I was recently temping for my local council (Rossendale) when I reported that 150 renewal taxi drivers had been found not having a DBS form over only the past 6 months. A Manager (lets call her Mrs P) advised me it was not against the law but then threatened staff that “heads would roll like in Rotherham” if things were not sorted soon. I was then asked to go back over three years of drivers information, so they could be substantially more drivers without a DBS in place. Also, none of the convictions had been migrated over from last year (at least 6 months where no convictions were on the system) and this was denied that it had happened on several occasions until I showed them proof and they finally admitted it and sent an email telling all the staff.
Finally, I whistle blew and was then victimised and threatened with losing my job until I left. The thing is staff high up were aware of the situation (again I have proof). The people higher up have admitted they knew, and (lets call her Mrs X) said that they trusted certain Managers to get the job done. However Mrs X then let Managers carry on accepting photocopies and mobile phone pictures of DBS forms. However after I whistle blew, Mrs X quoted the Jessica and Holly murder case at me and said that if someone is going to abuse children then they are going to do it, so Mrs X was aware of the seriousness and was willing to take a chance with the publics safety.
I had no alternative as I saw this as a serious safeguarding issue and whistle blew. Mrs P remarked when I was worried about the safety of children and my own child in a taxi replied “don’t worry the chances are slim and anyway taxi drivers dob in on each other”. It was only when I whistle blew that Managers were suspended. I have been told one has been sacked but you would need to check this out.
I was then moved to another department and Met Mr K. He was lovely at first but said if this got out to the media, it would be bigger than the housing scheme scandal, which he said he was surprised was not bigger than it had been. He offered me all the help I needed, said I had done the right thing and his door was always open, but then only a few days later everything changed. It was as instant as a split second.
Mr K and Mrs X were in a meeting for hours right in front of my desk then came out and took me into their room one by one in a tag team operation. The first Manager Mrs X told me that they were treating me as an anonymous whistleblower when I was certainly not. I had signed my letter and come to them in person and it was against their own policy. I asked for a copy of the policy and she left. The next Manager entered the room straight after and brought me to tears.
I went in the next day as I was told a woman was coming in to do a data scrape, they had apparently brought her in especially but she asked other questions and listened to all the evidence I had. I had just had another encounter with Mr K who had me in tears again and refused to speak to me when I asked him what I had done wrong. Anyway the data lady saw how upset I was and told me to go home and would get HR to call me immediately. HR never called. When I spoke to the Head of Legal at the Council later that same day, she then threatened with “letting me go”.
I contacted Mrs X that same day as I was now feeling they wanted rid of me. She advised me that my job had suddenly changed to covering someone due back off sick leave when it had never been before. I had previously been told on a few days earlier that there was months of work and I was an integral part of the team as well being emailed up and coming projects to work on. To me it felt like the incident was being covered up and I was being removed.
I have now been advised the all my allegations about these incidents are unsubstantiated, which is strange as I have evidence to prove different but no one ever asks for it. It is pretty damming evidence too. I have been to my local MP, the department of transport, auditors, both internal and external and recently the LGO but surprisingly no one seems to care. This is not about me and the job, it is about how a Council can cover up things so easily and not care about the publics safety but rather about how much money it can get from the licenses.
As I mentioned I have evidence of all of this and have told the Council. In turn they have sent me threats of data protection and a sad excuse of an apology letter saying we are sorry you are upset but that they did everything right. I have gone down all the correct routes but now have no alternative but to contact the media as possible so that whistleblowers are no longer victimised for coming forward and reporting a public safety issue.
It is no wonder tragic things happen when you cannot trust the people in charge to do the right thing. I have been told that the Rossendale Scribbler is in the Councils pocket and not to bother. I am truly hoping this is not the case. This is our Council and we should be able to at least trust it.
Update: Since sending the email below to the local press and going to the media Rossendale Council have recently brought in strict new changes. The Free Press have never done an article or gone public, even after sending them lots of proof. I also carry trying to get the truth out to safeguard what happens to the people who come forward.