Standard Procedures


Returning Officer  Money 011


Rather endearingly we’ve been asked by a very excited reader whether Wirral Council’s Standards & Constitutional Committee meeting on Thursday will finally mean that the Thynne 2 report will finally see the light of day.

Sorry to disappoint them but all we can say is- ” You’ve got to be joking ! ”

Instead it seems to be a case of death by bureaucracy and a further desperate attempt by Wirral Council to kill the report stone dead. The sickening irony is that Thursday’s meeting is to approve procedures,protocols and appointments relating to complaints about Wirral Councillors.

The fact that the Committee hasn’t met for 6 months tells you everything you need to know about how seriously councillors take the issue of their own public accountability.

If you really want to lose the will to live might we suggest that you check out the protocol here :

We have two main observations , the first of which is to ask what is the point of having a protocol , a procedure or a policy if you contemptuously ignore it?.

We mean specifically clause 16  of the protocol concerned as it is with the meeting of the Standards Panel

16. Standards Panel

16.1 Where a Standards Complaint has been referred for investigation and a finding of a breach has been found by the Investigator, the Standards Panel shall be convened within 20 working days of the Monitoring Officer receiving the Investigator’s final report.

So can the Committee tell us exactly how long they’ve had Investigator Patricia Thynne’s  second Code of Conduct report ?. By our reckoning it’s at least 6 months . Funny we can’t see anywhere in the protocol that Wirral Council have to check with a councillor’s legal rep whether it’s OK with them whether they can hold a meeting! . Although we do note that the decision to instigate a Standards Appeal Panel fills us with complete despair as no matter how heinous or how damning the evidence against them is an errant councillor can seemingly spin the inevitable out for even longer so that allegations can be dismissed as “historical”.

Our second observation is the truly terrifying aspect of the protocol that is the frightening number of powers that the Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour gives himself …..although now we come to think about it that might explain our first observation!!!.

The Monitoring Officer who thinks he’a Returning Officer – but isn’t !.

Oops! –  do you have a protocol for when that happens Mr.Tour?.


Returning & Non-Returning Officers

peonies 2016 008

We’ve received a couple of further leaks this past week which indicate that Wallasey Town Hall is very much the sleazepit it ever was.

Firstly we hear the news that Super-Duper Director Clare “Wet” Fish has failed to follow the golden rule of Wirral Council – “Use what you know to get what you want” as we’re reliably informed that :

“Cabinet in secret threw out Eric’s restructure proposal which would have allowed Clare Fish to go with big pension and severance payment ahead of pension changes later this year……..”

So not only does Eric “Feeble” Robinson finally find out where he stands in the scheme of things  – basically he does as he’s told and his  reward for fronting the Wirral Council charade is £ 175K + perks. Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you (don’t) try and change things.

Similarly do we have any sympathy for Ms.Fish ? – absolutely not!. Have you seen what she’s been on these past few years?. And how exactly have the people  of Wirral benefited from her six figure salary?! . What’s more we know she’s threatened to resign in a fit of pique well before now but obviously the lure of filthy lucre proved too much. She could have done so much better financially if she threatened to spill the beans on what she knows – but a well brought up gal like Fish is obviously out of her depth (!) when it comes to dealing the Birkenhead Boot Boys.

Indeed Ms.Fish would be advised to have some regard for our second leak on how things work at Wirral Council :

“First officer – 30 years of unblemished service,professional and respected by staff. Second officer investigated for fraud, assaulted colleague but ex mayors chauffeur and late night control room host for Cllrs. You can only guess who got the job!

Previous ludicrous job descriptions for Control Room (Team Leader and Technical Officer) you posted on your site have been approved with interviews taken place.
Problem being these posts have not been advertised internally or externally and with a 100+ on the redeployment register plus our very popular ex senior officer it makes you wonder why these posts were ringfenced for a few staff whose positions(Community Patrol Officers) are not under threat of redundancy.
The unions have been made fully aware of this situation but up to now absolutely no response to be honest no surprise there.
It seems the old guard has been replaced by the same thinking new guard where policies and procedures only apply to manual workers not suits behind desks.”
So it appears that somewhat incongruously Clare Fish will soon be able to sit in solidarity with the former Control Room staff as having been betrayed and dumped by the powers that be as a non -returning officer.
Perhaps if she’d threatened to tell us what she knows about the thus far hidden “Returning Officer” scandal she might of got herself a better pension deal!.
You know where we are Clare!. Might we suggest that leaking to us might be the most valuable contribution you’ve made to the people who’ve been paying your over inflated wages these past few years!.

