Members expressed their sadness at the impending departure of Mr Adderley…..

Throwing money

………whilst members of the public express their horror at the eye-watering sums of public money paid out to someone who voluntarily asks to leave Wirral Council!.

Hot off the press and dwarfing the estimate of Wirral Council’s Degeneration boss Kevin Adderley’s severance payment in this weeks Private Eye , the newly published minutes of this weeks Employment & Appointments Committee reveals that Wirral Council agreed (at least) £256,000 of public money to be paid to Addled as “there were other opportunities he wished to pursue”.

Lucky Kev!

Which begs the question if that’s the case why did Wirral Council have to pick up the humungous tab?.

The break down of the payment is as follows:

£49,057 severance (based on past service and 3 months salary) PLUS  £207,000 pension (paid to Merseyside Pension Fund).

And surely no-one but no-one is buying that total bullshit from Council leader Power Boy Pip and CEO Eric Feeble who tried to justify this shameful arrangement by talking in terms of a  “management saving” or a “business case” or a new “operating/delivery model”.

Confirmation , if it were needed, that the both of them hold the people of Wirral in complete contempt.

Seemingly the only councillor willing to (politely) challenge this arrangement was Lib Dem leader Phil Gilchrist.

Kudos to him – but we give fair warning that the forthcoming in – depth response from Leaky Towers will be somewhat less than diplomatic.

We think the time has come that we counted the true cost of the failure by Wirral Council officials to properly confront conduct unbecoming of some of its most senior officers.

The Lowdown From Highbrow

Face it 1

Now we’ve never professed to fully understand the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods whistleblowing case.

However knowing what whistleblowers Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro and James Griffiths  were up against when dealing with Wirral Council we felt our role was not to understand the finer points of forensic accounting but to provide the whistleblowers with an outlet for their justifiable frustration and a platform to make their case.

We firmly believe that the public interest demands that dissenting voices should be heard and not crushed beneath the “bureaucratic machinations” in which Wirral Council still seem to excel.

We make no apologies if those dissenting voices are sometimes too coarse and discordant for the delicate sensibilities of those safely cosseted by huge salaries and positions of power.

Therefore we’d like to thank Nigel Hobro for acting in the public interest and sending us his considered response to the forced release this week of a long withheld report which we’ve printed below. It appears that , as ever with these kind of cases , the devil is in the appendices.

For those who struggle with the technicalities we’d just ask that you consider the human interest stories that lie behind the cold hard facts – the careers destroyed,the businesses ruined and the appalling waste of public money.It still seems there are still a few people left who want things done PROPERLY but who are thwarted by those whose face fits but who won’t face the truth and DO THE RIGHT THING.

Dear Lord Leaky,

With great reluctance,- I have work to do, tennis to play in this fine weather and a superb Joseph Conrad short story to read- I have taken up my pen again to write of matters BIG and ISUS. Fear not I will try not to wear out the patience of your readers who look for amusement and biting satire within your blog.

I will not re-run all the arguments about what was criminal and what was not but look at it “holistically” to borrow a phrase from the Principal Auditor’s report of January 2012.

Wirral Council’s Surjit Tour and successive CEO’s have gone to an awful amount of trouble firstly to conceal the existence of the above report, and finally not to release its contents. The papers for the July 2014 meeting had redacted an entire paragraph j from the “Timmins” report into the inadequacy-“not fit for purpose”- Garry audit report which raised eyebrows and comments even at that ill-fated and broken up meeting. In the three month interim I appealed to the Information Commissioner who obliged the council to remove most of the redactions in the paper bundle for the October reconvened meeting. Paragraph j read

“There is on file a previous, and much more detailed, draft report REDACTED  which includes numerous evidential appendices……However ,for the avoidance of doubt, I would not consider that this report could be released into the public domain and has, in any case, been superseded”

Logic would demand to know how it can have been superseded by a 33 page Garry report “not fit for purpose” what with it containing the very things Mr Garry has not got i.e. “numerous evidential appendices”!. The January 2012 report was very detailed and it was a little more than a DRAFT for it was deemed fit to send to the Head of Law. It had been prepared by the person who had been, before departing the Authority in January 2012, the direct superior to Mr Garry! Indeed that report indicates that it was passed over to Mr Garry to complete only insofar as to receive the M L Engineering and Installation Ltd from Mr Hobro, which in fact was passed over days before.

