OTS News recently ran a revealing article called:

Are you insured if volunteering for Sefton?

Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are very lucky in Sefton in that we have a large army of volunteers right across the borough that make a real difference to their local communities.”

In Woodvale the WWP volunteers worked hard for 9 months on Mrs Carney’s Council land in Woodvale. When they refused to work under the defective and unsafe direction of Cllr Ted Hartill, Mrs Carney stood back whilst her minion officers, Rajan Paul and Mark Shaw, initially dismissed all calls with evidence to investigate the WACA – run fiasco and later disgracefully ‘banned’  the volunteers outright! 

BTW, the council are also WACA ‘funders’!

“I would like to thank everyone single one of them and really want their hard efforts to continue.

Carney is clearly presenting a VERY different reality here to the one the WWP team received from her callous officers. Is her latest public declaration simply a damage limitation exercise following the highly avoidable Woodvale debacle?

“However of late, there seems to be some confusion surrounding insurance cover on their behalf. In the main, and as long as we are aware of the activities being undertaken, they are covered by Sefton’s insurance policy. In some circumstances they may not be covered but as long as any potential work is discussed with the relevant departments, we can look at the circumstances and see if we can help.”

This is basically more indistinct nonsense from Carney. She was made very well aware that the WWP team were highly discontented about Ted Hartill’s constant claims that the use of power tools and fire starting etc in the Woodvale woodland as permissible and covered by insurance.

Local fire in which an engine attended the scene, linked to rash WWP work.

Many months passed and finally in late 2013 the council moved in and ensured that WWP volunteers signed their Parkforce Training agreements. This council agreement ONLY however gave volunteers the permission to use basic hand tools such as garden rakes and spades. Hartill also signed the Parkforce agreement at this time (long after the WWP work had started). This indicated that his claim, that WACA insurance had previously covered the volunteers over specialised power tools etc, was a bogus and very idiotic one.

“Volunteers are an integral part of our communities and we will always do our best to help them continue their excellent efforts and hard work. Sefton is looking at the Volunteer Policy and once finalised and agreed; further details will be released to volunteers and groups.

Again, this is moderately horrendous spin considering the repugnant and disrespectful way in which Margaret Carney and her accommodating officers had treated the hard-working Woodvale WWP volunteers.

WWP volunteers (who never received any training) had no help whatsoever from Carney when they blew the whistle on Cllr Hartill’s activities.

Carney went out of her way to dismiss all evidence placed before her and that posed to her from others, including local councillors who were ‘supportive’ of the banned WWP team.

Yet today we see Carney claiming that she will do her “best” to help volunteers? ‘Too little too late’ Margaret!


Sefton Council knew that a range of power tools that were being used in the Woodvale woodlands under Cllr Hartill’s WWP hazardous direction by untrained and uninsured volunteers. The council turned a blind eye, as this misdirection was ongoing and lasted for many months.

Volunteers had been incorrectly told by Hartill that they could do “whatever” they liked. This advice was later proven to be irresponsible and flawed.

For simply highlighting this fiasco and challenging Ted Hartill’s rash actions the original volunteer team were BANNED by Margaret Carney and her officers, Rajan Paul and Mark Shaw. Clearly, Sefton Volunteers need to be especially careful of spurious council claims

See also this revealing WWP link:

Sefton Council cannot refute their ‘leading’ part in the inexcusable actions ‘against’ loyal volunteers in this instance alone.

Basically they ‘MESSED UP’ and their latest actions, regarding seeking to reassure volunteers, indicate that they already know it!

Moreover, some chatter about volunteers having to seek out their own insurance in other places, has also created public tensions that Carney’s words have not really quelled.


Questions need to be asked and this council (which acts like a law unto itself) should be investigated fast!

Sefton Council and also WACA cannot avoid their responsibilities forever!

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