Tour De Force

Tour De Force

His Lordship says : remember Surjit  – The “force” is always bigger than the Tour!.

Wirral Leaks proudly presents the latest instalment in the entertaining and informative exchanges between champion of public accountability Dr.Robert Smith and someone who appears to be unfamiliar with the concept – Wirral Council’s CEO Eric Robinson.

We have to say Dr.Smith’s letter is a tour de force or should that be a Surjit Tour de force as  Dr.Smith valiantly tries (and fails) to get a response on a number of  matters from Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer and Head of Legal & Member Services via Eric Feeble.

We wish him the best of luck with this quest, as based on information received from various sources, Tour only responds when he has to and then it’s last minute and/or dismissive. Believe us pleas for common courtesy are a complete waste of time.

But then Surji-Baby is simply beyond accountability – comfortably cosseted in a warm blanket of complicity and conspiracy.As we’ve said before the only person at Wirral council who’s job is secure.And by the way did anybody notice how he moved seamlessly from Acting Head of Legal & Member Services to , astonishingly , the actual head of Wirral Council’s legal department.Furthermore did anybody notice how this is the only department that has recently gained staff and yet still retains the services of eye-wateringly expensive external legal advisors (all the better to ward -off troublesome Freedom of Information requests!).

How long will Tour’s immunity last we ask ourselves?. There are others that have gone before who considered themselves to be untouchables who, OK,we admit couldn’t stop laying hands one way or the other , but were dispensed with once they’d served their purpose and/or were fatally compromised.

We can only hope for Tour that there isn’t anything that could possibly compromise his position because that would be a tragedy for the people of Wirral……….not!.

Dear Mr Robinson

Re Kevin Adderley’s departure (et al)

I have considered your single sentence reply to me, and in my view therein lies the entire Wirral Council issue regarding genuine accountability, or more accurately, an apparent lack of any public accountability.

I read your lengthy response to my initial query, applied it to the context of my enquiry, and replied to you on that basis. For you to send me one sentence only is a measure of the difficulty you obviously have with my queries regarding Mr Adderley, his £250,000 departure from Wirral Council, and his subsequent employment. His departure is only one of a number of costly departures from Wirral Council that I will raise with you shortly.

If all of the concerns I raised in my response were erroneous, then you would no doubt make a definitive reply, with an appropriate narrative, illustrating to me legislative, procedural, and constitutional compliance. This would allay any doubts and quell any speculation. With the entire resources of Wirral Council at your disposal, you have chosen not to refute my assertions, and by not adding any further comment, or even a partial defence of your position, you confirm that you can find no coherent argument against my assessment. If that is the case you are essentially agreeing with my interpretation of events and circumstances, and confirming that my assessment is correct. Otherwise, why would you remain silent, if compliance was not an issue, and can be adequately demonstrated?

In terms of ‘real-time’ accountability’, Cllr Phil Davies/Martin Liptrot appear to adopt the time-honoured strategy that, ‘if you repeat the same thing often enough, it eventually becomes a truth’ – 2020 Vision pledges and professed accountability, but selective and only in 2020, being the obvious issues in this case. The reality of true accountability, which is what our email exchanges have been about, cannot exist where a robust, evidenced defence will not (or cannot) be mounted, and which will stand up to scrutiny, or be the result of it.

Many requests for ‘accountability’ regarding Wirral Council are now presented as Freedom of Information requests, as a matter of course. Why should that be the case for a genuinely open and transparent organisation? Wirral Council’s appalling reputation regarding very costly FOI refusals (overseen by Mr Tour?), internal reviews, obstruction, and ICO subsequent overturns and costly redactions, goes before it. It is not the action of a ‘publicly  accountable’ organisation to allow those associated with/employed by it, to attempt to frustrate, ignore or obstruct legitimate enquiries, and one has to question why should that be the case if compliance, transparency and accountability are of paramount importance?

People make mistakes, that is a human foible. The machinations of local authorities are governed by legislation, a constitution, policies and procedures, guidelines, internal & external audit, performance management, various staff reviews, etc. There should be regular monitoring, evaluation and review mechanisms integral to these structures and frameworks. With effective checks and balances in place (currently being eroded), these all form an important part of the (now paid) undertaking of responsibilities by councillors (and also officers), of representative decision-making, relevant service delivery, and upholding the democratic process.