A reasonable reader would wonder what would induce WBC to spend a further £50,000 on (auditors) Grant Thornton where half the fee would be to re-work the near complete BIG report of January 2012. Perhaps to find a good time, and much delayed, to release bad news. With hindsight we know that Cllr Davies’ press release on receipt of Grant Thornton’s report in March 2013 has a double-edged meaning. He refers to the “known failures of Internal audit” whereas we read the January 2012 report all 370 pages thereof, fully indexed and with supporting evidence, and applaud the preparer of it. We do boo Mr Garry’s lamentable attempt to cover up for his masters.

Somehow Mr Tour had deemed it proper to refer to the Police and yet permit Mr  Garry to procrastinate on a report for a full eight months. Mr Garry left his investigations on ISUS during that long interval with a telephone call to wirralbiz!

What of the sense of the DRAFT report of January 2012 among its many, many pages?

Nowhere to be found is a suggestion that either Mr Griffiths or myself were acting in the public interest but plenty of comment is made upon “Vendetta” against the BIG contractor Mr Paul Davies of Fieldcrest Ltd, that I was “having a go” at Mr Davies. The reader should understand the acronym “WB” meaning Whistleblower, was only given just before the November 2011 meeting with the PA and with Mr D Garry at the finance building. Mr Norman, then Head of Law, deliberated on whether we were motivated by personal and not public interest and needed to accept our pure motivations before the interview could commence!. The Timmins review of September 2012 was certainly correct to allude to this bias. It does not refer to the result of Mr Norman’s decision, that we were in a contractual relationship with WBC based on their published whistleblower policy for direct employees and subcontractors alike. The policy promised regular updates on progress and expedition in pursuing the policy. Neither took place.

Can we forgive the detectable bias towards defending colleagues discernible, for example, in the Lockwood Engineering Ltd case? The Principal Auditor {PA} accepts the Chief Accountant’s defence that in one month it is possible that there was a profit of £105,000! PA says that my comments re disappearance of £36,043 VAT creditor; appearance of  additional £49k debtors, disappearance of £16k creditors and all whilst the bank account increases, over just one month, are speculative! The PA never asks why the Chief accountant did not note these extraordinary movements between the Balance Sheet of the Management accounts at March 2010 and the Balance sheet used in the cashflow from 1st May 2010, or why a company capable of making £105,000 profit in one month should need a BIG grant.

THE PA does refer to the acting Head of Law, Mr Tour, the movement of assets from Lockwood to Harbac without any apparent payment (confirmed by myself by reference to the Liquidator) as being worthy of referral to external regulators. I discovered this in 2013 and referred it to Mr Tour and Mr Burgess who played dumb, then promised to investigate and come back to me, but never ever did. The penalty for perjury on a schedule of assets and liabilities to a liquidator can be a stiff prison sentence and yet our Council seems to have turned a blind eye to this so as not to let on that a BIG recipient went into liquidation 5 months after receiving public money in a supposedly “robust” process  (see cabinet notes). The press releases and Mr Burgess at the Audit and Risk Management Committee hearing 8th October 2014 refer not to the 5 months but to the much ,much longer period covering the liquidation process, that is to justify themselves by reporting that Lockwood went bust more than 17 months after receiving public money.

We do importantly learn that the financial forecasts were never submitted to the Independent Panel who had to rely on the written application and generally a 1-2 page appraisal from the Chief Accountant. In one case of the five cases that the PA reviews, the appraisal was not written by the Chief Accountant but by regeneration department itself. To Grant Thornton a panel member later expresses that he would have rejected applications had he seen the financials. The PA never records whether she approached panel members with the financial data nor any of their comments. The above is not the robust procedure asked for in the Cabinet’s outline. The Panel members appear in the light of “patsies” to lay a portion of responsibility upon or to claim that they were experts, so there!

