Purdah Most Foul

Smile for the CAMRA (geddit?). The peerless,the fearless and the beerless (that's St.Frank obviously).

Smile for the CAMRA (geddit?). The peerless,the fearless and the beerless (that’s St.Frank obviously).

Wirral Council has just issued a “Statement of Persons Nominated” for the local elections to be held on 22nd May and therefore it was Verity’s task to wade through the nominations looking for any interesting developments.

Whilst there was wry amusement to be had that Rock Ferry Green Party candidate Karl Cumings was proposed by the appropriately named Ivy Woods a more interesting revelation was the absence of Cllr Simon Mountney’s nomination for the Saughall Massie ward.

Of course we all know Cllr.Mountney for being the Councillor who put his reputation on the line to valiantly support whistleblower Martin Morton (indeed we understand that he had to face some opposition within his own party for his stance let alone from the opposition benches.)

Now we don’t know Cllr.Mountney’s reason for withdrawing from the Town Hall cesspit but we’d like to wish him well in his future endeavours and if he’d like to give us the lowdown on what went on behind the scenes we can be contacted at wirralleaks@gmail.com

And so we now find ourselves in the middle of Purdah –  the pre-election period  between an announced election and the final election results. Purdah in local government ends at the annual meeting of the council in the new municipal year. For local elections, the activities of local authorities in the pre-election period are governed by the Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity, which is issued as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1986 which read :

Elections, referendums and petitions

41. The period between the notice of an election and the election itself should preclude proactive publicity in all its forms of candidates and other politicians involved directly in the election. Publicity should not deal with controversial issues or report views, proposals or recommendations in such a way that identifies them with individual members or groups of members. However, it is acceptable for the authority to respond in appropriate circumstances to events and legitimate service enquiries provided that their answers are factual and not party political. Members holding key political or civic positions should be able to comment in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member level response to an important event outside the authority’s control. Proactive events arranged in this period should not involve members likely to be standing for election

So all and all this is an interesting time on the local political scene as we note @frankfieldteam suddenly return to Twitter after a 10 month hiatus.In other words an eager to please intern gets to tweet on behalf of St.Frank during Purdah .

However we note the following tweet posted on April 3rd  by @frankfieldteam which rather gives the game away has since been deleted:

“Pleased to announce we are reopening our Twitter account. Much more to follow over the coming days and weeks…”

So over the “coming days and weeks” we can expect more opportunistic and cynical pics from a local MP who makes Esther McVague appear to be a rank amateur when it comes to “realpolitik”.

Of course those who follow local politics (and unfortunately for democracy there appears to be very few on Wirral ) something similar happened at the last local elections when St.Frank’s bezzy Cllr.Jean Stapleton was under threat in the local elections from Pat Cleary from the Green Party.

And so it would appear that this time that Brian Kenny will be the fortunate beneficiary of “The Frank Field Effect”.

Finally we’d like to draw your attention (geddit?) to the fact that Purdah  comes from the Persian word “pardeh” meaning “curtains”, referring to the status of women hidden from the world of men.


All we can say is that we wish it was “curtains” for some prominent local politicians who are not facing re-election this time round and not the likes of Councillor Mountney……..

The Long Road to Freedom Of Information – A Wirral Leaks Exclusive!


We have previously reported on Wirral Council’s woeful record when it comes to responding to Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests

Indeed we referenced a statement by UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham who said that “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.”
Consequently Wirral Council was subject to 2 monitoring periods by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who enforced further humiliation by making the Council make a public undertaking to improve their handling of FOI requests .

That’s if you count Super-Duper Director Joe Blott mumbling something under his breath with his fingers crossed behind his back qualifying as a public undertaking anyway.All we can say is that it’s lucky for Wirral Council that the ICO are about as impotent as a eunuch after a six pack of Special Brew

So how is Wirral Council been shaping up? Well according to a self-congratulatory Scrutiny Review Report published last week they think they are doing splendidly.Bless.

