Declaration of affiliation or interest / external investigation

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester Council

This request has been withdrawn by the person who made it. There may be an explanation in the correspondence below.

From: Paul Cardin

18 August 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

1. At any time before or since my 26th February 2009 lodging of
serious allegations against a senior manager, and the resultant
commissioning of an external investigation thereafter, was the
appointed external investigator performing a public role which may
reasonably have brought him into contact with councillors,
officers, directors, managers or employees of the former Cheshire
County Council?

2. In order to satisfy independence and impartiality requirements,
did this external investigator have any prior association with
Cheshire County Council, and if so, did he declare that affiliation
or any prior interest / conflict of interest beforehand to the
Acting Director who commissioned the investigation, or to any other
councillor or employee of the former Cheshire County Council?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

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From: CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive)
Cheshire West and Chester Council

21 August 2009

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your email. It will be treated as a request within the
meaning of the Act: this means that we will send you a full response
within 20 working days, either supplying you with the information which
you want, or explaining to you why we cannot supply it. If we need any
further clarification or there is any problem we will be in touch.

In the meantime if you wish to discuss this further please contact me. It
would be helpful if you could quote the log number 400198.

Iris Chalmers

PA to Steve Robinson, Chief Executive

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 01244 975968

Email: [email address]

Location: Room 283, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

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From: CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive)
Cheshire West and Chester Council

15 September 2009

Dear Mr Cardin

In order for us to be able to answer your questions outlined in your FOI
request, log number 400198.

Can you please be more specific to what you are referring to and supply us
with the exact detail of the allegation you are referring to, the name of
the investigating officer and the outcome of the investigation
commissioned by the former Cheshire County Council.

Thank you.

Iris Chalmers

PA to Steve Robinson, Chief Executive

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 01244 975968

Email: [email address]

Location: Room 283, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF

Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Paul Cardin

16 September 2009

Dear CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive),

Thank you very much for responding. All of the information you have
asked me to supply is already in the Council's possession. But as
this is a public website, in order not to breach confidentiality, I
will email to you separately the name of a Senior Personnel
Officer. This is a colleague of yours who can be approached for the
precise answers to your questions and further detailed information,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

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From: CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive)
Cheshire West and Chester Council

17 September 2009

Thank you Mr Cardin.

Iris Chalmers
PA to Steve Robinson, Chief Executive
Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 01244 975968
Email: [email address]
Location: Room 283, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive)
Cheshire West and Chester Council

18 September 2009

Mr Cardin, a full response to this request has been sent to your private address.

Iris Chalmers
PA to Steve Robinson, Chief Executive
Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tel: 01244 975968
Email: [email address]
Location: Room 283, County Hall, Chester CH1 1SF
Visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Paul Cardin

18 September 2009

Dear CHALMERS, Iris (PA to Chief Executive),

Thank you Ms Chalmers

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

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Paul Cardin left an annotation (27 September 2009)

Quote-marks My association / employment with Cheshire West and Chester council came to an end on 30th September 2009. I did not receive the information I was seeking, but my situation reached a settlement with which all parties are content.

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Paul Cardin left an annotation (15 March 2010)

Quote-marks For the purposes of clarification, I was content with the settlement mooted in the lead up to 27th September 2009, but became a lot less content upon signing the eventual compromise agreement, which was released to the former employer on 1st October 2009.

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Paul Cardin left an annotation (28 December 2010)

Quote-marks Very soon, the 'Openleaks' service will be released and if successful, there will be a 'panic button' made publically available on the websites of local newspapers. Any member of the public or public sector employee aware of dishonesty, law-breaking, malfeasance or maladministration, but unsure of what to do; or who may be directly suffering through bullying or victimisation by a public body may alert the media anonymously. This way, they may avoid harassment, accusations of being 'vexatious', or disciplinary action and the loss of their livelihoods. I personally regret that this recourse was not available in 2009, but I feel it provides hope for the future and may finally bring some degree of accountability to those abusing the power they possess, elected or otherwise.

Read about Openleaks and the Knight News Challenge here: http://techpresident.com/blog-entry/wiki...

HAPPY NEW YEAR :-)

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ( 3 May 2011)

Quote-marks An independent investigator (in this case with no ties to the employer) commissioned by the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, a neighbouring authority to Cheshire West, recently found that there had been bullying and abuse of power on the part of senior officers. Link to story here:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

An apology was given to Martin Morton, the recipient of years of victimisation and harassment at the hands of senior managers. Disciplinary action is to follow against those found to have been involved in bullying and the abuse of power.

It is extremely rare to find an employer, in whatever sector, admitting to such serious charges. Generally, intimidation, covering up tactics, and compromise agreements / gagging clauses are used as a first resort in order to escape the risk of justice and a blackened reputation at tribunal.

Link to this

Paul Cardin left an annotation (12 January 2013)

Quote-marks I jumped the gun badly in that last annotation.

There has NEVER been any disciplinary action taken against the bullies and abusers at Wirral Council. They've welcomed in an LGA panel under the guise of 'improving' the place, but the suspicion is they've received advice on how to draw a successful blanket over the mess.

They've now had a 'bit of a clear out' - but the problem for the public and anybody else expecting some sort of reckoning is: they've paid out over £810,000 as a reward for the foul behaviour that these officers involved themselves in.

Worse still, the officers involved have been gagged within compromise agreements. Only the High Court or a Judicial Review can prise these open. So... job done.

The Klonowski and Smith reports are also in the process of being quietly put to bed. See this link:

http://easyvirtualassistance.wordpress.c...

Both reports reached findings that have been described as 'damning', but the identities of the abusers have been hidden through careful redactions (obliteration of names and identifying information).

Klonowski never apparently declared any interest or affiliation prior to her report - and had undeclared connections with the council which can be traced back to 2006. She also refused point blank any attempts to make her record the interviews or take minutes during the process of investigating the people involved. So there is absolutely no verbatim record. Just her own notes. Oh dear. The end result being: escape hatches galore will exist for people in trouble to clamber out of, including Klonowski herself.

And Wirral "No case to answer" Council plods on, muddying the water and spending our money like there's no tomorrow.

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