You’re The Only One, Joe

Hands across the Mersey

So Mayor Joe and Power Boy Pip kiss and make up as the gruesome twosome appear in another  Liptrotsky – controlled Liverpool Echo  PR stunt.

The momentous occasion is Pip’s endorsement of Mayor Joe’s Metro Mayor campaign. In the accompanying video for the pisspoor puff piece Mayor Joe helpfully confirms for us that another mayoral candidate , Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger , is in fact a woman. Thanks for that Joe.  Could it be his riposte to our comment that this picture of the Liverpool City Region “leaders ” was hardly a model of diversity ?.

Northern Outhouse

We just wonder whether Mayor Joe realises that an endorsement from Pip is the kiss of death.

Who can forget his ringing endorsement of Tranmere Rovers  FC as  Ambassadors  for Wirral just before they almost immediately lost their manager and then sadly slipped into non-league obscurity ?.

We warn you all now that there will be much more of this PR BS  before the Metro Mayor election in 2017 – not that we’re complaining as it gives us the opportunity to run our famous caption  competitions.

Readers are invited to send in their captions for the above picture . The winner gets a LUCIANA BERGER FOR METRO MAYOR t-shirt.




Readers may remember last year’s flooding incidents across Wirral and Moreton in particular and the subsequent devastation wreaked on people’s homes.

Well we’ve been leaked (!)  a subsequent report into Flood-gate . As the Lead Local Flood Authority  this  investigation was required to be undertaken by Wirral Council in accordance with  the Flood and Water Management Act (2010) so they could review how they and other statutory authorities such as United Utilities and the Environment Agency had responded to the emergency.

So how did they do ?.

You (and no doubt the sodden homeowners) won’t be surprised to hear  – not very well.

The report tells us :

‘Information about the scale and severity of the flooding was slow to surface and reach key decision makers’ and ‘misconceptions about roles and responsibilities of the different agencies impacted on the effectiveness of the flood incident response’

Yes folks – this translates as all these highly paid executives in various agencies were , er, out of their depth and nobody knew what they were supposed to be doing!.

But fear not there’s the usual heading in the report entitled “Lessons Learnt” so in the time honoured tradition everything will be fine until the next time …….and the time after that ……and the time after that.

In the mean time the various agencies have drawn up an Action Plan as ‘many residents consider themselves unprepared/unaware of the risks of flooding’ and therefore they will be  ‘promoting the growth of community based resilience’ .

Somewhat like a flood victim we’ve waded our way through this verbiage and it translates to us as :

” Nothing to do with us guv . If you live on a flood plain it’s your own fault – get used to it…….”


Road Rage



Our postbox has been rammed today with two contrasting but inter-connected stories.The first concerns over-zealous Wirral Council spy-car patrols and the second is about the same Council making Lollipop people redundant .

These two stories seem to sum up everything that is wrong with Wirral Council’s priorities. Whilst we wouldn’t advocate  parking pandemonium the CCTV spy car seems to be primarily a money making scheme and not a road safety measure. We say this based on the welter of stories we receive about minor motoring indiscretions hit with a £70 fine which are no way commensurate  with the so-called offence. Appeals appear to be largely futile – although you are invited to see the footage of your heinous crime for yourself should you so desire.

Meanwhile we understand that after the Wirral Council have undertaken road safety assessments at 48 school crossing sites . These sites are described in an anonymised  “at risk” of potential redundancy letter sent to a School Crossing Patrol as having  a “light controlled engineering facility” . We think this must be  Council-speak for traffic lights ,pelican crossings etc; !.

Lollipop letter 2

As a result of these assessments 40 sites have been de-lollipopped and therefore it could be said that children’s road safety is automatically compromised – whether they’ve got the benefit of a “light controlled engineering facility” or not !.

The 8 sites that will retain a School Crossing Patrol are :

1       Old Chester Road/Rocklands Avenue, Bebington
2       Teehey Lane / Village Road / Town Lane, Bebington
3       Upton Road , Moreton
4       Woodchurch Road , Oxton
5       Woodchurch Road / Singleton Avenue , Oxton
6       Mill Lane / Ashburton Road, Liscard
7       New Chester Road / Bebington Road (Toll Bar), New Ferry
8       Oxton Road / Love Lane, Poulton

Under the circumstances and as Wirral Council advise in their letter , perhaps the School Crossing Patrol could discuss with their manager/supervisor that a suitable “alternative location for employment” would be behind the wheel of a spy-car ! – as that’s where the money -and the Council’s priorities – currently seem to be at!.



Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities

Following the local elections Wirral Council “leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies has had a Cabinet reshuffle. But let’s face it judged by his awkward public performances he’s always fiddling with his drawers.

However – out goes Welsh windbag Cllr Adrian Jones having mainly served his purpose of pretending to support whistleblowers and giving his former Cabinet colleagues the heads up about where the next bombshell might be  coming. He must be so proud.

Also tossed aside is Cllr Chris Meaden , who as we commented this week seems to have been thrown under the bus by Power Boy Pip over the Passport for Life leisure pass fiasco . Her (personal) involvement in the Control Room debacle probably didn’t help either….

So what are we left with when it comes to the big decision makers affecting the quality of life for people on Wirral ?.

Read this and weep:

“Leader” , Strategic Economic Development , Finance & Devolution – Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies

You know what they say about a man with a big portfolio don’t you?. Yes! –  that’s right he’s hiding behind important titles to make him sound “bigger” than he is.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Group , Transformation , Leisure & Culture – Ann McLachlan

Talk about one trick pony. If this woman says “moving forward” one more time she’s going to blow the turret off Leaky Towers (and no that isn’t a euphemism). As for “culture” – somebody needs to tell her that doesn’t mean drinking a pro-biotic yoghurt every morning.

Deputy Leader of The Council, Housing & Community Safety – George Davies 

Well,well ,well. No Cabinet would be complete without Georgie-boy would it?. Old faithful. The runaround. The go-between.The fixer.

We look forward to the day when Power Boy Pip  is indisposed and Gorgeous George has to command the authority of the Council chamber without putting on his glasses and reading from his notes (written in crayon).

Adult Social Care – Chris Jones

Sadly as her husband has been ousted from the cabinet Welsh Windbag-ess Chris Jones will no longer be able to regale us with her rendition of Amy Winehouse’s classic ” Me & Mr.Jones”.

However her continuing appointment as a cabinet member after the Girtrell Court still has us singing “what kind of fuckery is this?”.

Children & Family Services – Tony Smith

Love the Irish lilt. Hate his role in the closure of Lyndale School. He probably does too. But he’s still in the cabinet. These are the choices people make in life. Again , he must be so proud.

Highways & Infrastructure – Stuart Whittingham 

The big question is whether Stuart “Witless” Whittingham knows what “infrastructure” means. Remember this is guy who spawned a jokes about streetlights and how many people does it take a change a lightbulb on Wirral.

Answer : lots of them and and great cost and only after being highlighted (pun intended) on this blog and elsewhere.

Environment – Bernie Mooney 

Bernie sees it as her personal duty to be publicly affronted by absolutely everything from the Tory government to fly-tipping to litter to dog crap.

But mainly dog crap. Because that’s where the votes are.

Public Health – Janette Williamson

Congrats to Janette “Milly Tant” Williamson at getting a cabinet seat for being gushingly enthusiastic about absolutely everything Wirral Council does.

There is the added advantage she can advise on matters related to the elderly – such as euthanising members of the royal family and in the case of money owed to the council Jan would have no trouble recommending sending in the bailiffs mainly because that’s who she used to “work” for. So much for being a champion of the poor and oppressed!.

Community Engagement & Communications  – Matthew Patrick    Martin Liptrot

Enough said.


Where The Paranormal Is Normal

Leaky towers

Infamously Wallasey Town Hall was once described in a damning report as a place where the abnormal is normal.

Well it would appear that in yet another  case of you-couldn’t-make-this-shit-up that there will be a Wallasey Town Hall Ghost Hunt held next month where the abnormal is now paranormal .!wallasey-town-hall—sat-11th-june/m12az

Yes – apparently there will be a Paranormal Team on hand at the event and guests are encouraged but not forced to participate in “experiments ” which  include:-

Vigils and seances in your groups – this will be very familiar to a lot of people already as let’s face it trying to get a response from Wirral Council on some issues is like trying to commune with the dead. So save yourself from making a time consuming Freedom of Information request – join hands , close your eyes and chant :  ” Eric can you hear me ? … that you Eric ?…….Eric you’re very faint …….what’s that you say ?……you want to apply an exemption and can’t be full and frank with the living ?…..”      

