The Vision Thing

Featured image

Oh here we go again – after Destination Excellence,What Really Matters and Future
Council  (just don’t mention Future Blueprint) here comes another new meaningless Wirral Council plan launched by Power Boy Pip and we regret to have to tell you it’s back to one of those old soundbite standbys – it’s all about the vision thing again.

20/20 Vision (aka Pip’s Pledges) is a  5 year plan of 20 pledges to be achieved by 2020 (geddit?) and by which apparently the people of Wirral can hold Power Boy to account (good luck with that one !).

Most of the the pledges themselves are so vague,broad or simply unable to be measured they are virtually meaningless .We can only assume Pip’s gang must have been holed up in a room in Wallasey Town Hall and were under strict instructions they couldn’t leave for a round of golf until they’d reached the number 20.

For example we’d particularly like to know how exactly the following will  a) be achieved  b) be measured and c) how the blithering hell we can be expected to hold anyone to account on any of them! .

1. Improve the quality of life of older people 

2. Ensure children are ready to start school 

9. Develop workforce with skills that meet the needs of businesses for the future

15. Increased access to events and activities for all residents

17. Make community services “joined up and accessible”

The 20/20 Vision pledges seem to us to be so very reminiscent of former Labour leader Miliband’s infamous “Ed Stone” which is all the more surprising considering Frankenfield has previously been so disparaging of this woeful PR stunt as he so melodramatically wailed:

“Will any of them break free ,confess the weakness that now engulfs Labour and point us in a new direction where political principles outweigh gimmicky press releases…….

We think that Frankenfield’s wise words seem equally applicable to 20/20 Vision but our dearly beloved saint in waiting does seem to have a particular “blind spot” when it comes to the local Labour group doesn’t he?.

To save Pip’s gang (under the direction of Frankenfield obviously) of maintaining this charade for the next 5 years we’d like them instead to turn their attention to just the following 4 pledges :

1.Sort out the Jim Crabtree  suspension

Outcome measure :He’s one of the gang – so no case to answer

2.Sort out the Louise Reece-Jones suspension

Outcome measure :She’s not one of the gang – so it’s bye -bye Lou-Lou

3.Sort out Wirralgate! 

Outcome measure: All those involved ARE the gang – so cheques all round

4.Sort out the she who shall remain nameless  “situation”

Outcome measure :She’s no longer one of the gang – so it’s bound to turn ug(g)ly….unless another big cheque arrives in the post.

What A Punt!

Featured image

It comes as no surprise to us at Leaky Towers to discover that the disloyal,despicable and hypocritical Birkenhead Labour MP Frank Field won £250 (50 quid on the nose at 5/1) betting on a Tory victory at the recent General Election.

Even the Daily Mail ,which like some local rags is something of a Field mouthpiece , reported the matter disapprovingly.

And what did pious Frankenfield – who we would have thought would frown upon squandering a nifty fifty on gambling – do with his winnings you might ask?.Why treat his campaign team to a self-congratulatory chow down at The Refreshment Rooms in Rock Ferry ,as let’s face it it must be so hard being part of a campaign team in one of the safest parliamentary seats in the country!.

You’d think that in the week that Frankenfield accused  “Wirral Council officers of dithering while children go hungry” he’d lead by example and donate his winnings to a local child poverty charity or to his beloved foodbanks wouldn’t you?.

But no! that’s not how slavish loyalty is bought from the docile and servile party faithful is it ? .Seemingly there are still those who are willing to sell their soul for the price of a slap up meal.

Pass the sickbag!……


Afrowirral 004

The latest edition of Private Eye magazine retreads the Wirral Waters/Stella Shiu story on it’s Rotten Boroughs page and asks when it comes to “the council’s chief fantasist” aka “strategic director for regeneration” Kevin Addled : “Is this Britain’s most credulous man?”.

Here at Leaky Towers we’d like to refute that allegation by reporting that we understand Addled may be already working on a back up plan if it’s a no show from Ms.Shiu’s crew.

Now our readers will know Wirral Council has a habit of hawking it’s tawdry wares around like a Corporation Road hooker in the hope of catching the eye of some gullible punter.

