No Concessions

Council Tax flyer 006

 

You may have read in the local papers about Wirral Council retiree Mike Garbutt railing against his “morally bankrupt” former employer for  asking him to return the gift of a lifetime gym pass because of council cuts.

Sadly it took  34 years of loyal service before Mr. Garbutt realised that the people who run Wirral Council are “morally bankrupt” and that unless you’re one of the gilded elite  you ain’t nothin’ but a (payroll) number.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14389679.Former_council_worker__let_down_and_angry__after_losing_retirement_gift_because_of_budget_cuts/

Meanwhile some town hall drone admits that this may be  “disappointing for those people affected” oblivious to the fact that they’ll be next to be screwed over whilst rejoicing in the fact that such a callous move may make £500,000 worth of savings – hurrah! .However let’s face it these days half a million is a mere bagatelle  – the cost of a Town Hall executive love tryst.

There are other stories such as this – Mr. D told us  :

As part of the councils cuts to save money they are implementing the stopping of some free concessions. In 2009 I was given a long service award by the council for over 30 years service and out of the three choices I elected a life pass to the gyms.  As from April this has now been removed so in effect had my long service award removed with no offers of anything in it’s place.  I’m sure this may effect others across the borough.

Then there’s the case of a pensioner with severe mobility problems who being  50+  was able to buy a leisure passport every year for £5 that entitled him to swim free between 11am & 12 noon Monday to  Friday. He was recently told by the staff at West Kirby Concourse that from 1st April this facility will be withdrawn. From then on he will have to pay £4 every time he uses the pool. Apparently there are a number of people including this gentleman who need this exercise and depend on this therapy !.
We’re wondering whether it will only kick off  when the retired golfing chums of the Wirral council powerbrokers realise it will affect their use of the municipal golf courses.
Just to rub it in we’ve all just had our Council Tax bills through the door haven’t we ? – along with a glossy leaflet with those bloody 20 pledges pie charts . There on the “people” pie chart we have “older people live well” and on the environment pie chart we have “leisure and cultural opportunities for all” .
So how do Wirral council reconcile the rhetoric with these mean spirited and short -sighted measures we describe above ?. More importantly  how do they reconcile the banner headline  “Council Tax – where your money goes”  without reference to CEO Eric “Feeble” Robinson’s £35,000 value for money pay hike  or Martin Liptrot (sky) ‘s £45,000 political appointment or the millions spent on consultants or the countless amounts spent on cover ups and pay offs ? .
Strange  how money can always be found to make “our betters” lives a little bit easier isn’t it  ?- but can never be found for the “little people”  – you know the ones like you and me who pay the over-inflated wages of these so called public servants. The modern day mandarins on the make and on the take.
Consequently they’ll be “no concessions” at Leaky Towers when it comes to exposing the hypocrisy , the stupidity , the waste , the incompetence and the dishonesty  that still lies at the heart (if it had one) of Wirral Council .

 

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Close to Home – News from Abroad

Special Delivery

“I would only open this in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths….”

 
Today we peer behind the veneer at the sordid reality of what it’s really like for some people who work at Wirral Council.  What lies behind the current banal mantra of pledges/ leadership/going forward are the desperate measures that some council employees are forced to take to protect themselves and why callow and complicit councillors and officers are prepared to collude with such a toxic culture.
The case study below tells a salutary tale of operating in such a toxic culture that won’t be found in any Local Government Association or any other so called “independent” report.
For now at least  we have adopted the Wirral Council  method of redacting the names to protect the guilty. However unlike Wirral Council we “pledge” (!) to reveal the names in time.
Who knows when ? – perhaps when we stand alongside the Commissioner of Oaths when the special delivery above is finally opened?.
If memory serves me correctly they started within months of each other at WBC. It was evident to me that they were ‘out of the same mould’ from the outset. What I would describe as a ‘difficult’ relationship ensued as it soon became apparent to them that I saw through them both, and was not going to be cowed by either or both of them, which did not make me very popular.
Unpopular with them or not, I had a very successful 23 years in WBC as my successes, in spite of, rather than because of the system, have demonstrated. I apologise if that comes across as an arrogant claim, but I do not do false modesty and my track record of public service has had many recognitions, ironically a number from WBC, amongst others.
The background here is important, and precedes any ‘exposé’, or ‘common knowledge’ of insidious bullying, intimidation and other misdemeanours as A and B spread their vicious, manipulative cancer from the outset through weak politicians, and weak chief and senior managers. In a fairly short time they exercised what at times could only be described as an almost psychopathic need to control everything – at which they virtually succeeded.
My WBC networks were external, internal but corporate, and not solely departmental like many staff. The stories on the grapevine, and my own personal experience painted an appalling picture of deceit, self interest, manipulation, tantrums, bullying and fear.
 
