12th April 2016
My name’s Paul Cardin. I live in Wirral in the North West of England, and blog regularly on a number of issues: Freedom of Information, farcical ‘local democracy’, and council abuse. The main purpose of building these pages is to shine a spotlight onto abusive Wirral Council (see 7.1) and to get the message out there that there’s a large scale and very expensive scam going on right under our noses. This is in the form of a heavy, concealing blanket being thrown over embedded corruption and malpractice. We are enabling this with our votes, and by ploughing unknown £millions into it through our council tax.
The string of council scandals which led up to this go back to the last century and are well-documented, thanks largely to whistleblower Martin Morton and The Wirral Globe (before it became captured and largely controlled by the local authority). These revelations were extremely serious and detailed, and with time, were vindicated one by one. Despite the council’s valiant attempts to cover them all up, they began mushrooming and spreading, from Social Services back into central governance and over into Highways. Millions upon millions of pounds have also gone missing, which is now becoming clearer as historical bad debts are laid bare. But despite a number of expensive external so-called ‘independent’ investigations, no proper reckoning has ever arrived for any of the abusers, offenders, or those up to their necks in long term malpractice.
Although the council has admitted to:
- long term abuse of learning disabled tenants
- the abuse of power
- the bullying of staff
- serious failures in top level governance
- £millions in uncollected “bad debt”
…the current position after two long years of apparent ‘bloodletting’ is this:
…nobody is an abuser, nobody is a bully, nobody has failed, nobody has lost or stolen any money.
These paradoxes persist because the legitimate and compelling public interest – the demand for accountability – is being ignored, stifled and sidelined – all with the ongoing assistance of a Local Government Association…. wait for it…. ‘improvement’ board.
Whistleblowers, complainants or members of the public who want to establish fairness and engage in the democratic process are being blamed, or otherwise tarnished for having the temerity to ask reasonable, if difficult questions. Their contributions to the debate are being deliberately omitted from the record and struck from the minutes of public meetings. Members of the public are even being illegally herded out of these meetings – to permit shadowy and secretive gatherings to convene.
A growing number of senior officers, widely regarded to have been involved in malpractice, are being paid off in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, and / or cleared with ‘no case to answer’. Cause and effect means an increasing number of the wider Wirral electorate is unlikely to ever vote again for an overwhelming majority of pisspoor councillors. These are the “El Dorada” or gilded ones, who had it good during the abusive years, still hanker after the spoils of power abuse and want this house of plenty to continue uninterrupted.
Because they were protected, paid off and gagged, and because Wirral Council gagged itself, they’re picking up senior jobs elsewhere – sometimes with the unquestioning, po-faced assistance of the UK courts – as if they hadn’t spent nine years abusing disabled people in the first place:
- Maura Noone – High Noone at Reading Council. Danger averted
- Mike Fowler – Corporate abuse of disabled people needn’t sound the death knell for your career
In cahoots with senior officers, councillors of all parties still protect each other, pretend to a ‘new dawn’, feigning ‘resolve’ and ‘anger’, whilst secretly attempting to close down public debate, and limiting access. They continue to strive behind the scenes, or sometimes openly, at putting a stop to genuine public involvement.
These elected officials are nothing more than gutter dwellers, up to their necks in the mire, their snouts soiled from the trough, striving only for their own personal / political gain… like they always have done, like they always will do, and always at our expense.
Myself and a number of concerned others, who’ll remain nameless, possess sharp swords and tend to swing them around a lot, slashing or lopping heads off the many headed Hydra that this monstrous council has become, with its dumb, self-generating fiascos and scandals.
Running scared, and completely blind to accountability, the creature constantly runs away, abusing power, trashing the area’s reputation and draining the local public’s time, council tax money and patience. The minute you decapitate one festering, venom-spewing head, a new one sprouts in the shape of the latest scandal.
It shames me to admit that I was once an employee of Wirral Council Highways Department – but resigned in 2003 after blowing the whistle on serious impropriety – more here.
I also worked for #QuackCWAC ~ Cheshire West and Chester Council – but after making a complaint, which throughout two long years was never addressed, I was forced from my job and became subjected to a ban on accessing information and data. This was the work of ex-Wirral Head of Legal Services Simon (Gotcha) Goacher – who flew headlong into the face of all modern concepts of openness, transparency and the free flow of information – by removing my statutory information and data querying rights. This lasted between October 2009 (the time of my departure) and June 2011 – a period of 20 months.
Leading privacy counsel Hugh Tomlinson QC, whose involvement caused the council to back down very quickly, believed the tactic of banning future requests was unlawful. The Information Commissioner endorsed this, stating that not only was the council’s tactic likely to breach the FoI Act, it also appeared to be a contravention of the Human Rights Act. It quickly received short shrift here, on this very well-respected website.