Remember the “EuroWirral” rebranding when the Council tried to hitch a ride on the EU gravy train?. More recently we’ve had failed attempts to set up “ChinoWirral” and “RenoWirral” – as the Council have sent a tight knit clique on freeloading junkets ,sorry, trade delegations around the globe.

Image result for Euro Wirral

We suspect that based on past credulousness that an email such as that below would have the Council clique reaching for their battered suitcases and setting off to Nigeria in the hope of setting up “Afrowirral”.Although this time the usual crew ( including specially favoured local business man Asif “Air Miles” Hamid ) would be minus one member of the usual party – as we understand they’ve recently set out on their very own high risk financial strategy at the Council’s expense…….

My Dear Beloved Friend 

Euro – Afro American Sweepstake Lottery Promotion

I know this message will come to you as surprised but permit me of my utmost desire to go into international business with you.

My name is Lady Ugogo and I am the daughter of a very important person who is a chieftain.My father at this moment in time is in a very special place we call prison.  

I am here seeking this day for The Wirral Council to transfer funds to enable my father to be released from imprisonment and with your gracious blessings he will start work with extreme haste on the building of International Trade Centre on The Wirral Waters.

Please will you arrange for £48,000 of monies to be transferred into a special bank account for safe keeping.

Remain Forever Blessed ,Lady Ugogo

Expect Nothing


Her Ladyship was flicking through some of the local papers that Verity had saved for the archive when she suddenly exclaimed : “Well that didn’t take long did it?….”

On further enquiry it seemed that she’d stumbled on a letter confirming much that had recently filtered through to us at Leaky Towers in which a Wirral Council employee had declared that they were “disappointed” in new Chief Executive “Stressed” Eric Robinson and particularly his reliance on trying to find out the true state of the Council from meeting with the usual suspects.The letter concluded:

“This blind acceptance of the views of a cabal of highly-paid and self-serving individuals has undoubtedly contributed to the woes experienced by the council in recent history and, sadly, the notion that an individual’s integrity and competence is proportionate to their salary is a continuing theme within Wirral Council….”

Our first thoughts were that if the “cabal” find out who this anonymous staff member is their days are surely numbered – criticism and eloquence is a twin threat that will simply NOT be tolerated at Wirral Council.

Therefore our advice to the disappointed staff member is to heed the words of fun-loving author Sylvia Plath : “If you expect nothing from anybody,you’re never disappointed ” -although we really shouldn’t be recommending the works of the late Ms.Plath to council staff who must be already be suicidal having to work under the shower in charge of Wirral Council.

The meeting described in the letter was set out as part of Stressed Eric’s  knowing me/knowing you strategy outlined in an email he sent soon after he started in April (see below).

For those not familiar with Councilspeak we’ve provided a commentary (IN BOLD) to help you wade through the usual corporate bullshit.

Good morning and welcome to my first message to you as Chief Executive.

Although I officially joined the authority just over a week ago. I’ve found it very useful to have spent a number of days here since I was appointed earlier in the year.
Those days have given me a head start in getting to know the council, its senior managers and how we carry out our business – AND WHAT A FUNNY BUSINESS IT IS TOO!.

I’d like to thank David Armstrong for his leadership of the authority since January and for his thorough handover so far – DAVID ARMSTRONG AND LEADERSHIP IN THE SAME SENTENCE?. THAT’S GOT TO BE AN EARLY CONTENDER FOR OXYMORON OF THE YEAR!.
I imagine you will be wondering what you can expect from me as your Chief Executive – BASED ON PAST EXPERIENCE OUR EXPECTATIONS ARE VERY LOW ERIC,VERY LOW INDEED.

My passion has always been about enabling people to reach their full potential – OH HERE WE GO WITH THE PASSION BS  – making sure vulnerable people have the best life they can and are as independent and as integrated into society as they possibly can be – CAN YOU TELL US ERIC EXACTLY WHAT “INTEGRATED INTO SOCIETY” ACTUALLY MEANS?

I’ve carried that passion with me since I started out as a social worker in the 80s and it’s still with me now as Chief Executive in Wirral – AND AGAIN!….. “PASSION” IS ONE OF THOSE REALITY TV WORDS LIKE “JOURNEY” AND “DESPERATE” THAT MAKES US WANT TO SNORT WITH DERISION.

