At first we didn’t know quite what to make of the Local Government Association (LGA) report titled ” Self-Serving or Self-Centred?” (or something like that anyway). It was recently published without any fanfare, no doubt in the hope was that it would pass under the radar without any further comment. This is especially surprising as Wirral Council is described as a “success” story. SEE HERE
Thankfully it was picked up by Wirral Globe who reveal how startlingly close that Wirral Council came to being taken over by government commissioners just like that other local government basket case Doncaster Council. SEE HERE
We also note from the Globe article that veteran whistleblower Morton still hasn’t run out of breath (oh how the Council must wish that gag was tied a bit tighter so that he was permanently deprived of oxygen).
What troubles us here at Leaky Towers is not so much the revelation about the Council near- takeover by outsiders but the bullshit industry that seems to have flourished in the wake of abject failure and the Council’s so-called “turnaround”. Talking of which does anybody know what happened to the Council’s topnotch “Turnaround Team”?.
From reading the report we have a sense of a group of consultants performing a PR exercise on behalf of the LGA with the message :
“Don’t send in commissioners to a Council in crisis , send in the crack LGA team and based on no evidence whatsoever they’ll pretend everything’s tickety-boo in no time. Their competitive daily rate includes their own “no case to answer” rubber stamp and an unparalleled collection of patronising platitudes such as “you’re doing jolly well – now keep it up chaps and chapesses”
The authors of this LGA promotional pamphlet concludes that : “We have already recorded that after close to two years, Wirral has made a significant recovery. Although our brief is not to conduct a detailed evaluation, there was a consistency and honesty in the interviews that gives us confidence in reaching this conclusion.”
This conclusion of course flies in the face of the evidence that we report week in,week out on this blog that Wirral Council has not returned to anything like resembling normality. It appears the fanciful conclusion was reached by interviewing no-doubt handpicked “stakeholders” guaranteed to be “on message”.
We can only assume the responses went something like this:
” The constant threat of redundancy ensures I keep my nose to the grindstone and say whatever I’m told to say to visiting consultants…”
” Power Boy Pip visited our office the other day.I felt as though I was in the presence of greatness and he left me feeling treasured and with a warm fuzzy glow .”
” I’m just so grateful I longer have to manage a team as they’ve all been made redundant…being a team player is so much easier when you’re the only one in the team”
” My working conditions have improved for the better now that I know that in the unfortunate event of a fire I can waltz town the shiny new staircase like a fairytale princess”.
Meanwhile back in the real world and not the LGA – fantasy version we have further examples that seems to indicate that the basket case’s return to full recovery may be somewhat premature.
This proposal was meant to lead to sharing services with the 2 Cheshire Councils – which of course was promptly ditched when Power Boy Pip espied a more compatible and prestigious hook-up with the Peoples Republic of Merseyside. SEE HERE
Meanwhile more pungent example of continuing concern about how the Council conducts it’s business arrives in the form of a Brown Bin.
Apparently those experiencing delay in receiving their garden waste tag have been advised that because of the backlog of applications BIFFA have been told to empty all garden waste bins ( even if people have not paid) for the first collection in June! This apparently is because the Council doesn’t have enough staff to handle the applications due to cutbacks in Streetscene. So Wirral Leaks advises, at the height of the grass cutting season, that everyone fills their boots and fills their brown bins……….after all it’s an ill-(smelling) wind that blows nobody some good.
We were also told that as Pest Control have had a 50% reduction in staff that if you find yourself singing: “There’s a rat in my kitchen what ‘amma gonna do” that as you are likely to wait another 2 weeks for any assistance. This is unfortunate as when Wirral Council are deemed to be a “success” many people automatically smell a rat !……