AN OMBUDSMAN is to be put in place to allow whistleblowers from Wirral Council, who have been ignored in the past, to air their concerns.
The new leader of the council, Jeff Green, told the council he wanted to see employees able to raise concerns "without fear of reprisals".
The announcement came during a meeting of the full council at Wallasey town hall to debate the devastating report by outside consultant Anna Klonowski into a series of damaging allegations made by former social services whistleblower Martin Morton.
Tory Cllr Green, who has also taken over responsibility for adult social services, also said he had demanded a report by the head of human resources into how two senior social services officers had been allowed to leave just a day before the Klonowski report was published, as well as calling for improved compensation for those affected by overcharging by the council.
Despite calls from all parties for non-partisan debate the meeting saw criticisms thrown across the council chamber on Monday night.
Cllr Green said the previous Labour administration refused to allow an independent inquiry in Mr Morton's whistleblowing claims, and said they had been "part of the corrosive atmosphere that led to people feeling they could not raise issues".
The council had earlier voted to lift a number of the redactions on the Klonowski report which will see senior officers and organisations criticised in it now named.
Lib-Dem leader Tom Harney, whose group joined with the Conservatives to oust Steve Foulkes last week over their concerns about Labour's response to the Klonowski report, said: "There is always going to be a feeling that we as a council are somehow tainted by this."
Labour leader Steve Foulkes used the meeting to slam his Tory opponents who have distributed leaflets which he said associate his group with some of the more shocking allegations contained in the Klonowski report, including allegations of rape not properly investigated and thugs with baseball bats arriving at a care home to threaten a member of staff.
Cllr Foulkes said the Klonowski report could be "the most expensive political ambush" and his deputy Phil Davies called on Cllr Green to distance himself from this type of "gutter politics".