I have a strong track record in transformation; ( “SO DID DR.JEKYLL! ” – SNEERS HER LADYSHIP) changing the way organisations operate and their culture to improve the lives of our residents. I believe that by working with our partners and our communities we improve outcomes for everybody – WE DO REALISE THE WORD OUTCOMES IS COMPULSORY IN THIS SORT OF BULLSHIT ERIC BUT WE’D RATHER YOU JUST EMPTY THE BINS AND TELL THE TRUTH .TOO MUCH TO ASK?.

However, I’m very much in listening mode at the moment  – OBVIOUSLY ERIC HAS SPLASHED OUT ON A NEW i-POD NOW HE’S GOT THE TOP JOB.

I want to really understand from you, and our partners, what we need to be doing for the people of Wirral  – YOUR JOBS BASICALLY.AGAIN,TOO MUCH TO ASK?.

The council has made huge strides in recent years – YES , THEIR ABILITY TO COVER UP MALPRACTICE IS MOST IMPROVED – this was recognised with the recent ‘Most Improved Council’ award – and I know these improvements wouldn’t have been possible without your hard work and tireless efforts – HA!HA!HA! LOVIN’ YOUR  GSOH ALREADY.

But we all know there is more work to do, there is more money to save – WHICH IS SO EASY TO SAY WHEN YOU’RE ON A SIX FIGURE SALARY! – and there will be more changes afoot I know the change process (AKA REDUNDANCY) takes its toll on staff but I hope to reassure you that I’ve not arrived here with a blueprint that I plan to impose on the organisation; quite the opposite – IF WE WERE YOU WE WOULDN’T MENTION THE ” BLUEPRINT” WORD.IT WAS YOUR PREDECESSORS “FUTURE BLUEPRINT” WHICH LED TO HIS DOWNFALL ( AMONGST OTHER THINGS) – it is important to me to have a period of listening, learning and talking to make sure we have a plan for council and the borough to help us progress further – OH NO! NOT ANOTHER PLAN! WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DESTINATION EXCELLENCE ? FUTURE COUNCIL?.WHAT REALLY MATTERS?

As part of that, from May I’m planning to come and see different teams around the council, to understand what’s important to you – WE SUSPECT THAT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO WIRRAL COUNCIL STAFF IS THE SAME AS IT IS THE WORLD OVER – DOING AS LITTLE WORK FOR AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE.

As my thoughts become clearer over time I will share them with you – I WOULDN’T BANK ON YOUR THOUGHTS BECOMING CLEARER ERIC –  the dates of when I will be out and about will follow.To give you some information about me and my background, to be here in Wirral is to find myself coming back to my roots –  YOU’VE OBVIOUSLY GOT ODYSSEY ON YOUR i-POD NOW.

I was born and brought up in Bootle and spent many happy days visiting New Brighton with my parents – W’ERE NOT INTERESTED.
I went to university in Cardiff to study Social Sciences  – NO, WE’RE  REALLY NOT INTERESTED. This was at a time when people didn’t really go to university – I was the first to go from my comprehensive school, and the first in my family which was a big step for me  –  REALLY,REALLY NOT INTERESTED!. I went on to get a professional qualification in social work and moved to London where I worked in a number of London boroughs over 15 years – ZZZZZZZZ!
I came back to Merseyside in the 1990s as an Assistant Director at Knowsley Council and since then have worked as Director of Social Services in different councils, most recently being Director of People Services and Deputy Chief Executive at Staffordshire County Council  – YEAH! BUT YOU DIDN’T GET THE TOP JOB DID YOU?.

I’m currently living in Manchester but planning to move closer in the coming months  –  THAT’LL BE  PHYLLIS NELSON ON THE i-POD NOW WILL IT ?  I have three children – Judy (21) is at the University of East Anglia, graduating this summer, Finn (18) who is currently stressed out completing his A Levels and Ruth (17) who is in the first year of her A Levels  –  NOBODY IS INTERESTED IN YOUR  KIDS .CHANNEL YOUR “PASSION” INTO THEM AND SPARE US THE “I’M JUST AN ORDINARY BLOKE LIKE YOU ONLY YOU DON’T GET PAID AS MUCH AS I DO” ROUTINE.

