“Most Improved” Wirral Council. Breaking the law on Discretionary Housing Payments – and now an FOI failure – have vulnerable families been evicted?

eviction notice

22nd May 2017

Following a failure by Wirral Council to properly respond to an urgent FOI request – sent three months ago – we’re now in a position to update the public.

We’ve made two previous posts on this evolving scandal here:

FOI Request to Wirral Council ~ Discretionary Housing Payments

UPDATE: Leaked Wirral Council email: Discretionary Housing Payments Unlawful for 18 Months

Despite constant assurances for many years by Wirral’s PR and press people that the council is most improved, is open and transparent and has come on in leaps and bounds since the dark days of:

  • hideous abuse of learning disabled people
  • theft from their bank accounts of £736,756.97 over 9 years
  • forcing out of whistleblower Martin Morton
  • accreditation of gangster care companies
  • failure to investigate Wirral councillors with questionable connections
  • concealed death(s) and no subsequent case review
  • a failed cover up
  • failed governance (following “excellent” governance training by an “unconnected” and “unconflicted” external investigator – Anna Klonowski – now CEO of Bristol CIty Council – who shockingly didn’t investigate the councillors in the frame, who may after all have given her further training contracts)
  • attempts to reimburse abused people with “peanuts” rather than the full amount
  • a whitewashing external investigation
  • a failed LGA “improvement board”

…in reality we’ve still no idea what on earth is actually going on inside this place.

We say this because the responses to this FOI request have been defensive in the extreme. We were even forced into making public an email from Director of Law Surjit Tour, where he was at pains to avoid making any admission that the council had in fact broken statutory law for a period of 18 months.

Yes, this is Wirral, and once again, they’ve taken the low road.  With such determined attempts to use our money to put up smokescreens and occupy the shadows, we’ll need to try and drag that admission “from their cold, dead hands”.

The hidden responders, whoever they are – because it sure as hell ain’t the name on the FOI responses – have only succeeded in creating a mountain of work for themselves by trying to fob us off – with an extremely weak and evasive first response.

This was naturally followed by our request for an internal review, and that’s where it seems to have sent them into a tailspin.  They requested an extra 10 days to respond – due to the detail inside our internal review – created by their own inadequate response, remember – but have now overrun their self-imposed time limit of last Friday – 19th May 2017.

We’ve been doing this long enough to gain a strong sense that this FOI request will have been causing self-inflicted palpitations within the heart of this “most improved” but practically dead on its feet, ailing beast.

Today, we will copy in the Information Commissioner’s Office to the following, and send a separate request, asking that they step in and get it sorted…  again…

We can almost hear these obedient, loyal, tight-knit bureaucrats’ collective groans of anguish, all the way from leafy Winsford.

22 05 17 - Wirral Council failure on DHP FOI request


 

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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One Response to “Most Improved” Wirral Council. Breaking the law on Discretionary Housing Payments – and now an FOI failure – have vulnerable families been evicted?

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