Table tipping we assume this must mean getting rid of all those excess desks floating like ghosts round Wallasey Town Hall following the arrival of shiny new office furniture earlier this year

Ouija board and glass divination (both optional) – Watch as the powers of darkness spell out W-I-R-R-A-L-G-A-T-E   

Lone vigils (optional) – This will be for all the Wirral Council whistleblowers sent to Coventry or Occupational Health  or the dole queue . Remember this is optional – the option being to keep your mouth shut and your head down.

Human pendulam (sic) – As we all know a pendulum is a body suspended from a fixed support so that it swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity. We’re guessing that a human pendulum at Wallasey Town Hall consists of senior managers swinging freely back and forth under the influence of those who have power in the hope that they’re not the latest human sacrifice tossed into the gutter once they’ve served their purpose.  

Full use of equipment throughout the night including K2 metres, hand-held thermometres (sic) and voice recorders –  Sssssssh! –  we don’t know what the first two are for but if there’s one thing that will scare some councillors more than anything at Wallasey Town Hall it’s the use of voice recorders!!!.


Marvellously Meddlesome


Mr Meddle 1

And so comes the inevitable U-turn over the Passport for Life debacle as  Cllr  Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies looks less like a leader by the minute and succumbs to a humiliating climbdown after a successful campaign to get the Council long service award reinstated.

Simpering Pip says:

“While I understand the decision to withdraw these passes may have made sense from a purely business perspective, we made a commitment you could use our leisure facilities for life and I believe we should honour that commitment.Therefore it is my view that the council got this one wrong. I am therefore taking the decision to reinstate your passport for life with immediate effect. I have instructed the chief executive to make the necessary arrangements for that to happen.”

Thereby throwing under the bus Chris Meaden, Wirral cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture and Super -Duper Directors Joe Blott and Clare Fish for coming up with and trying to sustain this  mean-spirited and ill-thought out proposal.

As for getting this one wrong  might we suggest that Pip and Co have got more than one thing wrong. Indeed he should have been thinking about throwing some other high ranking public officials under the bus long before now.

However our congratulations must go to Norman Meddle for leading the successful campaign to reinstate the  Passport for Life leisure pass for the 400+ former Council employees.

Once again  it demonstrates the power of public protest particularly via social media. There is now a growing list of such campaigns from car parking charge proposals in New Brighton being scrapped to plans to turn Hamilton Square into a roundabout being halted.

Therefore we implore people of Wirral that if there’s something Wirral Council are doing which you don’t like – organise , protest , complain ,blog  , sue – whatever it takes .

Take  your cue from the Norman conquest – sometimes you have to be Meddle-some to get what you want!



Getting the Hump – Update



As a follow up to yesterday’s post we have been forwarded an e-mail sent by Wirral Council including details of those humps ,those lovely loadsa humps and where to submit comments,questions or objections about the proposed traffic calming scheme in the Devonshire Place Area .

Please be advised that any suggestions that inconsiderate and selfish 4×4 drivers should be culled will not be accepted.

I am writing to advise you of proposals to introduce road safety improvements in Manor Hill and Devonshire Place area, Birkenhead.

These proposals form part of a planning condition, which was associated with the development of Birkenhead High School Academy, and is also supported by the Birkenhead Constituency Committee to improve safety in the vicinity of three schools.

The proposed scheme involves the construction of round topped speed humps, the locations of which are listed on the attached schedule below.

Schedule of Traffic Calming Features.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 46 & 48 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 58/60 & 43/45 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 70/72 & 53 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 74/76 & 55/57 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 86/88 & 67/69 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 29/31 Devonshire Place & Birkenhead High School for Girls.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 25 Devonshire Place & Birkenhead High School Academy.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 21 Devonshire Place & Birkenhead High School Academy.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 15 & 46 Devonshire Place.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 30/32 Devonshire Place & Redcourt St Anselm’s School.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 16/18 Devonshire Place and at the side of 2 Claughton Green.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 2/4 Devonshire Place & in Devonshire Place at the side of 38 Palm Grove.

1 no. road hump in Grosvenor Place at the side of 37 Grosvenor Road and 26 Palm Grove.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 10 & 13/15 Grosvenor Place.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 33 Grosvenor Place and Carmelite Monastery.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 14 Grosvenor Place and Carmelite Monastery.

1 no. road hump in Grosvenor Place at the side of 69 Manor Hill and the side of Birkenhead High School Academy.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 39 Grosvenor Road and at the side of 20 Palm Grove.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 45 Grosvenor Road and at the rear of St Anselm’s College.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 96/98 Grosvenor Road and the rear of Carmelite Monastery.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 112/114 & 65/67 Grosvenor Road.

