Whistleblowers snubbed by Tanner ‘outraged’ after council chiefs admit offer of meeting from QC was 'incorrect'

Whistleblowers snubbed by Susanne Tanner are ‘outraged’ at council chiefs, after they wrongly said the top QC had offered to meet them.
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Lord Provost Frank Ross issued a ‘correction’ retracting a statement he previously made to the council that Ms Tanner had committed to meeting whistleblowers who gave evidence about serious malpractice allegations to the Tanner Review.

In a full council meeting on Thursday he admitted the offer made at last month’s meeting of the full council on February 10 was “unfortunately an incorrect statement”.

Alison Dickie said whistleblowers deserved a full apologyAlison Dickie said whistleblowers deserved a full apology
Alison Dickie said whistleblowers deserved a full apology
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But Christine Scott who has led whistleblowers’ calls for a public inquiry into alleged malpractice by senior officials said it was ‘astonishing’ that it took more than a month for the ‘misinformation’ to come to light.

Several Tory councillors claimed it appeared they had been misled into believing whistleblowers could still meet with Ms Tanner to discuss their concerns.

Adam McVey blasted opposition councillors for “playing politics” and said it was "an honest mistake". He assured whistleblowers they would be listened to.

However, Ms Scott said it further dented trust in council chiefs and added that the group hadn’t taken up the offer of a meeting with chiefs due to ‘lack of confidence’ in their conduct.

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Furthermore, Ms Scott said the group will continue to press for a redress scheme for Bell’s victims to be widened out to any victim of abuse within council.

It comes as councillors have been presented with a report finding “illegality, maladministration and injustice” within Secure Services for young people.

Ms Scott said: “We were outraged. We have more whistleblowers coming forward every week and this doesn’t inspire confidence. I was contacted last week by one who tried meet with Tanner before we were told the offer was incorrect.

"I don’t believe the truth has come out and there are still attempts to suppress it. There has to be consequences for malpractice and wrongdoing. Senior officers have been allowed to resign and walk out of their jobs when investigation was launched into children and families department.

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"We can’t have that. Children are not safe if we don’t put a stop to malpratice and criminality.”

Tory councillor Cameron Rose said: “This was negligent. They were told within a couple of days of the February meeting it was wrong but it took a month for them to admit it. It’s another example of whistleblowers being led up the garden path.

"We saw a vicious attack today by leaders on those of us supporting whistelblowers. This response was nothing more than grubby, self-serving management.”

Alison Dickie praised the whistleblowers bravery and said they deserved a full apology.

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"If we're not willing to be certain of the absolute truth how on earth can we expect whistleblowers and more so any victims to have the confidence to come forward?

"Every droplet of doubt is a potential child or adult victim that will remain unheard.”

"A change of culture doesn't always involve just money. Sometimes it just starts with something simple like a less defensive approach and little more honest listening and willingness to act to ensure the truth and accountability."

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