Posted by: John Brace | 3 September 2013

Thousands of pounds spent by Wirral Council on legal advice for safeguarding and Salisbury Independent Living

Thousands of pounds spent by Wirral Council on legal advice for safeguarding and Salisbury Independent Living


A comment left yesterday by Paul Cardin made me think about three legal invoices which seem to be (at least it seems reasonable to assume) tied in with issues raised during Martin Morton’s whistle blowing.

SIL on this invoice stands for Salisbury Independent Living (who was service provider 3 in the Anna Klonowski Associates Ltd report). Ninety-five pages of her two hundred and forty-nine page report were about Salisbury Independent Living. In stark contrast to the other invoices for thousands of pounds, this is for £360 representing 2.5 hours of an associate’s time on “financial abuse”. Unless this was independent legal advice to someone who was overcharged by Wirral Council, you wonder why it wouldn’t have been cheaper to do this in-house instead.

However, Wirral Council isn’t always so frugal in cases involving disabled adults. This interim invoice comes to £3,024 for “adult safeguarding advice” for one person from August to October of last year.

Morris Hill of Weightmans was also involved with legal work for Wirral Council in [2012] WLR(D) 31, [2012] EWCA Civ 84, [2012] PTSR 1221, a Court of Appeal case between Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council and Salisbury Independent Living Ltd which Wirral Council won. The case was about a claim by Salisbury Independent Living Ltd that Wirral Council owed them £3 million and was an appeal from [2011] UKUT 44 (AAC) this earlier decision. There’s also a further invoice for £8,017.20 concerning Salisbury Independent Living.

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:


  1. Another classic example of institutional financial waste an incompetence on a grand scale.
    Nd yet there is a moratorium on staff mileage even though they can’t place staff where they are required, so the ‘office accommodation’ for them is miles away from the working area and use of printer and copier paper is restricted.
    Penny wise pound foolish Council.

    • Until the audit is finished and they know how much money they have (the audit’s of 2012/13 supposed to finish around the end of this month), I think they still have a spending freeze on any expenditure not deemed essential (which is a rather subjective definition).

      What you describe sounds like the “agile working” they’ve been trying to promote where employees don’t have a desk (just use one in whatever building they’re in) which is also referred to as mobile desking or hot desking. If I remember correctly they said at the time that if each employee didn’t have a desk and instead just used ones ad hoc when needed that they could reduce the floorspace they needed (and therefore costs). This is probably the outcome of that agile working policy.