Vexed Sighs And Videotape


Remember this video

Remember this FOI ?

Well here’s the PROOF that WBC LIED (why are we not shocked)  The information is classed as “commercially sensitive” according to our legal chap Simeon Gouchebag QC, and we have therefore removed the actual amounts, but what we can confirm is it’s a darn sight more than WBC originally suggested…..But of course it will all be a “misunderstanding”


Will they apologise ?  Erm NOPE!

“A demand for a public apology from the council for apparently misleading in an FOI response was made by Cllr Chris Blakeley this week.

His call came after it emerged the authority’s reply to the request – asking for costs associated with a video it commissioned as part of the “What Realy Matters” budget cuts consultation – revealed less than half the true amount.The reply went on to say no other funding was spent on the video project. But this also turned out to be untrue.

Councillor Blakeley stormed: “To say ‘Wirral Council can confirm no other funding was spent on contracts such as this’ is a lie. “This is not about money. It’s about honesty.”

The council’s chief executive, Graham Burgess, has subsequently emailed Cllr Blakeley saying no public apology is to be issued and no further action taken over the issue.”

Happy New Year

Love , Verity x


FOI ?  FU ?


Well you could have knocked us all down with a ten-ton truck at Leaky Towers when we found out that the Information Commissioners Office had singled out Wirral as the only Local Authority in the country to be subject to close scrutiny between January – March 2013 .
A statement by UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said Wirral was selected for monitoring as it had failed to respond to 85% of FOI requests within the time limit of 20 working days and had exceeded the limit “by a significant margin on numerous occasions.”.

Full story here:

Despite valiant attempts by Wirral Council to deflect their poor performance on the pesky and persistent Wirral public – they constantly miss the point that if Wirral Council was “open and transparent” in the first place then interested parties WOULD NOT HAVE TO RESORT TO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS !!!! (phew! – so pleased to have got that off our collective heaving bosom).

Luckily for us a transcript of a leaked tape of a conversation between a Freedom of Information Officer and a Council Manager clearly demonstrates how this regrettable situation may has arisen:

Freedom Of Information Officer (peeking round door): Coo-ee!, sorry to have to tell you but we’ve have had one of those damned annoying FOI requests and I’m afraid to say old chum but you’re in the frame for the 300th time this month –

Council Manager: Oh it’s soooo unfair!.What do they mistake me for?. A public servant?

FOI Officer: I know, I know. I do my best to ignore them and then Whatdotheyknow send me alerts and Councillors and MPs start pestering me – like they have a right to know how we run the show. I mean,really!!!!

Council Manager: Oh do come in and tell me how we can tell the blighters to bugger off.

FOI Officer: I’m not sure that we can – there’s a legal framework we have to comply with….

Council Manager: Really?,Legal requirements are not something Wirral Council usually concerns itself with, so what’s all this kerfuffle about ?.

FOI Officer: Well for a start the Information Commissioners Office says we jolly well need to pull our socks up…….

Council Manager: Well I’m sorry I don’t care who says so, they are not having the information and that’s jolly well that and they can stick that in their pipes and smoke it!…..

FOI Officer: But what excuse can I possibly give for not releasing information to which the public are legally entitled?

Council Manager: Er…. tell them my personal assistant is off sick

FOI Officer: What with?

Council Manager: Stress!

FOI Officer: Stress?.Filing her nails and making cups of tea can’t be that stressful surely ?.

Council Manager: Don’t be so insensitive!.She had to type all those redundancy notices

FOI Officer: What’s so stressful about that?

Council Manager: I fear that typing her own redundancy notice may have sent the poor dear over the edge…….. but anyway might I be so bold and say that’s a very pretty dress you’re wearing.

FOI Officer (blushing) : Why thank you kind sir, I got it in the Next sale, I queued for 4 hours on Boxing Day morning in the hope that I would get a compliment from someone as well appointed as yourself  …… (pauses pensively) ……Now hang on a minute I will not be distracted quite so easily like you did last time I asked you for information.You ended up telling me that a UFO had just landed on the steps of Wallasey Town Hall.

Council Manager: I swear it’s these bi-focals.How is it my fault if I can’t tell the difference between an empty crisp packet and an interplanetary space craft?

FOI Officer: OK,OK…. your faultless logic has worn me down and therefore in my fearless quest to serve the public good I will allow you a slight delay in responding.How long do you want?

Council Manager: Six months

FOI Officer: Six months???!….

Council Manager:  Just enough time to get a pay-off, sign a Compromise Contract and get the fuck out of here quick before I’m rumbled…….

FOI Officer: Cripes! ( Thinks: must go back to Next and see if they’ve still got that matching jacket for my dress).