Although we think it’s a case of self praise being no praise at all especially when the Council is  congratulating itself on actually complying with the law ( well most of the time anyway!)

Of course a closer examination of the claims made in the report can be found on the ever informative blog written by John Brace which includes details of 39 ICO Decision Notices where disgruntled members of the public have been unhappy with their FOI response from Wirral Counil (39! – count’ em and weep)

However we were particularly drawn to the details in the report which read :

“In terms of the volume of Freedom of Information requests made to Wirral Borough Council, a benchmarking exercise was carried out against a number of similar sized local authorities to see if there were any consistencies. The benchmarked local authorities were derived from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, based on numbers of constituents. The results of the exercise are included below.

From the results of the exercise, The Panel was assured that in terms of volume received, Wirral Borough Council was not receiving significantly more or less requests than the comparable local authorities, with the average number of requests coming in as 1073. Wirral Borough Council received 1082 requests in the 2012/13 financial year which is around the average amount received for all eight local authorities benchmarked.”

This evidentially counters Frankenfield’s paranoid bleatings on Tony Snell’s Radio Merseyside programme that there was a co-ordinated attempt to destabilise the part of the council handling FOI requests.

A further point we’d like to make is what’s the point in an answering an FOI request within the 20 day legal timeframe when the response says you can’t have the information you want anyway  – it would be interesting to have analysis of time spent looking for reasons not to provide information than actually providing it and the number of times the ICO rule in favour of disclosing the information only for Wirral Council to move the goalposts and try another exemption after the first one failed!

Ironically in the week that this report was published Wirral Council received yet another gentle slap on the wrist from the ICOLocal Government Lawyer website reports:“Two local authorities have given undertakings to the Information Commissioner’s Office after breaches of the Data Protection Act in relation to social services records.In the first case Wokingham Borough Council lost records relating to the care of a young child. In the second, Wirral Borough Council twice sent social services records to wrong addresses.”

It was once more up to Super-Duper Director Blott to admit to the breaches of the Data Protection Act telling the Wirral Globe :

“We take these matters very seriously… As soon as we discovered the errors , we self-referred to the ICO and took immediate steps to discover what went wrong, and make sure we do what is necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again…..”


However it was after reading this particular news report that a dedicated Wirral Leaks follower contacted us to report that they too had received confidential information that was sent to their address but was meant for someone else.

—–Original Message—–
Subject: Correspondence Sent In Error

Dear ,

A letter was delivered to my address on Friday 24th June. My partner
opened it thinking it was for me, only to find it was meant for a Mr A. The letter was addressed to my address……..

Obviously, this letter has been wrongly addressed, and I was not meant
to receive it, I will return it to you in the post.

I am, however, very concerned that such a highly confidential letter
could have been sent to me in error.

Our source received the following response from a senior officer of Wirral Council :

The letter was incorrectly addressed, for which I apologise. It should
not have happened.

Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

Imagine our source’s surprise when they realised the significance of the Data Protection Act breach when the intended recipient’s named turned up in the local press in relation to the notorious 4 week delay scandal.

It is not known whether a) The person for whom the highly confidential letter was intended for was ever informed about this breach and b) Whether the incident was ever reported to the ICO.

Perhaps someone would like to make Freedom of Information Act/Data Subject Access request to find out!

Esther’s Easter Message – “Opportunism Knocks…”

The Esther Bunny

The Esther Bunny

We mentioned the political opportunism and frankly the sheer desperation in our commentary of Esther McVague’s frantic electioneering (or more likely , her agents) during the Hillsborough Memorial. SEE HERE

However we suggest that the shy and retiring Ms.McVague has an inglorious record of political opportunism. Witness her appeal to Dyno Rod Dave at Prime Ministers Question Time following the publication of the “shocking” (her words) Independent Review of Wirral Council undertaken by “Anna Klewinski” (who she?) and published in 2012 which investigated claims made by Whistleblower “Martin Morton (& Others)” – we always wondered who these “others” were by the way.