I took the following precaution in the mid-noughties.
In a similar way to which copyright songs were protected in the not-too-distant past, I committed my concerns to paper, and sent a copy to myself at work (I received and dealt with my own post) by Royal Mail Special Delivery/Tracked and registered.
The content of the letter described what I considered to be, at some point in the future, the distinct possibility of unfounded allegations of sexual harassment/ sexual assault or maybe worse against me. That was the situation as I saw it at the time, and I am not prone to flights of fancy, or unfounded speculation of this kind. It was time to take precautions.
As this cabal operated at the highest levels, and ranks were well and firmly closed as you know, where could you go to report your concerns? Nowhere, which was why I took this action.
One could easily imagine the grief I would have been subject to if my concerns had entered the upper echelons of management, or the public domain at the time.
Nothing did happen, but would you have taken the chance against these two and their ‘protectors’, particularly with the benefit now of hindsight?

Others may have taken some sort of ‘precautionary’ action, I am not aware of any, but if it is familiar to you then it is a good indicator of the ‘regime’ and the view that they were ‘bullet proof’.

Whistleblowing in WBC was like pressing the self-destruct button, even though it was a heavily-promoted WBC policy – consequences as per Martin Morton, et al, more recently.
Ordinarily’, and I can just about remember a time such as that in WBC, all things being equal, I would never have disclosed this to anyone. It had served its purpose and to date nothing has required me to produce this letter.
I am appalled by what has passed itself off in Wirral Council as ‘public service’ and the way others have profited rather handsomely at the expense of genuine individuals and services. If your face didn’t fit, or you weren’t prepared to be dominated and submissive you would be overwhelmed and driven out. The ‘non-compliant’ were driven out of jobs they loved and unlike these parasites were actual assets to the Council and the public.
 
This action was not taken lightly, and I am not, and never have been, paranoid. I am reasonably intelligent and articulate, and neither stupid nor foolish (and they couldn’t cope with that), but I have been successful (and they couldn’t cope with that either).
Why wouldn’t anyone ask…What would drive any ‘successful’ sane individual to take this kind of action?
As the ‘dynasty’ subsumed all before it, I took this action to protect me (and my career) as an individual, my wife and family, and my reputation. I saw a real threat, a very real threat indeed, with no prospect of support should it become a reality.
 
Shall we call it Risk Assessment and Risk Management and an Action Plan? The aim was to minimise the risk, which is what I did. I ensured that I was never alone in any situation, and later when things intensified I arranged to meet only in my office with my staff in attendance. I also ensured that any dialogue we had was documented in emails, not phone calls.
I believed that I had enough verified information, knowledge and experience, that these two individuals in particular, either working together, or alone could so simply orchestrate a situation, with open plan offices full of ‘witnesses’, that some kind of indiscretion had been perpetrated by me. Manipulation and feminine wiles were her stock in trade, and histrionics were her forte.  Bullying, ignorance and connections were his.
 
The letter is still sealed and unopened within the sealed Royal Mail envelope and is in Europe for safekeeping….Maybe it should stay that way?.

Word Up(date)

Pass the parcel 2

The Thynne 2 report – all tied up in red tape and hidden from view.

End of Suspense  

We are reliably informed that Cllr Louise “Receipts” Reecejones  is no longer the persona non grata of the local Labour Party. Apparently her suspension by the North West Labour Party was lifted on Thursday (the day before we published our story).

It is clear from the information we’ve received there are still some outstanding differences between certain parties. We’d like to think these conflicts could be sorted out swiftly and amicably . However breath holding is not advised as that’s not the way things usually work round here and especially when there are still some layers of this saga to be unwrapped……

Party (Political) Games

Perhaps Cllr Reecejones can put her experience of being suspended to good use and volunteer to sit on the repeatedly delayed Standards Panel. For as we know this panel is supposed to be looking at a report concerning allegations of serious misconduct by other Labour councillors. Nobody can be surprised to hear that the further delays are because they can’t find a Labour councillor willing to sit on the panel.There have been at least two councillors who’ve seen the writing on the wall and shirked their civic duties. Not so much a party political game of pass the parcel as pass the panel.

