Question : What’s the difference between “leader” (lol) of Wirral Council Phil” Power Boy Pip” Davies and a supermarket trolley? Answer : A supermarket trolley has a mind of it’s own !
Accordingly our so-called “Leader with Special Powers” has decided to further line the pockets of external consultants Penna and LGA from a seemingly bottomless pit of public money. This time it’s to give advice on the appointment of a new Chief Executive to follow in the footsteps of Comrade ” I’m a non-entity get me out of here” Burgesski.
This week saw the unedifying spectacle of an Employment and Appointments Committee where nodding dog Labour deputies Cllr Ann “McCrackers” McLachlan and Gorgeous George “Downfall” Davies fearlessly backed Pip in his mission to attract a top-notch Chief Executive on a top-whack salary.
“We need a reality check and get in the real world” implored Cllr McLachlan , somehow managing to keep a straight face as she endorsed a £175,000 golden hello for another doubtless self-serving shyster.
Let’s face it whoever they appoint to the top job their task is to simply make people redundant and close down public services and take the flak whilst Pip blames the Tories (whilst failing to mention that if they are elected at the next General Election Labour intend to carry on regardless with the self-same “austerity measures!” ……..)
Indeed a quick glance at the Penna website tells you everything you need to know about what kind of candidate Wirral Council are looking for:
“Enhanced efficiency and seeking to do more with less in the face of ever growing demands and more exacting financial pressures whilst trying to maintain the current welfare state benefits means that current paradigms need to shift. In the current economic climate there is increasing pressure for public services to run efficiently. Driving forward public sector reform will help the UK emerge stronger and faster from the global downturn. Learning from those already making efficiency savings is the next challenge for public services”
Which translates as : ” Yes we love public services so much we decided to work in the private sector and make lots of money advising public servants to hire people like us”…..which makes us at Leaky towers want to tell Penna where exactly they can shift their bloody paradigm.
And as for the LGA ( L’Oreal Government Services – ” Because we’re worth it…”)
Haven’t the people of Wirral paid you lot enough already – and for what exactly?
We noticed that both consultants still failed to point out in their unconvincing deliberations that a) there is a particular perk that the past three Chief Executives have enjoyed and b) whosoever does take the job the first criteria must surely be whether they meet Frankenfield’s approval ….
So finally our advice to prospective candidates is that it might be wise to check out Wirral Leaks to know exactly what they’re really letting themselves in for before considering how they intend to spend their miserly £14,500 A MONTH paycheck……..
Where Wirral Leaks lead the local moribund politicos and commentators are sure to follow ( evidenced by Frankenfield recently making the fatal mistake of giving us public acknowledgment when frankly(!) we never sought it and especially from a clapped -out desperado like him. )
The latest manifestation of “The Wirral Leaks Effect” are the pleas for a homegrown Chief Executive to replace another clapped out desperado – Comrade Burgesski
The need to have someone in a position of power who actually gives a shit (and we don’t mean dog shit ) about Wirral rather than using their appointment as a means to fund their executive lifestyle far from the dereliction, decay and despair of some parts of the peninsula is something we’ve commented on frequently.
And yes we’re talking about former social services director John ” Curly Watts” Webb and former Chief Executive Steve ” Mad Dog” Maddox here – both of whom were not averse to disparaging the people of Wirral but were quite happy to take their hard earned money off them before sodding off to leafy Cheshire.
However we’d like to take this even further and daringly suggest (deep breath)……How about a Chief Executive of the female persuasion?
I know ! Rad- Fem or what?
We suggest this – not in an equal opportunities tickbox kind of way (although Lord knows it’s the only explanation for some of Wirral Council’s most senior appointments) but as a means of challenging Wirral Council’s macho culture.
From what we know of the Wirral Council Chief Officers meeting it’s like the cast list of “The Expendables” – testosterone -fuelled phonies in pursuit of a big pay cheque.
The irony being is that these all talk and no-action heroes think everyone who works for Wirral Council is expendable except for them ! ( including the formerly favoured one who seems to have more gardening leave than Alan Titchmarsh on a sabbatical in Ness Gardens).