By virtue of these concepts and the application of these mechanisms within prescribed frameworks, the possibility of mistakes, and risks associated with human error, poor judgement and scope for anything approaching criminality, is minimised in the public’s and tax payers’ interests.

With regard to my other comments, I have also contacted Mr Blott as you say. However, my enquiries are not entirely unrelated queries, as my emails to Mr Tour included queries regarding procedural, and legislative compliance issues, related to Mr Adderley’s departure. This was in addition to issues re P&D parking at New Brighton, and Mr Liptrot’s many potential conflicts of interest. Commencing with my query regarding the legality of introducing Pay & Display parking in New Brighton in July 2015, Mr Tour has ignored all of my emails, all of which have remained unacknowledged, and unanswered to date.

It is worthy of mention that my formal complaints have been ignored by you, even after you advised me to use the inappropriate complaints procedure, and then continued to ignore my complaints regarding officer (mis)conduct.

Also all of my previous emails to Cllr Phil Davies, have been studiously ignored, and Mark Smith refusing to communicate with me during enquiries about New Brighton parking, makes me wonder what standard does a local authority have to achieve to be proclaimed ‘Most Improved Council In Great Britain, 2015’ by the LGC. Through personal experience, and using Wirral Council as a datum, one can only assume that the quality of local government, particularly at the Chief and Senior Officer level across Britain, must be in an exceedingly poor state.

Given my comments above, and the behaviour of some of your officers, and presumably consultants who have contributed to/vetted your replies to me, Mr Blott makes an interesting point. With regard to my query relating to the apparent lack of management supervision, discipline, professionalism, common courtesy and capability relating to Mr Tour, Mr Blott states, and I quote, “I can confirm that I manage Mr Tour in line with our current policies and good management practice. Mr Tour is fully aware of his statutory responsibilities as the Council’s Monitoring Officer.”

For anyone, being  aware of responsibilities is a very different matter from discharging them. Legislative and procedural compliance is very important, and that essentially is the basis of my enquiries of Mr Tour regarding council compliance. If Mr Tour is guided by professional and council codes of conduct, policies, procedures and governance, there should be no issue regarding compliance, and that should be easily demonstrated. That being said, with my personal experience, I would suggest that Mr Blott’s ‘good management practice’ appears to be something of a fantasy.

I look forward to receiving your response to this email, and Mr Tour’s, in his role as Monitoring Officer, to my earlier queries.

Yours sincerely

Dr Robert B Smith

On 20 January 2016 at 17:05, Robinson, Eric <ericrobinson@wirral.gov.uk> wrote:

Dear Dr Smith

Further to your recent emails,  I have considered your comments and do not have anything further to add to my previous response concerning the basis upon which Kevin Adderley left the council.

The council was not involved in the appointment of Kevin Adderley to Egerton House Community Interest Company and it is not appropriate for the council to therefore comment any further upon that appointment or his role. If you require further information on this matter, I suggest you raise your enquiry with the company/organisation directly.

As for your comments concerning a lack of response from council officers to your other unrelated queries, I am aware that you have raised matters with Joe Blott by email on 18 January. Mr Blott will respond to you in respect of those matters in due course.

Regards

Eric Robinson

Chief Executive

Wirral Council

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9 thoughts on “Tour De Force

  1. G’day Lordsville

    About time this buffoon was shown up to be what he is.

    One thing it does show is the stamina they have when it comes to being deceitful.

    A pity these buffoons can’t show this stamina for the good of Wirral people.

    They just spend their lives being unpleasant.

    Just a few more examples of how long they have been defending AdderleyDadderlyDooLally and his involvement in all things Wirral “Funny” Bizz, daylight robbery and asset stripping.

    James griffiths
    To
    nigelhobro harney tom surgittour stevefoulkes jeffE Green and 3 more…
    07/16/12 at 4:10 PM

    Dear David

    Thanks for your immediate response.

    Dare I suggest that if you dealt with Enterprise Solutions as you should you would have enough money to employ a few more auditors when they returned their ill gotten gains.

    I cannot wait to read this report, will it be finalised before you retire?