We now know that in January 2012 Surjit Tour was aware that a Service Level Agreement had been written without consultation with the WBC legal or HR department and used without safeguards as to being signed by wirralbiz, or as to the quality expected of the work, or even as to outline the responsibilities and qualifications expected of advisors. Invest Wirral was indeed a satrapy in itself paying only nominal homage to its ultimate Emperor. The Invest Wirral officer who received the telephone call from M. Raworth outlining my objections to the BIG files felt herself satrap enough to dismiss me saying “It was approved by our Chief Accountant” and so another three months elapsed until James Griffiths upped the ante himself.

But I have promised not to stray into details and I check myself. Let me record that a process that allows one man to write a two page synopsis for a Panel to decide upon can whether deliberately or by simple omission fail to point out significant issues. In one case privately he confesses that giving public money to one applicant is a “leap of faith” but this does not reach the two page synopsis. Against all good practice no second review by a competent person ever occurs until voluntarily I perform due diligence in April 2011, having been denied access to the files until then.

The process was indeed a failure. BIG was a gimmick for £1.6m over two years would never have made an impact on the economy of Wirral unless it was done expertly and that was unattainable.


Does it not seem strange that the PA records the results of details of Invest Wirral examination of wirralbiz files, which abound with delicate rephrasings for FORGED signatures and yet Mr Garry was permitted to drag on his meandering investigation with no sense of urgency? It seems that having seen a steaming turd the lady officers have recoiled in horror and asked of A4e-yes that paragon of virtue-to say it is not so. The PA speaks with Matthew Slack A4e’s  Head of Audit who fesses up re the dragonfly nature of their examination and she notes that no checks were made on the quality of files by Diane Bradbury of WBC or any WBC officer yet her observations do not rock the perceived impregnability of A4e’s audit that nothing is wrong. It took Grant Thornton to shatter that comfortable illusion and a further 29 months before we could read it in published reports.

The PA records she has asked for the ISUS/Working Neighbourhood contracts but does not record whether she received them so we are unaware whether Mr Adderley had as yet produced the excuse that it had been mislaid. She never references the all-important CRM database and makes no effort one month after the closure of ISUS to secure it, quite unlike myself who secured the internal wirralbiz database as evidence of their malpractice ( only accepted as evidence after Grant Thornton had reported). The CRM database in a say it is not so development, disappeared for a very long period indeed!

No alarm bells are loudly sounded that wirralbiz refuses access to its staff for interviews and indeed even to look at files after the ISUS contract terminates (16th December 2014). The PA visits for two hours on 14th December and then the portcullis is closed. If I had been WBC then I would have gone not to the defunct North West Development Agency (NWDA) but to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the ultimate disbursers of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money. When I contacted the DCLG in 2012 they did not seem to have heard from WBC. Only in February 2013 did Mr Burgess write a letter threatening wirralbiz with legal costs should they not permit Grant Thornton entry and access to the files. A year is a long time in not threatening legal action unless you did not want again to see and smell the steaming turd. DCLG had every right by contract to examine the files for up to 25 years after closure of the contract and they did gain access in late 2014 there being nothing wirralbiz could do legally to prevent them (notwithstanding a break-in during 2013 where files may have been claimed to have been taken or put into disarray. Claimed!!).

Just one last thing for which I am grateful to the learned Mr Brace. He posits that the exemption defence used by WBC in the FOI case, that it would prejudice their internal audit function, might be due to the length of time expended in redacting out names from the 370 pages. It could not be used as a defence on cost limits as redactions are not included in the FOI costs exemption. They would never have tried it on because that would have been to admit the quantity of the documents they possessed which astonished myself for a DRAFT report. Scrutiny of the screenshot shows that the H: drive contained much of the information retrieved from directories on the “H:\finance\intaudit\fraud\restored_ from _26_07_14\big-isus2\ wirralbiz” suggesting that the exculpatory comment in the Timmins review that an internal desktop review would cost up to £10,000 might be exaggerated, and simply to buy more time. Cllr  Adrian Jones was told the papers were scattered to the four winds, hardly the actions of an internal auditor more those of a madman or maybe a dissembler.

Read the above whistleblower of the future and think twice.

“Typhoon” calls which makes for better reading.