Wirral Council’s record of appointing women to high office is absolutely woeful and we think goes some way to explaining the gung ho bullying culture which has plagued the council for many years. There has never been a female chief executive and women directors you can count on the one hand ( “Yeah Abu Hamza’s …” drawled Her Ladyship)…… Under the circumstances we’re not surprised that the current most senior female officer has even been wavering about going lately – and no we don’t mean that one ….she just thinks she’s the most senior ranking female officer…..
What’s more we think that an added bonus for the people of Wirral is that a female Chief Executive might be more inclined to keep her mind on serving the people of Wirral and not be distracted from the job in hand by the nearby fluttering of eyelashes………
Imagine our delight at Leaky Towers when we discovered that last week’s Wirral News had not one,not two,not three but FOUR photos of Mayor Foulkesy .
This included the portrait attached to his yawn-inducing weekly column ,where for some strange reason , the Mayor’s Ball at Thornton Hall Hotel barely warranted a mention.
Can’t think why can you ?!……..
However we have to say that another highlight of the mayoral year has sadly not been reported locally.
This particular auspicious event was the Mayor and Mayoress’s attendance at a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in June just after Foulkesy’s triumphant inauguration.
Of course we don’t expect Foulksey to have the insight to question the savage irony of attending a Royal Garden Party and posting pictures on social networks of exclusive dining at Roux Parliament Square whilst at the same time championing foodbanks for the poor back on Wirral ……. well certainly not when there’s fawning and forelock tugging to be done and a day out in that there London impressing his fiancee.
Up until now we have been left to wonder as to what went on in the grounds of Buck House on that fateful day until our royal correspondent Si Coffant belatedly posted this eyewitness report:
Mayor Foulkesy and Mayoress,the Lovely Elaine were at the finger buffet when Foulksey dug his consort in the ribs and whispered: ” Hey Lainey isn’t that the one off the stamps and the coins and the telly on Christmas Day?…”
(The Lovely Elaine was preoccupied with a gobful of vol-au-vent but managed to nod in confirmation.) Foulkesy with his plate overloaded with fancy canapes bounded over the palace lawn,neatly dodging the corgis whilst rapidly being pursued by his consort:
Foulkesy : Hey! how ya diddlin’ Queen?.I’ve always wanted to say that ‘cos it’s funny as you is de actual Queen? Gerritt?!
Her Majesty: Yes,most amusing I’m sure…er,have you come far?
Foulkesy : Deffo – our Council Leader Pip Lad says I’m an inspiration as I rose from humble origins to be Mayor and first citizen of Wirral.
Her Majesty : Wirral? Do tell me- where is that exactly ? Is it part of the Commonwealth?
Foulkesy: More common than wealth ma’am
Her Majesty : So I see ….and yes I seem to have a faint recollection of Prince Philip and I receiving an apology from a Wirral Councillor by the name of let me see (rummages in handbag for letter ) Ah yes ,here it is … a Councillor by the name of Janette Willliamson who I understand made a rather vulgar and disrespectful remark about my dear husband ….. her apology reads as follows: “I would like to make a full and unreserved apology for my comments on Twitter.I appreciate the tone and content of the messages was completely inappropriate and would like to say sorry for any offence caused.I feel I have let myself and the Labour Party down and promise to learn from my mistake….”
Foulkesy: She was only jokin’ ya , your Maj – it’s just our cheeky northern humour …(rapidly changing subject) …..Anyway can I introduce you to me judy,only she’s not called Judy it’s da lovely Elaine
Her Majesty: Charmed I’m sure….and how did you meet?
Foulkesy: (rapidly changing subject again ) …. er,love da butties ma’am.Did ya make ’em yerself?.Dead posh…….look Lainey – no crusts
Her Majesty : No I have a man that makes all the necessary arrangements
Foulkesy : So do I – ‘is name’s George
Her Majesty : How delightful that’s the same name as my new great -grandson.
Foulkesy : Yeah and the similarities don’t end there Queen – our George is equally privileged, protected and always in da papers too.
The Lovely Elaine: Love your frock… is it from Marksy’s?
Her Majesty : (coughs)…It’s been a pleasure.However one must move on to meet one’s other guests (whispers to Lady In Waiting) …..call security.
And on a final note can we add that this weeks Mayor’s Diary throws up another cruel irony :
18th November 9.25 am – The Mayor will open Wirral’s Anti Bullying Conference at the Pilgrim Street Arts Centre, Birkenhead.
