Bird of Prey

Trump eagle

And they said I was unelectable!. If Our Ange is their new  leader the Labour Party will be like this eagle on my desk – stuffed!

We don’t mind admitting when we call things wrong and our prediction that  Wallasey MP Angela Eagle would return to well deserved political obscurity following the slow and agonising demise of poor Jezza Corbyn was way out. Little did we know that Our Ange was living up to her surname – going in for the kill like a carrion bird (not to be confused with Barbara Windsor) in the hope of feeding off the rotting cadaver of a once great party brought low by poisonous legacy of Blairism . We can almost hear  Jezza  whisper as another backstabber sticks the knife in – ” Et tu , Ange?”.

However in post-Brexit Britain the old certainties are no longer there – as Our Ange sheds the crocodile tears in a Radio 4 interview ( because as everyone knows being a soggy-faced whingebag is the main attribute of a natural born  “leader” ) the local Wallasey Constituency Labour Party (CLP) were reminding her that they put her where she is and they are quite happy with Jezza thank you very much. You’d think a  CLP would be delighted to have their MP as the next Labour leader wouldn’t you?. But not the Wallasey lot – they’re a feisty bunch by the sounds of it (see also their “No to Mayor Joe” stance on the Metro Mayor nominations). No doubt there’ll be the predictable cries of entryism! bullying! miltants! as the Labour old guard don’t like it when the proles don’t do as they’re told and suddenly realise the old certainties are no longer there.

Talking of old certainties ( he’s older and wiser than God and he has the one of the largest majorities in the country) Frankenfield – despite undermining Corbyn’s leadership since he was elected – must be feeling quite smug  in the knowledge he won’t be  facing any such challenge from the servile  Birkenhead CLP . After his brush with Labour militants in the 1980’s  we suspect that Frankenfield will have ensured that local meetings are very much a Corbynista free zone. Maybe Our Ange needs to take heed from a wily old bird like Field when it comes to gathering the flock!.

 

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Behind Closed Doors

Behind closed doors 008

We are deeply indebted to John Brace for providing this eyewitness report of yesterday’s Standards Panel. Well it would have been an eyewitness report if he’d been allowed into the meeting – which of course he wasn’t. Because no one’s allowed to know what goes on behind closed doors at Wirral Council . Read it and weep: http://johnbrace.com/2016/06/29/why-has-wirral-council-sunk-deeper-into-the-quagmire-of-poor-corporate-governance-surrounding-a-complaint-about-cllr-steve-foulkes/

As you know we think that it is far from hyperbole to describe this meeting as the most important and significant meeting in Wirral Council’s shameful history.

There are a couple of issues we want to raise about John’s gobsmacking report. Firstly we disagree , knowing what we know, that the complaint is solely about Cllr Steve Foulkes (or shouldn’t be anyway) . Unless of course there is a  separate meeting about Cllr George Davies pivotal role in the Wirralgate scandal and indeed Cllr Phil Davies role in the subsequent 3 YEAR OLD COVER UP of his comrade’s reckless actions.

As we’d reported previously Cllr Foulkes has had to resort to legal representation – surely not to defend what he has done?. As far as we’re concerned the evidence against Foulkes is irrefutable and overwhelming. Therefore we suggest that that the lawyer’s role is to ensure that the public Wirral are not allowed to know what their client has been getting up to whilst in public office.

They are clearly doing a good job so far – ensuring the meeting is held behind closed doors and preventing the publication of Patricia Thynne’s investigation report which is what the meeting was about. We ‘re just wondering who is picking up the tab for the legal fees .

Alongside his legal advocate Foulkes was lucky to have another strong advocate on the panel. Step forward Cllr Moira McLaughlin – who we’re sure made the necessary declaration of personal interest before the meeting started.

But then we may never know ………

 

Behind closed doors 009

The Gaslighters : Silent but Deadly

Lying

Wirral Council will be holding the most significant meeting in their history today.

What do you mean you haven’t heard about it?…… details are right there on their website. Oh no sorry they aren’t are they ?!.

Of course they’re not as Wirral Council’s gaslighting* of the masses continues unabated.

