A-political Mr. Liptrot

Screenshot_2016-02-28-12-39-56

Given that the first rule of spin doctoring is to never become the story, Martin Liptrot (aka Liptrotsky) is already beginning to look like a rank amateur – which means he should be fitting in nicely at Wirral Council !.

Indeed there have been further developments in the Liptrotsky story as we’ve been sent a couple of revealing screenshots from his open Facebook page.

We are so glad it is an open page as not only can Liptrotsky share with us mere mortals his deeply profound thoughts he can also keep us appraised of his political activities.

Of course everyone is entitled to have political views and express them as they see fit – as long as it is within the law or in Liptrotsky’s case his employment contract. Now what we’ve never been able to reconcile (and quite clearly neither has Liptrotsky) is that if he has been appointed to a post with Wirral Council which is allegedly “politically restricted” he should at least maintain , publicly at least , the pretence  of some kind political neutrality.

But no ! – not our Marty who as he’s keeping company  with long standing abusers of power can seemingly do what the bloody hell he likes… including it would seem being “the servant of two masters ” by campaigning for Mayor Joe (see below).

Screenshot_2016-02-28-12-42-55

Surely it is apparent by now that the Liptrotsky “policy executive” post is straightforwardly a political appointment by the ruling Labour group.The question that now needs to be asked is whether Liptrot should be on the cash-strapped Council’s payroll or being paid from local Labour Party coffers.

Similarly  – and as has been suggested elsewhere – shouldn’t it be that if the ruling Labour group want to pay off a group of “complainants” who have no chance of sustaining a legitimate legal claim against the Council for compensation but could seriously damage the local Labour group then perhaps it should be the local Labour party who should stump up the hush money and not Council taxpayers !.

If the local Labour group want to a) keep Liptrotsky in post and b) maintain the political status quo then it may be the time that Liptrotsky gets back on Facebook and starts fundraising. Perhaps Marty could put his pinny on and start baking some cakes – not only to help fund his post in these cash-strapped times but also to remind his political allies that they can’t have their cake and eat it too!.

Labour cake

 

 

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Poodle Boy Pip

poodlepip

 

Nice to see the Wirral Globe back on top form with its truly gobsmacking exclusive  on a series of emails between Martin Liptrot and Wirral Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies prior to the former’s appointment as “executive policy officer”.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14306240.Emails_give_extraordinary_insight_into_Wirral_Council_s_controversial_hiring_of_former_Labour_spin_doctor/

There’s been a reason why we always put “leader” in inverted commas when we have written about Pip and the emails lay bare that it’s not so much a case of Power Boy Pip as Poodle Boy Pip .

However it is reassuring to know that we had Liptrotsky’s number from the word get go

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/all-hail-the-new-king-of-spin/

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/lip-service/

… and to the time we  commented  :  Somebody needs to tell Liptrotsky he is a Labour Party apparatchik – he is not an unelected de facto leader or a Chief Executive by default and he has NO business telling the council what it can and can’t do.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/busybody-liptrot-and-his-silent-partners/

…up until  last week’s story about how Liptrotsky operates and what we’re getting for our money :

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/the-c-word/

From our perspective the most revealing email is the one sent by Liptrotsky bemoaning his £45K part-time job as he  grandiosely describes himself as “Chief of Staff” – egotistical , money grabbing  and an over-inflated sense of his own importance. Just what you want from a so-called public servant.

Subject: Chief of Staff

There seems to be a bit of a problem with the contract – apparently I’m meant to be on an hourly rate of 24 quid with time sheets for Joe Blott. Clearly that is both insulting and wildly unrealistic for the scope of the role we are discussing.There is no way I’m going to earn even less than I am on now… We need to work out what we need to agree, and you will probably have to just step up and tell everyone what you want doing in the end…I don’t have much faith in the system resolving this alone.

And with a warped sense of priorities Pip responds to this contemptible email at 03.47 a.m. fawningly explaining  that he can authorise an eyewatering  £45k part-time salary in order to stay within the limit of those infamous special delegated powers. Just like Wirral Council authorised the even more infamous payments to former Wirral Council employees Emma Degg and Martin Morton.

So tell us Wirral Council how did those under the counter payments work out for you ?.

