A Special Case

We’ve just returned from our summer break and as we continue our big wind down do we detect the winds of change with the onset of autumn?

We say this as we arrived back to find our inbox rammed with two breaking news stories. The first is the news that the concept of truth,justice and accountability may slowly be gaining traction on Wirral. We say this as we hear there have been significant developments involving a story that we leaked titled Wood is out but Wirral Children’s Services are not out of the woods  where we wrote :

Moreover we also understand that John Wood was involved in leading an investigation that is being described to us – and with apparent justification – as a cover up by Wirral Council. The case involves an allegation of abuse at a special needs school.

It would now appear that there have been SACKINGS at Stanley School the special needs school involved in what was alleged to us was a cover up of abuse of a boy who couldn’t speak up for himself. The cover up has now apparently unravelled due to the sheer persistence and determination of parents and brave witnesses  at the school who it would appear stood up to bullying and intimidation…

Part of the harrowing story can be found on this Facebook post :

Unite and Divide

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 As we said – It was never gonna happen…  

We proudly present this contribution from a much respected local political insider who a) has never given us a bum steer and b) has an opinion we value.
Never have we ever wanted to get up off our sunbed and raise a glass to this coruscating analysis of local politics:
So, Tony Norbury won’t be allowed to lose his seat to a teenage Green Party member next May, he has been told by Wirral Labour that he is not a fit and proper person to represent Labour,  as an elected local representative. 
Kathy and Alan Runswick,  Dave Brennan and Paul Davies ( who now control Wirral Labour) are Unite, they are not Labour let alone Corbynites, they just used Corbyn for their own political advantage. They have got their man in Birkenhead now, Mick , and the next part of the plan is to replace Angela Eagle in  Wallasey with Margaret  Greenwood as Wirral West is going to be hard to defend. This was ALWAYS about  Unite taking control and “Tight Pants” was a well meaning if useful fool for them.  He agitated against Phil Davies and Frank Field and allowed Mick “man of the people” Whitley to stroll in and take Birkenhead. 
The word is Whitless  intends to get Norbury, John Maher, Cllr  Bird and everybody else associated with him out the party as they have served their purpose.  Mick is backing defeated ex cllr Angie Davies for  Prenton next year and is making friendly noises to the old controlling right wingers as he needs them to campaign for him, why else did the Runswick’s et al allow Claughton Cllr George Davies onto the panel and not Comrade Norbury, weird aye!
Anyway there is no route back for him as in truth  Labour are going to lose at least two seats next May and maybe as many as four and they are very unlikely to win  Rock Ferry       or  Pensby. Labour are finished on Wirral for local elections, the council is likely to adopt a “committee system” to replace the current “Strong Leader Model” they currently have which will make it impossible for Labour to control Wirral as they have for the last decade. That’s fine by Unite as they only ever cared about the parliamentary seats, condemning the residents of Wirral to a failing a council is just “collateral damage” as far as they are concerned. 
The sad part is the same union controlling tactics that allowed Frank Field to become MP back in 79 are what has been used 40 years later!!  If you create slate voting monkeys who obediently follow somebody’s list then this is what happens, it’s also how you end up with Jared O’Mara and Fiona Onasanya as (disgraced) Labour MPs. 
Labour is so broken now that Britain faces a decade of right wing governance but rest assured that Mick, Margaret and Dan (Carden) will be shouting very loudly about how terrible things are for “their communities”, though luckily for them it won’t be personally that bad as £80,000 a year will at least lessen the burden of austerity to their families.  How is it that each of these Unite stooges, NONE OF WHOM LIVE IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CONSTITUENCIES, were able to be presented as the “local choice”?  
Anyway I don’t expect We will hear or see much of  Cllr Tony “tight pants” Norbury again so we should wish him good luck with his future and hope he enjoys his remaining time as a socialist representative 😂😂

Deputy Dispute

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We resisted calling this post ‘Deputy Dawg’ .  We’re better than that. Unfortunately our elected representatives aren’t.

However we have to thank our source who, in the dogged pursuit of truth,  asks the pertinent question   :

Just who is Deputy Leader of Wirral Council?

As the new administration gets “its feet under the table” there appears to be some confusion as to who is the Deputy Leader of the Council.  Pat “ the healer” Hackett decided to have a Deputy Leader of the labour group, Cllr Jeanette “ milly tant” Williamson, and Cllr Anita “dog shit supremo” Leach as the actual council deputy leader.  This is causing all kinds of confusion though, especially for Cllr Williamson who keeps telling everybody and attending conferences as “Deputy Leader of Wirral Council”  now we know that dear old Milly has a fragile ego but this is ridiculous!  However what would be truly ridiculous is if Cllr Williamson is also receiving the paid allowance of Deputy Leader as well as cllr leach. 