We can understand why  Cllr Matron McLaughlin might of backed out as she would have had to have made a particularly  interesting declaration of interest !. However can it be a coincidence that Cllr John Salter , who we understand was briefly mooted for the task , has announced that after 14 years as a Labour councillor will not now be standing at the local elections in May. Well fancy that!.

Indeed rather worryingly we understand that Wirral Council has been looking to set a date for the Standards Panel after the local elections and as late as the end of May !. Even more worryingly  this is contingent on those councillors currently nominated for the  Standards Panel retaining their positions as councillors . Clearly having seen themselves outnumbered on the panel we understand the Labour group have already cooked up a cunning ruse to even up the score so it is proposed there will be 4 panel members which includes an independent person alongside the original 3 politicians ( 1 Labour , 1 Lib Dem and 1 Conservative) . We can only assume that they are hoping for a Labour landslide at the local elections in the hope they can rig the Standards Panel altogether and guarantee they win the “prize” in this particularly sordid party political game.

Word on the Street

Word on the street

Kept in the dark

It’s been flagged up with us that half the staff of Wirral Council contractors  BAM Nuttall (or should that be BAM F*ckall?) have been told to hit the road. If this is the case  –  can we ask how this will help with the streetlights repair backlog and the holes in the road ? – perhaps Council streetscene Tsar Stuart “Witless” Whittingham can take time out from posing with a lamp post to shine some light on the situation  before everything turns to pot (holes).

Send in the Clowns

We understand that whilst a police investigation has concluded in the case of Wirral councillor Louise Reecejones  there still remain more questions than answers. We all remember that Reecejones was suspended by North West Labour Party nearly a year ago – although not from council duties.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/suspension-suspense/

We understand the suspension still stands and suspect the council will be taking matters further as well as dealing with the public spat with outgoing councillor Jim “Crabby” Crabtree.

As one of our sources say  : “It’s an awful mess and at the centre of it is money that was given in grants for the specific reason of helping form policies and procedures as well as to hold the LA to account on behalf of children with special educational needs and disabilities and the LA have been carrying on without any parental input on the new SEND* law and reforms –  
Children with SEND are suffering because of all this but yet again the most vulnerable are left out in the cold.” 
*  Special Educational Needs and Disability
 No change there then!
Reds on the Sunbed
Finally we’ve been asked by some of our readers about do we know anything about the man with the tan and how he got it ?. We’re talking about Wirral Council”leader” Power Boy Pip Davies who has appeared publicly recently looking rather ruddy. Her Ladyship thought his flushed appearance could be embarrassment. But I reminded her of the old phrase : ” A blush is the colour of virtue” and she was quickly disabused of the notion.
Perhaps Pip himself can enlighten us as to where he got his glow –  New Brighton? Reno ??, Cannes???…………..

Year of Flogging A Dead Horse

Under the table

Peel Director Lindsey Ashworth (left)  fondly remembers the table that he claims  Hong Kong bankrupt Stella Shiu could drink him under. Power Boy Pip (allegedly left) looks on gormlessly.

We’d like to thank the perplexed readers who contacted us about a couple of stories that have been published on consecutive days this past week in the Liverpool Echo. They’ve asked us if we could throw some light on the stories.  The first thing we’d like to say is that the Echo is certainly living up to its name. These  two stories appear to us as being not so much published as regurgitated – and much like vomit – equally sickening.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Echo

So let us do this chronologically  – firstly on 14th March we get this previously reported story about Peel Empires Inc – having quite reasonably given up on the Stella Shiu  No-Show – moving on to Plan B ( B for bullshit)  and now want to throw up ( there’s a theme here) residential units on the site previously earmarked for businesses ,offices and the International Trade Centre.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/peel-seeks-investors-partners-build-11039885

Yes ! –  23,500 more buy-to-lets! –  just what we need in the Liverpool Economic Partnership area (which includes Wirral) and which the English Indices of Deprivation indicates is the worst in England and bottom of the league when it comes to employment, income, health deprivation and disability.

Wirral – deprived and with a declining population that is becoming increasingly elderly and dependent .What an attractive proposition to investors!