So what are we banging on about you might ask yourselves? – today (and possibly) tomorrow if the meeting is adjourned , in a room somewhere in Wallasey Town Hall , the details of the second (and hopefully more factually accurate ) Thynne Inquiry will be laid bare before a select few. A select few who have been sworn to secrecy and silence.

Not surprisingly we’ve made the comparison to the Chilcot Inquiry before –  delays, bureaucrats protecting their political masters, and the Maxwellisation of the process as politicians bleat about how they’re being picked on and it’s all so unfair.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/the-maxwellisation-of-wirral-council/

The only difference is it looks like The Chilcot Inquiry will actually get published very soon and discussion will take place in public . We even live in hope that there may actually be some sort of belated accountability for the Iraq war debacle.

But oh no not the Thynne Inquiry – what could possibly be so incendiary that it wouldn’t be allowed to see the light of day?. Could it be the truth about how some of the most senior politicians on Wirral conduct themselves and have been conducting themselves for many years ? . Destroying the lives and livelihoods of those who dared challenge their wrongdoing so that they could  maintain their reputations and positions of power – and what’s more using YOUR MONEY to do it!.

As we’ve said before it is the poison that has infected the body politic of Wirral for far too long. An infection that the likes of the Local Government Association and various consultants have diagnosed (for a big fat fee)  but chose to walk away from saying  to Wirral Council : physician heal thyself!.  The physician in this case being Harold Shipman.

Of course the Thynne Inquiry is just one half  of this sordid tale. Does anyone know if the Nick Warren Review (allegedly completed in April 2015) will  ever see the light of day?. No – thought not!. Whilst we might know that both of the reports from these investigations are different sides of the same sordid ,moneygrubbing coin known as Wirralgate –  why is it that  the people of Wirral aren’t allowed to know ?. Is it because they’re just considered to be the mugs kept in perpetual ignorance  and yet are expected pick up the tab for covering up corruption in high places.

Therefore we ask is it too much to expect that Wirral Council communications tsar Martin Liptrotsky should be enlightening rather than gaslighting the press about today’s momentous meeting?.

 

*Gaslighting

Wexit

 

  Wirral logoE X I T

 

In the aftermath of EU Referendum  we try and make sense of the momentous result by making reference to the local political scene.

First of all we note that Wirral as a whole voted to “Remain”…. but as per usual Wirral’s most prominent politician Frank Field got his own way. Let’s face it the 3 other local MPs are a complete irrelevance – and that includes shrill wannabe Angela ” more of a sparrow than an…” Eagle – who we look forward to seeing being  returned to well deserved political obscurity in the wake of Jezza Corbyn’s inevitable downfall .

However we’re intrigued as to which rich political benefactor funded Frank Field’s “Vote Leave” promos on the Wirral Globe website and print edition and  which flew in the face of the local Labour Party’s ” Remain” position on the EU referendum. We suspect it wasn’t “Sir” Philip Green but other suggestions are welcome…….

As we know the full ramifications of the EU referendum are still to be played out but for us at Wirral Leaks the local position is clear and we’re calling  for  W-EXIT.

Basically we’re advocating that our wonderful young Wirralians get the hell out of the insular peninsula as fast as they can.

Unless of course they’re quite happy to cosy up to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce, or kiss the sagging arse of a corrupt local politico, or compromise their personal integrity by being a complete mediocrity in return for being able to pay the mortgage. We need to let them know Wirral is not a meritocracy –  it is run by a mediocracy.

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

Indeed there is no clearer indication of where things are heading  than with the recent declaration that Wirral Council intended to operate as a “private sector head with a public sector heart”

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14564409.The_new_model_Wirral_Council____a_private_sector_head__with_a_public_sector_heart_/?lp=11

To which we say Wirral Council is more empty head and a dark heart.

A Labour run Council embracing such a twisted ideology tells you everything you need to know where things are heading locally.

Unfortunately their business plan seems to consist of fines on dog crap, litter and parking. As our butler Eldritch commented the next thing you know we won’t be able to break wind without being fined by Wirral Council . Indeed we fully expect to see a picture of Cllr Bernie Mooney making herself feel important by posing with Kingdom Security and allowing them to use a  Fart-O-Meter to measure methane omissions for monetary gain.