    Kindest Regards

    James

    James Griffiths

    — On Tue, 17/7/12, Garry, Dave A. wrote:

    From: Garry, Dave A.
    Subject: RE: RE: Representations Under The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
    To: “james griffiths” , “nigel” “Tour, Surjit” , “Harney, Tom “Foulkes, Steve “Green, Jeff E. “Frater, Michael” “Jones, Adrian ER.
    Received: Tuesday, 17 July, 2012, 12:50 AM

    Dear Mr Griffiths, Thank you for this. Since Mrs Edwards left, I have been investigating the issues raised by yourself and Mr Hobro, whom I have met, but I have never met you personally. It has been a long enquiry for several reasons. As you are probably aware, there have been several other issues at the Council.

    The report is nearing completion.

    Yours faithfully

    David Garry

    ________________________________________
    From: james griffiths
    Sent: 16 July 2012 15:37
    To: Edwards, Beverley; Garry, Dave A.
    Cc: Wilkie, Jim D.; nigelhobro Tour, Surjit; Garry, Dave A.; Harney, Tom (Councillor); Foulkes, Steve (Councillor); Norman, Bill D.; Green, Jeff E. (Councillor); Frater, Michael; liammurphy, Jones, Adrian ER. (Councillor)

    Subject: RE: RE: Representations Under The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

    Hi Beverley and Dave

    It seems to me you are no longer there Beverley, did you have a conscience and leave the sinking ship, or, were you pushed?

    Dave it is now over thirteen months since I came to tell you that Enterprise Solutions were ripping off hundreds of thousands of pounds of public monies. I have heard nothing.

    I did not come in to let you waste a whole year trying to justify their actions and dilute these actions with your inactivity.

    I came in to tell you exactly what was happening and for you to act in the public interest.

    I still cannot believe you will not release the names of Big Fund recipients.

    Adrian Jones showed some interest for a while but suddenly got too busy.

    Dave, just as another example of what Enterprise Solutions are like I was sitting in on an unrelated court case involving Enterprise Solutions and the judge was very derogatory to them as they told an untruth in a witness statement and their defense to that was that a legal service suggested that they say it. They did say it knowing it was an untruth.

    Heavens.

    I am still unemployed and feel physically sick when I think of the council’s lack of respect for public monies.

    Kindest Regards

    James

    So Lordly you can see from the recipients who was into this deceit from the start.

    Ooroo

    James

    For they are orrible barstards, for they are orrible barstards, for they are orrible barstards

    Oh you know the rest Lordy…….luv ya XXXXXXXXXXX

  2. Something to compromise Mr Tour? Never.

    Even if he found himself being eased out, there are ways and means.

    His practised hands have become accustomed to tweaking the levers of power, and when the heat’s on, to, er, playing the required cards.

    A stonking, eye watering pay off would accompany this fine, untouchable fellow to his next senior public role.

  3. After what more senior officers said about mr tour you would think he would be less sub servant to his pay masters then again head honcho Davies knows what happened and hasnt defended his spin master just looked after his mates.
    “Well i cant defend that”, well you can and you are

  4. G’day Lordly

    Lets play guess the author?

    And even more fun guess the lying barstard of a senior Council Officer referred to?

    Dear Mr Griffiths

    I refer to your email to Graham Burgess today which refers to another email dated 25 April (timed at 09:31) sent by you to Council Members, Grant Thornton and the Daily Post.

    As you are aware, the Council has taken action in relation to the issues and concerns raised in connection with both the ISUS and BIG programmes. These matters are still ongoing and do involve other relevant authorities.

    In your email you have stated that a senior Council Officer has “lied” to you. This is a very serious claim and one that has not been proven. It is simply not acceptable that you make such a bold unsubstantiated claim and then consider it appropriate and justified to communicate it to all Members of the Council, Rob Hampson at Grant Thornton and Liam Murphy at the Daily Post.

    The Council is of the view that making such bold unsubstantiated claim and communicating it, is defamatory; and when considered in the context of your other previous emails, may also tantamount to harassment.

    The Council owes a duty of care to all its employees, and that includes its senior officers. The fact that you have raised concerns and issues, particularly in connection with the BIG programme, does not entitle you to defame or otherwise harass any Council employee.

    You are therefore requested to issue a full unequivocal retraction of the unsubstantiated claim and apologise in writing within the next 7 days to the senior officer against whom you have made the claim.

