A whistleblower who helped a weekly paper expose the overcharging of vulnerable adults by a council has been offered his job back after a long-standing campaign by the title.
Martin Morton, a manager in adult social services at Wirral Borough Council, was driven out of his job by bullies after he uncovered that vulnerable adults in the care of the authority were systematically overcharged for their accommodation over a seven year period.
After raising concerns about the practice with his managers, he was at first ignored then bullied and driven out of his job – being paid £45,000 to leave and told to keep quiet.
But instead he contacted the Wirral Globe in November 2008 which exposed the overcharging policy and continued to campaign for an inquiry to be held – with the leader of the council now apologising for what happened and offering Mr Morton his job back.
He said: “I am totally shocked. I would like to thank the Wirral Globe for sticking with this story for so many years.
“Their belief, tenacity and support has helped enormously in bringing this to their readers’ attention and it seems that justice is to be done.”
An investigation into the overcharging was eventually carried out and the council forced to admit its mistakes, repaying £250,000 between 16 care home residents.
And last week the authority’s cabinet studied an independent report into Mr Morton’s bullying claims, leading to councillor Jeff Green issuing an apology on behalf of the authority – saying he had been treated disgracefully and offering him his job back.
Editor Leigh Marles said: “It’s encouraging the local press has the power to shine a light on these issues and perhaps get things moving
“Before the Globe published Mr Martin’s story, sections of the local authority seemed quite happy to brush the overcharging of these vulnerable people under the carpet and hope it would all just go away.”