However can we suggest a few pointers to Wirral Council if they want to operate as a private company?.

  • If you were a private company and your Directors run up a toxic debt of £31 million they would be disqualified – not given a six figure golden handshake.
  • If you were a private company and one of your Directors offered a bribe to a group of complainants to shut them up about a secret recording which  smears a business rival they would be jailed – not allowed to continue as a deputy head of the business
  • If you were a private company you would have to register all of your interests and dealings with Companies House – and members of the public could discover what you’d been up to without having to resort to Freedom of Information requests

There’s a reason that Wirral has a declining population  and it’s not as Cllr Steve  Foulkesy believes  ” a good thing” it’s because the bright, the beautiful and the talented of Wirral have seen the future and it’s not about foodbanks, false promises or fellatio.

W- EXIT is the way to go!

 

Fury Cross The Mersey

angry-get-it-right

We’ve commented before that the battle for the soul of the local Wirral Labour Party will be down to grass-roots activists throwing off the shackles of the amoral political careerists and the corrupt bullies that have brought the party so low in recent years.

Following the ousting of Jim ” Crabby”Crabtree from the Bidston & St.James ward there are further encouraging signs that the party faithful are not prepared to do as their told by their “betters” (Orwell’s Animal Farm springs to mind).

We say this as news reaches us that Mayor Joe Anderson’s nomination for Metro Mayor isn’t going down too well this side of the Mersey. Indeed we understand that there was a distinct lack of support at a recent meeting of the Wallasey Constituency Labour Party . …and Mayor Joe is not happy as his nomination could now be in jeopardy!.

Local Labour Party members have been in touch to tell us they’re perplexed by Wirral Labour “Leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies’ steadfast support for Mayor Joe’s nomination which you can see here :

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxrkIjRDgrB-cU51T2xCLTk5NXJuVkVueUU4akVnY1ZxelZN

Labour party members are telling us that they can only see this support in terms of a political career move and suggest that serial political wannabe Power Boy Pip  – who let’s remember lost the West Wirral seat to Esther McVey in the General Election in 2010 and was only made leader  of the local Labour Party because Steve Foulkes was ousted in a vote of no confidence in 2012 –  is angling to be Mayor Joe’s Deputy Mayor.

It’s just a shame that his local party members are having none of it! – especially as Pip is looking increasingly like a man in need of an exit strategy before the shit hits the fan!.

But then we should thank our lucky stars as Birkenhead MP Frankenfield recently commented on the Metro Mayor post  : ” If I was 20 years younger I’d be after it!” http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14528555.Another_Liverpool_politician_joins_race_to_be_our_first__metro_mayor_/

And if that doesn’t give you nightmares we don’t know what would!.

VOTE LUCIANA!

 

Spewing News ( Regurgitated)

Pravda 2

As ever we get a sense of deja vu when it comes to Wirral Council and following yesterday’s story about their plans for a monthly publication we recall a story we ran in March 2014 .

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/the-devil-reads-pravda/

As you can see the story recounted the Birkenhead Constituency Committee’s plan to publish a quarterly newsletter. We can recall they subsequently published a really woeful effort but the interesting aspect was at the time the Council’s Head of Legal Surjit Poor, sorry Tour  was a bit jittery about the proposal to publish 4 newsletters.

Minutes of the meeting state:

“The Constituency Manager updated the Committee on the latest position in relation to the newsletter for Birkenhead and indicated that there may be some legal implications that needed to be further explored prior to publication and circulation. 

The Head of Legal and Member Services advised the Committee that there was a need to ensure that the newsletter would not breech (sic) any aspects of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity (the Code) and suggested that the decision on this be deferred and brought back to the next meeting of the Committee”

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=26264

The position seems to be that originally, Tour questioned such a publication from a legal standpoint, but has since come over to backing it (hmmm …..  we wonder why?) and not just a quarterly publication but one which comes out every month.We understand that he was just one of a number of council officers who knew they were on dodgy ground on this one but as ever caved in to “he who must be obeyed” – Frank Field, the Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee.

