Time for an Intervention



Wirral Council are increasingly reminding us of an old soak who’s in denial about their drinking as they stumble from mishap to crisis .

The latest stumble being the failure of their 2015/16 accounts not being signed off pending an investigation of their taking out of some dodgy looking loans : https://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/wirral-councils-201516-accounts-will-not-be-signed-off-before-30th-september-deadline-heres-why/

This must be why a Wirral resident is calling for an urgent intervention and what a compelling case they make for detox.

Dear Marcus Jones MP – Minister for Local Government; and, Sir Eric Pickles MP – former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Author of ‘Securing the ballot: review into electoral fraud’.

Further to my email of yesterday (pasted below for completeness) regarding the Demand For Government Intervention regarding Wirral Council.

The concern is not only a serious issue for the public. I am not mistaken as to the gravity and critical nature of the issues in Wirral Council, as can be seen by a letter sent by 3 Wirral opposition Councillors, who are virtually marginalised in exercising any influence whatsoever, by the changes the ruling group have made to the Council constitution and scrutiny committee composition, amongst others. Many comparable examples can be provided from virtually all aspects of Wirral Council’s governance, conduct, legislative compliance and delivery.

I insert here a copy of the Councillors letter, to your colleague Edward Timpson MP, which has been published in full in the media (link below), and urge you, and your colleagues to act immediately, while there is something that can be salvaged from the wreckage of democracy in Wirral. Intervention is long overdue, in order to reassure a cowed electorate, that accountability, transparency, honour and integrity still matter in local government, and public service actually matters.



For all of the 8 links I have provided, a fuller picture is painted by scrolling to the very bottom of the feature articles and reading the public comments.

Contrary to Greg Clark MP and his statement that the Minister does not have the power to intervene, the Government does have powers to intervene in local authorities. The specific legal power is in Local Government Act 1999, s.10, as modified by Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, Sch 10, para 2 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/2/schedule/10/paragraph/2

I have provided the link to save time for you, given the critical state of Wirral Council and public disquiet.

DEMAND FOR GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION (sent initially on 23.09.16)

Dear Marcus Jones MP – Minister for Local Government; and, Sir Eric Pickles MP – former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Author of ‘Securing the ballot: review into electoral fraud’.


I have corresponded with the previous Minister for Local Government Greg Clark MP, regarding my serious concerns relating to the conduct, behaviour and questionable decision-making by Wirral Council, on Merseyside. I assume that correspondence has remained on file, therefore you will know my background.

I will keep this demand for intervention brief for the following reason:-

You will read all of the content…

I provide only 6 weblinks (the tip of a very large iceberg) at the foot of this demand, which are damning in themselves for any accountable authority, never mind the recipient of the LGC’s ‘Most Improved Council of Great Britain 2015’ award, after being ‘on the brink of intervention’ in 2012, and the imposition of an LGA ‘Improvement Board’ until 2014. That questionable ‘award’ is only about 18 months old…, and now Wirral Council sees its standing as “From the brink of intervention, to the pinnacle of local government.” (Eric Robinson CEO Wirral Council; recruitment statement September 2016)

From the weblinks you will see a snapshot of the level, or ‘pinnacle’, at which Wirral Council functions…Marcus Jones MP will already know about the very costly Wirral Council proposed monthly ‘newspaper’ – a trivial matter by comparison. Sir Eric Pickles may not be aware that Wirral Council has also been reported to the Police and Electoral Commission for suspected election fraud at the May elections, and to the Police regarding other issues of theft and fraud.

The framework within which local government exists, functions, and the responsibilities of which are discharged by holder’s of public office, and their employees, are governed by the Laws of the Land, Acts of Parliament, and policies, procedures and constitutions of each authority. If the Government can intervene directly on the strength of a monthly newspaper, I would see it as a dereliction of your public duty (much as I see Wirral Council in this light), if, as the Minister responsible for Local Government, you fail to place Wirral Council into special measures. If Wirral Council’s ‘benchmark’ standard of ‘most improved’ local government behaviour constitutes ‘acceptable’ standards of governance and conduct in public office, we are all in serious trouble.