Welcome to Murkyside

P.E.Adderlee 003

And so it’s a Murkyside takeover in the latest edition of Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs section with dishonourable mentions for Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and our very own Wirral Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies.

Of course the star of the show from our perspective is Rotten Boroughs regular Kevin Addled and the revelation that he apparently has “agreed a “voluntary” departure package – thought to be worth more than £100,000″.

We’ll be bringing you further details and commenting on his departure package very,very soon.

But in the mean time – let us suggest that Mayor Joe and Power Boy Pip put aside their personal rivalries.

What they need to do in the greater interest of Murkyside is to finally acknowledge their commonalities. Forget about bloody Reno – the only twinning that needs to be going on is between Wirral and Liverpool and particularly their respective figureheads.

Consider this:

Firstly – their ambition far exceeds their intellect,integrity and talent.

Secondly  – they have deputies that are a complete liability.

In Mayor Joe’s case it is a deputy (Cllr Ann O’Byrne) who drove away from a car crash

In Power Boy Pip’s case it is a deputy (Cllr George Davies) who tried to drive away from a car crash known as Wirralgate! – although shamefully it seems you won’t be reading about that in the Liverpool Echo any time soon……………….

Marty’s Got A Brand New Gig

Spin and Marty 2

What were we saying last week about consultants “auditioning” first before they got a lucrative gig with Wirral Council?.

We assume West Kirby dwelling  Martin Nipslip ,sorry Liptrot successfully “auditioned” for his latest gig during Margaret Greenwood’s West Wirral election campaign.

We were wryly amused to read that the final line of Executive Support Officer to the Leader of Wirral Council Role Description below is that this appointment is a “Politically Restricted Post” .This means that self-proclaimed Labour lover Martin Tripup ,sorry Liptrot should remain politically neutral at all times –  just like his recently departed Wirral Council PR predecessor Emma Degg ,  who just happened to be a former Labour councillor at Cheshire Council.

Finally can someone explain to us here at Leaky Towers why some local politicians are outraged at what they claim is a politically motivated appointment on the part of the Labour council leader and yet didn’t bat an eyelid when another staunch Labour supporter Nick Warren got the Wirralgate cover up investigation gig , which in our eyes was a much more blatant example of politically bias and conflict of interest  ?.

Anyway here is what you get for your money :

Executive Support Officer to the Leader of Wirral Council


The role of Executive Support Officer is a new position providing in-depth support to the Leader of Wirral Council, one of the largest authorities in England and Britain’s most improved council.

Wirral, like other local authorities, is in a period of unprecedented change. The authority is looking to secure new devolved powers, manage significant reductions in budgets and grants and respond to the needs of its growing, diverse population with innovative and efficient service delivery.

To continue the progress made to date, Wirral has developed a five year plan – 2020 Vision, and the delivery of this will require the authority to work in close collaboration with existing partners and build new relationships with public and private sector organisations to meet these objectives.

The role will:

  •  Work closely with the Leader of the Council (and Cabinet Members as appropriate/required).
  • Work closely with the Council’s Chief Executive Strategic Leadership Team (’SLT’) in the provision of provision of high level strategic and delivery advice to support the policy development and implementation of the Leader’s vision, goals, priorities and responsibilities.
  •  In conjunction with SLT provide high level advice and guidance on the development and implementation of the wider Wirral council policy agenda.
  • Manage the overall work and business management of the Leader’s office.
  • Support the effective development and implementation of timely communications from the Leader of the Council.

The responsibilities include:

  •  In conjunction with SLT, provide day-to-day strategic and operational management support to the Leader, ensuring his policy priorities and initiatives are reflected in the work of the council.
  • · Assist with the coordination of the delivery of Leader’s long term policy objectives as identified in 2020 Vision, liaising with Cabinet, SLT and officers to provide insight and government affairs guidance to facilitate collective policy decision-making and delivery of corporate strategies.
  •  Act as a flexible resource to the Leader of the Council, Cabinet and SLT to aid understanding of leader’s policy priorities, support the development of cross-cutting policy initiatives to help effectively deliver the council’s top priorities as reflected in the plan 2020 Vision.
  •  Work with the Council’s communications team to ensure that there is a communications strategy in place to support the leader to engage effectively with residents, members, partners and key influencers locally, regionally and nationally.
  •  Assist with championing initiatives across the council that reflect the Leader’s priorities and drive coherent, consistent and impactful outcomes in the council and borough’s best interest.
  •  Support the facilitation of productive management team interactions within cabinet, council, combined authorities and other groups. Support the Leader and SLT drive influence in the City Region through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Local Enterprise Partnership and North West and national agendas to the benefit of Wirral.
  •  Attend leadership meetings, monitor leader’s agenda, prepare briefings, reports and recommendations (as required).
  •  Attend meetings in the community and as liaison at partner and stakeholder meetings, including special meetings on urgent issues in the community, and others of a variable nature.