As Her Ladyship said whilst shaking her head in despair : ” Dearie me it’s like getting Harold Shipman to head up Age Concern….”
So they’ve asked me to deal with some of the more downmarket elements emerging from their bulging postbag and also to add a bit of showbiz razzamatazz to proceedings at Leaky Towers….and at the moment the postbag is bulging like a consultant’s bank account ( Is that a rolled up independent report in your trousers or are you just pleased to see me ? – by the way you can gag me anytime big boy!…..but it’ll cost ya!.)
The Silver Fox & The Blonde Bombshell
And so to the surprise of absolutely nobody we hear that outgoing Wirral Council chief executive G-man Burgesski – has with indecent haste after announcing his alleged “retirement” – revealed he’s got a lucrative new gig as chairman of a newly-formed Northwest housing group called Torus. SEE HERE (gotta pay the rent somehow eh G-man? But beware property management can be a sticky business! )
Burgesski cheekily says :
“The size, scale and vision of what I have seen so far are really impressive.”
Oo – er! …we can only hope the wily old silver fox is talking about his pay cheque!…….
Joining him at the top of this ambitious Northwest network for narcissists will be Rob “Blonde Bombshell” Young – a former Assistant Housing Director at ,yes you guessed it boys and girls ,……Wirral Council! ……..“I’m really looking forward to working alongside Graham right from the start of the Torus journey.”
Yes – a journey all the way to the bank. Torus? For-Us morelike !
What A Pair of Tits!
Vapid, Vain and fake. But enough about Frank..
I understand that one-woman frocky horror show Dame Vivienne Westwood caused controversy this week by suggesting that poor people should eat less so they can afford organic food. “Let Them Eat Mung Beans” eh,Viv ? – you batty old trout.
Talking of which has my favourite local MP been whispering his usual showboating piffle in her ear? Hey Frankenfield – do they have Fairtrade tofu at the local foodbanks ?….. I’m sure you volunteer there all the time!
What a pair of tits! – and I’m not talking about Pamela Anderson.
Menage A Trois
I know that French is the langue d’amour but I’ve never been able to get my tongue round it?!!! .. 😉 However I keep coming across the phrase “Menage A Trois” in correspondence addressed to Leaky Towers…..whatever does it mean?!………..do tell !
Although Her Ladyship is partial to persuing the horoscopes in her monthly ” Stately Home and LGA Chief Executives Lifestyle” magazines and we’re not usually superstitious or mystical at Leaky Towers. However on hearing the news that the collapsing old buildings in Kings St ,Wallasey was in the ownership of Wirral Council we couldn’t help feeling that this was a portent of things to come. SEE HERE
Apparently Wirral Council had bought the buildings six years ago with “renewal” funny money and in the time-honoured council tradition work had failed to begin by the time the two buildings collapsed.
Inevitably Comrade Burgesski and housing head honcho Cllr George “Downfall” Davies issued statements praising emergency services and the council “for the speedy way the incident had been dealt with.” The fact that the buildings were left to get into a state where they could injure life and limb is blithely ignored. Fortunately it seems no-one was injured or killed or Wirral Council might have been looking at a hefty compensation claim for negligence or even a corporate manslaughter charge.
But did we expect anything different from Burgesski and Georgie ? – what a star-crossed combination that is! They’re well practised in the relentless pursuit of protecting reputations…..their own,the council ,their bezzies, their favoured courtiers ……AT ANY COST! (but if you can bring it in at just under £50K all the better !)
Which brings us back to our omens – we can feel it in our water that Burgesski and Georgie are about to bring everything falling down around them………………
‘If they are Caesars or Cromwells, they seize power for themselves. If they are spineless courtiers, uninterested in doing good yet dangerous when they seek to do harm, they go back to lay their power at their master’s feet, and help him to resume arbitrary power on condition they become his chief servants ‘– Maximilien Robespierre, 1791
Is it us or does it suddenly seem as though Wirral Council is gripped with turmoil akin to pre-revolutionary France?
Consider if you will the “Golden Shower” – the gilded elite sustained by Comrade Burgesski which has come to symbolise the excess and decadence of Wirral Council – holding court at top-notch tucked-away hostelries and pissing on the proles.
