Latter Day Saint

SAINT-FRANK2

Now there’s something of the revolutionary spirit of the recently deceased Tony Benn that pervades Leaky Towers – we may have been born into privilege but we’ll always admire a straight talking man of the people.

Consequently the only honours we really approve of are hereditary and we’re very suspicious of the motivation behind public awards especially when they’re meted out to the likes of “Sir” Jimmy Savile , ” Sir” Fred Goodwin and Steve Maddox “OBE”.

It seems to us that modern day public honours merely serve the purpose of instilling undue deference to supposed upstanding pillars of the community that somehow make them immune from censure or criticism.

Of course Parliamentarian of the Year , The Right Honourable Frank Field, would never indulge in such tawdry glory-hunting with his tireless work fighting for an end to hunger,poverty and slavery. God only knows where he finds the time to run Wirral Council when he’s trying to do a bit of good in the world…………..

And, of course , who could forget the incongruous photo-op of Frankie-baby with frockmaker Vivienne Westwood and er, Pamela Anderson at some tree-hugging,back-slapping love-in about climate change?

Strikes us he thinks he’s Birkenhead’s answer to U2’s Bono but without the leather kecks and the Raybans. (At this point Her Ladyship leaves the room clutching her head complaining that the thought of Mr.Field in leather trousers has brought on a dreadful migraine.)

Anyway we think Our Frank is hanging on in there for “The Big One” – no you silly-billies ,not the beknighted touch of the Queen’s sword , we’re convinced he won’t be happy ’til he’s canonized.

Move over St.Francis of Assisi, here’s St.Frank in the Fields!

Indeed one of the most curious awards he’s picked up along this primrose path of patron sainthood is the Mormon Family Values Award 2012 – SEE HERE
Of course not being married or having children makes him the ideal candidate to espouse how families should lead their lives. However we have reason to believe he may have been nominated by a local councillor and no doubt he was able to coach Frank on his own interpretation of ‘family values’.

Our very own agent provocateur Verity has been doing some research and it would seem Mormons themselves are not averse to a bit of meddling in politics – they funded Proposition 8 which was intended to ban same sex marriage in California (failed) and they’re currently trying to get legislation in Utah overturned which allows same sex marriage in that state.

It is also interesting to note that Mormons have to pay at least 10% of all their income to the church. We presume this includes council allowances so does any Wirral Council tax funded cash eventually find its way to Salt Lake City to fund ‘the building of temples, churches and other buildings’ (shopping malls)?.

Having said that Frank has some very idiosyncratic views on family values himself. Remember when he displayed impeccable humanitarian principles by volunteering Birkenhead as a pilot scheme for placing problem families in metal containers underneath motorway flyovers?  SEE HERE

Mr Field said at the time : “We can’t skirt around this issue any longer. We have to show these people that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated and that they don’t deserve to live among decent, hard-working taxpaying families.”

We’d like to say this statement sounds as though it has come straight out of Conservative Central Office so can we suggest that to demonstrate his true allegiance and indeed demonstrate “we are all this together” he perhaps needs to extend this approach to errant local Councillors and start ordering , mafia -style , that they be placed in concrete pillars supporting motorway flyovers , thus ensuring that they achieve their manifest destiny of literally becoming fine upstanding pillars of the community……………..

For as we know, as in many things in Wirral , all roads lead to Field!

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The Devil Reads Pravda

LEAKYPRAVDA
Now Wirral Leaks and Eric Pickles are not natural bedfellows but we have a degree of sympathy for his directive about the prevention of the publication of what he calls “Town Hall Pravdas” – that is Councils printing nothing more than propaganda sheets funded with public money.

Now if this wasn’t Wirral Council we’d say “well what’s wrong with telling local people what’s going on ?” – but this IS Wirral Council and we believe openness and transparency will never be the motivation behind such a publication. This is the place where secrecy is the modus operandi and which has been further demonstrated this week with the forced publication of yet another secret report,

SEE HERE

The recently constituted Birkenhead Constituency Committee is proposing such a publication under the guise of “improving communication” and was included in last night’s meeting (27th March).