We also ruefully note that the Tory group leader Jeff Green – who apparently had submitted the Freedom of Information request that uncovered all this pops up out of the blue like a Jeff in The Box – and now wants to delete Liptrotsky’s post. However we think he needs to heed the advice of Pip to “dream big dreams” and ask for a vote of no scrotum (sorry , confidence) in the serial failure so we can all say :

Toodle pip to Poodle Boy Pip!

weak 006
weak 007.JPG

 

weak 008

weak 009

The Wit and Wisdom of Power Boy Pip

 

FAIL-FAIL

 

The latest offering in our occasional ” Wit & Wisdom” series comes courtesy of Wirral Council “leader” Cllr Phil Davies – better known to our readers as Power Boy Pip because of his alleged “Special Powers”.

The series was initiated by the previous Council leader Steve Foulkes and his philosophical musings which remain as good for you today as they’ve always been . Hovis for the soul so to speak :

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-wit-and-wisdom-of/

Foulkes ‘ successor Pip has always been good value when it comes to foot-in-mouth disease hence his appearance on the Wirral Leaks header: “What they do in Wirral is try to create all sorts of smokescreens and scandals which don’t exist in departments of the Council he said in 2012 – the year of Wirral Council’s annus horribilis and which would have been a good time to acknowledge that actually scandal was their stock in trade. We’re not complaining at Leaky Towers as such denial has provided us with endless possibilities to gleefully expose the dirt behind the daydream ever since and there’s the promise of much , much more to come !.

However Pip has excelled  himself recently with some particularly gnomic comments which is what you can only expect when your special advisor comes across as a second rate snake oil salesman .

Of course in time it could prove that the most significant quotes that Pip will ever utter are linked to his ever changing story concerning the Wirralgate scandal and which ultimately could lead to his downfall.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/wirralgate-louder-than-bombs/

However here are some more recent quotes for you to consider :

On the proposed closure of Girtrell Court :

“It is about the choice agenda as much, er , as getting , you know , a saving” 

http://www.baytvliverpool.com/?v=47307

Just to be clear on this one  it appears to us that “the choice agenda” means that people can have a choice as long as it’s the choice that Wirral Council chooses for them!

Next we move on to some correspondence sent by friend of Wirral Leaks Dr.Robert Smith who continues valiantly in his attempt to get a response from Wirral Council officers  (and Surjit Tour in particular) to some pertinent questions he raised some time ago. During the course of this correspondence Dr.Smith unearths a couple of stonking quotes from The Pipmeister :

” As Cllr Phil Davies has continually refused to correspond with me, I would like to ask you this. With regard to the website Move Ahead Birkenhead and Cllr Davies’ ‘interview’. There is a section in the last paragraph which says…and I quote…

“But many, if not all of these (regeneration) schemes, had doubters who said it couldn’t be done – but it was because the will of the people made it happen”..………..

In terms of Wirral Council ‘accountability’ and delivering relevant services, my observation would be that it has been some considerable time since “the will of the people” of Wirral has been a consideration for the ruling majority of Wirral Council.

…Cllr Davies continues…”There is a great quote I was reminded of in discussions with my team when we were talking about our ambition: ‘Dream big dreams. Small dreams have no magic.’ That seems very appropriate don’t you think?” “

Blimey! Who does Pip think he is ?.  Blanche Dubois ? An X-factor contestant ? A one man meme? . A fridge magnet made flesh ?. Might we suggest that Pip is more dotty bonkers than Dottie Boreyko ?.

Dream big dreams

Wirral Waters – a big splash or a small ripple?

Pip’s BS quotient was in full flow at this week’s Cabinet meeting  where he used such choice phrases as “pathway out of poverty  when discussing jobs and investment and when discussing the Council’s Early Voluntary Redundancy arrangements which he said offered “dignity and financial security”  … because as we all know being redundant and unemployed ticks both of those boxes !.

Talking of quotes we thought the Thynne 2  investigation report had been leaked  yesterday when we heard a woman on the TV using the words : “culture of fear , “duplicity” , “misconduct” “untouchable”  “unchecked” “behaviour went unchallenged” “deluded by reputation ” and “shut up he’s a VIP” .  Whilst we finally realised it was the Dame Janet Smith review into cover-ups at the BBC we wouldn’t be surprised to see the same sort phrases cropping up in the Thynne 2 report .

Which perhaps explains why the people of Wirral will never be allowed to see it! ……..unless of course someone would  care to leak it to us so we could pick out the choicest quotes !.

Everything Must Go

FLOG-IT

The mystery of why the privatisation of public services has been embraced  so enthusiastically by the current Wirral Council administration – despite it being ideologically against everything a Labour administration should stand for – has puzzled us for sometime.