It would be great if Wirral Council could tell us what positions and allowances these two giants of Wirral politics actually hold and are paid for!
 Needless to say we have previously and ruefully commented on the fact that the local   Labour group have pulled this stunt before. Remember when Cllr Ann McLachlan and Cllr George Davies were both Deputy Leaders and both presumably gorging themselves on the trough of plenty?…
Apparently you don’t – hence it’s a case of history repeating itself  and you’re paying for it!
Meanwhile  can we just pause for a second  and consider the fact that ardent royalist Cllr Janette Williamson might actually be the Deputy Leader of Wirral Council…and you thought that Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and Donald Trump as US President heralded the end of days?…

 

Defend Our NHS : Annual General Meeting 5th September…and more

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Dear friends of the NHS

®    A reminder that our annual general meeting is next Thursday 5th September   starting at 7:00pm in Birkenhead Town Hall. As promised the annual report (for approval at the meeting) is attached. After what is usually a fairly short formal session we’ll have a chance to discuss any pressing issues and then to gather informally in the nearby Gallagher’s pub.

®    The following day (Friday 6th September)  some of us will be joining campaigners from all over the country in London to hand a petition to the Secretary of State, to hold a silent protest and then a rally in Trafalgar Square. Click here for details.

®    Also on 6th  October we’ll be welcoming James Corbett after his epic march from Glasgow to London to save the NHS. James is presenting his petition the previous day. Click here for details and see this article.

®    There’s an excellent simple leaflet attached for sharing.

®    And now for something completely different… Thursday 3rd October is National Poetry Day. You and friends are very welcome to an ‘open mic’ evening of poetry and music. Anyone can turn up and perform. The venue (in Birkenhead) will be announced soon.

®    Be as creative as you like. (National Poetry Day 2019 has set the theme – TRUTH. WE are calling all campaigners and friends who enjoy the arts to use this day to deliver just that – TRUTH! As well as joining us you can leave a poem on a lamp post, in the supermarket, on the bus or train. Spontaneous pop-up busking poetry spots in shopping centres and on the High Street. Open mic events, poetic letters to the local paper.)

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Wirral Leaks Word of the Day

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All this fuss today about the word prorogue when let’s face it Wirral Council have been pro rogue for years.

Has there been a local government chancer and charlatan that hasn’t passed through the doors of Wallasey Town Hall and failed miserably at their job and at being a decent human being and left clutching a cheque as a reward for their manifest failure?

Moreover is there a Council in the land that has consistently served as a safe haven for rogue politicians such as ( INSERT NAME HERE) … ?

 

Deep Diving For Cave Information

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Our Seaside Special post certainly sparked a reaction. Not least from those who want to deny any culpability for the ongoing Hilbre Island environmental debacle : 

Good evening . 
It is an affront to the people of Wirral to firstly put a nasty chemical in a cave on one of our iconic islands and then lie about the cause of the fire .It was not an arson attack. That’s the cover up. 
If you look at the time of the fire you will note that the Island would have been vacated due to the tide. Unless it was an act of terrorism and they had a submarine or a boat in the harbour as to plan their escape.  But I don’t think so…
The contractor North West Construction who lost all council work due to their poor performance are the culprits again. And strangely they were given this contract and concerns raised yet again about their performance and capability were ignored .It was  asset management who appointed and planned the works . Your previous contributors have put the blame on parks and countryside staff, we want the record put straight. Those working on and with Hilbre Island love the island , the friends groups and staff are all deva
devastated and they all collectively care and we all want answers !!!!
They can’t keep on brushing things under the carpet. The management and the councillors need to get a grip. 
The fire and the river pollution was caused by the contractor as they were in charge of the cave not us . End of. Everyone knows it . Stop treating us as fools… 
Now we don’t know whether North West Construction were previously dumped by Wirral Council for shoddy work or whether they are responsible for recent failings on Hilbre Island . Therefore we’d appreciate some clarification on the matter and not least from someone at Wirral Council who commissioned the work and who surely will be able to confirm or deny these allegations . If it is the former they may want to clarify further as how the contractor in question got this particular gig…

Seaside Special

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New Brighton : Bank Holiday Sunday lunchtime 

One of the few compensations of living on the insular peninsula is the fact that Wirral is  surrounded by water . This gives plenty of opportunity of a bank holiday weekend to be beside the seaside, beside the sea (or the river or the shore…)

Unfortunately as you can see from the picture above the inhabitants don’t always seem to appreciate this . Nor indeed do their elected representatives and the contractors they hire seem to appreciate what they’ve been gifted and continue to abuse their habitat.