The Code that Tour refer to permits 4 publications per year.  So has Tour now signed off on a report going to Cabinet on Monday that is either unlawful or at the very least against government policy?. If 4 publications was a bit dodgy how does 12 publications a year stack up?.

Under the circumstances might we suggest there’s another Code that Tour should be re-acquainting himself with. Just sayin’.

Further confirmation that Wirral Council (and particularly Tour) know they’re on dodgy ground is confirmed in the Cabinet report fronted by Councillor Matthew Patrick (who’s picture at the front of the report makes Labour’s teen sensation Councillor Warren Ward look positively aged and decrepit) . Here you can read how councillors and council officers tie themselves in legal knots trying  to define the newsletter/newspaper/newssheet they are calling “Wirral Life”– yes, that’s the genius title that they want to call it – and of course we’re already calling it “Wirral Lies” so it suits us fine.

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50034625/CABINET%20REPORT%20-%20Keeping%20Residents%20Informed%2027%20June%202016%20FINAL.pdf

Their justification for the publication is as follows :

What that review indicates is that having regard to a code or guidance does not mean that it has to be followed, but if an authority is to depart from it, then it needs to recognise that that is what it is doing, and to have formulated reasons for doing so. The extent to which those reasons need merely be ones that are Wednesbury reasonable on the one hand, or must attain a certain standard of cogency or convincingness on the other, depends in part upon how fundamental is the departure from the guidance, and in part upon the statutory context (e.g. whether the subject-matter of the guidance deals with fundamental matters such as personal liberty, and whether its content has the approval of Parliament). 

Whilst we laughed out loud at the line “must attain a certain standard  of cogency or convincingness” – seriously how much do they get paid to write this bilge?- we think the reference to Wednesbury is particularly telling. As we suggested in yesterday’s post Wirral Council could be heading for a legal challenge in the form of a  Judicial Review as the test for the Wednesbury Principle is that “the decision -maker came to a conclusion so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could ever have come to it” .

And if that isn’t a desccription of Wirral Council’s modus operandi we don’t know what is!. Having said all that local media insiders aren’t sweating on this one and think the proposal could well be following in the footsteps of Wirral Council’s  Manager for Communications and Marketing  Kevin MacCallum by performing a disappearing act.

 

 

Spewing News

 

Spew

 

The foulest damage to our political life comes not from the ‘secrets’ which they hide from us ,but from the the little bits of half-truths and disinformation which they do tell us . These are already pre-digested and then a sicked up as little gobbets of authorised spew – E.P.Thompson , British historian

Hot off the press following the report that Wirral Council was looking to publish its own propaganda sheet   http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14558491.Wirral_Council_set_to_defy_Government_rules_by_launching_its_own_monthly_newspaper/ we received a copy of  Wirral Council’s CEO Stressed Eric Robinson ‘s ExecView which tells Council staff the reasoning behind the proposal :

Hello,

When we carried out our major piece of research into what residents think of living in Wirral, we also asked questions about how much they knew about services and events in their communities. There was a very clear response that local people felt they didn’t know enough about what’s happening in their area – and they’d like to know more. This week, we will publish a Cabinet report with a proposal for a new, free, monthly printed publication that will go to every home and business in the borough. 
We will support this with a new website, carrying information which is useful and relevant to residents, and improving our use of social media and other digital channels. If it’s approved, the publication will carry information on public services and community events and activities. It will be produced using existing resources and delivered to homes and businesses once a month, with copies available at locations such as supermarkets, hospitals and transport hubs. I’m very keen we help local residents know more about their area because we know that when people feel informed about where they live, they feel happier about living there. As employees, you and your teams would have a regular opportunity to contribute ideas and stories for the publication. As the vast majority of staff live in Wirral, your expertise and local knowledge will also help ensure we’re including the right things for our communities. 
Of course there is a cost to producing a new printed publication but it will be met from redirecting existing spending on communications and advertising, and offset further through generating income. There will be no extra cost to the council tax payer. Longer term, this will save money compared to what we spend on advertising now. 
Cabinet will discuss the proposals on Monday 27th June. If approved, the first edition will be out in the autumn. The Cabinet report will be published on our website towards the end of the week.