As you can see McVague implores the PM to make “sure those responsible are brought to account and never work in adult social services again”.
Dyno Rod Dave mutters something about a “very serious matter” and says he’ll get some bigwig in Department of Health to speak to Our Esther. So how did that go?  Perhaps the newly appointed Right Honourable One can clarify for us.

Was anyone ever brought to account?   Were those responsible prevented from working in adult social services ever again? Our understanding is that Wirral Council made considerable pay-offs to Council staff  implicated in the Independent Review’s findings and still rigorously protect their anonymity. We also understand that  a manager of one of the dubious “care” companies, who were once again anonymised in the Independent Review , actually went on to win an award at the North West Care Awards in 2012!.
We believe that the company that he managed had links to an organised crime group and were involved in the infamous “baseball bats” saga.
So much for being brought to account!

What’s more soon after this impassioned speech McVague was made Minister for the Disabled – as they say it’s an ill wind…..

Meanwhile, as far as we understand, Mr.Morton remains out of work. We’re not sure about the “others.”  We presume their anonymity saved them from a fate worse than Morton.

Under the circumstances is it any wonder that McVey’s opportunism is further called into question as displayed here in the this submission from a valued Wirral Leaks contributor:

“Esther McVey’s insensitivity on the timing of her ‘Hillsborough’
tweet should not be a surprise. After all as Disability Minister
her job was to denigrate and punish the sick and disabled
along side Iain Duncan Smith. Her reward was to be promoted
to Employment Minister and to hand out the same sanctions
to the unemployable. I sent her and the other monsters an
‘Easter Greeting’ which you might like.
To: <officeofesthermcveymp@parliament.uk>

Ms McVey given your excellent work as disability minister and now
employment minister I thought you should share the ‘Easter card’
which I sent to your boss, Iain.

    P.S. it has gone out to several disability activist sites who I trust
    will find a use for it in future protests. It went down well at the
    Birkenhead ATOS demo.”

No wonder McVague beat a hasty retreat during her recent visit to Ingeus offices next to Hamilton Square station. Ingeus are an organisation helping unemployed people back into work and are situated adjacent to Remploy – an organisation helping disabled people access work with whom she has an acrimonious history. SEE HERE

Eggs-cellent work Esther!


Cowboys and Indians


We would like to thank the delightfully, if implausibly named Scarlett Impernell  for copying us into correspondence sent to Wirral Council Chief Executive Comrade Burgesski which reads:

” To : Mr Burgess Chief Exec

At a recent meeting of Community Patrol I was also deeply offended by Manager X’s racist references to Indians identyfying them as the bad guys. He made comments such as

“we need to keep the Indians at bay”
” The Indians are circling”
” The Indians are out there, over the hill waiting !”

This is not acceptable from anyone, let alone a man in his position. Strangely the council Hate Crime manager was sat next to him. He may think its just a harmless saying but if you were a Native American, from India, or genuinely believed in equality you would find these sort of comments extremely offensive.

You will not be surprised that I am sending this anonysmously. The reasons for this are obvious. You will not take it seriously and then I will be hunted down like others who don’t toe the party line.”

Obviously it’s not our place to comment on allegations of casual racism and/or toe-curlingly crass  management speak that belongs to another period in time ….the Neanderthal period to be precise.

However our particular interest lies in the fact that Manager X  features in our extensive archive. And therefore we think Scarlett is very wise to remain anonymous as based on what we know   –  a) they won’t be taken seriously and b) they will be hunted down.

We know this from the case where Manager X  failed to properly address allegations about serial bullies targeting staff raising genuine concerns.This series of events inevitably followed the Wirral Council time honored tradition where someone’s career is destroyed and the bullies and enablers carry on topping up their pension pots.