However we had a Homer Simpson ” D’oh” moment  when we realised exactly why outsourcing is the perfect solution for an organisation wracked  with incompetence , dishonesty and corruption.

Consider this :

  • No more Freedom of Information requests – it’s commercially sensitive and exempt from FOI legislation !
  • No  more whistleblowers  – malpractice has nothing to do with us guv!
  • No more direct public accountability – private businesses become accountable to their shareholders and profit always takes precedence over the public !

Now consider these recent Wirral Council tenders. Firstly :

IMG_0014 (2).PNG

Now wouldn’t it be handy if the Wirral Chamber of Commerce continued their empire building ways by bidding for this contract at Cheshire Lines Building ?. They’re only round the corner and Chief Executive Princess Paula  Basnett could send one of her rellies in to keep an eye on facilities. Win- Win !.

Meanwhile another source asks us about a tender that has gone well under the radar. Wirral Council have outsourced their cash in transit services to G4S based in Bootle, they gave the long serving and loyal staff no notice of this decision and they  didn’t even know their jobs had been put out to tender !.

This service was actually in profit and apparently G4S are the costliest cash services provider around . As the council are in such a financial mess it would seem a very odd choice if you didn’t consider the position we have set out above

However by far and away the most intriguing is this “Due Diligence” tender for consultants to cross the i’s and dot the t’s when it comes  “to the integration of Adult Social Care services into NHS Community Services” .

 

IMG_0018

 

Wirral Council leadership must be licking their lips in anticipation at the prospect of finally offloading the toxic , dysfunctional and perennially overspent Department of Adult Social Services onto the NHS.

If it does go ahead we can only hope that the provision of Adult Social Care services adhere to the principles of the NHS and that they should be free at the point of delivery.

This should mean no more punitive charges should be placed on vulnerable people for essential services – but you can bet your life that when it comes to “due diligence” that the consultants will be asked to find a way to continue with these charges.

We shall be observing developments with great interest and we advise those who believe that public services do not belong in private hands should do the same.

The Final Countdown

Ticking clock

 

To lose one Super – Duper Director is unfortunate .To lose two looks like carelessness but to lose three looks like a clusterfuck (with apologies to Oscar Wilde) .

Today was the day that Wirral Council Cabinet which not having any courage or convictions let alone the courage of its convictions gave the closure of Girtrell Court a so-called “stay of execution” .  This translates as more a case of prolonging the agony for disabled people and their carers in the name of political expedience. Politicking taking precedence over disabled people  – yet again.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14293655.Council_tax_hike_and___28m_of_cuts_for_Wirral___but_Girtrell_Court_s_future_remains_in_the_balance/

This was also the day that it was revealed that a lazy/incompetent/insensitive (take your pick)  Wirral Council social worker described the mother of a young woman with Downs’ Syndrome as Mrs.Downs – like you do.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mrs-downs-what-council-called-10925293

So no wonder then that we also learned today that after the departure of Kevin “Addled” Adderley that in the case of the two remaining Super Duper Directors it’s a case of  – if you can’t stand the heat get out of the house that is about to go up in flames. We are led to believe that  Clare “Wet” Fish and Joe “Apology” Blott now also want out . Which means that potentially Wirral Council CEO Eric “Feeble” Robinson will have lost his entire team of Super Duper Directors in less than a year of his appointment.

However we think it would be unfair to lay the whole blame on Stressed Eric !. We can only surmise that for a Super Duper Director the lure of filthy lucre must lose it’s lustre after countless hours spent defending the indefensible , being left exposed and put at risk  of being tainted by the deeply entrenched legal, ethical and moral problems that remain within Wirral Council. Whilst these problems stem mainly from a small number of councillors , historically it has been council officers who usually pay the price – or more accurately council taxpayers .

Therefore could it be that Fish and Blott have seen the writing on the wall of the town hall toilets and they know it’s time’s up on the cover ups ?.

get out

The C Word

Liptrotwallofspin

After we reported earlier this week that we paid that Ipsos MORI  twerp £25,000 for telling us all about the C word it would seem it’s catching – a bit like herpes.

We’re reliably informed that the totally non-partisan , apolitical spin doctor Martin Liptrotsky is oft heard bellowing  the C word around Wallasey Town Hall like a low rent Malcolm Tucker ( no , that isn’t rhyming slang ) .

Phonetically the actual C word comes out something like this :

                                “COM.MUN.I.CATE PEO.PLE!”

This has led to mutterings under the breath by long suffering town hall staff of a quite different C word which would certainly be familiar to the aforementioned Tucker from TV’s political satire ‘The Thick of It!’.