Martin Liptrot Person Specification

  •  A clear ability to act in an inspirational leadership role in support of the Leader and SLT in relation to policy development, advocacy and stakeholder relations.
  •  A successful track record of giving high level policy and strategy advice on complex or sensitive issues in a political environment at senior level.
  •  Track record of leading high profile strategic projects successfully and delivering outcomes in a challenging and demanding environment.
  •  Extensive experience of working within a political environment and liaising with local government officials, government ministers, senior business leaders and the ability to influence relevant outcomes.
  •  Significant experience of promoting policy messages via engagement with a variety of media including print media, radio and television.
  •  Excellent understanding of the most significant issues facing Wirral, with knowledge about how these may be tackled through development of the various policy areas applicable to this role.

This is a Politically Restricted Post.

All Hail The New King Of Spin !

We think this is a picture of the guy in question.

Now who remembers the strange story of The Ladies of Hebden Bridge?.

This was a couple of Labour Party advisors who found themselves on the Council’s payroll and held such sway that like the mountain moving to Mohammed would summon leading councillors and council officers to God’s own country where it seems these political gurus would counsel the Council (although it’s never been fully explained what their role was or what the people of Wirral were actually paying for).

Then in the fallout from the scathing widespread public criticism that Wirral Council was a place where the abnormal was normal this bizarre little arrangement came to an end.

We now find out from a Conservative Party press release that a certain Martin Tittylip,sorry Liptrot  has been recruited as an ‘Executive Policy Officer’ on a salary of £45,737″  to ‘provide in-depth support to the Leader of Wirral Council’.

Furthermore we are told that Martin Trotsky ,sorry Liptrot, was the only person interviewed for the role and has, up until recently, been paid by the Labour Group to support political campaigning.

Details of Mr. Gobshite’s sorry Liptrot’s consultancy firm can be found here:

On his informative blog he tells us , among other things ,  that “Martin Liptrot is a loyal Labour supporter and Everton Fan. So is Andy Burnham….”

So we can see why he’ll fit in nicely with the powers that be at Wirral Council.Well maybe not the Andy Burnham bit. Frankenfield doesn’t seem too keen on Andy ” Maybe it’s Maybelline” Burnham.

Initial investigation has also established that Mr.Spinalot, sorry Liptrot also worringly describes himself as a “Public Affairs and Reputation Management Consultant”.

However the good news is that PR Week once described him  as an “energetic Wirral native and Wolverhampton Polytechnic graduate”  so at least he is a local lad and has impeccable academic credentials!.

Meanwhile the permanently outraged Tory leader Cllr Jeff “Outrageous” Green surprised no-one here at Leaky Towers by stating : “This is frankly outrageous.”

After raging about his outrage he goes on to say :

“There was no internal advertising, so existing staff could not apply.  There was no consideration given to a secondment role. Instead Cllr. Davies ordered the creation of this role which the net result is a political campaigner moved off the Labour Group’s books and onto the Council’s.

He continued: “I find it incredible that, when Cllr. Davies is continually berating the Government for lack of funding, he can find £45,000 for a political ally on top of the £17,000 per week we now know the Council is currently spending on consultants. When you consider the job description this person effectively is the de facto Leader of the Council. I have to wonder whether this is an admission from Cllr. Davies that he simply isn’t up to the job.”

Although the ruling Labour group are the focus of much of our criticism we are avowedly apolitical here at Leaky Towers.So what we find strange is the sudden interest in opposition parties in actually “opposing” the ruling Labour group. We also hear that there is an interesting development involving the 5 remaining Lib Dem councillors and the 1 Green councillor getting together to raise some important issues about Freedom of Information requests – more details as we get them.    