No jobs? no prospects ? no hope ? – “Let them play golf” drawls Burgesski and his courtiers and then signs another cheque of public money to get him out of a bunker dug for him by careless, feckless and clueless local politicians.
Of course we were soon onto the man once described as “the fourth most influential man in local government” ( that’s one hell of a chat up line I’m sure you agree) and identified that he was really the Emperor With No Clothes ………
However we do admit Burgesski proved to be a rich source (no pun intended) of satire – from lampooning his preening vanity in the “What Really Matters” video to his St.Vitus Dance routine at last years Improvement Board Royal Variety Show.
The man who arrived on Wirral thinking he was a shoe-in for an OBE and a nice little pension pot top up – who soon followed the path of least resistance and threw his hand in with the people who had brought Wirral Council so low in exchange for a permanent contract – only to find they were to later to turn on him when he made the suggestion that the future assistant Chief Executive should be a particularly favoured courtier.
Fear not dear readers the revolutionary spirit lives on at Leaky Towers – even in the face of the relentless photo-op phonies.We all know who they are – the ones with seemingly endless access to local media. Note how the press statements and PR stunts from certain local politicians rise exponentially with the effluence emanating from Wallasey Town Hall. The latest manifestation of this loathing by politicians for the people they are meant to serve comes in the form of the desperate and manipulative “yob culture” rhetoric we have witnessed this past week.
We can only long for the day when the so called “yobs” rise from their false consciousness and instead of terrorizing their own neighbourhoods they begin to direct their anger and frustration toward the false messiahs who fail to consider their own manifest failings when it comes to a situation where disaffected,disenfranchised and dysfunctional young people on Wirral feel they have no option but to make other people’s lives as miserable as their own.
Not so much “Yob Culture is Ruining Town” as “Mob Culture is Running Town”
When the latest cinematic masterpiece from John Brace was forwarded to us for our perusal we were very reluctant to view what on previous experience has to be the most tedious meeting on God’s earth (or whatever deity that does it for you) – The Birkenhead Constituency Committee. SEE HERE
However we were helpfully tipped the wink as to what section of the six part magnum opus would be of particular interest to us. Initially we were disappointed to see that Director of Law Sirgit Tool was missing from his usual place as the meat in the Davies sandwich ( that’s George and Pip) and was replaced by an anonymous person who seemed to be mid-nervous breakdown.
So we then fast forwarded to the bit were Frankenfield was tittering like a naughty schoolgirl at his Freudian slip as he introduced council officer David ” super -sub” Armstrong – the David Fairclough of Wirral Council -as the Acting Chief Executive of Wirral Council! Oops! ….seems to us as though someone can’t shove Comrade Burgesski down the Downton Abbey fire escape quick enough! But at least we now know who takes over when Burgesski buzzes off in his beamer!
However nothing but nothing could have prepared us for the final reel when Frankenfield grabbed a Houses of Parliament bag ( just to remind us he’s an MP and very,very important) to hand over to departing Committee Co-ordinator the beloved Dawnie whilst saying that he hoped that she’d be back after her stint with Sport England.The look in poor Dawnie’s eyes suggests she’d give Usain Bolt a run for his money when it came to running for the hills! He then uttered those immortal words : ” In case Wirral Leaks is actually recording us or anything it’s not cost a penny of public money…..”
An endorsement from Frankenfield – what more could we ask for?
However we can’t help feeling he’s made a schoolboy error by not heeding the words of his heroine Maggie Thatcher and that he should never have given us “the oxygen of publicity”……..
We understand that our first citizen had the luxury of sunning himself in Greece during the summer holidays where we imagine he re-acquainted himself with Plato’s “The Republic” – concerned as it is with truth and justice. This contemplation led us to reflect on the philosophical musings of Foulkesy himself – the inspirational leader/hardfaced schemer (depending on your standpoint. )
We’d particularly like to thank Verity for raiding the Leaky Towers archives enabling us to identify our top ten quotes from/about the Wirral wideboy, sorry, wiseguy:
1) On the Libraries Closure Debacle :
Who can forget the time when protestors angry at the closure of local libraries crammed themselves into the Civic Hall to hear Foulkesy explain why the shocking measures were necessary. Barracked loudly and taking plenty of personal abuse he nevertheless managed to bring his usual gravitas to the situation. He said: “If I was to be hit by a bus tomorrow (cheers from the gallery) there would still be the budget issues and problems for this council. People can speculate as much as they want but the fact is, the savings we wanted to make to reinvest elsewhere were not being realised and we had to consider the budget”
The fact that the closure proposals were later deemed to be unlawful by the Charteris Inquiry passes him by – as unfortunately did the bus.