But really could this man be any more of a cliché ?. We know we printed his job description when he was  hand-picked for the role as Power Boy Pip’s hand-holder (sorry appointed after an exhaustive search and rigorous recruitment process) but in reality his JD translates into  :

  • Thinking up 20 random pledges  which leads to council managers having to go away scratching their heads thinking how they are supposed to measure how they are making the people of Wirral’s lives so much more fulfilling and lovelier than they already are.
  • Supervising the Council’s prolific Twitter account. Where the modus operandi seems to be “more is more”  or more accurately “more is bore”.
  • Getting as many  Wirral Council positive news stories in the Liverpool Echo as possible.Which is not so much of an ask as it once was now that the Echo have got a brand new Wirral Council advertising contract  (now doesn’t that explain a few things boys and girls !) . To which Her Ladyship responded in her best Mae West drawl:”Honey, I hear the lucky boy gets paid by the column inches “
We think it speaks volumes about Wirral Council’s priorities that as services are cut and staff are made redundant that the only Council departments that have had an increase in staff are the Legal Department and the Press Office.
How ironic that these two departments spend an inordinate amount of time and money NOT communicating but controlling  what the public are allowed to know and what they’re not allowed to know from behind a wall of spin !.
In fact “The Wall of Spin” is currently the only area of local government operations that seemingly isn’t under threat.
This is a world where according to the Ipsos MORI poll conducted for Wirral Council that when only 12% of Wirral people think that the Council provide value for money this is sold as a “positive driver”.
Positive Drivers 1.png
And a  place where only 3% of the population think  that definitely agree they can influence decisions about where they live but where a lone local MP can influence 100% of local decisions !!.
Influence Decisions
Oh how we long for the day when we can say “Okay Fuckity Bye” to the lot of them and then Wirral Council can concentrate on what local people really want – like getting value for money and influencing local decisions perhaps?.

Court of Public Opinion

You be the judge

We’ve not really covered Wirral Council’s proposed closure of Girtrell Court because no one had really sought to bring it our attention.

But my- oh -my has has that situation changed with the impending decision to close the respite centre for disabled adults going to Wirral Council Cabinet on Monday (22 February).

Suddenly the heat is on and we’ve been contacted by not only those directly affected by the closure but by some social care insiders with some particularly trenchant views !.

The Leaky Towers viewpoint is that we think the cause is lost.It’s a done deal no matter how many impassioned pleas carers might make. It’s over. The last in-house adult social care service will be  gone forever and it will be a dark day for Wirral Council…..unless of course they perform a spectacular volte-face!.

However the clues have always been there – hidden in plain sight.

Listen to the Director of Adult Social Services Graham Hodkinson at last week’s West Wirral Constituency Committee explain that the closure of Girtrell Court would be a “natural progression” and that the care of vulnerable people is about the  “market”.

Might we suggest that there is nothing “natural” about making vulnerability and disability subject to market forces but then when you’re on a six figure salary the social care market economy clearly works for some people !.

It also strikes us at Leaky Towers that whilst we agree that the NHS is a wonderful thing there has been many a time we’ve sighed as self-righteous politicians of all persuasions brandish their “We Love the NHS” credentials, complain about creeping privatisation and yet think it’s not only OK but desirable to subject our most vulnerable to the mercies of the market. And as we’ve reported previously we’re reliably informed that the social care marketplace on Wirral is dire.

Carers and parents of those who benefit from respite services have been given reassurances that if (or rather when) Girtrell Court closes alternative services will  be an improvement. It’s all about “choice” –  rather like the choice  about having  a personal budget whether you want one or not !. Might we suggest that those reassurances should be considered in the context of Meadowcroft – the last in-house respite service for the elderly which was outsourced to Age Concern.

We think it is particularly significant that only this very week a Care Quality Commission inspection rated the service at Meadowcroft to be INADEQUATE

http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-669976514 <http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-669976514>

Furthermore and just so we don’t get accused of Labour-bashing the fact that not one but two local union reps ( take a bow Paddy Cleary and Dave Jones) have publicly opposed the closure of Girtrell Court  and have expressed incredulity that a Labour controlled Council would contemplate such a measure points to a wider political debate that needs to be had about what exactly should be the priorities of  the Council.

Now is the time to have a long hard look at the reality behind the rhetoric . A prime example is contained within the flagship Wirral Plan and specifically the pledge about  “…..Ensuring the most vulnerable among us are safe, and feel safe, is perhaps our most important responsibility. We will work across Council and agency boundaries to promptly identify and tackle problems before they develop ” .