And so demonstrating once again that Wirral leaks has a better grasp of public service than Wirral Council we proudly present a Wirral Leaks special cut out and keep “Lessons to be Learned” for Wirral Council ( the latest in a seemingly never ending series….).

* If staff operate in a culture of fear they will seek alternative outlets for their complaints/grievances/concerns
* If staff have no trust and confidence in managers listening to them they will seek alternative outlets for their complaints/grievances/concerns
* If staff have no trust in internal processes or investigations they will seek alternative outlets for their complaints/grievances/concerns

It’s just occurred to us here that if you add in casual racial slurs we could be talking about Wirralgate!

Happy Easter

Electioneering For Amateurs

And so the electioneering silly season starts with Wirral West MP Esther McVague tweeting: ” Wirral Labour can’t be trusted” during the Hillsborough Memorial.
Right message – terrible,terrible timing.

But then Wirral Tories can’t be trusted either. Pity the poor people of Wirral , who in the forthcoming local elections , seem to have the choice between cynical,manipulative political opportunists or ,er…cynical ,manipulative,political opportunists.

Meanwhile Power Boy Pip Davies stood solemnly on the Town Hall steps and spoke about the ” deceitful and outrageous” events surrounding the Hillsborough tragedy.
Hoping that “truth will be revealed” and adding ” with this truth must come justice”.

Justice? , really Pip?, seriously?

Truth, justice and accountability are alien concepts to Wirral Council.

We can’t help feeling that the Hillsborough Memorial and the people of Wirral deserve so much better



“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Following the tragic circumstances which led to the postponement of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee meeting it reconvened last week at Birkenhead Town Hall.The first observation of our Wirral Leaks correspondent was the mesmerising optical illusion of a united front featuring Wirral Council’s Director of Law Surjit Tour,Councillor George Davies and Birkenhead MP Frank Field!!! (see above)

Whilst our correspondent squirmed in their seat it was business unusual for the Town hall triumvirate with St.Frank controlling the show presiding over a mockery of democracy – doling out a few quid for no doubt worthy endeavours but it still felt very much like a politburo-led exercise in smoke and mirrors.As Wirral Leaks followers will already know our particular interest in this meeting arose from our concerns raised in last months blog- CLICK HERE

where we wrote : “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 ….”

The agenda item for the Birkenhead “community newspaper” said this:”Partner Contributions/Provider:  The pilot editions will be produced in partnership with Lairdside Together.They are a Birkenhead-based organisation;established as a Community Development Trust in 1996 with objectives to promote, support and deliver regeneration, wealth, prosperity and economic well-being. They are providing the editorial element of production at a discounted rate and they will recruit and manage the apprenticeship role….”

And so in inimitable Wirral Leaks style we thought we’d do a little research about Lairdside Together…..
And what do you know – who are the first two names who appear listed as Company Directors ????

Poof! as if by magic up pop the names of Rock Ferry Labour Councillor Christine Meaden and Councillor Phillip Leslie Davies…….aka Wirral Council leader Power Boy Pip – CLICK HERE

Although Councillor Meaden spoke during this agenda item our correspondent couldn’t recall any declarations of interest from either Councillor!

So much for open and transparent!

Under the circumstances we are not reassured by peachy keen Birkenhead Constituency Manager Dawn Tolcher’s declaration that the content of the propaganda sheet will be monitored by an editorial board to ensure that it “is non political and it’s what people want to read”

Our undercover correspondent was not in a position to respond to this disingenuous statement at the time so we’ll do it for them:



Whatever Foulkesy Wants Foulkesy Gets?


“Recline yourself, resign yourself, you’re through
I always get what I aim for…..” (Whatever Lola Wants)

Ullo Foulksey got a new motor?

They’re certainly pulling out all the stops for Foulkesy’s Mayoral reign at Wirral Council aren’t they?  Firstly news arrives that he has a new motor  – a shiny new silver/blue Vauxhall Insignia replacing the Jag.