SEE HERE

Based on a highly dubious ” consultation ” it was claimed the publication will be the perfect vehicle for delivering the “unbiased political reporting” which apparently is so desired by the people of Birkenhead – well according to their “survey” of 250 people out of a population of 60,000 anyway! After all we can’t have those award winning pesky local newspapers and ‘disgraceful’ blogs exposing WBC’s darkest secrets. We need balance, we need happy clappy POSTIVE news. And as a good spin doctor will tell you everyday is a good day to bury bad news . Distract the bovine herd with rainbows, lollipops and the sort of inspirational stories that make Upworthy’s news model read like “The Bell Jar”. But never, EVER let them get at the truth.

SEE HERE

But don’t worry the proposed publication complies with their famous ABCD principles:
“The long term development of a community led news hub would involve community connectors to ensure the publication remains community developed and focused”.
WTF?..I don’t know about foreign language translators but we do wish Wirral Council would provide translators for bollocks such as this.

Meanwhile we at Wirral Leaks, being a much valued vehicle for disseminating Council business, have received an exclusive press release announcing the arrival of this exciting new development in the publishing world:

PRESS RELEASE :

“Birkenhead is Super-Fab” publication

Editor: The Ministry of Spin

Coming soon ! – A new super-fab magazine were we discuss how SUPER-FAB Birkenhead is….and how it’s super-fabness is all down to Frank ,Pip and the gang.
Why read those those poisonous and insulting blogs when we have the real super-fabness that’s going on in YOUR AREA ? – Our crack team of arselickers ( geddit?) will be reporting on dog crap and potholes and the environmental threat of empty crisp packets .We bring you the stuff that WE SAY matters to YOU!!!

There’ll be absolutely super-fabulous fashion spreads featuring what TOP Council executives have in their wardrobes – so you can expect plenty of pictures of customised football shirts, mayoral bling and of course Australian fashion boots typically made of twin-faced sheepskin with fleece on the inside, a tanned outer surface and a synthetic sole. 

There will also be exclusive pictures of our future first citizen and his consort opening foodbanks with FUN captions like : ” Leave those dented tins from the back of the cupboard Foulksey they’re for the poor folks NOT poor Foulkes – you cheeky scamp !!!”

There will be pictures from that golf tournament thingy with Foulksey being Wirral’s ambassador of FUN! Imagine perhaps Mr Blobby on Ketamine -with his delightful informal cheeky chappy persona he will not be making a holy show of us AT ALL!!

But there’ll be no pictures of Foulksey’s “high jinks” at Tranmere Rovers hospitality suite. NO that’s just NOT super-fab. Not super-fab AT ALL!  Because we’re all about super-fabness here as we believe that “Birkenhead is Super -Fab” ….and soon YOU WILL TOO! We don’t want bad news bears with sore heads in our petting zoo !!! – No! We want kittens and puppies and butterflies and meerkats – Super-fab FUN animals that don’t rip your fucking head off or disembowel you or other such unpleasantness.

WE believe in the words of Improvement Board member and Local Government Association official “Visionizer” Haysi Fantayzee and his SUPER-FAB affirmation : “SHINY,SHINY bad times behind me….” – so get your copy of “Birkenhead is Super Fab” NOW!

Only £48,000 from your nearest gutter !

Here is the planned presentation from the postponed Committee meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall.

Arrivals And Departures

DEPARTS
Arrivals
Source A writes :

The cctv will be switched off as from the end of this month but the control room will still provide recorded images on disc for evidential purposes to Merseyside police and other agencies by appointment only! So if evidential data is required asap please get your crystal ball out and book an appointment before the crime happens. After the very silent and manufactured leaving of head honcho Jonny Kenny in their wisdom WBC are now employing staff from a yet unnamed agency to man the control room.

Eleven fully qualified and experienced staff replaced for a cheaper option, with outstanding contracts for alarm monitoring, key holding services,out of hours highways,out of hours emergencies and communication links for the community patrol service. The hiring of un-knowledgable and unqualified staff could have dire consequences for community patrol staffs health and safety and also damage the good professional image portrayed by the previous staff over the last twenty five years before they became unessential workers….

Departures
Source B writes :
Does anyone know what happened to the LS Lowry painting that used to hang in the office of a Mr Darley at Wirral Borough Council many years ago?…It seems that it disappeared from the office after Mr Darley left & has never been seen since. Does anyone also know just how many works of art at Wallasey Town Hall lying unsecured n the basement & just how much of those works of art have been stolen having been left scattered around like they were rubbish?