I put you Mr Marcus Jones and by virtue of her delegation to you, the Prime Minister Theresa May, on notice that you have now been advised of the critical situation facing Wirral residents as a result of the implosion of Wirral Council. The Council has a total disregard for the democratic process, the wishes of many of its residents, and no longer appears to manage its finances for the benefit of the Wirral population. Serious governance deficiencies exist, and incompetence in the tendering and procuring processes, coupled with an almost total absence of due diligence, are now systemically ingrained. Wirral Council now enjoys a deplorable reputation in both providing direct services, and commissioning third-party services to be provided by the private or voluntary sector.

You will see from the weblinks below that I ‘draw a line’ for you from which to make a long-overdue intervention into the machinations of Wirral Council. If you fail to do so the responsibility for the ongoing failings of Wirral Council will fall on your shoulders for ignoring this warning.

The response I received from Greg Clark MP was that the Minister did not have the power to intervene in the day-to-day business of local authorities. Marcus Jones MP has intervened in the day-to-day running of Wirral Council with regard to its cavalier attitude to non-compliance with Government guidelines regarding the monthly publication of a Wirral Council 32 page ‘newspaper’.
Given the range of issues that are of concern relating to Wirral Council, and I have an encyclopædic archive of research, the publication of a monthly newspaper, whilst being important, and a potential illegal act in direct contravention of Government guidelines, pales into insignificance when judged against the appalling situation that exists between Wirral Council (the duty of which, and raison d’être, is to serve its public) and the Wirral public.

I view the ‘newspaper’, and dissemination of information, as ‘day-to-day’ Council business, which is now subject to direct Government intervention, as the proposal ignores and locally overrides Central Government guidelines and legal provisions.

On the basis of the corrosive corporate culture which pervades Wirral Council, its ruling councillors, and the senior management of the council, a corporate cancer exists which is destroying public services. The concept of public service has been effectively erased from Wirral Council’s leadership, with a self-serving political collective, and individual isolationist consolidation, now making numerous political decisions at will. Many dishonestly pre-determined decisions run counter to, and ignore the expressed wants and needs of great swathes of the Wirral population, many ‘window-dressed’ through the manipulation of resident’s surveys ‘interpretation’.

The concept of the democratic process, transparency and accountability no longer exists in Wirral local government. A large number of councillors no longer represent their constituents, and democratic government has been replaced by a dictatorship under the guise of the LGA ‘strong leader model’ of local government.

Total power is now held by the Council Leader after a number of recent changes to the Council’s constitution, and the replacing of scrutiny committee chairs with ruling group members to ensure the casting vote, should it be needed, achieves the ‘correct’ outcome. Replacing the chairs of scrutiny committees effectively removed any opposition to the ruling group’s ‘steamroller’ mentality. Due to the ruling majority’s ‘party-political’ en-bloc voting and abstention regime, Wirral Council, as an organisation, now primarily serves the interests of a number of politicians and senior managers.

Government intervention is neither an option, nor an inconvenience, it is a necessity.

It is also a necessity to intervene, with totally independent agents, without the interference of the Local Government Association, and without the interference of Frank Field MP, who is the MP for Birkenhead only, not the entire Borough of Wirral as he seems to believe.

Wirral Council ruling councillors, and senior managers, are not capable of resolving the Council’s mostly self-inflicted problems. Collectively they have conspired to systematically drive out highly-skilled and experienced, dedicated staff. If the current Councillors and senior managers had the wherewithal to resolve the massive problems that exist in Wirral and Wirral Council, they would never have allowed them to develop in the first place. Nor would they employ a press office of around 27 staff, and feel the necessity to also employ a self-proclaimed ‘reputation manager’.











11 thoughts on “Time for an Intervention

  1. Hello Wirral Leaks

    Well, that is a damning indictment of all things Wirral Council isn’t it?
    I just spotted this on a website so anyone (I really mean everyone) else can email Marcus Jones MP and insist on intervention.

    The more the merrier I think, and then we might get somewhere.

