More Embarrassment For WBC

Can he Fix It ?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear ! It’s just one PR Omnishambles after another over at Clown Hall

“A CONTROVERSIAL £25,000 office refurbishment for Wirral council’s chief officers broke planning laws, it has been revealed. The upgrading of offices for the chief executive Graham Burgess’s and his top team of new “super directors” caused outrage when it was revealed.

Now the council has admitted that “due to an administrative error” it failed to obtain listed building consent before the work was carried out to the Grade II listed Wallasey town hall.”

Read more: Liverpool Echo


Proposed Savings – WBC

Some proposals HERE

And Another HERE

But As long as there’s enough clawed back to keep paying 1 x CEO, 3 x £130k and 66 Councillors

Your Vote (Wirral Globe at 25.11.2012 votes so far)

As the council struggles to cut its spending by a third, has the time come to ditch 22 of our 66 councillors?

YES: It’s a waste of money having so many:
Blue bar used for ballot results92%

NO: They do a good job for Wirral:
Yellow bar used for ballot results6%

Don’t know:
Purple bar used for ballot results2%

Health and Safety gone…

Lord and Lady Wirral- Leaks aren’t quite sure about the legality of “volunteers” running crowd management control and security (see email below)  but Eldritch our loveable gardener wasn’t too keen on the idea of us “extending the opportunities “for him to volunteer additional services for nought but a pat on the head and a smart new hi-vis tabard.  But he did say “The ways I see it sir,  it seems all Local Authorities will be run by volunteers sir in the future, it’s that Big Society bollocks those F**k-witted Eton toffs talk about!  I hope these “volunteers” have proper insurance- it seems it’s not so much as Health and Safety gone mad, as Health and Safety…. gone.”

“Great Scott! “ roared Lady Wirral- Leaks, “I really do hate to think what might happen at a Michael Buble concert, I hear his fans can be quite the handful, in fact almost as relentless as Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear in pursuit of their prey!!  The whole idea of using volunteers, trained or not simply to cut costs where there are large numbers of people sitting in the dark is as outrageous as it is dangerous.  Why, if there was a serious incident, such as a mass “Buble-gasam” you could almost guarantee  nobody would be held accountable.

“But my dear Lady,” I gently chided,” this is the Wirral, accountability is not a concept they understand”



“Dear Everybody,

As you will all be aware the council is going through a very difficult time and the requirement for savings has fallen on every single service area.  As part of the savings associated with the Floral we intend to extend the opportunities for volunteers to engage in the work of the theatre and seek to phase out our reliance on external contractor Kadansa who currently provide our stewarding services.

I appreciate how important the role of the steward is to the safe delivery of performances/events, however, there is no getting away from the fact that we spend a great deal of money on stewards and we simply will not be able to sustain this level of spend in the years ahead. There are many excellent examples of theatres working with volunteers as stewards and it is my intention to launch a brand new volunteers’ scheme in the spring of 2013 with the aim of volunteers taking over as stewards from September 2013. Volunteers will be supervised by our own Front of House Manager and a further two members of our staff team who will have responsibility for the fire panel etc. All volunteers will have gone through a fairly rigorous recruitment process and will receive full training.

In order for this scheme to get off the ground we are appointing a Special Project Co-ordinator for six months and it is anticipated that this person will be in post from January 2013. They will work directly with P’s team and J who is ultimately going to take over the role of ‘Volunteer Co-ordinator’ as part of her duties once the scheme is launched. The success of the scheme will depend very heavily on how well it is administered and also on how well we engage with our volunteers on a daily/weekly basis –quite a task and one that I am not underestimating, hence this lead in time.

We will continue to require security officers from time to time, however, Kadansa has been advised that we will not require freelance stewards after 31stAugust 2013. I have emailed P and he will be informing his freelance staff of our decision.

This is a big change I know and I am sure that many of you will have comments/suggestions to make so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly. “

Back To The Future

It’s  the new Super-Director led austerity “vision” for your local Council   HERE.

Can’t see “Ministry Of Spin” as yet ?