 

Notes On The Notorious

DDD

Doggone Dodd’s Gone

Curiously, apologies were received for ex- Councillor Darren “Dazzler” Dodd at the last meeting of the Council – until it was brought to the attention of the meeting that he’d actually resigned in November 2013.  Have his constituents noticed?  Do they care?

However, his unheralded departure means we will miss his dogged determination to diss the opposition in his uniquely “creative” way – And no Darren that’s not a great big kiss!

 Steve’s Peeves

For the heinous crime of stating that he didn’t think that Foulkesy was fit to be the next Mayor  Cllr.Chris ” Bulldog” Blakeley has had to endure the tedium of a 10-month investigation into this terrible slur upon the good name of the blameless future first citizen (costing what exactly?)

Needless to say, this led to the inevitable conclusion of “no case to answer” mainly based on the incontrovertible fact that this isn’t North Korea (yet) and you are allowed to have an opinion even when it pisses off some powerful people.

Of course, we know that feigning victimhood is classic tactic of any bully and anyone who can recall Foulksey’s less than statesmanlike volcanic temper tantrum last July will be aware he seemed to be a tad touchy at the time.

DDlibel

However piecing together the information we’ve received it would appear that behind the Punch & Judy politics this particular spat could have been the catalyst for what was to happen the following month (August 2013) namely Wirralgate!

SEE HERE

If the Wirralgate saga is ever investigated properly (and breath holding is not advised) then we’re calculating roughly that it’ll be 2020 before we find out whether our suspicions are correct.

  Wirral Council Vacancy: Assassin wanted

Facetiously we recently asked whether whistleblower Martin Morton was gagged and bound in Wallasey Town Hall basement .Well apparently not, as it would appear he has been in Foulksey’s words  “courted, feted even ”  by the National Audit Office who have referenced the notorious  case in a report going before the  Public Accounts Committee in the House Of Commons next Monday.

SEE HERE

However, still no mention of a possible return by the pesky party-pooper- all very curious. One wonders where this will all end?  – Badly probably….  But for who?

SEE HERE

Easy As ABCD

ABCDC
A Leaker Writes :

 “Wirral Council is paying for external consultants to push the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model. Already had at least 2 days – Floral Pavilion and Acre Lane and now I think there are plans to work with the new constituency managers.

The way they are going there will be no assets left! It’s all a bit ’emperors new clothes’ for me. I think the council are on a scammers list somewhere….a bit like those poor old dears who reply to junk mail letters and lose their life’s savings. They throw good money after bad and can’t help themselves. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so galling…..”

We always find it so dispiriting to hear that Wirral Council have called in external consultants yet again. Firstly because it brings into question what the blazes are the highly paid council officers actually being paid to do and secondly we have a grave concerns about accountability,transparency, value for money and , as our graphic shows , grasping hands wanting a piece of the action when it comes to the dismantling of public services.

Furthermore we are minded to recall the words of Demetrious Panton, an employment law advisor who has worked as an equalities consultant for many local authorities :

“What is interesting is that the same people appear in the same jobs, in different places, as if through a revolving door. They work for local authorities, leave, then come back as freelance “consultants” with huge, inflated fees.

They are often mediocre and there is no evidence of how or why they were chosen.They can leave a council with a terrible reputation yet pop up next minute as head of a regulatory body and as a trustee of numerous bodies. It is a real money-spinner. We need transparency in local government, not this modern version of the freemasons’ handshake.”

Sounds horribly familiar to us at Leaky Towers as we’ve witnessed an endless parade of has-beens and no-marks arrive with empty words and leave with full pockets.

This ABCD Model sounds as though it’s the usual snake-oil salesman pitch – the  abdication of responsibility dressed up as community empowerment.

It’s the same rigmarole with “Vision 2018” – yes it’s “that vision thing” again.This time it’s  a survey about the future of health and social care . If you’re interested click HERE

It’s the age-old call for greater integration and co-ordination of health and social care. Which would be marvellous if only the powerbrokers in Wirral Council and Wirral University Teaching Hospital were not quite so concerned with protecting their egos ,empires and budgets.