However it is with a wry smile we note the comments of David Armstrong ,a Director of Something or Other, who’s main role seems to be making press statements so that none of the flak gets back to Burgesski. Armstrong pre-empts any criticism of the purchasing of a brand new vehicle just before Foulksey’s triumphant ascendancy to first citizenry by emphasising Wirral’s proximity to Vauxhall motors in Ellesmere Port and claiming that Council vehicles are “replaced on the basis of age,condition and reliability.”

We think they should have stuck with the Jag  – as frankly we think Foulksey is well suited to a clapped out guzzler that’s no longer fit for purpose.


Secondly one would assume that Wallasey Town Hall having had an expensive makeover would be fit for a  Mayor making ceremony.

However we understand that the sickening,sorry … glittering event will break with Council tradition and be held at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion.

The questions have to be asked as to why there has been a change in this tradition? who’s idea was it ? and who is picking up the tab for the new venue when Wallasey Town Hall would have been free?

We can only assume that one long-running Wirral Council tradition remains intact as like a low rent Lola it would seem  “whatever Foulksey wants Foulksey gets”  …….well, almost whatever he wants anyway!

King Midas In Reverse


So how’s that “Improvement Journey” going for you Supreme Leader Pip ?
It would seem that having hoodwinked Joycie and the Local Government Association lackeys who presided over the toothless Improvement Board with a pie chart,an action plan and a donation to the LGA fighting fund ( fighting for the right to sustain the self serving status quo) it would appear that its very much back to business unusual at Wirral Council.

However it would appear that  Power Boy Pip and Comrade Burgesski , surely the most calamitous double act since Sodom & Gomorrah, carry on oblivious to reality and in today’s Guardian’s “Public Leaders Network” ( a platform whereby Council leaders nominate themselves to talk propagandist bollocks – and not as they’d like it to appear, a news item in the actual newspaper)  they provide a Stalinist rewriting of history that is a masterclass in revisionist bullshit. The deeply troubling events which led to their respective appointments fails to get a mention. As her Ladyship said : ” I suspect that only the Dulux sheepdog has witnessed more gloss” – SEE HERE

Meanwhile back in the real world the “excessive secrecy” ,”corrosive culture” and “bureaucratic machinations” appear to be back with a vengeance. Below are a selection of quotes from ongoing cases which make it seem like the optimistically titled “Independent Review – Refresh & Renew” never happened (which of course if you listen to Pip & Burgesski  it never did).
Forked Tongues & Fernbank Farm

Carolyn Thomson a member of the Fernbank Farm campaign group contacted Wirral Leaks to ask: “Speaking as a member of fernbank farm, we have had no word from the council about their proposed site of where they will re home us, they have gone quiet again , are they ignoring us yet again. Although they have said that they will find us somewhere the equivalent or better I suspect that they won’t find us anywhere at all and we shall be stableless, after our dealings with them I find it hard to trust anything they say, we have heard nothing from them since the court case in February. Does anyone know what’s going on?”

Led Up Hill and Down Lyndale

Parent Governor Emma Leadbetter commenting on the consultation process about Wirral Council being “minded” to close Lyndale School :
“We have sat and read the consultation document – it’s all about funding and capital.We think it’s quite misleading.The openness and transparency we were promised has been taken away from the parents…”  See HERE

Field of “In Your Dreams”

Ingleborough Road memorial field campaigners complain about the failure of the Council to publish a secret report despite a tribunal ruling telling them they should do so in accordance with Freedom Of Information Act. A spokesman for the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys’ group said :“There is no justification for the council to drag its heels, especially when it has given previous assurances to the Information Commissioner that it will improve its performance in dealing with Freedom of Information inquiries.SEE HERE

James Of A Thousand Days (& Counting)

James Griffiths reminds us that it is over a thousand days since he and Nigel Hobro whistleblew to the Council about exactly what we may never know – as we are still awaiting the publication of the reports investigating their myriad concerns about the Council’s financial arrangements with outside bodies staffed with insiders:

“Is that the DCLG Report into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods Reports that Phil the Dill is sitting on?.No it is the Grant Thornton Report they are still grovelling to the DCLG (Department of Communities & Local Government).We know we have lessons to learn blah! blah! blah! to quote the next Mayor. I’d like a dollar for every time he has said that at the Fudgit and Risk It Committee Meetings….”