1 no. road hump in Grosvenor Road at the side of 72 and 74 Manor Hill.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 83/85 & 136/138 Grosvenor Road.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 146 Grosvenor Road and at the side of Abbotsford.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 41 Forest Road.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 46/48 & 59/61 Forest Road.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 52/54 & 71/73 Forest Road.

1 no. road hump in the vicinity of 10/12 & 1a Howbeck Road.

Associated traffic signing and road markings will accompany these works.

A 20mph Traffic Regulation Order is also proposed as part of this scheme in Manor Hill from its junction with Egerton Road to its junction with Devonshire Place, Devonshire Place, Sandy Way, Claughton Green, Grosvenor Place, Grosvenor Road from its junction with Palm Grove to its junction with Forest Road, Forest Road from its junction with St Aidan’s Terrace to its junction with Grosvenor Road, Hanover Close, Foxdale Close and Howbeck Road from its junction with Forest Road to its junction with Shrewsbury Road, Birkenhead.

I have attached a plan with this Email illustrating the extent of the proposed scheme for your information.

Should you have any queries, comments or observations to make regarding these proposals, please go to the Wirral Council website and click on:

Submit comments, questions or objections about new highway schemes in Wirral.

This link will take you to an online ‘Traffic Scheme Feedback’ consultation e-form which you can use to submit comments or objections, which must be received before 3rd June 2016. Comments or objections received after this date may not be considered. (Please quote the scheme ref no. above in any correspondence).

If you wish to object to the proposals you must make this clear in your response and state the specific reasons for your objection.



Getting The Hump



We’ve been contacted by a local Wirral resident who’s got the hump with Wirral Council .

So what ? – join the queue we hear you cry !. No  , bear with us ,  it would appear this person may be getting the hump whether they like it or not. Road humps to be precise.

We are told that in his election leaflets that George Davies Deputy Leader of Labour Group ,  Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety and Labour Councillor for Claughton Ward made reference to road improvements and a consultation concerning the problems caused to local residents by the parents of St. Anselms and Birkenhead High School afflicted with school run psychosis.

Our concerned resident emailed Cllr Davies to seek clarification, and was advised this would be outlined in due course and made reference to a sum of funds allocated to the traffic calming scheme that our source would apparently remember although they inform us that they were unaware of this being publicised at any time.
Our source writes to us :
‘Surprise, surprise the proposals were unveiled a week after the election – given that all the neighbours I have spoken to thus far are vehemently opposed to the proposals, I imagine that the councillor was unwilling to unveil this prior to the election.
For the sake of me I cannot understand why these proposals have been put forward, other than to ensure that the money is spent, since it fundamentally fails to address the problems it is seeking to resolve.’
And writing directly to Cllr Davies they asked :
‘Whilst I am aware that as governor of two schools you may well excuse (or be required to be excused) yourself from many of the formalities,  I trust the interests of the residents, which elected you and whom you represent, will take priority in your decisions, and the considerations of all local councillors.’
We’re not sure whether our source is familiar with how exactly Wirral Councillors operate but the “interests of residents”  are seldom a priority and furthermore we anticipate they may have a hard time  getting answers to the following questions they’ve raised in a formal objection.These questions include :
Whether the consultation is part of a planning condition associated with development of Birkenhead High School Academy  and , was this formally conveyed to residents affected at any time?
Why was this notice not issued prior to recent local election – who decided on timing, and why?
How many traffic accidents have there been in the last four years in the areas affected and how many people were injured?
Are any of the roads covered by the proposals deemed to be amongst the top 5% of roads in the Borough for frequency of accidents?
What is the average speed of vehicles during term time, and in the peak traffic periods associated with school collection / drop off – NB not during the rest of the day – when was the traffic study undertaken?
What is the cost of the construction of the measures?.

How were the location of the humps calculated?

When will the work be undertaken – if approved, and what would be the timescale ?.

Which councillors are members of Birkenhead Constituency Committee, and were appropriate did they excuse themselves from voting if they were governors of any of the schools concerned?

Are the funds allocated for the scheme ring fenced, would they have to be surrendered if the scheme did not proceed?

Unfortunately our source will not be able to raise these issues directly with Cllr George Davies or the Birkenhead Constituency Committee as the meeting planned for May 26th has now been cancelled – just like the one before it – so that Birkenhead constituents won’t have had a meeting in six months and meaning that local democracy and public accountability still don’t seem to be on the agenda!.