We have to ask ourselves whether this sudden lurch to effective opposition has been prompted by calls being discussed this evening about reducing councillors from 66 to 44.Our first thoughts were that less councillors means even less scrutiny and accountability but let us be frank , opposition councillors haven’t got a great record in holding the Labour group to account anyway.

This led us to ponder as to whether the appointment of this spin merchant strikes opposition councillors as a desperate measure by council leader Power Boy Pip and smelling blood they think the time is right to finally find their voice?.

Under the circumstances it seems that Mr. Tripsoffthelip ,sorry Liptrot is guaranteed to be the one Wirral Council consultant who’ll definitely be earning their fee!

Ghost Story


“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

In trying to maintain it’s increasingly ridiculous Most Improved Council in The World Ever! tag Wirral Council is seeking to kick quite a few compromising Freedom of Information requests into the long grass.However there was one request from August 2014 which seemed destined to be resolved today with the release of a damning report relating to a long-running whistleblowing saga.

No – not that  whistleblowing saga – this particular ghost story doesn’t have the benefit of either Frankenfield’s patronage or an incriminating taped conversation to help find an amicable – if unethical ,immoral and probably illegal – resolution.

No –  this is the long-running BIG etc ; whistleblowing saga and the attempt by the whistleblower Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro to have an internal audit report which he believes holds the key to unravelling a cover up of serious financial mismanagement to finally be disclosed. Unsurprisingly Wirral Council believe the report “should not be in the public domain”.

For those thinking of embarking on the process of trying to get information out of Wirral Council might first be advised to read the tortuous history of this particular Freedom of Information request :

You will see here that Wirral Council – having resisted every attempt to drag them kicking and screaming into the  promised land of openness and transparency by yelling
” EXEMPTION !”  at every opportunity were forced to bring in the big guns or at least some highly paid barrister writing on behalf of Wirral Council CEO Eric Feeble to try and kick this FOI request into touch (or more accurately out of reach).
The convoluted excuse for refusing disclosure this time was because :  “the  disclosure would prejudice the public authority’s ability to offer an effective public service or to meet its wider objectives or purposes due to the disruption caused by the disclosure or the diversion of resources in managing the impact of disclosure.”
Huh?.Sounds to us like legalese for “can’t be arsed”
However the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) were having none of it and stepped in and gave Wirral Council 35 days to disclose the report.
The 35 days were up today and needless to say Wirral seem to have ignored the ICO ruling.
We now await to see whether Wirral Council will either belatedly release the report or continue to be secretive and obstructive and spend yet more public money on legal fees challenging the ICO decision notice.
Meanwhile it would seem to us that the the corridors of power at Wallasey Town Hall will continue to be haunted by the ghosts of unfinished business……
Postscript – and what do you know the report suddenly appears on What Do They Know website after office hours on the last day before the ICO could take action to force the Council to release the report !.We await expert analysis of the findings – that’s if there isn’t too many redactions!. 

How To Get Ahead In Local Government

Pigs 2

This guide is not to be confused with “How to Get Head In Local Government” – although we do realise the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive! .

We’ve been rather distracted by this week’s excitement – which one our readers rather poetically described as “The Last Chime of the Bizarre Love Triangle” .

However we couldn’t let the following excellent exposé in the Wirral Globe go without giving it the Wirral Leaks once over :

Of course we’ve been banging on Wirral Council’s (mis)use of consultants for some time but we were particularly drawn to the case of one Phillip Ward who was previously involved with drawing up proposals to shut Lyndale School and is now the “interim senior manager of Special Educational Needs” struggling to get by on a weekly pay packet of £3,875. Yes, A WEEK.

Now we admit to not being familiar with Mr.Ward’s work but on that salary we anticipate that every boy and girl with special educational needs on Wirral will have had their lives considerably enhanced because of his well-renumerated expertise.

However sad to say that in our experience that’s not how it usually works.Indeed it seems there’s a constant trail of local government leeches swimming to Wirral to make big money for finding ways to spend less money on people who most need services!.As this new breed of “public servant” have no physical or financial attachment to Wirral  – they are more than happy to take the money and run.

