Ministry of Truth

 

ministry-of-truth-official

Another of our valued contributors Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro provides us with the latest update on the long running saga that is the BIG cover up (both in name and by nature).

After being given the usual run around by Wirral Council a Freedom of Information request eventually provided the evidence that Hobro and co had needed to support their long held claims of malpractice.

Once again we seem to witness the closed ranks and the triumph of dishonesty over truth. Whilst Hobro rightly highlights the questionable actions of Wirral Council management in this sorry saga we would like to raise a particular concern about so called independent agencies who collude with such behaviour. In all of these Wirral Council whistleblowing cases a common denominator has been how external auditors have consistently failed to act in the public interest.

No wonder that ex – Cllr Jim Crabtree , the former Chair of the council’s Audit & Risk Management Committee , asked for a round of applause for Mike Thomas (Audit Commission/ Grant Thornton)  when he made his last appearance at an ARMC meeting. Mr Thomas appeared shocked at the tribute – we were appalled………

Wirral Borough Council management is now revealed to be a sordid manipulator of the truth. I write that buttressed by hard-won evidence. Evidence forced out of WBC by threat of contempt of court after a campaign of obfuscation lasting all the way back to 2011. In addition to the management being exposed, a reasonable man might well have grounds to write that the Leader of the Council either was fed lies, and turned a blind eye, or told them in full knowledge. As regards (former WBC CEO) Graham Burgess and his Regeneration team, Kevin Adderley, and the ever-present David Ball, the taped proceedings of the Special Audit and Risk Committee meeting of 8th October tars them with lying, or complicity with lies, and that extending to the Legal Officer, Surjit Tour, who in despite of his accustomed “legal” interventions, kept silence as untruths were reeled out.

Language is never exact and can be readily misused – “the devil wins us with honest trifles to betray us i’the deepest consequence” and such abuse of language, “tis the equivocation of the fiend”, has been practised by many. Bill Clinton “I did not have sex in the Whitehouse” or his “I smoked but did not inhale” are famous examples. The tone of delivery may help. After a night of the Long Knives in June 1934 where a former German Chancellor was murdered with his wife, and hundreds of others, Hermann Goering cheerily met Anglo-American Reporters with the quip “Boy, have I got news for you!” Naturally he personally had organised many of the assassinations himself and put a jovial face upon it. “There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face”!

Why am I quoting Macbeth? Why because the play shows how small untruths may lead to monstrous acts somewhere late in the “seeds of time”. Particularly I quote Macbeth because a line spoken by the tragic hero fits this situation neatly. Macbeth says

“I am in blood steep’d in so far

That going back were as tedious as go o’er”

Surely malevolence grows steadily like a worm fed on rubbish. Let me rehearse how an Original Lie grew and grew.

14 March 2011   Minutes given to Regeneration committee of councillors include tabulation of false figures from Wirralbiz Working Wirral figures, in order to give impression that all is well

July 2011        Kevin Adderley outfaces James Griffiths, whistle-blower, by untruthfully blurting out that no BIG recipient has gone bust

January 2012     Chief Anti-Fraud officer, Beverley Edwards files a 370 page report with the Director of Law showing the phoenixing of Lockwood Engineering ltd assets into Harbac (UK) ltd, and multiple flaws in the BIG process, together with flaws and fraud in wirralbiz’s ISUS program

March 2012       

Press release by WBC as follows 23 March 2012

Re: Allegations relating to Business Grants

Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive, Ian Coleman said:

“The allegations raised are being investigated by the Council’s Audit Officers. Their preliminary view, having interviewed the complainants and others, and considered all relevant documentation, is that there is no evidence that substantiates the allegations made against Council officers – at that time there was only the suggestion that (the now CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce) Paula Basnett was a friend of the wife of the director of Cass Coaches; this among a myriad of other allegations against claimants and advisors of wirralbiz).

“The investigation has not yet concluded however it is anticipated that the report will be finalised in the next few weeks.

“The Council’s Economic Development unit has an excellent track record for the work it does to encourage investment into Wirral, support local businesses and help people into jobs. This was recognised most recently when the team won the national LGC Award for Economic Development, which praised the innovation shown by the Council.”