2) On Becoming Mayor :
“It’s a great honour, with immense responsibility. I know I may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but I will work really hard to unite the borough. I’ve always only ever done my best for the borough and as mayor, this will be no exception. In this job I will continue to do my best for the borough.As I said in my speech, we are only a few wage packets away, or a very serious accident away, from being in a situation of crisis. There, but by the grace of God go I, ……..”
As Eldritch said: “Where is that ****ing bus?…..”
3) On Vote of No Confidence (following the publication of Independent Review report ) :
“I did some inner reflection and thought about my position – but Cllr Green made it easy for me. Clearly, mistakes have been made. What could I have done and what should I have done? These are questions that repeatedly go through my mind. I accept the criticisms made in the report. It is now time to work together with all parties and move forward.”
We have some ideas what you could have and should have done…. just go! and never darken the pages of the Wirral News again ! – We would have even have given you the bus fare ( we wouldn’t want you being accused of fare-dodging). In fact we would have doubled the fare so you could take your bezzy with you…. on a slowboat to China. Or perhaps not……judging by his comments your bezzy doesn’t seem too keen!
4) On being ousted as Leader of The Council :
“I am, by modern day standards, an old-fashioned politician. I believe that the good of the Wirral, and the good of the council, come first and political ambitions come second. I find it impossible to subscribe to the notions crossing the Atlantic that constant negative publicity either wins votes or makes the opposition voters stay home and fail to vote. These notions are increasingly popular with the Conservative party locally and, I believe, have led to the kind of poisonous politics we are seeing now which I believe are damaging to all politicians, and to the people we are elected to serve.The real danger is that constant negative publicity about Wirral, generated for political ends, will make potential investors stay away.”
Where to start with this one? – old -fashioned politician? We think you mean neanderthal. And “poisonous politics” Foulksey? – who are you kidding ? There’s a toxic crew which has set the political tone on Wirral for a quarter of a century ! Exhibit A : Cllr Harry Smith. The man who would put the offensive in a charm offensive…..Oh and by the way what will make potential investors stay away Foulkesy is your bezzy badmouthing them …capisce?
5) On the manipulation of whistleblowers :
Elaborating on his ludicrous and insulting comments he made at a previous Audit and Risk Management Committee Foulkesy shares his personal insight with Patricia Thynne for her pisspoor “Wirralgate” report :
” Some years later,Cllr Foulkes became a member of the Audit and Risk management committee. In that role he was seeking to amend the formal policy for the Council on the treatment of whistleblowers .He says he was anxious to introduce a clear prohibition against the political manipulation of whistleblowers .At the time some whistleblowers seemed to be feted and courted by some councillors whilst others were ignored.It occurred to him that the use of whistleblowers by politicians for political ends might itself constitute harm or damage that would support their claim (for) compensation from the Council.He thought that the document he had seen would provide good evidence to support his case about preventing this happening in the future.”
The hypocrisy on display here is simply breathtaking – it is our honest opinion that Foulkesy and his bezzy ( supported by Power Boy Pip and led by Frankenfield) have undoubtedly used whistleblowers for “political ends” .
We also believe the document in question was acquired to smear Clr.Jefferson Green because of the grief that Foulkesy was still getting because of the Independent Review ( aka the AKA Report) – a desperate and deeply misguided tit for tat achieved by…….. the manipulation of whistleblowers!
So tell us again Foulkesy – how exactly did you acquire that document you refer to?….And was it a good idea to hand it over to a local journalist in the vicinity of 4 (!) whistleblowers ? – Especially when those whistleblowers are all keen followers of this blog and have been a tootin’ and a whistlin’ to us about the incident ever since. Listen guys we don’t know what the document says – if we did we’d tell you!.We think you should ask a certain council manager as we undersatnd she read it whilst having a fag during the Council meeting adjournment on July 15th 2013. Might we suggest a large cheque may have clouded her recollections?