I spend much of my spare time with my kids – when they can fit me in – and also caring for my parents who are now in their 80’s. I am also a rarity in Wirral – a supporter of Liverpool FC! – DON’T WORRY YOU’LL BE A BLUENOSE/BROWNNOSE SOON ENOUGH 

As my second week here progresses, and I get to know the organisation further, it’s clear that I have a strong workforce dedicated to serving the people of Wirral. I look forward to meeting many of you and hearing your ideas on how we can take the council, and the borough forward for the future.


Jim’ll Fix It


We’re hearing there were some very curious campaigning practices leading up the elections in May including Frank “Family Man” Field being accompanied on his doorstep visits by 2 children ( a boy and a girl) on his rounds in Rock Ferry. Any further information and witness reports on what all that was about will be gratefully received.

However by far and away the most worrying information we have received concerns the electioneering antics of belligerent Bidston & St.James councillor Jim “Crabby” Crabtree.

It is alleged by an appalled Labour insider that on the run up to Polling Day Crabtree loaded up the mini -bus he has access to as a tutor in horticulture at the Twelve Quays site with a group of Special Educational Needs kids and a teaching assistant from Meadowside Special School to help him deliver leaflets on behalf of the Labour Party………

It is further alleged an irate parent who got wind of this exploitative and wholly unethical practice complained to no avail to Cllr Matthew Daniel who was running the local Labour campaign.

They then tried complaining to the Davies a trio of Phil,George and then Bill (Labour’s Chief Whip – who seems to be doing a really miserable job of reining in his seemingly totally out of control councillors ).

After receiving no response from any of them the concerned parent then wrote to Anna Hutchinson the Regional Director of Labour North West. Hutchinson did not reply.

Undaunted the persistent parent emailed Hutchinson again and received a reply saying that Labour North West would look into it.
After weeks of no response from Labour North West and after receiving an abusive email from the charming Cllr Crabtree they sent all the paperwork concerning the incident by recorded delivery to new Wirral Council CEO “Stressed” Eric Robinson along with a formal complaint.

After what seems to be Eric the Red’s quickly established decisive executive decision making process of “I -don’t-know-what-to-do-so-I’ll-ignore-it” the complainant was compelled to email him again and he finally responded by passing the buck and saying the hot potato was in the scorched hands of Surjit Tour and he would be communicating directly with them.

As we go to press and true to form it seems that the “bloody useless” (© copyright Cllr.G.Davies) Director of Law has not communicated directly with the pushed-around parent – unless of course he’s practising the skills he’s picked up on a telepathic communications course.

Give him his due it seems that a re-born Brian Kenny having spent some time in the political wilderness after being ousted from his seat in Birkenhead & Tranmere has seen the light and on returning to Wirral Council as a councillor representing the same Bidston & St.James ward as Crabtree has expressed his disgust at these turn of events – although it seems his disgust doesn’t extend to actually helping the parent ensure that they actually get their complaint properly addressed.

However, we’re sure that “Crabby” and co will want to make a full and frank denial of these allegations and we look forward to him clearing up any misunderstanding as soon as possible.
Whilst he’s at it Jimbo might want to explain the curious circumstances from a few years back which led to his sudden departure from the employment of Wirral Council when he was a lowly support worker at Dale Farm.

Now that he’s rapidly risen through the ranks to chair the Audit and Risk Management Committee we’re sure that in the interest of openness and transparency “Crabby” will want to establish his impeccable credentials to lead Wirral Council on matters relating to accountability and corporate governance

Stop Being Silly


And so to the surprise of absolutely no-one the news arrives that Steal Holdings, sorry Peel Holdings have pulled out of the pipedream that was Wirral Waters International Trade Centre scheme.
We think Peel do protest too much when they claim that the split with investors Sam Wa is “amicable” and that the Chinese company is “squeaky clean” and that Stella Shiu is a “proper business person”.
Apparently Sam Wa are “going through due diligence to move the construction finance into the UK” which obviously means that if there is a failure of “due diligence” everyone involved in this debacle can turn around and blame the dead hand of bureaucracy