The past week as seen the story that made the national mainstream media and which reads like Enid Blyton gone bad and could have been titled Wirral Council Go Mad On Hilbre Island . Polyurethane foam to infill caves ? Yeah that’ll work! And inevitably when the foam ended up floating in the sea the cave was then boarded up and then according to Wirral Council subject to an arson attack. However according to Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces Facebook page all may not be as it seems…

Meanwhile our friends at  ‘For Trees’ have been in touch with us to give an insight into the above incident and their wider concerns about how Wirral Council is failing to protect its precious local environment :

WBC are responsible for the highly toxic chemical fire that started in the cave they were ‘filling’, compounding the pollution already caused by the devastating decision to ‘fill’ the cave with toxic plastic foam.

Hilbre Island is part of the Marine Conservation Area.  

This latest environmental crime by Parks, Coast & Countryside is on top of the Glyphosating schedules that continue to spread the  highly toxic herbicide across this small peninsula. Every year a stretch of the North Wirral Foreshore, between West Kirby and Meols is sprayed with tens of gallons Glyphosate, dispensed from quad bikes. It has just been applied again, even though a Council decision to ‘phase out’ Glyphosate was taken weeks before at full Council meeting.

This assault on its own coastline is on top of the felling programmes that have removed thousands of trees from Wirral’s parks, verges, open spaces, cemetries and other Council-owned land.
For despite an agreement to review the practice of dismembering and felling secured by campaign group For Trees, a new round of  WBC tree ‘works’ is swinging into action, removing the understorey and major limbs from trees around the perimeter of Birkenhead Park and  from outside Meols railway station. This butchery has continued (illegally) throughout the nesting season.  

Of the ongoing Hilbre pollution, WBC’s ‘spokesperson’ ( who is so confident that s/he doesn’t wish to be named) had the effrontery and arrogance to assert that “the work that is taking place at Hilbre is essential as it will strengthen support for part of the cliff face where movement has been noted.” I submit that the only movement that should concern us is  movement of a human variety,  clicking a mouse to sign off dodgy contracts, allowing contractors to deposit isocyanides and other plastic in the sea and on our island; allowing the subsequent arson  and its abuse of the isalnd and of marine life to take place.

The ‘spokesperson’ added, without a hint of remorse,  ‘ this work is being carried out by contractors and is taking place in three distinct phases, with the first phase – to infill a cave beneath the cliff – beginning last week.’ 
It seems, too, that containers of the toxic chemical Isocyanate had been left for at least two weeks on the island. Isocyanate is classified by HSE as a ‘construction hazardous substance’

Caves do not need to be infilled.  never did and never will do.The geomorholgy of the island should be allowed to evolve, to change naturally, without any human interference. This is the most judicious, not to mention objective approach to marine and other conservation. If the Council is really concerned about coastal erosion it should stop poisoning  the grasses that hold it together ( our natural coastal and flood defences) and consider  protecting  the island from the excessive human impact that can damage its natural features.  What about closing the island to visitors for part of the year to allow the habitat to recover?

It seems to me that WBC could pursue a legal remedy for a breach of contract or look to terminate if it was so minded;- but it isn’t.

WBC is digging itself into a plastics -filled, Glyphosate saturated,  log-strewn hole if it thinks that Wirral residents should continue to fund its reckless and relentless environmental clobbering. We live on a small peninsula.  Looking after it isn’t about throwing money at it. Not misspending it would certainly help?

Hilbre Island is a Local Nature Reserve and hosts many vulnerable wildlife species, it is also part of the Dee Estuary SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest) as is the North Wirral Foreshore. that is routinely poisoned. It has been recognised as a unique place for wading birds and wildfowl for hundreds of years and shelters important populations of wetland species, especially birds. It is also on a major migratory route.
There is legal protection for the wild life and penalties for disturbing breeding species.

Both WBC and the contractors are responsible for these crimes.The contractors and the persons who approved and signed off the work should be named and appropriate action taken against them.

Louise Stothard (For Trees Team)

 

 

 

Top of the Tips

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We reported on this environmental disaster in our Tipping Point story from last year. Alas! It would appear that nothing has improved for the people of Birkenhead despite  the high pitched protestations of Cllr Brian Kenny.