BY March 2012  the decision has been taken to hide Beverley Edwards’ report and substitute it with a Dave Garry report, and stretch that report out as long as possible

July 2012      the council pays £33,000 to wirralbiz regardless of allegations as the lie must be fed

September 2012   “the report will be finalised in the next few weeks” transmutes by witchcraft “ into no report will be published as it is unfit for purpose and Mr D. Garry regardless of his failure ,will leave the authority with £46,000. But what of the 370 pages of Beverley Edwards’ report?

The LIE is swelling with falsehoods and the toll and bill is mounting both for the public and for the two whistleblowers. For the public a further £50,000 will be paid to Grant Thornton. One wonders is this simply to buy time?

October 2012     to feed the lie the Council pays a further £66,000 to wirralbiz

Early December 2012    The Grant Thornton team report both that they have completed the BIG investigation within just over a month, and that WBC is putting no pressure on them to render a report till the ISUS investigation is complete.-to buy more time?

March 2013   Grant Thornton delivers its report which is hidden from view for 16 weeks

March 2013     Press release by Cllr P Davies and again the red herring is thrown into the ocean incarnadine with a “I am pleased that I am now in a position to state clearly that the ISUS report which has now been concluded does not criticise Wirral Council or its officers” WHEREAS from the off the investigation was never directed against council officers!!

July 2013        Under pressure from a question at a full council meeting Cllr Davies agrees to release just the Executive Summary of the BIG investigation. In it are new obfuscations. Grant Thornton though investigating Lockwood Engineering ltd in its sample of six files contrives not to notice or record the phoenixing issue of BIG-funded assets moved into Harbac UK Ltd without any liquidator knowing-a very strange omission indeed. Likewise the BIG LIE battens on the equivocation that a gap of 26 months passed between the August 2010 award of BIG and the dissolution of Lockwood in September 2012. Disingenuous indeed since entry into Liquidation effectively ends the company’s trading and this was only 8 months later!

July 2013     Cllr Davies in a press release, “filled top to toe with direst cruelty” wrote

“I am also pleased to note that with the exception of one, all companies that received BIG funding are still trading – creating jobs and contributing to the local economy”

THE BIG LIE and his soul is not to fly to Heaven. Here is the list of companies that were no longer trading at 1st July 2013

New Gaming Concept ltd   into liquidation  18/03/2010 and fully dissolved  25/06/2011

Lockwood engineering ltd                             01/04/2011                                 20/09/2012

Corrin Kenny ltd 22/03/2012 long liquidation

July 2014 A special audit and risk committee was abandoned in uproar as the Chairman Cllr Crabtree (displaced now and up before criminal court in January coming on an unrelated matter) attempted to close down the issues by a majority vote of Labour Councillors.) Cllr Davies approached me at the end threatening to sue me for linking him with the advisor preparing the defective BIG fund projections. Had I known of the connexions between Brendon Kenny (Corrin Kenny Ltd above) and the Adderley-P Davies coterie, or of the £810,000 deficit in New Gaming Concept Ltd , he would have been even more anxious.

8th October 2014 The reconvened special audit and risk committee is held and despite with-holding what the Chief Executive would submit, the WBC management pestered me many times for the content of my speech. Since the delivery of my speech to them in July 2014 meeting was a contributory cause of that meeting being aborted , I did not supply my notes to them on this ocassion. Graham  Burgess and Kevin Adderley, “twere as tedious to go o’er as go back” repeated the same untruth that now only Lockwood , Harbac and Atlantic Engineering were liquidated or in Liquidation. BIG LIE for by then the list had grown to

 New Gaming Concept ltd   into liquidation  18/03/2010 and fully dissolved  25/06/2011

Lockwood Engineering ltd                             01/04/2011                                 20/09/2012

Corrin Kenny ltd 22/03/2012 long liquidation

With additions  

TTH Laundry Services Ltd                                  21/08/2014

Halliwell Industrial & Marine Silencers                07/03/2014       

Harbac (UK) ltd 14/08/2013

Combined Harvesters ltd 12/12/2013

Atlantic Engineering ltd 11/03/2014

Brocks Mechanical services ltd 04/02/2014

Imaginations Air travel ltd 01/09/2014

I make that ten cessations of trading as both the Chief Executive and the Super Director spake and as, the two representatives from Grant Thornton , the auditors, sat silent, and as David Ball , Manager of Regeneration was equally mute, and lastly the Monitoring Officer, Surjit Tour never corrected them.