Night of the long knives

Oh dear

Night of the Long Knives

But not everybody is unhappy


Subject: Senior Management Restructure

Dear All,

 As you are aware, the Chief Executive has committed to reduce the senior management of the organisation by a third and met with Directors and Heads of Service at 16:30 yesterday afternoon to present his proposed structure to achieve this. Prior to it taking place I was asked to meet with him and informed that the Head of IT Services post was being deleted from the structure and that I would be made redundant. Therefore I will probably be leaving the organisation during March of next year. Like most of you I have been thinking about this for some time and am not too unhappy with the outcome.

 I thought it important that you heard this from me rather than via an indirect route or through rumour.

 This gives me about five months to get IT Services in the best shape I can for whatever lies in the future and I hope we can work together to achieve this.



Which gives him five months to order the 66 vitally important iPads for elected members, without which they cannot do their jobs, apparently.

As reported HERE

Has everything gone quiet on the Boy Dave Green front or is it true – as he has been telling friends & fellow members at Wallasey Golf Club that he will go in December with a handsome payoff. Has December got something to do with his birthday. Perhaps his package will be bigger by then.

300 k is the rumour


This week Wirral CX Graham Burgess sent a missive (SEE HERE )  to staff to correct a scurrilous rumour without any foundation, [designed to distract from the real issues WBC is facing – apparently 😦 ] that a shower had been, or was planned to be installed in his Penthouse, sorry we mean in his humble public servants office… He said

“Contrary to strong rumour – no shower has been installed. or will be, in my office or anywhere else in the Town Hall.”

This is entirely true , however what he didn’t say was that there was an initial “PLAN” submitted which stated “Supply and fit new shower tray and cubicle to include all pipework and extraction unit

The FLOOR PLAN- LBC/12/01343  (CLICK HERE) – (bottom right-Zoom in) was apparently  amended overnight, and the attached plan above which to reiterate, clearly states “Supply and fit new shower tray and cubicle to include all pipework and extraction unit”……   HAS NOW BEEN REMOVED !!!  We have no idea why ? Maybe it was too um, LEAKY ? 

(Where is “Employee T” with his trusty shredder when you need him ?)

Note that the plan is for the 3rd floor, the floor above the Chief Exec suite, but was part of the PLAN for the alterations to the Chief Exec / strategic Directors alterations, which are rumoured to have cost around 25 to 30 k and justified in a time of austerity by GB because “the Town Hall is an important meeting place for visitors and potential investors in Wirral”

Word is there may well already be a defunct shower tray in situ from decades ago, but clearly there was an intention to fit a new shower and cubicle etc in the town hall. 

Maybe not a huge deal in the general scheme of things, but it again demonstrates a particular mindset that is all too prevalent in those  who hold “high office.”  All we can say at Leaky Towers is what a bloomin’ shower !


Let Them Eat Cake

“Wirral Against The Cuts” have compared Wirral’s latest SOLACE approved Chief Executive Graham “The Goofmeister” Burgess to France’s infamous Queen, Marie Antoinette!!!  “The arrogance of the people who took this decision is similar to Marie Antoinette, the French queen who advised the starving people of Paris who couldn’t afford bread to buy cake instead.”  STORY HERE

This statement was prompted by GB’s somewhat insensitive decision to splash out on a £25,000 upgrade for town hall bosses’ offices (BUT NOT A SHOWER , OH NO! NOT THAT!)  as the authority prepares for massive budget cuts and jobs losses. This is what is known in the trade as “An EPIC PR FAIL!

We thought this a tad harsh, that was until we were given a picture of a recent council meeting in GB’s recently refurbished palace, ahem sorry, office … We now think they may well have a point !

Shower? No! Dishwasher Yes ?

Dear Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks

Once again, I’d like to thank those employees who have responded to my
last weekly email with some helpful suggestions and ideas regarding
the savings we need to make and I will of course respond to these
individually.  I would, however, like to take this opportunity to
answer some general questions I have been asked by staff based upon
some unfounded rumours which appear to be doing the rounds.  I am
concerned that they are diverting attention from the key task of
addressing the £103 million budget gap.

Contrary to strong rumour – no shower has been installed. or will be,
in my office or anywhere else in the Town Hall.