Clare Fish, Strategic Director of Families and Wellbeing, and Wirral Council Deputy Chair Vision Thing 2018 Programme Board says: “There is also a big challenge to encouraging individuals to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and the lifestyle choices they make which could have negative impacts on their health and create a significant burden on an already pressured service. Vision 2018 is Wirral’s response to this challenge and we would very much welcome contribution from the public to help us shape the new approach for Wirral.”

Here we go again with the call for individuals to take greater responsibility before they become a “burden”.Which is such a lovely expression to describe the people who pay your salary.

It’s also hugely ironic as Wirral Council never take responsibility for anything  – EVER!

“There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip…..”

COMRADE-FOUKUP

And so Wirral Council’s Cabinet in their infinitesimal wisdom confirmed this week Steve ‘ Vote of no confidence’ Foulkesy’s ascendancy to Wirral’s official first citizen for the forthcoming year. Really?  This is the best we have ? They do say we get the public figures we deserve, but  this is surely taking the pith ?

SEE HERE

Hmmmm….might we suggest there’s at least one person sitting round the table at Cabinet who knowing what they know might live to regret this ringing endorsement.

Of course the Cabinet decision is yet to be ratified by full Council in June – and they do say that a week is a long time in politics so let’s see what the next couple of months brings shall we?…..

S.U.M.O*

SUMO-_1

*shut up,move on

As you all know Wirral Leaks is a satirical website with a serious intent but there are times when Wirral Council is so much a parody of itself it makes our job so much easier – even though ultimately the jokes on all of us!

As our growing number of sources testify Wirral Leaks won’t be running out of exclusives any time soon (indeed we’ve got a series of revelations which are coming to a head quite nicely).

In the meantime we have been sent the following cryptic message:

 ” ….. one of the things you need to look at is how come Dolores Umbrage and her cronies pay mega bucks for management gurus to come in and tell the load of incompetent managers how to ‘manage’

I am sure its a coincidence that some of her senior managers are then seen painting the town red, drinking and living it up with these self same management experts ….

Further to this here is one of the so called gurus he is called Paul McGee – the irony of it is that he preaches an approach where you ‘SUMO’ (shut up and move on) if it wasn’t so pathetic it would be hilarious

http://www.thesumoguy.com

here’s  a picture of Mr McGee enjoying the high life with 2 highly paid HR Business Partners (no conflict of interest there then, sumo!) and 1 another “

WLcopy FFCopy

For research purposes we checked out Mr.McGee’s website and we can only agree with our source – absolutely hilarious. The self-styled SUMO Guy comes across to us as the lovechild of David Brent and Bet Lynch. With his patronising pop – psychology he is a one man walking, talking acronym (S.U.M.O. , C.R.A.M.S , M.A.D) a fridge magnet made flesh.

Sounding like Liam Gallagher with an NVQ in Advanced Bullshit SUMO Guy tells us about his style of  “Mancunian Motivation” which he identifies as :

  •     tell it like it is
  •     no bull
  •     let’s be really practical

After listening to this Her Ladyship declares she’s taking a leaf out SUMO Guy’s book and declares:

” I think these pseudo -guru types are  P – R-  I – C- K -S…….”

“What’s does that acronym stand for?…..” I ask

” It doesn’t. I just think they’re all pricks….but I didn’t want to use such a vulgar turn of phrase”

If indeed the SUMO Guy has been hired for the purposes of changing the workplace culture of Wirral Council then might we suggest that “Shut Up,Move On” is perhaps the most inappropriate catchphrase that could possibly have been adopted .
Is this really the way Wirral Council intend to lure back whistleblower Martin Morton back into the confederacy of dunces?

Talking of which – does anybody know where “The Return of  “Mad” Morton” is up to?

There are rumours he was sighted in Wallasey Town Hall recently – we can only wonder whether he has been bundled into the basement until after the local elections in May.

Meanwhile here is the final word on the SUMO Guy:

“May I on behalf of everyone at Manchester United who attended your session, thank you for a great presentation. The feedback has been excellent and all very positive and I know the ideas within your SUMO message are greatly appreciated.”

