As a follow on from previous stories about first the postponement and then cancellation of Standards & Constitutional Oversight Committee we thought we’d try and discover why Wirral Council would resort to such delaying tactics.
Apparently the meetings were cancelled because they had nothing to discuss!.
This must be because Wirral councillors are either :
A) simply beyond reproach and require neither oversight nor sanction or B) they’ve got something to hide !.
This wasn’t a trick question. The answer is B.
The deciding factor for the delays was the fact that a Labour councillor couldn’t be found to attend a Standards Panel meeting where the sequel to the now infamous Thynne 1 report published in June 2014 was to be considered prior to a full meeting of the Standards Committee itself.
Now isn’t it funny – or rather , sickening – that when there’s a nice little earner to be had sitting on the board of Merseytravel, Magenta Living , Merseyside Fire & Rescue etc there’s no shortage of councillors volunteering to stick their snouts in the trough but when it comes to performing their civic duties closer to home they come over all shy and retiring……or more accurately sly and in denial.
We understand that Thynne 2 was complete many months ago and yet it remains hidden from not only public scrutiny but apparently any scrutiny whatsoever. Probably because this sequel is that rare thing – an improvement on the original Thynne 1 – a report you won’t find on the Wirral Council website although it was originally published within a month of its completion.
We can only conclude that the reason that Thynne 2 hasn’t been published is that it includes testimony other than from those with something to hide. Therefore in the continuing absence of the follow up report we are compelled to revisit Thynne 1 and consider significant paragraphs that we can only hope were subject to closer scrutiny than they were the first time they were published.
Cllr Jeff Green’s evidence :
Para 5.1.2 Person A (one of the complainants called The Group ) then told him ( Cllr Green) that they had received threats from the council that if they produced the tape it would go badly for them
Cllr Phil Davies’ evidence :
Para 5.2.3 Cllr Davies believes the Group were trying to use the content of the phone conversation to pressurise him into settling their claim
SO WHY SUBSEQUENTLY DID WIRRAL COUNCIL LEADER PHIL DAVIES COMMISSION A REVIEW FROM NICK WARREN WHICH TRIES TO ENSURE THE GROUP SETTLE THEIR “CLAIM” FOR COMPENSATION WITHOUT FOLLOWING DUE LEGAL PROCESS AND AGAINST LEGAL ADVICE WHEN IT APPEARS FROM HIS DESCRIPTION THE GROUP WERE TRYING TO EXTRACT MONEY WITH MENACES ?! – WE THINK THE EVIDENCE BELOW WILL HELP EXPLAIN.
Cllr Steve Foulkes evidence :
Para 5. 3 .3 He says that he was anxious to introduce a clear prohibition against the political manipulation of whistleblowers. At the time some whistleblowers seemed to be feted and courted by some councillors whilst others were ignored. It occurred to him that the use of whistleblowers by politicians for political ends might itself constitute harm or damage that would support their claim (for) compensation from the Council. He thought that the document he had seen would provide good evidence to support his case about preventing this happening in future.
Para 5. 3. 4 Cllr Foulkes says that he asked Cllr George Davies who was actively involved with The Group to talk to them and request a copy of the document he had read several years previously . He also asked that the document be signed by them to prevent people thinking that he had written it himself. He says he asked for the document both to support his own desire to amend the Council policy on whistleblowing and also because he thought it might strengthen their claim against the Council for compensation.
CONTRADICTORY MUCH ?. FOULKESY WANTS TO STOP WHISTLEBLOWERS CLAIMING COMPENSATION BY HELPING SO CALLED WHISTLEBLOWERS MAKE A DUBIOUS CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION BY ASKING THEM TO PROVIDE A DOCUMENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO SMEAR A POLITICAL OPPONENT !.
A DOCUMENT HE HAD ALREADY “ACQUIRED” FROM FORMER DIRECTOR OF LAW BILL NORMAN’S FILES AND HANDED OVER TO A LOCAL JOURNALIST. GO FIGURE!
Para 5.3.6 Cllr Foulkes stated that he did not conduct smear campaigns. He has not used the letter to attack an individual. He states that as Deputy Mayor , he could not have left the Council Chamber during a meeting unless there was an adjournment.
SEVERAL WITNESSES SAW FOULKES LEAVE THE COUNCIL CHAMBER TO MEET THE LOCAL JOURNALIST ON 13 JULY 2013. THERE WAS AN ADJOURNMENT AT THIS MEETING – IT’S RECORDED IN THE MINUTES ! ……..AND HE’S FILMED ON YOUTUBE SIGNALLING TO THE SAME JOURNALIST IN THE PUBLIC GALLERY !.
Cllr George Davies evidence :
Para 5.4.1 …..Cllr Davies is Frank Field’s agent and was present at numerous subsequent meetings between the Group and Frank Field
Para 5.4.2 Cllr George Davies says that over the years he got to know the group well and developed what he describes as a relaxed and unguarded way of talking to them. He also admits he has difficulty remembering the detailed content of conversations.
GOOD JOB THE GROUP RECORDED THE CONVERSATIONS THEN !
Para 5.4.3 …It was during this telephone conversation call that Cllr George Davies made the reference to the council officer which had been the subject of the previous investigation. Cllr George Davies is adamant that they talked about no other issue and there was no conversation about any smear campaign against Cllr Green
WE BELIEVE THIS STATEMENT TO BE UNTRUE. GEORGE DAVIES NOT ONLY USES A RACIAL SLUR HE OFFERS TO SETTLE THE GROUP’S COMPENSATION CLAIM DESCRIBED BY PERSON A FROM THE GROUP AS A SMEAR DEAL (SEE BELOW).
Letter from The Group to Joe Blott
Para 5.5.2 The letter refers to a request they be interviewed as part of the previous investigation and asks that they not be contacted in future. The letter goes on to say that the investigation “Makes no mention of the political cohesion (Smear Deal) from Wirral Labour Party that was set up with the whistleblowers on behalf of the Deputy Mayor Mr Foulkes including others , against Jeff Green the Wirral Conservative leader.”
WOULDN’T IT BE INTERESTING TO KNOW WHY THE GROUP WOULDN’T CO-OPERATE WITH ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT INVOLVED DETAILS OF THE RECORDED TELEPHONE CONVERSATION AND YET AGREED TO GIVE EVIDENCE TO THE NICK WARREN REVIEW?. COULD IT BE THAT THE FRANK FIELD FACILITATED REVIEW HAD THE POSSIBILITY OF BIG CHEQUES AT THE END OF IT? . BUT CHEQUES FOR EXACTLY WHAT WE WONDER!. WE THINK THYNNE 2 WILL HELP ANSWER THAT QUESTION – WHICH MAY EXPLAIN WHY IT REMAINS HIDDEN FROM PUBLIC SCRUTINY.