So a piece of friendly advice to Simon for the future should he line up against the big boys once more: it may give you a transient ‘thrill’ to abuse your position and hit out at those who can’t readily hit back, but statutory rights can’t be removed – full stop. Er… that’s why they’re given to us in the first place. So don’t even go there. Didn’t they teach you that on day 1 of your law degree?
Anyway, moving on…. Witless #QuackCWaC (minus Gotcha who’s now fled to the private sector) maintain to this day that it was lawful and were on the record stating they’d deploy the tactic again in the future as and when required. The threat’s now been quietly withdrawn, but there have been no guarantees given, much less an apology for the democratically unscrutinised conduct of the past few years, nor for any distress caused.
Feckless #QuackCWaC councillors, never quick on the uptake, are still content to grant manipulative senior officers carte blanche to do what the hell they like, even if it contradicts their glossy, touchy-feely public policies – the ones stuffed to the gills with nice-sounding, hollow assurances.
Wirral Council, more recently
More recently, I’ve turned to making probing FoI requests to Wirral Council, in order to try to get to the bottom of the council’s long term abuse of power and their reactionary targeting of whistleblowers.
I’ve also concentrated on their callous financial abuse of disabled people (going back to 1997. They plundered £736,756.97 from learning disabled tenants’ bank accounts – see picture below), before indulging in the more recent cop-out tactics of gagging and paying off abusive senior officers (running total now £1 million plus in public money).
Then there was the mounting of a lopsided investigation here and another one there, and the welcoming of senior suspendee, David Green, back into the fold in highly controversial circumstances. I’m hearing that this individual is yet to return well over a month since the invite was sent. Definitely one to watch…
Well we did watch, and eventually he did return, but his job had disappeared. He was then made redundant and was paid off to the tune of £103,234. During his time off suspended / kicking his heels he received well over a year’s salary.
The investigator, Richard Penn, who was called in to investigate whether an interest had been declared, er….. failed to correctly declare an interest.
After two years of constant activity, and after repeatedly coming up against a towering wall of inertia, be it Wirral Council or their ‘regulator’ the ICO, I like to think I’ve contributed, along with certain others, towards having Wirral Council monitored by The Information Commissioner between January and March 2013.
So…. job done. But will this be enough? They’ve been monitored before but appear to have learned very little. What other sanctions does the ICO possess for recalcitrant offenders who just don’t get the message?
This looks promising – the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham’s opinion of Wirral Council:
I would really like to send in a good practice squad to Wirral Borough Council….
Whenever you see or hear a Wirral ‘spokesperson’ talking to the media, it seems they’re briefed to keep ‘on message’ and to never, ever refer to the ongoing backdrop of disaster, interwoven by fiasco, quickly pursued by cover-up that’s become the accustomed ‘Wirral Way’. It’s as though nothing dodgy has ever happened; like badly-programmed automatons, they prefer instead to blindly lurch on, issuing jargon, glossing over it, assuming we’re stupid, simplisticly comparing Wirral to “other similarly sized councils”.
Here are some more hideous, snarling ‘Hydra heads’ that have recently sprouted:
The desire to put the Anna Klonowski report – and any residual danger it may hold for senior officers and councillors – to bed
The inability to apologise for lying in a Freedom of Information response
The use of YOUR money to pay for 64 x Wirral Councillors’ ‘Data Controller’ subscriptions to the Information Commissioner’s Office
How Wirral councillors filled their pockets back in 2002/03
Illegal 4 week delay investigator Rob Vickers. Was he rewarded with a job at Wirral Council?
Vexatious FoI requests ~ Do Wirral Council run an internal screening process?
Channel 4 Dispatches – Wirral’s alleged contract impropriety & subsequent whitewash
Frank Field blames “Too many people making FoI requests” for Wirral Council’s ongoing failure
Wirral Council haemmorhages an extra £455,500 – into the back pockets of officers
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham holds a very dim view of Wirral Council
Martin Morton appears on Radio Five Live
Councillors attending / not attending training sessions
£48,000 in public money appears to have been extorted by a senior officer
Wirral Council runs a screening process for FoI releases
Wirral Council leader, Graham Burgess is forced to sign a Freedom of Information “undertaking”
A Wirral Council solicitor resoundingly fails to brand me ‘obsessive’ and my FoI request ‘vexatious’
Four Week Delay on care investigator – was he rewarded with a job?
How Wirral councillors filled their pockets back in 2002/3 – shocking!