    I strongly suggest that you refrain from making any further defamatory remarks or comments against Council Officers, or conducting yourself in a manner that may amount to harassment. Should you fail to do so, the Council will have little alternative but to consider the options available to it to ensure there is appropriate redress.

    I would also suggest you seek independent legal advice in respect of this matter.

    Yours sincerely

    Oh Lordsville they are a joke and do try so hard to bully people.

    If you like tomorrow My L, or, if any of your readers request it I will send you a copy of my reply.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps They are so full of arrogance and self importance as a gang, individually pathetic specimens.

    Luv ya more Leaky XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Is there anything more sickening than abusers of power playing the victim?.
      Egotists with an overbearing sense of entitlement – beyond accountability,beyond scrutiny but NOT beyond satire and and more importantly,reasonably held beliefs.
      Public servants with an inability to DO THE RIGHT THING invites justified criticism.

      • So Eccles Cake Face aka The Blinking CEO aka Spotty Dog stick that up your nose from The Good Lord Himself.

      • Did not Weinstein Williams Associates Ltd (see Liverpool Echo last week) threaten customers with barristers as they were busy shafting the same customers. George Williams got 7 years but then he was not in local gpovernment and had had claims to represent the Police and the Fire Service who ARE in local government.

  5. G’day Lordsville

    Due to an overwhelming response and request for me to spit up my response to that missive from you know who here it is

    Dear Mr r (Acting)

    I refer to your letter dated 20 March 2013 a copy of which is attached.

    Thank you for the obvious effort, original thought and the sincerity I feel enclosed.

    It was really heart-warming to receive this after all these months and for you to make the effort before this matter has even been concluded.

    With reference to your letter below dated 25 April 2013:

    • The reason that I was gob smacked when Mr ******** said on more than one occasion that no Big Fund recipient had gone bust was that I already knew that Lockwood Engineering was not the only one of the four companies that Mr R******* had asked me to look at that was an incorrect grant award, Cara Kitchens see attachments another insolvent company not qualifying for the grant under your own rules, all this information being in the public domain.

    • Cara, the limited company of which Robert Carroll was a director, filed accounts with £187,000 deficit in July 2009 some 5 months before Mr Carroll’s application as a sole trader. I quote from the cabinet’s rules on Big Fund-“The Company and the Directors must be solvent.” Mr Hobro will forward you the evidence that not only the limited company but also the sole trader, the grant recipient was insolvent.

    • Two insolvencies out of four files I examined is not a bad start, when a third is a net £60,000 in the red then my belief that Mr ******** was lying becomes a credible one for a reasonable person.

    • During the course of the period August 2011, up till your reaction on 25 April 2013 no explanation or defence has been made either by Mr ********, or by you, on his behalf. Given that the misinformation from Mr ******** was followed by inordinate delay and obfuscation by the WBC Internal Audit department, it became a reasonable assumption for a reasonable person that Mr ******** had attempted to mislead me.

    • Having already made my comments about Mr ******** for over one year, on average, a fortnightly basis, without any previous comment from Mr ********, now that you for the first time ask me to desist less I harass him, I will now desist but not express that I regret my words.
    Perhaps if Mr ******** can give a written explanation now as to his ignorance of these insolvencies at the time he met me, as to why on learning of them he did not communicate his regret to me that he had misled me and perhaps explain that no pressure was put on Internal Audit to spend one year on an enquiry and yet come up with a report “unfit for purpose” then an apology may well be owed him. Until then my assumption remains legitimate.

    Have a great week.

    James

    Oh Lordy how orrible are they?

    Bearing in mind My L that I first blew the whistle on 5 July 2011 I think it might be time for The Blinking CEO to sort it.

    Also with Burger with the lot plus 29 mistakes in 7 seconds at his farce of a public meeting saying “we are not disagreeing with anything Mr Hobro (Highbrow) said” says it all My Leaky Lord.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps They do all deserve to go down with the Clownhall into Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters My Lordship.

    Keep sticking it up em Lordly XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  6. In fact George Williams via various companies that went bust had sold “charity ” diaries since before 1999 . His big mistake it appears was not to have shafted inland revenue, vat and customers for near on 20 years but to have had the gall to impersonate members of the Fire service and Police!

    Check it out on internet sources

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