However Council leader Power Boy Pipsqueak Davies and degeneration, sorry regeneration maestro Kevin Addled seem determine to plough this fallow land.
Apparently by the sounds of it Stella the bankrupt from Sam Wa is going to fund it all by herself – probably from the profits made from selling giant marrows – who knows? Certainly Pipsqueak and Addled don’t seem to know as their far from convincing statements to the press prove. Check out  Pip doing his usual Pollyanna routine : HERE

“As I understand it, the way forward now is that Sam Wa who were going to be partnered with Peel, are going to be sole partner who are going to invest all of the money themselves……I’m still pretty confident it’s going to happen but now it will just be that Sam Wa will be landlord as whole on its own…….I think everybody always knew it was going to be a difficult deal to put together but I have spoken to Peel and I think they are confident in Sam Wa having got the financial muscle and Stella Shiu has the absolute determination and wants to make the Trade Centre happen……..”

Meanwhile Utterly Addled added: (see HERE)

“We have not been told by either Peel or Sam Wa that the ITC is not going to happen and on the contrary we have been told there is still the determination by Sam Wa for it to go ahead in Wirral.”

Well, that’s alright then!!  Determination will win the day!………or should that be the delusion?

Makes us want to get Eldritch to drive the Bentley down to Wallasey Town Hall to approach Pip and Addled and like the Sergeant Major in the Monty Python sketches halt proceedings by saying:
“Right stop that! stop that!.It’s gotten very silly , very silly indeed“.

It’s not loss of credibility that appears to be the most prominent issue here for Pipsqueak and co – there wasn’t any to begin with – but loss of marbles……



The only time that the Daily Mail enters the portals of Leaky Towers is when Her Ladyship has a sneaky peak at the Mail Online’s “Sidebar of Shame” where she takes great delight in dissing botoxed z-list celebs falling out of nightclubs and/or their clothes.

Therefore we’re grateful to one of our dedicated Leaks followers who pointed us in the direction of a post-election analysis that she found within the print edition of the right wing rag which she read whilst visiting a batty old reactionary relative.

The online version is here:

However the print edition which Verity has acquired for our archives has a series of articles savaging outgoing Labour “leader” Ed “Stone ” Miliband among which there is an extended piece which analyses Labour’s “appalling defeat” written by our very own local Wirral Leaks regular Frankenfield….and although we must say we wouldn’t have thought that your average Birkonian struck us as an avid reader of the Daily Mail, judging by the adoring comments it’s readers seem to revere him as much as his constituents do!.

But my goodness does Frankenfield provide a master class in just how to stick the knife in.
He opens up by stating : ” during his resignation speech last week Ed Miliband took full responsibility for the Election disaster that had engulfed Labour.It was gracious and typical of the generosity and kindness of the man”.

And so with the two-faced niceties out of the way Frankenfield skewers the hapless has-been talking about the “gaping black hole” in Miliband’s resignation speech which failed to provide an explanation for the defeat “worse still” he bemoans “there is as yet no sign that any of the likely Labour leadership candidates have the answers either”.
Which once again doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for local hero Andy ” Eyelashes” Burnham does it?

Then with breathtaking hypocrisy he goes on to write about the current Labour leadership :

” No doubt they will try to get away from the scene of the crime quickly and wash their hands of the policies and tactics they so recently endorsed.Will any of them break free ,confess the weakness that now engulfs Labour and point us in a new direction where political principles outweigh gimmicky press releases…….”

These words seem to us to be equally (if not more) applicable to the local Labour leadership but Frankenfield presses on in his willful blindness and moves to the Labour party manifesto about which he writes :

“I am ashamed to say I felt like giving up life rather than read it……”

To which we can only say we’d like to shake the hands of the people who wrote it for nearly doing us all a huge favour.

Needless to say Frankenfield thinks that the election would have been a different story if the national Labour leadership had done the same as the local Labour leadership and did exactly as they were told by him.
And judging by Frankenfield’s Little Englander political philosophy this basically amounts to EU-bashing and sucking up to the self-serving middle classes.
No wonder Daily Mail readers adore him!

However the absolute non plus ultra of hypocrisy comes with this self-righteous statement:

“Call me old fashioned,but as a Christian I believe in guilt – or rather that when you have done something wrong you should own up to it, atone for it”

Oh Frankenfield how we can only pray that your day of atonement comes soon.