2”; lay low, say nothing, we’ve always gotten away with it in the past, so that works. Even after Klonowski and the farce of an LGA Improvement Board, nothing really happened. It was an expensive exercise in spinning the message, raising the drawbridge and holding the fort………….. so why bother?

    Here’s a very short list of professed “Lefty” Labour councillors who have been seen to nail their colours to the Jeremy Corbyn mast.

    Louise Reecejones
    Christine Spriggs
    Janette Williamson
    Joe Walsh
    Treena Johnson

    The remaining twenty plus bumps on a log appear to be to the right of Ghengis Khan, including the two Jones’s and Paul Stuart who have been fibbing about their ‘lefty’ credentials and two of whom have been known to take £60k per year back over their Seacombe threshold.

    Expect the stubborn long list of right wing Torylite to move across to the Corbyn camp when he ascends to Number 10 Downing Street. Except they’ll be displaying strained “allegiance” under false pretenses. Frank Field no doubt will be the Svengali-like production manager occupying the shadows, pulling the strings, tweaking the levers and controlling how it plays out.

    The problem is: A LONG TERM RECORD OF VOTING TO..

    o close respite centres

    o build golf courses and luxury housing on green belt

    o encourage Wirral Chamber to invade and take over The Lauries

    o build a fire station on green belt

    o farm out the bins

    o farm out highways and street lighting

    o try and fail to close the libraries

    o not sack 2 abusers who had thieved £736,756.97 from learning disabled people

    o try to reimburse PEANUTS to the above abused disabled people THREE times before coming up with the above figure which was nowhere near the amount stolen by those serving the incompetent council leader Steve Foulkes at the time

    o take a 16% rise in 65 x councillor allowances in 2002/03 plus a 24% rise for opposition leader allowance plus a 36% rise for Leader’s allowance (Foulkes at the time). And James, your 66th councillor – Lib Dem Stuart Kelly – who you keep striking off your list WAS a member of the crooked “Local Democracy Working Party” that went into a huddle behind the scenes to ensure they got their plunder.

    o get the Bishop of Birkenhead David Urquhart to douse the above thievery in holy water and later give him a kickback of Freedom of the Borough

    o do nothing about the £2 million public cash 2 WirralBiz directors absconded with to sunny Portugal

    o do nothing when CEO Robinson sits on his hands for six months, knowing that an INADEQUATE rating was in the pipeline for Children’s services

    o encourage and bid for investment that is NEVER going to arrive while the basket case’s failed and broken councillors and senior officers are still mobile, upright and stealing Wirral’s oxygen

    o …….implement countless TORY STYLE right wing POLICIES that make life increasingly impossible for the Wirral residents they have a statutory obligation to serve and protect

    …..all kinda FLIES IN THE FACE of what Corbyn is proposing to do, doesn’t it? In fact it all keys in very well with what the Tories have been inflicting onto us since May 2010. They’ve actually been pinning us down, going through our pockets and doing the Tories’ jobs for them.

    So YES, we’re being lied to, YES, the cover ups are proceeding uninterrupted, YES, anything resembling a public opportunity to question what is going on or impose checks, balances and modifications is a deliberate CHARADE to give the false impression that we can do something about it and prevent ourselves being ambushed, abused, and stripped of our worldly possessions. Which. We. Can’t.

    /rant not over.

  6. No doubt we can look forward, with confidence,to the tragic letter which started your piece featuring prominently in both The Wirral Globe and the Liverpoo Echo?

  7. Hey “Philly “Fucking” Liar

    Why don’t you use your waste of money comic “wirral Poo” and start writing some apology letters.

    You can practice by apologising to the Wirral “Funny” Bizz whistle blowers for your bare faced lies that can be proven 100%.

    We would happily concede there were some success stories but a £2,000,000.00 knock off and no police action is inexcusable on every level, Some local jokers were imprisoned for £500,000.00 and you let wirral “Funny” Bizz just walk.

    What are you hiding?

    Also AdderleyDadderleyDooLally saying no BIG scheme had gone bad ha ha ha ha “Highbrow” can prove 10 out of ten were wrong uns and you won’t show the rest you barstard.

    Some success.

    Saying that it probably is your most successful scheme.

    Your grandkids should grow up being totally ashamed of what you “Ankles” “The Pretend Friend” et al have done to the good people of wirral.

    Ooroo

    James

    Start writing “Philly “FUCKING” Liar”

    They infuriate me my lovely Leaks and people accept this shite.

    SWALK XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • The 100% original BOOMERANG…

      ‘We have given them almost six years to own up and say it was all wrong, they’ve lied, cheated, hidden stuff, obfuscated and told bare faced lies.’

