We were alerted to this story by a search term on our website which read : “Maura Noone Reading”. This piqued our interest so we did a bit of further research and lo – or should that be low? – and behold we discover that Noone is astonishingly now Head of Adult Social Care at Reading Borough Council. No,really !!!
Those who remember the 2012 publication of the Independent Review of Allegations Made by Martin Morton ( and Others) will know the furore that followed which led to the following front page headlines
Of course this being Wirral Council there were no such sackings. Instead – and much to the horror of Tory councillor Lesley Rennie who claimed she’d been misled by Labour councillors about such matters – two of the worst offenders who were redacted out of the report, but we know them to be Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) senior managers Mike Fowler and Maura Noone , who were handed £100K + and ask to asked to go quietly on the eve of publication. There was incredulity and outrage that bullying,dishonesty and incompetence was rewarded. But no one was surprised.
However you know what they say about an ill wind and the hyaenas in high office soon realised there were rich pickings to be had from the calamity. The Local Government Association, North West Employers Association, Audit Commission(later to transfer to Grant Thornton) and future Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess all gorged themselves on the corpse of Wirral Council. Whilst even when a report commissioned by Burgess when he became CEO implicated Fowler and Noone and others in £31 million of toxic debts Burgess claimed that Fowler/Noone should never have been paid off there were merely whimpers from the likes of council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies who meekly claimed that there was nothing Wirral Council Pip claimed there was nothing they could do because those responsible had ‘left’. But they hadn’t just ‘left’ they had been rewarded with public money,their reputations were protected and Noone and Fowler were free to ply their trade elsewhere. Meanwhile former leader Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes was privately telling concerned members of the local Labour Party that he’d been ‘misled’ by officers (whilst writing to the Wirral Globe in praise of a disgraced DASS Director) .
We should never underestimate (or forgive) Pip’s role in this debacle starting with the kangaroo court that that led to the ‘exoneration’ of Noone for any wrongdoing ( Fowler was sent a ‘letter’ saying what we’ll never know) aided and abetted service by a North West Employer’s Organisation report (which was later proven to be a whitewash and a sham).
Within a few months of cashing their six figure cheques Fowler found himself in another well paid sinecure at Brook Young People where he remains to this day . Read here : https://wirralinittogether.blog/2015/07/06/corporate-abuse-of-disabled-people-neednt-sound-the-death-knell-for-your-career/
Meanwhile Noone undertook n MA in Public Health at Liverpool John Moore’s University then landing a Assistant Director post at Northamptonshire County Council before bailing out prior to the Government sending in commissioners to take over the failing Council, which brings us full circle to Noone’s latest post as Head of Adult Social Care at Reading Borough Council.
And so the (im)moral of this story seems to be that bullying ,dishonesty and incompetence remain no bar to high public office. It also helps to explain why so many public services are in such a mess – it’s not just about lack of money as let’s face it there’s always plenty of public money for reputation management.