The Pen(n)is Mightier Than The Sword

The Penn-Name & The Moving Finger
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
-The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
During a lull between between yuletide and New Year celebrations we here at Leaky Towers have been picking the bones not only out of the turkey expertly stuffed by our cook Nigella Knowall but also a report where HESPE whistleblowers appear to have been expertly stuffed by former Bradford and Knowsley Council Chief Executive Richard Penn.
As previously reported on Wirralleaks the “Preliminary investigation into issues raised in the Report in the Public Interest in relation to the role of the Director of Technical Services in the procurement and management of HES contract” was sneaked out last minute on Christmas Eve ( and we understand faithfully reported by Wirral Council’s media friends on Radio Merseyside on Christmas Day).Well the first comment we’d like to make is why such a cumbersome,elongated title for such a simplistic,flimsy report?We can only hope and pray that indeed this is a “preliminary” report because 39 pages of mostly personal opinions presented as evidence and facts hardly seems to do justice to this complex case.
Indeed we’ve dispensed with the title – no ,not those bestowed on her Ladyship and I for services for leakage- but the title of the report and we’ve taken a leaf out of Eldritch’s book and will henceforth be referring to said magnum opus as “Penn’s Pisspoor Report” ( “…and having writ ,moves on” – indeed and no doubt,to another lucrative job).To save you the bother of reading what is described as a “Report for the Chief Executive” we’ll give you the lowdown (and by jove do we mean lowdown) .The report is from one ex-Merseyside Chief Executive to a current Merseyside Chief Executive – who no doubt would have rubbed up against each other ,so to speak,when Mr.Penn was Chief Executive at Knowsley Council and indeed when they were former muckers at Liverpool Council.Of course Dave Green (the aforesaid Director of Technical Services) is found to have “no case to answer” ( which rather reminds us here at Leaky Towers of the findings of another “investigation” at Wirral Council which eventually proved to be somewhat questionable to say the least…….).However, this time the findings are seemingly based on irrefutable fact based evidence such as legal beagle Colin Hughes telling Penn that Green would never get involved in any nastiness involving picking on whistleblowers :  “He (Hughes) said that Dave Green was seen as a man of integrity and fairness– such behavior would not have been in line with this reputation”.
As we must appreciate this statement stands up to close scrutiny because as we know : a) Whistleblowers are always dealt with fairly and with integrity and respect by Wirral Council and b) A Senior Officer in the Legal Department said it – so it must be true!.

It is very dispiriting to see the same old names trawled out (the dearly departed Norman,Coleman,Garry etc;) however we were all intrigued to see the names of two “old friends” appearing out of the Cheshire countryside like the delightful Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music – ” or as Eldritch commented : ” Oh here we go – the hills are alive with the sound of bullshit”.Ladies and gentlemen I give you Simon Goacher and Steve Maddox ( What ?! – No applause?.Why so?.)  Simon Goacher – former Head of  Legal of Wirral and more recently Cheshire East ( we understand there was a bit of a “falling out” at the latter) and now cosily ensconced at Weightman’s Solicitors in Liverpool and currently their Head of Local Government and doing lots of work for…….er , Wirral Council!!

All we would like to say at this juncture is that we hope all those Conflict of Interest forms have been filled in properly this time Simes old chap! Mr.Maddox – having baled out just before Anna Klonowski could ask him a few pertinent questions about his role in the Social Services scandals – suddenly appears fresh as a daisy to explain himself to fellow former Merseyside Chief Executive Mr.Penn,knowing full well that having the Freedom of the Borough of Wirral,being a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside and having a big fat pension to cushion his derriere he’s beyond accountability ( however being out of harms way he’s convenient to pin the blame on).

Indeed there seems to be a lot of blaming of others in the report.Once again faithful beagle Colin Hughes pipes up that  there seemed to be a ” get Dave Green approach” .And who was behind this evil conspiracy to malign the good name of DG ?- take your pick – the “malicious” whistleblowers?, the District Auditor?, the cleaners at Wallasey Town Hall?……….

In his defence Dave Green refers to a District Auditor’s report where “more than 20 examples of blatant bad practice” are identified and yet he seems to be the only one being asked to be held accountable ( which frankly would be a first at Wirral Council) .
Indeed , we can recall Klonowski also refers to a blatant disregard of EU procurement regulations in the Independent Review.But really, as my late mother Lady Justicia once told me when I was a little boy and there was that little “misunderstanding” about that postal order: “Just because everyone else was doing it doesn’t mean you can use that as an excuse….rise above ,dear boy,rise above”.  And what’s more it raises the same old spectre of what the blithering hell Councillors were doing whilst Council Officers were getting away with “blatant bad practice” – scrutiny ,accountability and  consequences be damned!

Now I don’t know if its an excess of marron glaces and madeira but my head is spinning with all this intrigue.I could do with some fresh air to clear my head……….anyone fancy a quick round of golf at Carden Park?

Tally ho, and a Happy New Years Eve to you all,  your Good Lord Wirral-Leaks

Whistle Down The Wirral *Update*

WL_Xmas Carol

Timing is everything


24 December 2012

Statement re: David Green

At 4pm today (24 December 2012), Graham Burgess, Wirral Council Chief Executive, issued the following press statement:

“At around 2.00pm today, Christmas Eve, I had delivered to David Green, the preliminary investigation into the Audit Commission’s report on the Colas Contract on Wirral Highways.

“On the advice of the Investigator, Richard Penn, to the-then Acting Chief Executive, Ian Coleman, David Green was suspended.  “Mr Penn finds no case to answer and I have therefore told David Green to return to work on the week beginning 7 January 2013.

“Under the Council’s policy of transparency I would have wished to have published the report today.  That is physically impossible with staff already having left for the Christmas break.  I shall issue the report to the public on the first day the Council returns to work – namely 27 December 2012 – and it will be published on the Council’s Website.”


And the REPORT

And a reminder as to who Richard Penn is

Happy Xmas From Wirral Leaks


Leaky Truth


It isn’t just the good Lord and Lady Wirral-Leaks who are shocked and horrified at WBC’s behaviour – Read and weep

Wirral Council Christmas Party ! Shocking Video Leaked


The shocking truth !!

Slasher movie: Wirral Council spends £5,700 on ‘cuts’ video


They slash, you pay.