The Council refurbished parts of the second floor of the Town Hall,
which includes decorating and standard furnishing of seven offices
(including my own) and a waiting room. One of my concerns when I
arrived at Wirral Council was that Directors have historically been
located in up to 6 different buildings; contributing to silo
management which has impacted on the way departments work together
strategically to deliver the Council’s objectives.  The refurbishments
mean that Directors will be located along one corridor and we can
therefore work together to manage the organisation much more
effectively.  Also, the Town Hall is an important meeting place for
visitors and potential investors in Wirral and the previously very
poor standards of the offices would have undermined the confidence of
key investors bringing jobs into Wirral.

Public Health is transferring into the Council and these
refurbishments were partly funded through transition funding to
accommodate those staff who are now located in Wallasey Town Hall.

These exaggerated rumours are either being spread innocently or with
an agenda to divert attention from the real issues we are facing, so I
thought it was important for me to give you the facts.   I also wanted
to let you know that I have asked David Armstrong to lead on a wider
review of Council assets and office accommodation, with the aim of
making savings, improving standards and bring together as many staff
as possible into central locations.

As you will be aware, the first people to be put at risk of redundancy
were Chief Officers and Heads of Services.  This week, I will begin
consultation on my proposals for the top two tiers of the management
restructure.  Initial discussions will take place with those directly
affected; however I will be keen to share this with you at the
earliest opportunity.  I will then bring forward proposals for
restructuring the management level who report directly to a Head of
Service for further consultation.  These changes to management will be
reported to Cabinet on the 20th December.

Last week Elected Members appointed Clare Fish to the post of
Strategic Director: Families and Wellbeing and Kevin Adderley, to the
post of Interim Strategic Director: Regeneration and Environment.
These two appointments are vital to the change and improvement
programme the Council has embarked on and – along with the expected
appointment of a third strategic Director for Transformation and
Resources shortly after Christmas – will play a significant role in
ensuring the Council can safeguard its frontline services whilst
making the savings required.

It has been widely communicated that the Council must make savings
amounting to £103 million over the next three years – this is on top
of £44 million savings the Council has already had to make since 2010.
 I have been asked questions about the national distribution of
Central Government cuts to Local Government and I have therefore
attached for your information a map which illustrates this
distribution and clearly demonstrates the disproportionate impact that
these cuts will have on the North of England.

The second stage of consultation on the proposed budget options began
last week and I’ve been enormously encouraged by the high volume of
responses received so far – a return rate in excess of 2,800 in less
than a week.

Again, I cannot stress the importance of getting involved and having
your say. The unprecedented financial challenges we are facing are
going to have a significant impact on a great number of people: it’s
vital your voice is heard.  I will be continuing my visits with staff
over the coming weeks and would be happy to receive any invitations to
come and visit your teams and hear more about the work that you do.

As part of my induction to my new role, I have made it one of my
priorities to visit partner organisations and local businesses.  This
morning I attended the first Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone board
meeting.  This board will provide a useful forum for regular meetings
between Wirral Council, Liverpool City Council, Peel Holdings and the
Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure the
successful implementation and delivery of the Enterprise Zone.

I am delighted to inform you of a local success story for one of
Wirral’s most famous companies.  John Syvret, Chief Executive of
Cammell Laird has won the business category at the recent Liverpool
Daily Post’s Leadership awards.  John received recognition from the
judges for the great job he has done turning round the fortunes of
this historic company.

This week, I will also be meeting with colleagues from our partner
organisations to discuss the setting up of a Wirral Public Service
Board.  This board will enable partners to proactively work together
to identify and deliver efficiencies and opportunities for joint
working – something that is very much on the agenda given the current
and foreseeable economic climate.

Finally, I wish to congratulate the Wirral Early Onset/Alcohol Related
Brain Injury Team, based at the Stein Centre at St Catherine’s
Hospital.  The team is a small integrated team with staff from Wirral
Adult Social Services and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust.  From
a shortlist of 6, the Wirral team was awarded national prestigious
award in recognition of their excellent rehabilitation work with
people with alcohol related brain injury.  The judging panel were
looking for examples of innovation, leadership, team work and
effective use of resources. The winning team certainly met all of
these criteria and their efforts towards excellence have been rightly


Graham Burgess
Chief Executive
Wirral Council


Know Thy Fate

Wirral Council Employees – your fate is a point on somebody else’s action plan.
Ever felt you’ve been cheated?
And when questioned the Head of Propaganda responded THUS
So, who do you trust ?
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”