A few observations from us. Firstly it confirms that  “Executive Policy Officer” Martin Liptrotsky is truly the de facto Chief Executive Of Wirral Council . Fourteen months in office and all Stressed Eric can come up with is a newsletter?. I think  we all know who’s pulling the strings here don’t we?. Clearly not satisfied that having licence to print stories in the Liverpool Echo (or more accurately the pisspoor Wirral edition)  Liptrotsky seems to have been heeding the words of dead rock star Jim Morrison that “whoever controls the media ,controls the mind”.

Secondly we note that the survey to which Stressed Eric refers to pointed to the fact that the residents of Wirral didn’t trust the Council. What better way to restore that trust than by pumping residents with “authorised spew” straight through their letterbox every month?.

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

What’s more we’re not sure what Stressed Eric is doing referring to “our communities” – like every recent CEO before him he doesn’t even live here!

We at Leaky Towers would ordinarily be rejoicing in the news – after all it’ll be more blogfodder for us and endless opportunities for satire  – but we realise that when Eric talks about generating income/saving on communications and advertising that this is worrying for mainstream media outlets and consequently local democracy.

We say this bearing in mind guidance issued in 2011 by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) which states :

Local authorities should not publish or incur expenditure in commissioning in hard copy or on any website ,newsletters ,newssheets or similar communications which seek to emulate commercial nespapers in style or content .Where local authorities do commission or publish newsletters ,newssheets or similar communications ,they should not issue them more frequently than quarterly ,apart from parish councils which should not issue them more frequently than monthly . Such communications should not include material other than information for the public about the business , services and amenities of the council or other local service providers

We wonder whether local publications such as the Wirral Globe should be concerned about this proposal and if (or rather when) the proposal is approved whether a legal challenge in the form of a Judicial Review  might be in order?

However last word on the matter (for now) goes to Kevin “The Lost Boy”MacCallum the Council’s Senior Manager for Communications & Marketing who makes the confession:

Our Residents’ Survey last year told us very clearly that people in Wirral wanted more information.These findings were a rude awakening for us: they told us the tools we currently use to communicate with residents aren’t powerful enough and aren’t getting the job done.

To which all we can say is don’t be so hard on you and your team Kev!.

Public Interest

Public Interest

 

You may have noticed we’ve been keeping our powder dry as we  await the denouement of the the biggest scandal in Wirral Council history (yes , just think about that statement for a moment!).

Meanwhile we’ve had several of our loyal readers congratulate us on crashing through the 500,000 hits barrier on this site which surely demonstrates – that if nothing else – that there is huge public interest in what we publish. We’d normally make a song and dance about it but all we’re interested in finding out at the moment is , as a point of comparison, whether Power Boy Pip’s “Leader’s” Blog is still going?. Perhaps local Labour Party  Communications Czar, sorry, Wirral Council’s Executive Policy Officer Martin Liptrotsky could tell  us (in the public interest of course).  Well we do pay your bloody wages Marty-baby!.

Needless to say the scandal to which we refer is due to be discussed soon at a much delayed Wirral Council Standards Panel meeting . Details of which are , of course  ,entirely absent from Wirral Council’s website.

All His Lordship intends to do at the moment is sit back in his wingback chair , take a sip on the cognac, light the blue touch paper and await the BANG! . Although this being Wirral it is more likely to be a whimper!.

In the meantime we are indebted to Wirral Globe photographer Geoff Davies for this revealing portrait of Birkenhead MP Frankenfield in his summer lightweights . Judging by the  perfectly placed horns it’s a case of “The Devil Wears Primark”!.

Although we  know all too well that Frankenfield is the political hypocrite behind the biggest scandal in Wirral Council history – you’re not allowed to know that.

Unless of course you keep tuning in to Wirral Leaks!.

Frank Field MP after opening the 'parket park' in Birkenhead today. Picture: Geoff Davies