A FARCE and a waste of all the salaries and overtime paid to the notables who were present. A personal insult to myself, to James Griffiths and to the public whose money had so flippantly been  thrown away. Throughout the Monitoring Officer refused access to the list of BIG recipients even though a cursory examination of his legal database would show him that liquidated companies have absolutely no rights to confidentiality, period. Wilfully he maintained the BIG LIE and you have only to read the directions from the Information Commissioner to understand how,  improperly, Monitoring Officer offered up a series of ridiculous objections with the purpose of concealing the BIG LIE.

There will be other commentators here and on Wirral in it together. Let me record how angry I am with these pious and aloof civil servants who in reality were hiding their own incompetence and sordid lie-telling. The reader will discover the motivators to tell such lies.

Think on the triumph of Donald Trump in the USA. So many lies were told by the Clintons that he decided to campaign with half truths and once won, row back on his campaign slogans. That is the terminus to arrive at when “ first you practice to deceive”.

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17 thoughts on “Ministry of Truth

  1. I find this subject fascinating. Once the Council were warned that all was not well, why did they not just suspend the grant programme and investigate? Surely this would have been the sensible call and quite easy to achieve. What was the reasoning behind continuing on despite evidence to suggest all was not well?

    • G’day Ste and Leaks

      You could ask

      Adderley
      Armstrong
      Abbott
      Basnett
      Ball
      Bradbury
      Burgess
      Coleman
      Crabtree
      Davies
      Davies

      and that is just at the start of the alphabet

      Then there is

      Doughty
      Foulkes
      Jones
      Jones
      Norman
      Tour
      Wilkie

      et al

      Take you pick Ste they were all over it like “The Shyster’s” shabby suit that is too small.

      Should they be in ADMINISTRATION?

      Ooroo

      James

      C’mon Ecca speak up for your £200,000.00 or are you going over to the other side???????

      Or, “Eccles Cake Face” me old mate that I have never seen are you already there?

      They could make up some of the £2,000,000.00 Wirral “Funny” Bizz knockoff by starting up a game

      Where’s Ecca?

      Luv you to the super moon and back Lordsly XXXXXXXXXX

    • Ps Ste

      Just to complete the picture.

      Jeff Green and Phil Ghilchrist knew all about the goings on and were just as complicit.

      Most of the 66 would have known the details Ste but it was only Stuart Kelly that showed us any real support and they sorted him out next election.

      Thank God he is back.

      Ooroo

      James

      Don’t get me started on “The Pretend Friend” Adrian Jones Ste what a low life.

      If he pretends to be Santa this year people pull off his beard and show everyone he couldn’t be honest about anything.

      Thank God for you Leaks and Stuart
      XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. A masterful and monumentally mighty passage of glittering words that are so easy to read,easy to digest, which allow each reader to fully comprehend all its component parts that are so devastatingly biting and brilliant, that now, unless the Council are completely insane, no lie can now hide from.
    If this doesn’t fuck up WBC and open up the illicit activities of so many other Reputation Management obsessed Councils up and down the Country, then nothing ever will.
    Well done!

    • Soon I will share with you and the public the depressingly familiar story of incompetence not only of WBC but of quango MSIF Merseyside Special Investment Fund in managing to invest in a company and lose some £700,000 in the space of less than two years.

      Not ourmoney they will cry. European money!!

  3. OVERTIME? I never got that when I was with them and I attended a lot of out of hours meetings including weekends all I got was Time off in lieu and it was limited to a time span when I could take it.
    Oh I’ve just realised,I don’t play golf!

  4. Having seen the facts above why don;t the councilors & the officers just put their hands up and & admit they got it horribly wrong & do something to say sorry to you both for ruining both your careers; but they would need balls to do that but they don’t have them in the first place. Surely the funding organisations should do something now to put things right and bring justice to the brave whistle blowers who’s lives have been destroyed.

    • Men with BIG balls don’t brag about it, whereas men without – who need to lie BIG – never shut up, so as to fill the empty void where said bollocks should nestle.

      Check out the leader’s BIG, flourishing press release, for example, soon to be reprised… showing the world what a colossal pair he had back then.

      What a shame he simply flattered to deceive. And with the lie exposed, those BIG, hairy bruisers have shrivelled down into tiny, shrunken, malformed pinheads.

  5. G’day Lordy

    What a croc of shit this was from the fearless leader.

    Particularly paragraph 2.

