Ladies and gentleman we present you with the Wirral Council Circus. Witness amazing feats of escapology performed before your very eyes!.
Recorded for posterity by the indomitable John Brace – who seems to have recovered from being barred from last week’s Standards Panel meeting to bring us the thrills and spills from this week’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.
Watch as chief town hall juggler Surjit Tour squirms as he walks the tightrope of truth and demonstrates a complete inability to give a straight answer by using the word ‘rationale’ as many times as he can as though he’s being sponsored for Comic Relief!
Watch Cllr Matron McLaughlin change the subject when awkward questions are being asked about the conduct of councillors by using the magic words “Working Party”. We’d like to ask an awkward question using the word “Anna” and whether a declaration of interest should have been required at the Standards Panel.
Watch ineffectual and callow opposition councillors (minus one honourable exception) “play nice”
Watch human potato Cllr Paul Stuart make the unfortunate mistake of asking about “recording devices” ( the new councillor obviously didn’t get the memo from Labour HQ!)
Watch as Surjit puts his head down to conceal his wry smirk as Cllr Stuart mentions “recording devices” – for as we know no one as benefited as much from this technological device than he has!. The Complainants must be so proud!- their pursuit of £48,000 each has gifted Tour a job for life ( Frank Field’s words)
Watch as an old dog learns new tricks – kudos to Cllr Gerry Ellis as he asks the obvious questions about what’s the point of protocols,policies and procedures if nobody on the Committee is allowed to know what complaints about councillors are about and what the outcome of the complaint is?. There is no point Gerry , none at all. Accept that councillors are beyond accountability and move on.
Watch as words like “due process” and concerns about length of time it takes to deal with complaints are raised and laugh out loud that those assembled can somehow manage keep a straight face whilst asking the question
Watch as Councillor Denise Roberts drags a quickfire meeting out as long as she can despite the fact that Committee members can’t seem to wait to get the hell out of there. As Her Ladyship cried : “Somebody pass the cattle prod”
Watch as it is revealed that the people you voted for have relinquished their responsibility for making decisions about Code of Conduct complaints to Tour and an “independent person”. This might explain why Joe Blott and his posse whisked so called “independent person” Brian Cummings off after last week’s Standards Panel to tell him what decision he should make. It doesn’t explain why Tour deftly tries to pretend that the Committee are the ones making decisions – as once again the ringmaster has the whip hand and helps facilitate the placement of political and personal interests above the public interest! .