Here’s a link to a fine Wirral Council document. ‘Fine’ because its stuffed with nice sounding, positive words – strong, decisive ones. Only later – much later – to be revealed as shitty, deceitful and hollow. The abusive council which promised so much… but delivered nothing.
It’s the process of bogus, pained self-flagellation / feigned victimhood that workplace bullies lurch towards when caught in the act. Like rabbits in the headlights, they’re briefly stunned; but not missing a beat, they quickly recover. Soon they’re up and running again, promising not to be so awful to their staff again in the future. Their staff – the people they’ve described so many times in the past as ‘our most important asset’.
“Never again”, they will say. “This time…. it’s for real.”
But because they have all the power, they’ll quickly remind you that they’re the ones who are best placed to sort it all out. They’ll start by making an earnest pledge to the watching public.
“We will stop at nothing in pursuit of the truth. Lessons will be learned. We will make the people responsible for this atrocious conduct (i.e. we the councillors / senior officers and our on-message sycophants) fully accountable…. and we are determined to succeed. We are committed to fixing this organisation, and moving forward. We will start by calling for an immediate and robust review of all the relevant policies and procedures.”
This will be their call to ‘action’. They may even call the whole thing an “Action Plan“. Because that sounds positive. Unless like Wirral, you happen to be on Action Plan number 94 for whatever year, with the list of self-generating scandals and fiascos growing ever longer:
- Secret meetings are still taking place – despite the constant trumpeting of a ‘brave new world’
- You’re the only council in the land under the Information Commissioner’s version of “special measures”
- You’re prepared to have plenty of puff published – preferably prominently placed on page 2 of the local ad-sheet
- An anonymous whistleblower was identified on the council website – and therefore the World Wide Web
- £1 million + paid in rewards for failure and a growing number of suspended seniors have been cleared with “No Case To Answer”
- Objectionable councillors, claiming ‘intrusion’, are making repeated attempts to ban filming
- So-called ‘analysis’ was issued to councillors, blaming 10 members of the public for the council’s own FoI failures
- 60+ councillors were found to be breaching their ICO obligations as data controllers – now the public will cough up £2,000+
- The new CEO states he’s spending less (to protect vulnerable people), then forks out £20,000+ public money on an office refurbishment – then the council issues wayward figures in response to an FoI request
- The ‘independent’ investigator into a 4 week delay in care was found never to have made any pre-investigation declarations
- The same investigator delivers a whitewash and is rewarded with a £100,000 a year contract
- The Council was discovered not to be monitoring or recording the number of compromise agreements for departing staff
- The former CEO who refused to contribute to the AKA report and fled, returns much later to be interviewed for the Richard Penn report
- Your Chief Executive is forced by the Information Commissioner to sign an undertaking to fulfil his obligations under the Freedom of Information Act… or face enforcement action
- (to be continued…..)
The experienced council watchers among you are now seeing phrases trotted out such as ‘we need to draw a line under it’ or ‘this council has to move forward’ or ‘that’s historical and happened such a long time ago’.
Here’s a reminder of Councillor Denise Roberts’ amendment from way back when – otherwise known as ‘the ‘series of unfortunate events defence’ – stuffed to the gills with the corrosive language of avoidance – which despite or because of LGA involvement, still epitomises to this day Wirral Council’s inability to take onboard and recognise its own desperate failings.
As the desire to cover up gathers fresh momentum, a public inquiry and / or special measures are desperately needed – to stem the haemorrhaging of £millions more of our money into the burgeoning black hole of Wirral councillors’ and senior officers’ creation.