We understand that the local Labour group had become such a toxic brand that centrally the party had to look elsewhere for a prospective parliamentary candidate for West Wirral.
This appears to be part of co-ordinated PR makeover that infamous Labour shit-glitterer Alastair Campbell would no doubt be proud of!.
Has everyone noticed the plethora of press reports emanating from the Labour group which takes the form of what we at Leaky Towers called The 4 D’s :
a) Deflection -“it’s the Coalitions fault”) b) Denial – ” it’s really wasn’t that bad” c) Dismissal ( Centre for Social Justice identifies Birkenhead as a “welfare ghetto” and Power Boy Pip remains blithely “optimistic” d) Delusion “we’re “moving forward” and everything is tickety-boo …”
To reinforce The 4 D’s you first of all you get your mates in to give you the thumbs up.
The Official Press Office approved report puts it like this:
“Wirral council has made “enormous progress” in its attempts to get back on track following a string of scandals, an external report found.
A team of local government experts brought in to review the authority’s operations said its “improvement journey to date is clearly evident”.
The findings were revealed in a report by the ‘Peer Challenge’ team – invited back after a previous review in October – to examine what progress had been made since then”
And then of course you get the local political heavyweight in the red corner Frank Field to chip in.
Birkenhead’s MP who appears to be morphing into a Michael Gove look-like seems to be very selective about what he pipes up about these days ( £31 million of toxic debt went by without any comment).
But suddenly straight out of left field (geddit?) we get St.Frank making a profound revelation that he’s suddenly discovered when all Wirral Council’s troubles started.
1979 to be exact! – when Wirral Council came to be created under Local Government re-organisation. All is explained in his “Frankie Says” column in the Wirral News : “Shortly before I was selected, the local authorities had been pushed together into ‘the Wirral’. The wounds were there for everyone to see.The crisis in the council came to a head long before the Colas whistleblowers called time….”.
Everyone at Leaky Towers thought this was a curious statement to make and wondered why it had suddenly dawned on Frankie Goes To La-La Land to come out with that ludicrous statement.
Now as you all know we’re big fans of whistleblowers here, but to claim that the Colas whistleblowers “called time” on the chaos of Wirral Council is puzzling to say the least, especially when the official line is that “there was no case to answer” when it came down to their whistleblowing allegations ( and we all believe that don’t we boys and girls?!).
We would have thought time was called on years of Council misrule with the publication of Anna Klonowski’s supplementary report from September 2011 : “Corporate Governance Arrangements : Refresh and Renew ” where it was stated:
“In short, the evidence confirms the consultant’s conclusion that, over a considerable period of time, this council has been consistently unable to get a grip of a range of inter-related issues. This indicates that Wirral MBC’s corporate governance arrangements were, and probably remain, inadequate.
The consequence of this inward, insular focus is that over time, residents and service users’ needs and rights have become submerged beneath an increasingly complex set of bureaucratic machinations. These have gripped different parts of the Council, diverting both attention and resources. Despite this, the organisation is still struggling to resolve the problems.
These machinations have had a corrosive impact on the basic levels of trust that need to exist between a council, its members, staff, residents, and users”.
Or failing that how about Wirral Councillors themselves “calling time” with a vote of no confidence in Labour Council Leader Steve Foulkes in 2012 ?.
We are therefore lead to conclude that the exclusion of such obvious points of reference serves not only to promote Field’s championing of the Colas whistleblowers but is more resolutely “on message”.
We think the explanation of Field’s unsustainable argument is contained in a recent article in The Economist where in an article laughably titled “In Praise of St.Frank” (yes really!) it is stated:
“Yet he is a politician, not a saint, for all that. “Everything I do”, he insists, “is meant to get Labour re-elected.”
An approach that clearly applies locally and whether or not it involves a series of damning reports and scandals.
Meanwhile back in the real world…… a reliable source informs us that behind the scenes there have been frantic discussions about the need to make further savings – increase in unpaid leave?,pay cuts? reduction in working week,further cuts in services?.Who knows?
It seems DASS needs to find £20m savings but to give him his due the Director Hodkinson/Hodgkinson ( we never seem to get that guys name right) has told Comrade Burgesski and Super Director Fish that this is impossible!. It appears that the new Super Directors only impact thus far is to put the pressure onto the Directors and them onto the Heads of Service! – which is exactly the type of “corrosive impact” that Klonowski reported back in 2011!
Apparently after the DASS restructure, there is a growing sense of discontent in one part of the Department where staff are managed by someone in whom they have no confidence nor in any of the colleagues they brought with them from over the water ( which also has echoes of past “corrosive” issues) .
Furthermore the impact expected from some highly paid interim Managers is now being questioned as no savings seem to have been found. Another Finance Interim Manager has been brought into DASS to replace someone who was allowed to “retire” last year as the post was supposed to be surplus to requirements.
As our source says:
“Meltdown. But the Echo says its all hunky dory….”.
Which all goes to prove Lady W’s dictum : ” Darling you can polish a turd until it shines brightly but it will still stink to high heaven….”
The people doing this job deserve the highest accolade: they must be the hardest working & most devoted public servants at Wirral Council.
Is it a bit pedantic to point out that Wirral was set up in 1974? No, don’t answer that.