Then on 15th March we get this follow up desperate “news”story :

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/wirral-trying-make-international-trade-11034120

Talk about late to the party !. It was 5 months ago we covered this bogus story about desperate Wirral Council leader Power Boy Pip Davies maintaining his blind faith in Hong Kong bankrupt Stella Shiu by flogging off some land miles away from the Wirral Waters site when it was first reported in the Financial Times :

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/chinese-takeaway-1st-dibs-2nd-course/

Presciently we commented :

  • The  FT report appears to us to have been a “controlled leak” via a national newspaper with a niche market . Who authorised this leak and what was the motivation to leak the jubilant news of the Sam Wa / Stella Shiu hook-up rather than being heralded as a “good news” story in the likes of the Liverpool Echo ?

Clearly in hindsight this was an early example of Wirral Council’s PR amateur Martin Liptrot’s early work  which he followed up months later with the  lazy / compliant local mouthpiece that is the  Liverpool Echo.

As Her Ladyship commented : ” Wasn’t it a Chinese New Year recently – what was it?  – The Year  of Flogging A Dead Horse ?”

Wirral Waters - Artists Impression

Wirral Waters – the latest artist’s impression.

It Ain’t Necessarily So

HOLY-FUCKING-MOSES-PHIL-DICK

Is it us or do Wirral Council lurch from one PR gaffe to the next with even more frequency than ever since the appointment of communication tsar Martin Liptrot ?.

The latest public relations cock up involves  Cllr Chris Jones – Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health – who thought she could stem the tide of discontent over the closure of Girtrell Court by making a stateswomanlike statement to the press.

We guess the lesson that Cllr Jones needs to learn here is that if you’re given an untrammelled  opportunity to put your side of the story that you need to check that it matches the headline.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14346757.Wirral_Council_care_chief_says_Girtrell_Court_respite_centre_will_close_in_August___and_here_she_explains_why___/?ref=mr&lp=15

Of course recently Wirral Council have been used to writing the story , the headline and take the picture with the Liverpool Echo  (more of which another time). Other media outlets  – including us – are rather less accommodating.

But then again we doubt very much whether Cllr Chris Jones – marginally less of a Welsh windbag than her Hagrid-like husband  who’s also in the Wirral Council Cabinet of Curiosities – actually wrote the press statement.

Consequently the distaff side of the Jones household has had to send a clarification as to whether the closure of Girtrell Court is a done deal or not . The mealymouthed missive sent on her behalf currently doing the rounds has inevitably landed on the Leaky Towers doormat.

Sent on behalf of Cllr Chris Jones – Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Dear Councillor,

Following yesterday’s article in the Wirral Globe regarding Girtrell Court, I think it would be helpful if I clarified the current position.

The article led with a headline stating that Girtrell Court would close in August. This is not necessarily the case, and did not form part of the text I issued. 

We are continuing to meet with the families and carers using the facility in order to discuss their care needs and the various options available to meet them. A carer’s event has been arranged for 14 April, at which people using Girtrell Court and their families will be able to meet the numerous alternative providers in the area.

We have agreed to continue accepting bookings at Girtrell Court until the end of August 2016. This does not affect the consultation which is currently ongoing. This decision was taken in order to give the families and carers using the facility the ability to plan their summer breaks.

We will continue to hold discussions with individual families using the Girtrell Court facility to ensure that we are able to provide them with appropriate respite care which meets their needs. No closure date has been set for Girtrell Court.

When  I read the line  : “The article led with a headline stating that Girtrell Court would close in August. This is not necessarily the case, and did not form part of the text I issued. ”  to Her Ladyship ,  she replied  : ” Who does Cllr. Jones  think she is ?- the Almighty handing down tablets of stone to Moses?.”

We think perhaps that Cllr Jones may have been over-influenced by the alleged strong leader powers of the Godlike Council Leader Power Boy Pip Davies. Fortunately here at Wirral Leaks we understand that the things that your liable to read from Wirral Council – it ain’t necessarily so……

 

Panel Beaters

Panel Beaters 007

Now this is getting silly.Very silly indeed.

Remember the serial postponements of the Standards & Constitutional Oversight Committee which we have previously reported ? –  well as you all may know there was supposed to be a meeting of a  Standards Panel comprising of 3 councillor reps to consider   “serious” matters prior to the reconvening of this Committee . We understand that these “serious” matters concerned  the second Patricia Thynne investigation report into the alleged misconduct of senior councillors.

Well that Standards Panel meeting was set to take place next week on March 23rd. Now whilst it may still be listed as “PROVISIONAL” on the Wirral Council website we understand the meeting has now  been “POSTPONED”.