Frank Field blames too many people making FoI requests for Wirral Council’s ongoing failure
Dispatches – Wirral Council’s alleged contract impropriety and subsequent whitewash
The Game’s Up !! I was NOT making ‘vexatious’ requests
Wirral Council are to apply a flat charge on elderly / vulnerable people for crucial assistive technology
That £48,000 payment was made to a FEMALE senior council officer. Who can it be?
Wirral Council’s new CEO Eric Robinson hits the ground running
Today in Wallasey Town Hall I spoke with new CEO Eric Robinson
Paul Cardin appears on www.bastionradio.com
Council leader sells off strategic green space – claims he’s saved it for us – but what happened next?
Corporate abuse of disabled people needn’t sound the death knell for your career
Watch this space and please sign up to follow my blog for further developments. Thanks for visiting !
ENFJ – “Persuader”. Outstanding leader of groups. Can be aggressive at helping others to be the best that they can be. 2.5% of total population.
Take Free Jung Personality Test
Personality Test by SimilarMinds.com
I feel as if I have been a whistleblower pointing out to Gloucestershire County Council directors of service and chief exec the lies and cover ups by the staff that I have discovered as the victim of their lies. However they failed to respond other than to attack me and the chief exec even instructed the elected county Councillors not to communicate with me. Since June 2010 I have had no representation or assistance in my quest for truth and honesty to come out and am now (23/3/2012) branded a vexatious complainant do they do not need to answer any questions or requests for papers and information that should already have been supplied. Yes I can take them to court but what with – I struggle by monthly as cannot face a high stress job whilst the liars just carry on no doubt abusing their position against others.
My website will shortly be launched to get information into the public domain and I will then fine tune it.
In the meantime GCC can rest assured I am not going to be silenced.
I look forward to your website being published Geoffrey. Please come back and post a link when it’s ready. Thanks for your comment.
My understanding is that it is impossible to contract out of statutory rights. A Subject Access request under s7 of DPA is a statutory right and is exercisable irrespective of contractual terms. The best thing to do is to sign the contract, take your money and run, and then exercise the statutory rights given to you by Parliament.
Pingback: Justice in Action: This is a really uplifiting video | Lindas Blog
thanks – this site is new to me – but not the corruption that is allowed in the UK;
Update on Aldi Prenton Parking eye
Pingback: HIGH NOON E | HOLLIE GREIG JUSTICE : SUPPORTING FRESH START @FSFtruthjustice
Pingback: #Antisemitism. We lodged a well-founded Standards Complaint against Tory & Independent Wirral Councillors. Here’s the outcome | Wirral In It Together
Hi i am tryign to contact you, nothing too important, but cant find your contacts or twitter from your site. can you drop me an email thanks
Thanks Cathy. Have emailed you 😊
We are a group of independent researchers with the aim of the analysis of the geoglyphs of the Jordanian Black Desert. We have already established contact with the Jordanian authorities. This discovery will help humanity in very different ways and open new paths for science.
These data relate to a groundbreaking scientific and archaeological discovery in Jordan. If you ever fly by helicopter over the area of Harra’t al-Sham, take a closer look to the geoglyphs. Bedouins call these strange circles the works of the elders. This discovery will reveal our real role in the planet and our true nature. It will bring a lot of wealth to the planet and pacify the Middle East. There are 8,500 years old stones there. They really represent embryos in different stages of development. They can only be seen from satellites, drones and planes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rikVfTbX2Mo It contains the official documentation with the Jordanian authorities about this scientific and archaeological discovery. Activate the subtitles. And the Spanish newspaper El Diestro published some months ago an article, an Australian newspaper very recently: http://www.nexusnewsfeed.com/article/ancient-mysteries/groundbreaking-archaeological-and-scientific-discovery-in-the-jordanian-black-desert
I will be glad to provide you with further details upon request.
I am also on the Wirral and interested in joining any group I can to take action against the pandemic-based control grab by the govt.
Do you know of any local groups?
You can find local groups here on Telegram by searching inside Outreach Worldwide:
I’ll see if I can find some better, more direct links and come back to you,
In light of these issues being back in the news, please could you consider supporting/publishing our petition (the petition itself is addressed to Sir Keir Starmer, of course):
‘SUSPEND Lord Mandelson from Labour while carrying out an *independent* investigation into the extent of Mandelson’s involvement with the sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’
With grateful thanks!
Hi, yes, have signed and will also share and post to this blog. Thanks!
Mr Cardin, would you be available to chat via private email about your Falklands book and the possibility of some exposure? Can’t find another way to contact you except here.
Hi, thanks for the message. Yes, please send your name, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org
Greeat read thankyou
Pingback: About Wirral In It Together | Wirral In It Together | Wirral In It Together