On a lighter note Mr.Hobro informs us that some of the funny money involved was spent on “Parrot Studies & Behaviour” (no you really couldn’t make this shit up). Could this be for the Council power elite to learn how to “parrot” the well known phrases – “No case to answer” , ” Moving Forward” and “Lessons Have Been Learned” ?

In consideration of all the above might we suggest that if Power Boy Pip truly wants to improve Wirral Council he needs to take a leaf out of Tranmere Rovers book and act swiftly and decisively at the first suggestion of misconduct and if proven start sacking some people.

Readers will recall our Curse of Pip article where Pip and Ronnie Moore met up at a PR event at Wallasey Town Hall  – SEE HERE   where we reported on Rover’s boss’s suspension.

Now considering some of the shady shenanigans that have gone on with Wirral Council staff and Councillors Moore must feel hard done by that he’s lost the managers job at Prenton Park for admitting to betting irregularities .

If he worked for the Council no doubt it would have been no case to answer ,a biq cheque and an untarnished reputation. Of course the ultimate test of Pip’s glorious new regime is how he intends to handle the Wirralgate affair before the shit really hits the fan.

Having already not acted swiftly and decisively when he first heard the tapes we presume it will be a case of back to what Wirral Council knows best – cover up,delay and,denial (see above)…….

And so in Honour of Power Boy Pip, and to herald a new dawn we give you a possible suggestion for the  “Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Chairpersons Theme Song”

“He’s not the man to hold your trust
Everything he touches turns to dust
In his hands
Nothing he can do is right
He’d even like to sleep at night
But he can’t …..”

Ministry of Public Enlightenment & Propaganda


Even considering  we had a  7 month start on Power Boy Pip’s Leader’s Blog it is clear from the 151,000 + hits that Wirral Leaks has had compared (since moving from Tumblr to wordpress)  to his 8,000 , it would appear that the Head of Community Engagement & Communications needs to start earning their £84,000 per annum salary ( plus, er, “bonuses” ). With all the pre-determined consultations, bogus surveys and approval of Freedom Of Information responses it would appear that somewhere along the line the propaganda war is clearly being lost.

As with Goebbels’ original concept   –  The Ministry of Public Enlightenment & Propaganda –  the Leaders blog seems to be an attempt to develop a cult of personality – only without the personality.

For those yet to sample the riveting delights of the Leaders Blog it goes something like this :

” Hi , er , friends and  citizens of Wirral –   everything is thrusting and dynamic here on the golf peninsula  – have I told you about the exciting development on Wirral Waters?.Well , just for now ,instead of thrusting and dynamic skyscrapers we’ve planted some trees. No ,honestly, everything is going to plan, just a few diplomatic hitches to iron out and we’re good to go . Meanwhile I have single handedly turned the Council  into a streamlined thrusting and dynamic organisation ( “you’ve already said thrusting and dynamic” – Head of Community Engagement & Communications)- Oh and have I mentioned the golf? yes there’s a golf tournament where somebody wins a jolly big cheque and a silver trophy and we get to hang out around the hospitality tents pretending to be important…..er and , anything else?…. (  “No! – best not mention the forthcoming Mayor ceremony” – Head of Community Engagement & Communications ).”