We believe the precedent for Mr.Ward’s appointment was set by a certain Rob Vickers. Wirral Leaks readers may remember that it was Mr.Vickers ,who having taken “early retirement” from St.Helen’s Council could smell the money floating over the Mersey and fancied supplementing his pension  ……on a measly £515 a day!.Somewhat like Mr.Ward – Mr Vickers  “auditioned” for this lucrative gig first and establish that he was a “safe pair of hands” by producing a report which seemed to serve the Council’s purposes.The report by Mr.Ward concerned with the closure by Lyndale School and in Mr.Vickers case a whitewash of a report covering up the obscene 4 -week delay scandal where Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) illegally delayed care packages by at least  4 weeks to save some money and in the hope that the person in need of care died in the meantime.

It’s interesting to note that ex-Wirral Council whistleblower Martin Morton still seems to have a pea in his whistle about Mr.Vickers as one of his Freedom of Information requests revealed that :

Payment made to Artleboot Ltd. for work commissioned from Rob Vickers
(including ‘4 week delay’ case) was £6,624.96
Payment to SWIIS UK Ltd (via Matrix) for position as Interim Head of
Branch up unto March 31st 2014 when Mr. Vickers left was £172,136.92

That’s nearly £180,000 of public money for 19 months work and again we’d love to how the people of Wirral benefited from Vickers “expertise”.Indeed Morton seems to suggest that Vickers may have been involved in another cover up by DASS .Nice work if you can get it – and you can get it if you prove useful to the powers that be !.

This is what Super Duper Director Joe Blott must mean when he says :”The consultants we have appointed work alongside our current management team.They were appointed following due process as best people for the job in their areas of expertise.”

And I think we all know what Blott means when he answers questions about Ward’s current post and the eyewatering fees he is charging Wirral Council when he says: “The post is still vacant because despite advertising, we have been unable to appoint due to a lack of suitable candidates”.

I think we all know what he means by “suitable candidates” don’t we folks?.

Pig Trough 1

We REALLY Do Need To Talk About Kevin

Correction : Now Not Playing

So as we hinted at before we were briefly sideblinded it is finally farewell then to Kevin Addled (aka Utterly Butterly) Wirral Council’s Super-Duper Director of Something or Other.

The man described by Private Eye magazine as the “the council’s chief fantasist” whilst posing the question: “Is this Britain’s most credulous man?”.

Here Private Eye were of course referring to what Foulkesy would no doubt call Addled’s “bible -like devotion” to the Stella Shiu/Wirral Waters fantasy .

However with his sudden departure comes the inevitable nice big wad of public money. So what’s so unusual about that you ask?.Well can we suggest you try turning into work today and saying : “I’ve had enough of this crap – can I have a some dosh so I can get out and mess up elsewhere? ” and see what reaction you get.

Can I have a pile of cash about this big?

Can I have a pile of cash about this big?

Meanwhile on Planet Wirral (where the abnormal is still very much the norm) a town hall representative is reported to have said : “The offer of a severance payment is open to all employees who have two years or more continuous service.All payments made are in line with our agreed and published voluntary redundancy scheme.Details of all severance payments are a matter between the council and the individual.”

And so because a deal is done behind closed doors and although it’s our money apparently we’re not allowed to know how big the bung is – well not for now anyway.Let’s be honest –  life’s too short for Freedom of Information requests so it’ll only be a matter of time before the information is leaked.

But then what do Wirral Council expect when much put upon staff witness special dispensation meted out to those-in-the-know and/or those-in-the-shit?.Any shred of loyalty there is to the council goes out of the window and the next thing you know there’s yet another entry in our bulging inbox.

However as we – and some in public office who have shamefully known for some time – there’s much more to this case and we think that in the public interest we really do need to talk about Kevin…….. particularly alongside 2 other former Wirral Council luminaries.

A proper adult conversation about the standards of behaviour that councillors tolerate, council staff endure and the public fund.