How does Wirral Council reconcile “our most important responsibility”  with the closure of Girtrell Court and the courting of celebrity golfers, the feteing of of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce , the wooing of Wirral Waters investors ???.

The proposed closure of Girtrell Court is an ideological decision it is not an economic necessity. An  alleged  annual saving  of £155,000 –  a figure which appears to have been plucked out of thin air as no cost benefit analysis work was undertaken – is nothing in the scheme of things when it comes to council expenditure. This proposal is just the latest instalment by Wirral Council of a relentless campaign to privatise public services.

Forget the 20 pledges in the Wirral Plan. In the court of public opinion there seems to be but one choice for the people of Wirral to make about what should be the Council’s priority – protecting public services or pandering to the private sector. You be the judge as to whether you think they’ve got the balance right.

Tree Line

treegate

Further evidence reached us today that Wirral Council operate a policy of “governance by social media “. By which we mean if you want a response from Wirral Council – don’t send an email , don’t make a Freedom of Information request , don’t make a complaint  , don’t ask a question at a Council meeting , don’t go to a councillor’s surgery .  No!  – send  your issues to any local blog  or set up a Facebook page or better still set up your own social media forum for people with a common concern and tell Wirral Council what you’re not happy about!.

Time and again we’ve witnessed local councillors and council officers only sitting up and taking notice when it interferes with the Council’s reputation management. And without blowing our own trumpet if there’s one local blog that likes to justifiably question reputations it is Wirral Leaks.  

So what started out as, in the scheme of things, a minor story about trees maintenance has , er, blossomed and taken on a life of its own. As case of mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

The tweet above was taken from today’s Wirral Council Twitter feed  (there’s also , unsurprisingly , a tweet about  streetlights) and it looks like they’re employing a full time tweeter. Could it be Martin Liptrot (sky) earning his £45K  we ask ourselves?. Whoever it is they seem to have taken to heart the big message from last week’s presentation from Ben Page  , Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI who conducted a (very selective) resident survey and presented his findings  on Wirral Council’s “Journey”.

For those of you masochists out there who enjoy watching professional PR schmoozers in action the full video is here :

However to save you the pain we can summarise his big message was about telling Wirral Council (and their partners) to communicate their successes (!) but most of all to just :

                                                  C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E ! 

Hence we presume the frenetic tweeting which will no doubt see a future compensation claim from the Council tweeter for Repetitive Strain Injury.

Meanwhile the last word goes to this week’s tree spotter  “Dad”  who writes :

I have been following this thread since it started and am quite amused by the content.
Today I came across the perpetrators of this heinous crime including their getaway vehicle in Prenton Hall Road.
If you zoom in you can see the large wood louse committing environmental crime ( is he holding a scythe? . If you zoom in even further, you still will not see any safety barriers. I am uncertain that these are the same tree fellers Wirral Council use, but still it’s amusing.
We think it’s actually a harness rather than a scythe and the trees certainly don’t look like those examples of pollarding in the Wirral Council tweet!
Trees Prenton Hall Rd

Crazy Golf

hoylake golf

Forget the celebrity endorsed golf course and 5 star hotel it’s the potential residential sites that are the most significant parts of the Hoylake golf resort plan.

 

We’ve always wondered at Leaky Towers where the golf resort notion sprang from. So knowing what we know about the gone but not forgotten senior officers at Wirral Council we imagined that an historical Chief Officers meeting went something along the lines of :

“Hey , we all like golf we’ve got a loads of green belt  land – let’s build a golf resort on it!”. They then commissioned a report , all pulled on their Farah slacks and went for a quick round before they concluded their meeting with another round at the 19th hole.

However a  commentator on a previous  Wirral Leaks post send Verity scurrying off to do some research on what happened from there….

Needless to say it took nearly 10 years and for someone to have to resort to the inevitable Freedom of Information request  before the original 2006 Capita Symonds viability consultation report was prised out of Wirral Council’s golf grip.

http://www.hoylakegolfresort.uk/#!capita-symonds-needs-assessment/viwgy

This report which allegedly cost £275,000 is  helpfully summarised by our commentator thus:

‘Nice idea chaps, but the planning issues make it more trouble than it’s worth!” Still, there’s nothing like the “NO, NO, NO I’M NOT LISTENING!” approach to get you through 15 years of self-denial.’