    When we gave evidence to the clever man from Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton who left after this investigation but told one of the whistle blowers to persevere said from the outset it was not part of his brief to question council officers ha ha ha ha ha because they then might not assist him.

    You would have to be a half wit to believe anything “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” said.

    When Dave Garry wrote his croc of shit report they paid him off about £38,000.00.

    How come “The Dill” is still there?

    Nothing to hide my arse.

    MEDIA STATEMENT FROM WIRRAL COUNCIL
    1.7.13

    BIG report

    Following concerns raised regarding grant applications relating to the BIG fund, the Council conducted an internal audit. As the Council was not satisfied with the robustness of the internal audit procedures at the time, and has since taken a number of steps to strengthen this area of the organisation, the Leader of the Council ordered an external investigation into the matter and appointed Grant Thornton.

    Grant Thornton’s reports found no malpractice by council officers. However a number of recommendations were made to the Council including:

    • Reviewing the criteria the Council uses to consider grant and similar applications to avoid ambiguities in the corresponding criteria where possible; and
    • Ensuring that where panels are used to review applications, the panellists are given written terms of reference.

    A report outlining these recommendations will go to Audit and Risk Management Committee in September.

    Issues raised in the BIG report over the nature of one of the grant requests has been referred to the Police to consider an investigation so any queries relating to this should be put to them.

    Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Phil Davies said: “It is well documented that due to concerns about the robustness of the Council’s internal audit function I ordered the external audit of the BIG fund. It was vital that these concerns were investigated and reported on robustly.

    “This Council takes the concerns raised seriously and I would like to thank those people who came forward on this issue.

    “I am also pleased to note that with the exception of one, all companies that received BIG funding are still trading – creating jobs and contributing to the local economy.

    Chief Executive Graham Burgess said: “The outcome of the report showed a commitment to transparency by the council and did highlight some areas in which we should improve our procedures.

    “The Council is going through a period of transformation and has demonstrated real improvement and these recommendations are being taken forward and acted upon as part of our drive to improve further.”

    Notes to Editors:

    The Council has published a summary of the Grant Thornton report into BIG funding. This summary does not name or identify the businesses involved. As there is no suggestion of any potential wrong doing by any company except in one case and this has been reported to the police.

    As stated at point 1.21 in the Grant Thornton report, Enterprise Solutions have not provided documentation as requested and as agreed to at point 1.20.

    The ISUS fund was an initiative of the then Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) that was administered and monitored by their contractor A4E. The ISUS fund was intended to provide intensive start of support to SMEs.

    The BIG Fund was a Wirral Council Initiative to provide small grants to SMEs for the purposes of job creation. Elements of the provision of assessment and advice services in relation to the award of these grants and the ISUS grants were contracted to an external supplier Enterprise Solutions – trading locally as Wirral Biz

    Ends

    For further information contact Sally Dunbar, Press and PR, Tel: 0151 691 8591, sallydunbar@wirral.gov.uk

    Ooroo

    James

    Fair suck of the saveloy Ecca not everyone is as thick as “Sir Git”, “The Shyster” who wanted us to believe he hadn’t read that report.

    Luv ya more than the super moon I am looking at Lordsville XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  6. Am I understanding this correctly… Jim Crabtree actually asked people to applaud the auditor? That speaks volumes and not just about Crabtree.

    I wonder what he is going to do in court when he’s back in the dock in a few weeks. Ask people to boo the prosecuter?!

    • You are understanding correctly.
      There’s a John Brace video somewhere of the incident.
      Surely Mike Thomas must be the only auditor in the entire history of the world to get a round of applause. You’d have thought the big cheques made out to Audit Commission/Grant Thornton would have been reward enough.

      • G’day Leaky

        I might have mentioned that I was interviewed for a job in internal audit at wirral after I arrived back from Australia.

        Wonder why I never got the job and who did?

        Wonder if they joined the club?

        I did though work for the Audit Commission and Wales Audit and the councils just bully them.

        Appropriate as this is anti-bullying week.

        Heard that “Highbrow” has new allegations.

        He never ceases to amaze me with what he pulls out of his locker.

        Ooroo

        James

        You had better learn to speak Ecca its only going to get worse.

        Luv ya Leaks XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  7. Pingback: The BIG Fund big lie – in truth, 10 Companies Went Bust | Wirral In It Together

  8. Pingback: Better to reign in Hell,than to serve in Heaven …… | Wirralleaks

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