6) On “Foulkesworld” :
“Foulkesworld” was a short-lived Twitter account (oh how we miss it – written as it was by a clearly disgruntled Labour insider) which prompted this response:
“The account has clearly been set up by someone who has not got the best regard for myself.I briefly had a look at it but dismissed it very quickly.But if we find that it has a political motivation behind it, it just shows how pathetic they are. People can be reassured that it has nothing to do with Labour but it raises issues that people can seemingly get away with things like this and face no retribution.”
People getting away with “things” and facing “no retribution” ?. Anyone in mind ? – you? ,your bezzy?, any number of Council officers who’ve had pay offs to shut up and go away ? – or indeed for “hurting their feelings” ? . I think we should be told……
7) On the Martin Morton whistleblowing case:
Morton writes in response to a particularly bonkers Foulkes pronouncement : “The paragraph on the Globe website, which had me heading for the beta-blockers, read: “Cllr Foulkes said the affair had proved that anyone within the council with a complaint – ‘or a whistleblower, as the term has been used in this case’ – would have their grievances properly investigated and acted upon.”
Morton commented at the time that this quote “.. reinforced the experience repeated over the last few years of living in a parallel universe where wrong is right, bad is good and lies are truth.Had I not taken my serious concerns to the Audit Commission this matter would have been buried as deep as nuclear waste – proof positive of the catastrophic failure of Wirral Council to address my concerns.”
Foulkesy has persistently shown that he doesn’t understand the differences between “complaints” and “whistleblowing” and “grievances”. Wirral Council has 3 separate policies – he should check them out sometime. And anyway we thought the whole point of this case was that the Council hadn’t investigated and acted upon the whistleblowing allegations and Morton took them to wherever he needed to – the Audit Commission,the Care Quality Commission , the police , the press …. shame it seems that only the press were interested!.
8) On Tory Social Care cuts proposals :
“WAKE up Jeff! What’s happening in Wirral’s Care Services is not only scandalous and outrageous.It is also unnecessary and financially stupid. A staggering £13m has been taken out of Wirral’s Social Care Budget and the majority of that £13m is actually being taken out of the very services that have been used to keep overall costs down.
What was “scandalous” and “outrageous” were the things happening in Wirral’s Care Services that were covered up and those who were protected – in this case council officers and not vulnerable people. Talking of which….
9) On the retirement of social services director Kevin “Windy” Miller: (channeling John Prescott fused with Edward Lear)
“I find the attempt to make political capital in an election period out of the personal decision of an individual to take early retirement extremely distasteful and unethical. Kevin Miller, an excellent officer of the Council who will be very much missed, has made no public statement about the reasons for his decision, which was neither sudden nor unplanned for.Even if he had made any such statement, it should have remained confidential to councillors because the law protects the privacy of the individual on contract matters. It is certainly not for others to put totally speculative words or reasons in his mouth for their own political gain.Even though his motive may partly have been to protect the Director from wild accusations from the more unscrupulous members of his own party, this letter is still totally outside the boundaries of acceptable political behaviour and compromises the recognised role of a Scrutiny Committee.”
What is “distasteful” and “unethical” is the public defence of a subsequently discredited Director by his bezzy Matron McLaughlin and Foulkesy – a man who oversaw the most dysfunctional department during the Council’s most shameful period of recent history and yet he was seemingly worthy of such a public outpouring of support. It seems a shame that Miller didn’t reward this loyalty and tell Foulkesy or Matron about the multi-million pound toxic debts built up mainly on his watch or the unlawful charging or the abuse of vulnerable people by rogue social care providers.
10) On being haunted by the past:
“Strange how your past haunts you, isn’t it ?.I was just remembering how overawed I was as a child by a visit to the Mayor’s Parlour in Birkenhead Town Hall. Then there I was in that same room again, this time having lunch with the Duke of Kent. Part of me was Cllr Steve Foulkes, Leader of Wirral Council, playing host to a royal visitor; part of me was still a scruffy little lad from Upper Brassey Street, wondering if my mum and dad would clout me for telling tales if I said I had had my dinner with a Duke….”
Which begs the question – are you still telling tales and if so can we form an orderly queue to give you a clout round the ear Foulkesy? Anyway we suspect that your past will indeed be coming back to haunt you and very, very soon…..