Wirral Council’s DASS: “The Airing of Grievances (Part 2)” Appeals SubCommittee 3/7/2012

I notice the delayed grievance appeal from the 5th March 2012 (adjourned for a whopping 17 weeks (119 days) is going ahead tomorrow afternoon (as I write this on the 2nd July 2012).

It seems there is a delayed grievance appeal from an employee of Wirral Council’s Department of Adult Social Services. Representing the historically dysfunctional Department of Adult Social Services at the March meeting was none other than Employee 19 of the AKA report, dramatic drum roll Mr. Richard O’Brien.

No, it’s not the famous Richard O’Brien who used to present the Crystal Maze on Channel 4 in the 90s, and yes I invite you in the comments to state the similarities between Wirral Council and The Crystal Maze, but a guy that goes by the shorter moniker of Rick O’Brien. Who’s Rick you may ask? He is the Head of Branch, Personal Assessment and Planning (whatever that is!?).

Basically he lines managers the managers (that manage the social work teams) for Wallasey, Birkenhead, West Wirral etc… so it must be to do with an employee in that branch of DASS (which doesn’t narrow it down much!)

Brenda Hall is representing the other side, as she’s a branch negotiator for Wirral Council’s UNISON.

Getting out my handy “Who’s Who at DASS”, I find Rick O’Brien’s email address is richardobrien@wirral.gov.uk, which is interesting as Rick O’Brien (as reported as an exclusive on this blog last year) was one of the people who Bill Norman emailed on the 12th December 2011 about not publishing AK’s preliminary draft report.

Wasn’t he the same Rick O’Brien getting criticism in the comments section of the Wirral Globe and mentioned by name in a response to a FOI request involving four week delays in care packages?

Oh and also mentioned in this Wirral Leaks post about the Commissioning conference in London?

Hmm, well he certainly manages to get himself mentioned a lot (and it seems sometimes for all the wrong reasons)! But then it seems, a Pete Sheffield is just met with stony silence over a FOI request for Rick O’Brien’s job description.

But if memory serves correct he was also “Employee 19” in the now infamous “Anna Klonowski Associates Ltd (AKA) Independent Review of the Council’s Response to Claims Made by Martin Morton (and Others)”.

Ahh yes, that Rick. Oh well, apart from my frivolous uses of the <A HREF></a> tags, it’s nice to see there are still people at DASS with grievances to air. I had high hopes for the new Director of DASS, Graham Hodkinson, but it seems that he’s inherited a lot of problems from his predecessor in the role, Howard Cooper. How long will it before the public and employees again trust Social Services/Wirral Council to do the right thing and have a bit more accountability?

I feel at times writing about Wirral Council that it would be so much easier if getting information out of it wasn’t about as painful as pulling teeth, but it’s getting late so I will bring this to a close.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.