Somebody on the Labour benches must have twigged that Purdah didn’t start until March 28th and it would be inopportune during the run up to the local elections to have any more “unpleasantness” hanging around in the air like a fart in an elevator.

As we understand that Thynne completed her report at least 6 months ago it suggests to us that it’s the same old story of the Wirral Council power elite abusing their power . The same tactics were deployed with the recent belated publication of the LGA Peer Review . The fancy word they like to use for incessant delays is that reports have a number of  “iterations”  –  for  fact -checking, right of reply etc;.

What is really means is that it enables Wirral Council to not only “massage the message” but to buy some time when it comes to damage limitation.

We can only wonder what arm-twisting Patricia Thynne was subject to to take the sting out of her final report. All we will say is that at least the LGA Peer Review is now actually publicly available – there’s more chance of Lord Lucan riding Shergar in the Grand National than Thynne 2 appearing any time soon.

Which leads us to make this heartfelt plea  : Enough is enough! . Can we just cut the crap and ask somebody to just leak the damn report ?. Let’s face it Wirral Council are not averse to making strategic leaks when it suits them (not that we’re complaining!). Let’s not forget the infamous leaks of confidential information involving former Head of Tourism Emma Degg . To leak one confidential  Compromise Agreement looks like carelessness but to leak two looks like there’s a hidden agenda…….which brings us full circle back to the cancellation of the Standards Panel !.

Mass Debate

Vox Populi

After some initial doubt we understand that the Girtrell Court debate went ahead at last night’s Council meeting at Wallasey Town Hall  and from what we hear it was a fractious affair.

We are getting reports of Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies petulantly sitting down and refusing to speak whilst being repeatedly heckled……a heckler being ejected from the public gallery………Power Boy Pip heckling back (but not being ejected from the Council chamber).  As they say all drama is conflict and we’ve bought  multiplex -size popcorn supplies in the hope that Brace TV (© Cllr Jeff Green) covered the events so we can tune in later and heckle along.

Joking aside – we are positively joyous at Leaky Towers to hear about such open dissent and public challenge.We admit we were initially sceptical about the Save Girtrell Court campaign as it seemed to be a platform for politicians and trade unionists and suffice to say we have a healthy suspicion of both. However subsequent events have shown that  parents and carers have found their voice and been making their views known – and how!.

We think that decision makers at Wirral Council underestimate the parents and carers of disabled people at their peril. They have a lifetime’s experience of  having to fight the powers that be in the best interest of people who can’t speak up for themselves.

If nothing else at least people are becoming more and more aware of how Wirral Council operates. No wonder the final decision about the (inevitable) closure will (inevitably) take place behind closed doors !.

If people of Wirral truly want to have more openness, transparency and public accountability then the more members of the public engaged in political debate the better. This at least enables voters to make an informed choice (that word again) at the ballot box. It is the only way politicians will ever listen to the voice of the people.

 

No Debate ?

We leave this message / news story we received last night here without amendment/ further comment . In the interest of public debate we look forward to publishing a response from Wirral Council or any other interested parties :

MYSTERY PERSON GAGS GIRTRELL COURT CAMPAIGNERS

In a shock move, Monday’s vote on the future of Girtrell Court has been thrown into doubt after the Town Hall’s ‘Head of Legal Services’, Surjit Tour, invoked a clause in the Council’s Constitution to close down debate.

A formal ‘Notice of Motion’ had been submitted within the established legal timescales by Councillors Chris Blakeley and Bruce Berry (reproduced below).

Calling for a rethink on the closure plan, both councillors also requested that the future of Wirral Council’s last remaining respite centre to be decided in public.

Having been listed in the agenda for Monday’s council meeting as ‘to be debated’ (see this link: http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=123&MId=5138), the Head of Legal Services has now mounted a last-ditch attempt to prevent the debate.

Councillor Blakeley said: “This attempt to stop debate in public wouldn’t be out of place some tin pot dictatorship.

“In spite of the promises to be ‘open and transparent’, we are once again seeing how the closure of Girtrell Court is now so toxic for the Town Hall they don’t even want it debated.

“Ten days ago, the Head of Legal Services accepted our notice for debate as legal, accurate and within agreed timescales, under the Constitution.

“Yet, here we are, on the eve of a vote, and suddenly we are told that it can’t be debated.”