However if you want not listening and self -denial then Council”leader” Power Boy Pip Davies is your,er, man.

It would seem that from the outset the only way a golf resort was viable on the outskirts of Hoylake is for Wirral Council to illegally remove it from the green belt, ignore the agricultural status of the surrounding land and raise money by selling it for luxury housing!. Even the Capita Symonds report states that in order for the golf resort to be successful, it will need to be funded by money raised from housing development.

With  Wirral Council’s deluded golf guru Kevin “Addled” Adderley having moved to where the grass is greener we would have thought it would have been an ideal opportunity to knock this idea out of bounds. However last week , at the meeting of  West Wirral Constituency Committee it seems Adderley’s successor  Dave “Golf” Ball is determined to see this tee off . Although he was well aware that the planning application will have to go before the Secretary Of State, simply because of the green belt issue , he warned this could be years away. So don’t pack your plus-fours just yet!.

No wonder our source comments :  “Either way you look at it, they have to try to get away something quite outrageous before they can see the project being funded!”. When “outrageous actions” are Wirral Council leadership’s stock in trade it’s time to wonder what they could be up to and why they seem determined to get from out of the bunker and on to the green (belt).

We can only surmise there’s a trump card to play in the planning process.Indeed there is a school of thought that Power Boy Pip must be pinning all of his hopes on Mayor Joe or whoever ends up with decision making powers in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to make use of whatever new devolution powers are available to change green belt planning issues at a local level. It’s unknown territory at the moment, but the current government want to change planning to make it easier to build on the green belt. If the devolution powers put the decision making to the regional heads this will suit Pip and co down to a tee.

This would also enable central government to point out to how devolving  powers to a region in the so-called Northern Powerhouse could work to serve the needs of big business.

So currently it is hard to tell in whose hands ultimately the destiny of Hoylake golf resort project lies – central government ? ,regional government ? , local government ? or big business ?. All we do know is that it doesn’t seem to be local people. Well ,so far anyway…….

 

Let There Be Light

Left in the dark 007

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.…

Once again we are grateful to one of our readers who has sent us a copy of yesterday’s front page of the Wirral edition of the Liverpool Echo.

We didn’t even know there was such a publication – the last time we bought the Echo on a Saturday it was pink and we’d check the football results with our pools coupon.

However what drew our reader’s attention was the glaring front page headline  :” Left in the dark” and the sub-heading – “Promise of Action on Wirral Street Lights”. Our puzzled reader was curious to see whether this was a lazy re-tread of a story we’d run on 29  January – and if so why exactly two weeks later a story about street lights is on the front page of the Liverpool Echo.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/shine-a-light/

The puzzle was solved when our reader turned to page 8 to see the source of the story was Birkenhead MP Frank ” Light of The World” Field  , because as we know that round here it’s not news until Frank  reports it. What’s more we all know that  when it comes to being in the media spotlight the super trouper beams are always going to find him!.

The late to the party Labour MP says in the report that residents’ concerns centred “on the apparent lack of urgency shown by the council’s Streetscene department to address each fault once it has been reported”.

What amused us more than anything else in the report was the response of Cllr Stuart Whittingham ,Wirral Council’s cabinet member for transport. When we first covered the story we included stats from former Lib Dem councillor Stuart Kelly. It was in response to Kelly’s tweet that Witless Whittingham further enhanced his resemblance to the Matt Lucas character George Dawes (“He’s a baby”)  by spitting his dummy out of the pram during this Twitterspat  :

twitterspat

Now you’ve witnessed the kind of high level political debate that Witless Whittingham indulges in compare and contrast his tittylipped response  with his grovelling apology in the Echo report :

“Sadly , this year we’ve seen increased levels of vandalism and unreported collision damage, which has contributed to a higher than normal number of outstanding faults . We have not been able to respond to this increase as well as I would like , so we are taking special action to deal with the backlog . I’d like to apologise to residents for not responding sooner to their concerns”.

Left in the dark 008

Of course there’s no mention of the fact that the ending of regular streetlight surveys has undoubtedly contributed to this dim situation . Nevertheless now that our saviour Frankenfield has declared “let there be light” we can now expect that Wirral will be lit up like Reno.

Shame that Field wants to keep us “left in the dark ” about  other matters concerning former Wirral Council streetscene workers though isn’t it ?. Accordingly  can we advise our readers not to expect that particular story lighting up the front page of the Echo any time soon !!!.

Streetlights lookalikes

WitlessGeorge Dawes -He's a baby

light of the worldSt Frank