You’d think that after his return to political power after the sensible people of Birkenhead booted him out and he had to rely on being shoehorned into the safe seat of Bidston & St James vacated by convicted criminal Jim Crabtree and squeaky-voiced Kenny’s subsequent instalment as a member – and we use the term advisedly – of the  Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee it would be top of his ‘to-do’ list to address the tip situation in Cleveland Street.

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But no! Another despairing member of the public has been in touch with their concerns and sadly it’s not just Cllr Kenny who isn’t responding :

I note Frank Fields 5 Point Plan as voted for by us, apparently, to improve Birkenhead. One of the points refers to the environment and fly tipping.The biggest fly tipping culprit is the council itself. Has anyone seen the vast fly tip and dump currently growing and festering at the end of Cleveland Street? Its been there for two or three years and is currently closed after a fire there last November’s bonfire night. People are still dumping mattresses there and old settees. God knows what is in the seemingly abandoned shed as it is stuffed to the roof with black bags. It was licensed by the council as a recycling centre. It is an appalling site and is next to a primary school, residential houses and Our Ladies Church, not to mention the Police Custody suite. I see Green councillors posing for pictures after cleaning up alleyways but this Giant Fly Tip is ignored and continues to grow.

No one seems interested really. I even spoke to Pat Cleary who batted it away. The fence has been pulled down now and settees and mattresses are being dumped again. I read a report that they were going to build houses now on the old Rivers Estate, about time, but do people want to live between two tips? The official council tip and the official council fly tip. Dreadful way to treat Birkenhead North End. They go on about flytipping but this is disgraceful. My uncle lives down there and they all deserve better than this…Brian Kenny is obviously distracted.

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A View To A Kill

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Wirral View’s inevitable destination

We said we’d get back and report on the inevitable demise of the most misbegotten, woebegotten and soon forgotten contribution to ‘journalism’ known as Wirral View.

And –  Oh! What at a wretched rag it was.

Apparently according to the Wirral Globe , who ironically got the ‘exclusive’ on this story, Wirral Council is pulling the life support machine on this ‘information deficit’ atrocity funded by public money in October.

Needless to say we called this pisspoor propaganda paper from the get go in our Warped View post from 2016.

Despite the fact that the former and not missed at all CEO of Wirral Council Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson lied about the fact that Wirral View was not seeking advertisement revenue to achieve the infamous Martin Liptrot’s aim of putting Wirral Globe out of business,  Wirral View was allowed to stagger on until the editor of Wirral Globe got his hands on the ‘Wirralgate’ tapes in July 2017 and Wirral View’s days were inevitably numbered.

Consequently we were drawn to this comment in the Wirral Globe report:

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You don’t say?

Triple vodka and oranges all round eh, Leigh?

 

Wirral View’s Life Cycle Comes To An End

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As part of our parting shots we promise to get round to commenting on the demise (?) of the Hoylake Golf Resort and that journalistic milestone/tombstone formerly known as Wirral View.

However we leave it to our betters to get the first shots in and call upon ‘The Prof’ to comment on Wirral View’s reckless promotion of ‘healthy living’ on Wirral. As far as we’re concerned the only healthy living option would involve using any form of transportation to get off the hell off the insular peninsula as fast as you can…

Wirral View is continuing its irresponsible campaign to have us all embrace cycling…including riding to schools.

Top tips for the ride ahead

Exercise is good for us…but only in clean air. If you can get into the countryside, say to the Wirral Way or Leasowe embankment, go to it! But cycling east of the M53 is dangerous. Wirral View tells us ‘Wirral Council monitors air pollution as part of its commitment to clean air.’ This is so for nitrogen oxides, but highly dangerous particulate matter is measured at only one AURN site…in the middle of Victoria Park, far from major roads. On this basis it tell us it has not identified ‘any illegal air pollution levels.’ This is strictly true for annual average, current national exposure limits but not for WHO (World Health Organisation)  limits on particulate matter. The WHO say this of their own stricter, current limits

‘Annual PM concentrations are associated with all-cause mortality to a high degree of confidence. There is no evidence of a safe level of exposure to PMs or to a threshold below which no adverse health effects occur.’

In other words: our Wirral average air pollution is (just) legal but you will put your health and that of your children at significant risk if you take exercise near any major, and many minor, roads on Wirral. Even the UK government has an aim to ensure that under 50% of the population will experience more than the WHO limit on PMs by 2025. Much of Wirral is above that limit. It’s your choice…

Professor D P Gregg (retired)