In an email on Friday to Councillor Blakeley, Mr Tour said he had ‘received a query’ as to whether the debate should go ahead.

Councillor Blakeley added: “Who is the unnamed mystery person who has queried this debate and who appears to have so much influence that the debate can be stopped? We must be told.

“Instead of scratching around the bowels of the Council for a way out of this mess, the Town Hall should accept they have got it wrong, misjudged public opinion and stop the closure. That would be fair to the families and would be supported by councillors, the staff and trade unions.”

  1. GIRTRELL COURT (to be debated)

Proposed by Cllr Chris Blakeley

Seconded by Cllr Bruce Berry  

Council notes that the Leader of the Council has previously stated that he wants his Administration to be open, transparent and fair with the people of Wirral. Council welcomes this approach.  

Council therefore believes that the future of Girtrell Court must be decided in public and not under delegation to the portfolio holder, in conjunction with the Director of Adult Social Services.  

Council further believes that the families of those using Girtrell Court, the staff, trade unions and residents and users must be given every opportunity to influence the future of Girtrell Court through a clear and transparent decision making process.

Peer Less

Peer review

Let’s make a declaration of interest from the outset  – we fundamentally object to peer reviews. Local government gurus glad handing  their well-paid peers and telling them that they feel their pain (for a fat fee  minus VAT) .

No thank you.

What we need is someone who has never worked in local government and preferably never had to climb that greasy pole like a pole dancer in a pin stripe suit.

No doubt their report would be somewhat more succinct and read :  ” WTAF!”.

So imagine our cynicism when we learned that the report about the latest Wirral Council peer review co-ordinated by the Local Government Association (LGA) had been not so much released as escaped  under the banner : Council Improvement Continues ( no laughing at the back).

We suspect even the Liverpool Echo weren’t buying that bogus headline.

http://www.wirral.gov.uk/news/10-03-2016/council-improvement-continues

The review  was led by Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council. The same council who have hit the headlines because their plans to cut care for disabled was ruled unlawful and is the leading case when it comes to cuts in social care.

Mr.Rogers tells us :

It is important to stress that this was not an inspection. Peer challenges are improvement orientated and tailored to meet individual council’s needs. You asked the peer team to explore:  The council’s capacity to deliver the Wirral Plan 2020  The council’s approach to partnership working  New models for service delivery

So basically Wirral Council controlled the show . But the cracks are there. So let’s a shine a light on them because that’s what we do best.

First of all –   BS bingo fans will be reassured that besides the obligatory pie chart there are the following  favourites:

Interdependencies ✓

Integrated commissioning hub ✓

Transformation agenda ✓

Pledge driven ✓

Personality proof ✓

Holistic ✓

Joined up conversations ✓

We particularly liked that reclusive  Chief Executive  Eric “Feeble” Robinson is described as ‘a breath of fresh air’  as this is basically a bit of bitch-slap for his predecessor Graham Burgess.We liked that. We liked that a lot.

Furthermore we liked the following sly dig :

However, the Senior Leadership Team is not currently giving adequate corporate leadership and this needs to be much stronger if the Plan is to be delivered effectively

Which may explain why Super Duper Directors Clare Fish and Joe Blott are on the way out. Initially we had a degree of sympathy for these two – way out of their depth and caught up in other people’s corruption and then we remembered their six figure salaries and all sympathy evaporated.

They also do a fine line in stating the bleedin’ obvious :

The peer team also had a concern at the current high use of consultants and interims

You don’t say !.

Meanwhile the naivete is staggering :

The delivery of the Wirral Plan and pledges and the role of scrutiny may be enhanced in the longer term by offering opposition members a leadership role on the Policy & Performance Committees.

Scrutiny ?. By opposition members?. Can we have some of what the LGA are on?.

However this was our favourite observation:

The council and its partner agencies recognise that they want to form a different relationship with residents in the future. There is general recognition that relationships with local communities has been negatively impacted by the past challenges the council has had to deal with. The new relationship will be based on a clearer Wirral narrative, a greater ability to listen to resident’s issues, making better use of the data and intelligence the council gathers across the Wirral and greater use of channels use as digital and social media. 

Somebody from the LGA needs to tell Wirral Council  that they simply need to follow Wirral Leaks……but then they already do that !. But unfortunately it is a “new relationship” over which they have no control…….and we all know how they love to be in control!. Therefore we predict that this is one relationship that will continue to be fraught!.