We know we have our Wirral Council highly irregular regulars but if there is one councillor who has prompted more comments and queries than any other lately it’s Bidston & St.James councillor and , quite astonishingly , the Chair of Wirral Council’s Audit & Risk Management Committee – the one and only Jim “Crabby” Crabtree.
We are proud to say we reinforced our public interest credentials by learning that his suspension by the North West Labour Party was due in no small part to allegations made on Wirral Leaks and shamefully NOT by the Labour Party members or Meadowside Special School who were repeatedly told what he’d been up to and chose to turn a blind eye to allegations made about him.
Let us remind ourselves that a key witness alleges : “ He was suspended because he took students from Meadowside School leafleting – this was at least the 3rd time and he dropped them off and left them there with 2 teaching assistants and went home to let in the electrician to his home…..He told the (Liverpool) Echo a fairy story about coming across a fellow party member which is strange as he’d told them he would be bringing a bus full of volunteers at 10 – he pulled up , let them off and drove off. No risk assessment – no permission -nothing ……and he gave them his leaflets”
However further worrying reports about Crabtree are that he has : “….. again filled the membership of Bidston & St.James with his family and friends as he does every time he’s up for re- election.He now has his female mate as chair person, he is the secretary, his daughter is treasurer and every other position is a family member or mate.”
Even more worrying is the allegation that he was also involved in conduct unbecoming of a councillor towards party members from his own ward.However a source ruefully comments that Wirral Council were strangely reluctant to investigate the matter in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct : “ …..even with witnesses the legal dept say that in their opinion he was not acting as a councillor ,as with the leafleting , even in purdah.
I’m not sure how they can say this as they only met at meetings where he was there as a councillor and the ladies were chair and secretary and there only as reps for the ward .”
However with sad inevitably our source concludes :”The councillors are gathering round … to make sure he gets back in for another 4 years.Residents tell me he doesn’t turn up to surgeries and does nothing to help .Only when he can get his face in the paper or he’s up for re election .”
This sounds plausible to us as somewhat like Cllr George Davies’s appearance in the local press last week you just need to show “Crabby” a flowerbed and a photographer and somewhat like Japanese knotweed he’ll quickly take over and be difficult to get rid of!.
So it would appear that for some reason senior local Labour politicians seem to have an allergy to LRJ. Meanwhile we understand that Frankenfield was allegedly “furious beyond belief” that Crabtree had been suspended. As one of our sources states : “I was as naive enough to think he meant because of taking the kids out but oh no it’s because he’s a fantastic councillor and how dare someone do this to him!”.
Thereby reinforcing our belief that Frankenfield’s moral compass is somewhat awry we ask ourselves what is the motivation of the Birkenhead MP who seemingly surrounds himself with fawning acolytes.We remember that the original “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock once said : “I didn’t say actors are cattle. What I said was, actors should be treated like cattle.”
Seems as though Frankenfield has the same view when it comes to local councillors , no matter how deep the cow dung they’re in as long as they take direction from him he’ll always be a benefactor to the bovine.