Or there’s pictures of Pip doing his “I care  – I’m approachable – I’m not bored,really “ routine with some Modern Apprentice who’s been dragged away from Youtube and asked to grin for the cameras whilst Pip reports :

” Here I am in the busy,busy Legal Department where they do awfully clever legal stuff involving laws and organising cover ups and not renewing leases.Next week I’ll be in Human Resources where apparently they do stuff with humans –  indeed it’s very important that the 23 remaining staff we have working for the Council are paid a living wage and feel supported during this difficult time because if the 23 staff weren’t doing the work of 300 we’d be well and truly stuffed.

I hope to soon drop in on the Finance Department and cheque out (geddit!) whether there’s enough money in the kitty for Burgesski’s antique crystal chandelier to light his throne room (the lavatory to you and I.) No doubt I will jest with my Comrade that in such financially constrained times it is perhaps inappropriate to spend public money on such fripperies….but we both know I can’t bear to see him looking like a sad emoticon so I’ll probably give in like I always do….”

Wirral Leaks Disclaimer :  We defer to Justice Saunders and his deliberations on coverage of the Hacking Trial in relation the internet and Private Eye Magazine  ( November 2013): “It is meant to be satire. You ignore it; it has no serious input and it is not relevant to your considerations. It is one of those things that you will have to ignore, a joke that in the circumstances of today is a joke in exceptionally bad taste…”

And accordingly we humbly suggest to Wirral Council that any further claims of “hurt feelings” should be considered in this context.

Handbags At Dawn On Animal Farm


So as Mayor Joe runs away squealing like a stuck pig threatening to take the city of Liverpool with him we seem to have a City Region Combined Authority in search of a city.  We mentioned the other day that the (Liverpool) City Region Combined Authority debacle reminded us of a non- anthropomorphic version of  George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

That analogy seems even more apt today with Mayor Joe taking the “Napoleon” role  –  the pig described in Orwell’s novel  as “a large, rather fierce-looking  Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way”

Enter stage left (pun intended) we have “Snowball” played by Power Boy Pip Davies – Napoleon’s porcine rival and the original head of Animal Farm. Then throwing themselves into the pig pen (or should that be play pen) is “Squealer” or Leader of St.Helens Council Barrie Grunewald as he is better known , who squeals at Napoleon (Mayor Joe) to “stop playing silly games”


Meanwhile the City Region Animal Farm acrimoniously descends into anarchy whilst a bemused and bewildered public look on thinking  a) aren’t all these Labour Council “leaders” supposed to be on the same side ? and b) these people are supposed to be running a so-called Super -Council responsible for billions of pounds of public money?

Local Government Overlord Eric Pickles must be in his Whitehall office having more than a few belly laughs,  dunking his digestives in his Yorkshire Tea and thinking to himself that this mob on Merseyside couldn’t organise a bunfight in a bakery.

We understand why Mayor Joe has been receiving a lot of flak for his childish ,churlish behaviour which seems unbecoming for someone who harbours lofty political ambitions. However , his claims of clandestine meetings and dirty deals done behind closed doors would certainly come as no surprise to those of us familiar with the ongoing “bureaucratic machinations” which have plagued Wirral Council over recent years.

However, bizarrely given whats been happening under Power Boy Pips watch of late,  Liverpool Echo reporter Marc Waddington claims he is a safe pair hands  – SEE HERE

In his filmed commentary Marc says :  “Phil is a very capable politician and has smoothed the troubled waters on Wirral…”   ERM REALLY ?

Perhaps the most telling insight into Phil came via a comment on the Wirral Globe webiste :

“Phil Davies comes across as the sort of individual who gets out of bed in the morning and stands on an upturned plug. Then, while hopping around in agony, stands on a rake which flips up and knocks him out. And then when he finally comes round, declares: “Doing nothing is not an option.” For the zillionth time.
He’d be better off staying in bed.”

Now we know that until fairly recently Wirral could have been a foreign country as far as the Liverpool Echo was concerned , so perhaps they won’t be quite as familiar with the local political scene as we are at Leaky Towers.

Therefore we’d like to advise that beneath the apparent smooth waters there are dangerous undercurrents which may well yet turn into a political tsunami………