  8. If you want a real good insight in how this council operates watch John Braces latest Cabinet meeting video.
    A full Labour cabinet with no opposition, the self congratulating and back slapping in the first ten minutes or so is totally vomit inducing, spouting about more awards they have won and the success of the fireworks which you would think they had performed the show themselves not just shot thousands of pounds of public money into the air then moan about budget cuts.
    Eric ‘The Ghost’ Robbo sits there like a thunderbird puppet in fact it could actually be a mannequin with a bad hair piece then next door is the tomato with the smuggest grin you are ever likely to see being led through the meeting by another ‘friend’ sorry legal adviser.
    Then it is the other little lambs following the red headed shepherd all agreeing to motions they have previously agreed in a back room 10 minutes ago.
    The utter drivel when they heap praise on council staff for a job well done(this is called staff doing their job they dont need patronizing by self important sheep) but in their mighty positions sat on the not so impartial cabinet they will vote to cull the council staff as they have now done in the thousands.
    More cuts are on the way behind the scenes with all departments being given an amount that has to be saved and job evaluation results soon to be published which will result in wage cuts for many manual workers on low grades soon to be lower grades for doing the same job.
    Wirral council has been far too top heavy for many years now with budget cuts generally being swung towards staff on 25k a year and below but year on year of these type of cuts and with no clear plan on how to fill these gaps other than high cost short term agency staff is now resulting in services close to collapsing due to staff shortages as highlighted in the letter above.
    Maybe this is the masterplan to decimate services before handing over too their Chamber of commerce friends to pick and choose services their members could provide.

    Just Google WIRRAL COMMUNITY PATROL LTD title is still held by the owner of a local security company since 2014, not surprisingly a member of the Wirral Chamber.
    Not once has this been queried by any Councillor in any council meeting maybe December 11th at the next full council meeting the question could be asked how a council service can be trademarked as a LTD company by a local businessman and Wirral Chamber member???

    Keep up the good fight Wirral Leaks

    • Speaking of job evaluations, crooked Cheshire West Council’s senior managers and the alleged “union” Unison came together, doing remarkably well out of their Job Evaluation process known as “Single Status”. Many well-paid senior staff were secretly approached and £tempted in to volunteer their services as quote…

      “Facilitators”.

      This entailed building a list of staff in their department who were to go through the Single Status evaluation process, i.e. spend 20 seconds copying and pasting the names from a spreadsheet, then email it to Unison and HR.

      Sit back.

      Keep sitting back.

      Wait for the process to complete.

      Sit back further.

      Then, when the process completed, be rewarded with a large portion of the cash that was “saved” by “evaluating” i.e. targetting and slashing junior staff’s wages.

      In my own case they would have snatched £4,000 per year and handed much of it across to senior management to divvy up, while I was trying my best to bring up a very young family. They didn’t succeed with me because I researched it, burned the midnight oil, appealed and threw it back in their faces, not allowing the bastards to get away with it, along with a small group of colleagues.

      So that’s what Unison agreed to, the further enrichment of their senior members at the expense of their junior ones. A managed, class-ridden brand of elitist cannibalism.

      At the top, Unison full-timer scabs are top heavy with people who mingle with and favour senior management dirt who use their membership to bully, oppress, strike break and enrich themselves. Unless you ring me up and ask, I obviously cannot name the individual who almost did for me, but 3 months before he retired he was promoted to County Engineer to enable him to boost his final salary pension, and then some………..

      So members of the council tax paying public are still forking out a top-heavy premium RIGHT NOW to this chancer, to enable him to tit about in his garden or on his canal boat or buy shares like a good little capitalist or whatever insulting, sickening largesse he has now buried himself in.

      Spit !

  9. Following the devastating report on Wirral Child Care Services,did our beloved C.E.O. not announce, to a fanfare of trumpets, that because of his previous experience in that area he would take personal charge of the failed department and all would be well with the World?
    Since then he appears to be keeping a low profile. Maybe lining up his next high-powered and lavishly paid post away from the Wirral cesspit?

    • MOO MOO WHILST THEY SIT IN ISOLATED POMP NONE OF THIS CONTEMPT TOUCHES THEM

      Moo at the next council meeting speaks more volume than any well crafted question or learned contribution from Cardin or Brace

      • G’day Mate

        I’ll be there MOOING and MOOING and MOOING whenever that is?

        I think in the case of Davies, Davies, Jones, Jones Foulkes grunting like a greedy fat ugly pig could be more appropriate.

        When they get home and are asked how was their day I wonder what they say.

        “The Pretend Friend” would say to his kids and grandkids “Ah you wouldn’t understand boyos, girlo’s you are only human and nice and decent……..maybe?”

        “We have our own world were we speak a different language that people like Cardin might understand cos he was in it for a while but we have are own rules where we can break them with the bosses blessing and root anyone whether they ask for it or not.”

        Ooroo

        James

        Talking of Ecca what a revoting specimen of excrement allowing them to go about their revoltingness in wirral and even overseas.

        Oh that’s right they signed him up to be their £200,000.00 bitch…and what a disgrace.

        See you in the stinky cesspit to Moo our socks off.

        HOLLAND Lordsville XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

        Has “Squash McCourt” passed his test yet L and shown he can be “TRUSTED”?

  10. Anymore updates on this up & coming removal senior officer from Wirral dross!!!! We are tired of hearing this now and want to see some proactive action – use that term loosely- much luv Leaky

  11. Wont be reported in the glorious Wirral view how hundreds of council workers have just this week recieved ‘at risk’ letters.
    Average wage of these manual workers 18k a year the normal cuts start at the bottom.

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