Indeed there may those currently checking out Wirral Leaks from sunny Portugal who may want to join in the forthcoming conversation……

Hidden Agenda -Update


The plot thickens.Apologies we are receiving conflicting information on this one.Let’s hope Wirral Council will be able to clarify the situation as soon as possible .But then this is what happens when they’re not open and transparent in the first place!.

Wirral Council Employment and Appointments Committee

Monday, 21st September 2015 5.00 pm

5. Exempt Information – Exclusion of Members of the Public

The public may be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information.


That in accordance with section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined by paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to that Act. The public interest test has been applied and favours exclusion.

6. Voluntary Severance / Early Voluntary Requirement (sic)

Explanation of Reasons

  • By Virtue of Paragraph 1Information relating to any individual.


    Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Pie Chart in The Sky

Power Boy Pip : “People of Wirral – look at these lovely pie charts and all the pretty colours and tell me which colour should I paint the bar in Wallasey Town Hall?”

Thanks to the Wirral Globe for the pretty picture above and the accompanying story about the Wirral Council’s pledges attached to their 20/20 vision which is described as an “extraordinary step (that) has been taken in the battle against Government austerity with leaders of Wirral’s major public services agreeing to pool their budgets to form a massive £2bn fund.It is believed to be the first time in the UK that such a move has been attempted.The unusual proposal will have to overcome potential legal hurdles – and it is estimated it could take up to five years to complete.”

Five years?.We think there is about as much chance of this happening as Stella Shiu flying in from Reno on a prize winning pumpkin to open an underwater golf resort on Wirral Waters !.

“There may be some legalities and rules we will have to get around, but I am confident it can be done.” pipes up Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies.

Oh we bet you are Pip – let’s face it Wirral Council have had plenty of practice getting round legalities and rules!.And anyway if this is about public services agreeing to pool their budgets what is Paula Basnett the CEO from Wirral Chamber of Horrors , sorry Chamber of Commerce doing there and what exactly did she bring to the party?.

Pip helpfully explains : ” …the plan is not entirely focused on funding and for it to be successful public and private sector bodies need to “come out of their silos” to work together for the common good”

We presume that in Wirral Council’s case that’ll be one of those “silos” filled with farmyard slurry.But back to Ms.Basnett – someone who has still has questions to answer about the Wirral Biz debacle and who’s organisation is increasingly being brought to our attention – and not in a good way!.Indeed former Wirral Council employee Ms.Basnett seems to be creating a mini-Wirral Council all of her own – right down to the nepotism.Indeed it has been suggested to us that the Wirral Chamber of Commerce seems to have been recruited from Paula’s “Friends & Family” list on her BT telephone bill – “ Hi Shazza it’s me Paula – do you fancy a job?”.

Reports from disgruntled people at Egerton House , which is now under the auspices of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce , are becoming louder and more frequent.Wirral Leaks readers will no doubt remember the start of the empire building which led to the Chamber of Commerce acquiring the Pacific Road venue at a peppercorn rent :

Talking of empire building we are also being asked how on earth did Chamber of Commerce chair Asif Hamid get planning permission for a contact call centre in a prime position at the back of Egerton House?.

Search us ! – perhaps it was part of the ongoing charade that something was actually happening with Wirral Waters.

And talking of prime position the Wirral Chamber of Commerce will no doubt be the grateful recipient of Labour -controlled Wirral Council’s largesse as it continues to enthusiastically outsource and privatise public services.

There is nothing that infuriates us more at Leaky Towers than to listen to the continual self-righteous bleating about government cuts from Pip & co when it is they who so enthusiastically embrace Tory policy and ideology.Of which Wirral Council’s approach to the dreaded Bedroom Tax is perhaps the most heinous and shameful example.

Moreover it is no secret that Wirral Council have long wanted to outsource as much of their public services to private companies as they can.

And no wonder! –  it sounds like a Wirral Council wet dream.Just think – no troublesome staff whistleblowing and no pesky members of the public making Freedom of Information requests .It can only be a matter of time before Wirral Council becomes “Eric Feeble’s Commissioning (EFC) Hub” consisting of CEO Stressed Eric choosing essential services for the people of Wirral from a drop down menu on his laptop!.

But then they do say that part of Wirral Council’s problem that it has long been run by an EFC Hub !.