    Marcus Jones MP – Minister for Local Government

  2. Hi Wirral Leaks and Wendy, and all readers of Wirral Leaks

    Remember who closed Girtrell Court, Lyndale School, payout 6 figure sums to senior officers, increase the CEO’s salary while pay cuts and unpaid leave are imposed on staff. WBC tried to take back long-service awards, while they pay consultants millions of pounds each year to do the work of the top tier of management.
    Oh yes, and hot on the heels of a revelation by Wirral Leaks of reported deaths of people in the care of Change, Grow, Live, Suspect loans taken out last year, The Wirral Safeguarding Children Board damning Ofsted report, and an endless list of serious issues, Cllr Phil Davies is off on a junket to China. Generously described by someone as “a hero fiddling while home burns…”

    Here is a link to the petition RECLAIM WIRRAL COUNCIL FOR WIRRAL PEOPLE!!

    Here is a real chance to make a difference to politics in Wirral. If we don’t all (and I mean all) take this opportunity, well, what real future is there?


    I make a plea to all Wirral Leaks readers. Enough is really enough.
    It’s time to get every member of your family, all relatives, friends, and all of their friends and everybody who cares, to sign and share this petition!

    • Hi Tiffany and all our concerned and committed readers ,

      Believe us there’s many more revelations of corruption, dishonesty and incompetence to come.
      We can only report and publicise and hope people are made aware of what is going on but we would implore the good people of Wirral to do whatever they can to hold public servants to account.This transcends politics – we all deserve so much better.

      All at Leaky Towers

    • Hi Tiffany, excellent work. I have just emailed The Globe with the link to the petition and hope that they will run a piece on it. I don’t think I’ll bother with The Echo!

  3. Wow, this is crazy shit. I’ve worked at this place and knew bad stuff happened but these past few weeks have opened even my cynical eyes. Jesus Christ, it is much worse than when Social Services was taken over way back when. Surely to God the Leader cannot fly off when the whole kit and kaboodle is coming down around his ears? And we are informed by WL that there is more to come! I always knew there was some shit at the top of Wirral Council cos I’ve met most of them but this is bad. I feel for the genuine staff who have to put up with this lot. Only now I am out of it can I really see how rotten it truly is. Intervention is required and fast! The crazy thing is that this delusional lot will think it’s ok. Wirral Council where the abnormal is normal or Most Improved Council? You decide.

  4. Just watched Part 2 of 5 of Tarrantino’s premiere of last night’s Wirral ARMC.

    Up for discussion was “What part did frontline staff’s notable sickness absence play in the recent OFSTED ‘inadequate’ rating?”

    Featuring Joe “Indiana” Blott as Chief Protagonist and Cracker of Whip behind the revised Absence Management Policy.

    • We’ve had to watch some of it through our fingers as at times it is toecurlingly embarrassing to watch.
      But do Council managers like Joe Blott and Mark Niblock actually care as long as the big money lands in their bank account every month?. What a way to earn a living!.
      It was refreshing to see councillors of all parties actually challenge the mealymouthed and defensive responses from Blott and Niblock about senior management’s failure to adequately address sickness absences and the continuing lack of staff appraisals (and as we’ve suggested before the two are inextricably linked) . Conservative councillor Les Rowlands was unusually animated and justifiably so and we have to repeat we like the no nonsense approach of Labour councillor Christina Muspratt. Even serial apologist for council wrongdoing Labour councillor Ron Abbey went off script in the face of being unable to defend the indefensible.
      Can’t say we’re particularly sympathetic when it comes to Blott – as he runs with the hare and the hounds and thinks by helping to
      cover up the misdemeanours of councillors that makes him immune from criticism or sanction. Wrong!.
      Surely he must know by now how this game works? The real power brokers at Wirral Council always turn on officers (rightly or wrongly) when scapegoats are required to distract from their own failings.

      • G’day Leaksy

        Pity they didn’t invite Jeremy last night to the Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Committee.

        “The Pretend Friend” and his gang of non-accounting people could give him a lesson on running rings around Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton.


        How to be a winner even though you are a loser.



        I have been waiting five and a half years impatiently waiting for them to be found out.

        Eureka Cobber XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  5. Pingback: Wirral – Where Public Service Went To Die … | Wirralleaks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s