Kenneth Merrett,
Former Club Secretary, Manchester United FC

Need we say any more?……………

SUMO2

Flogging a Dead Cause

FLOGIT

Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism  – Oscar Wilde

We understand that experts at last weekend’s recording of “Flog It!” at Wallasey Town Hall were particularly impressed with one of the finest collection of Compromise Agreements in the country.  The controversial agreements made with disgraced former council officers were appraised to be worth over £1 million pounds of public money.
Other items uncovered included a rare landscape of  Wirral Waters which is hung in the waiting area next to Comrade Burgesski’s throne room.

This picture features a fortune cookie -type quote from the inscrutable and elusive Madam Stella Shiu which reads: “Wirral Waters will put Wirral on the map.”

Furniture expert  Ann Teak said that a particularly fine table from the Mayors parlour that was destined for the skip was indicative of Wirral Council’s profligate ways – ” They seem to get rid of the hidden treasures and keep throwing good money after bad debts, bad decisions and bad people…”

Also on show was a  hand-crafted gold-embossed “No Case To Answer” rubber stamp believed to be unique to Wirral Council. A council spokesperson  commented : ” Although showing signs of wear and tear this item has proved to be priceless for us”

Unfortunately it was predicted that the Mayoral chain would soon become devalued to the point of being absolutely worthless – well at least during the next term of office anyway .This is because of what experts referred to as “The Foulkes Factor”……..

Coming Soon: FUTURE COUNCIL!

backtothefutile
 

“I’ve seen the future, I can’t afford it
Tell me the truth sir, someone just bought it
Larger than life and twice as ugly
If we have to live there, you’ll have to drug me”

Yes yet again you read it here first – after “Destination Effluence” and “Transforming Wirral Council” comes the latest Wirral Council makeover – ” Future Council” (or should that be futile?) Cautious of the derision that met “Destination Effluence” a  desperate PR stunt spawned in haste after the shock of the Independent Review published in 2012 , Wirral Council seem to be adopting a more subtle and subliminal approach this time.From information we’ve been receiving it would seem that Council staff are gradually being brainwashed into talking about “Future Council”  so as to make cuts to services and staff redundancies somehow sound more palatable and well , sort of dynamic and futuristic and stuff.

ROBOTSHowever we feel, just like Destination Effluence, it’s just the same old Council trick of putting lipstick on a pig ……

Even the usually compliant union Unison expressed  “major concern” in their last annual report when “Future Council” was quietly being introduced : “The Budget option entitled ‘Transforming Wirral’ Council now referred to as “Future Council” caused major concern. It seeks to make savings of £9.5 million by the end of 2015/16…”

So is ” Future Council”  meant to sound as though Wirral Council is to be run like a lean,mean machine managed and controlled by unthinking,unfeeling automatons?.

Sounds like business as usual to us!

pig-lipstick
Lest we forget ….

On the Carpet

Carpetdeepshag

Following on from our “Tread Softly” piece earlier this week the plot has become as messy and tangled as the shag pile in a 1970’s porno as a couple of leakers have been in touch querying the Council’s claims that the Wallasey Town Hall carpet hadn’t been replaced since 1968. One of our sources states:

“Fibbers!
The stair carpet was replaced in 1988/89 I remember it well. There was some discussion about why local independent carpet shops has not been asked to quote. Interesting that the firm that supplied the carpet this time went belly up, the Council seem to have a knack of giving contracts to firms that go bust. But it was certainly done after 1968. The carpet in the round room ( which is used for marriage ceremonies ) was replaced last year!. So someone is telling porkies again…..”

Can anyone corroborate this claim or alternatively send someone round to the Town hall with a Vax -as someone needs to come clean….

We maintain that if the carpet had indeed been in Wallasey Town Hall for 46 years it could of crawled into Brighton Street of it’s own accord.Indeed considering all the things that have been swept under it over the years can you imagine what it would reveal if it could talk?
There’s been blood on the carpet ( remember when an irate member of staff took a swipe at former Chief Executive Jim Wilkie – what was all that about?) there’s been carpet burns (…. oh no sorry that was Westminster House) and of course there has been the endless parade of carpetbaggers who have trodden on, not just the carpet, but upon anyone or anything that got it in their way.

We can’t help feeling that where self interest meets political power that money can be found for almost anything – compensation for hurt feelings, plane tickets to China,staircases,refurbishments,free drinks,useless consultants,cover ups……

Let’s just hope the new carpet is bullshit resistant.