Wirral Council – experts in blanking the people who pay their wages/expenses/allowances
As the denizens of Wallasey Town Hall breath a sigh of relief that they’ve survived another week (well those not on long term sick leave anyway) and can look forward to a bank holiday weekend we provide an update on the Stewart Halliday situation.
Readers will remember Stuey ‘laughing all the way to the bank’ Halliday is the recipient of a humongous salary courtesy of Wirral Council taxpayers despite leaving his previous employer City of York Council (CYC) with questions to ask about his rather casual approach to contracting arrangements.
Indomitable local resident Charles Nunn is particularly aggrieved that his Council Tax and that of many other Wirral tax payers appears to be being spent on a series of snake oil salesmen and has pursued this matter with Wirral Council CEO (the ‘O’ seemingly standing for ostrich) Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson. Stressed Eric provided the following response:
Dear Mr Nunn
Thank you for your email dated 13 March 2017 and follow up email on 26 March 2017.
The Council’s Human Resources Team has confirmed the following:
Mr Halliday is engaged via an agency through the Council’s contract with Matrix Ltd. Under the process, Matrix require supplying agencies to supply references for the previous two years employment history.
These references were sent directly to the line manager recruiting the worker. There is no requirement for our Human Resources Team to be involved in all such engagements. The line manager also elected to seek an additional reference from the former Chief Executive of York Council and subsequently a further reference was provided to the agency by the Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods still currently working at York.
We have been advised by Mr Halliday that he refutes all the allegations which are matter of ongoing dispute between him and his previous employer. It is not appropriate for Wirral Council to comment any further on these allegations.
Charles tells us that in his opinion , of the three statements made in Robinson’s response, which is presumably based on from information supplied by Halliday, ‘one at least is certainly untrue, one probably untrue and another open to conjecture……’
He added further :
‘Halliday may “refute” the allegations but anyone who has read the damning report from York will scratch their heads in wonder at such a statement………..
That the CURRENT holder of the exalted title of Director of Communities and Neighbourhood at York would not have supplied a reference and indeed the post holder would not have been the right person so to do as Halliday did not report to that person.
I have suggested that Robinson must be very embarrassed (I doubt it to be so) at passing on duff information and await his reply with interest.
I should also have asked why a Line Manager has the authority to dish out such highly paid posts.’
Charles has based his assertions on information he has received from contacts in York. Most notably CYC Cllr Mark Warters who was rather more robust in his enquiries than our very own Stressed Eric.
A blameless CYC underling contacted Cllr Warters to explain :
‘Mary (Weastall – CYC CEO) asked me to apologise for the delay in responding but to confirm, as far as the council is concerned we do not have a dispute with Stewart Halliday’
Indeed councillors seem to be made of sterner stuff than our own when it comes to questioning what’s has been going on with taxpayer’s money and now that the Local Government Association (LGA) has been called in to carry out a ‘peer review of the Council’s approach to procurement, including governance’ Cllr Warters remains undaunted by the LGA’s dilly-dallying to ‘identify suitably qualified and experienced people who could investigate specific issues and events at CYC.’ Which as Wirralians know means appointing a ‘safe pair of hands ‘ such as the likes of LGA alumna Dr Gill Taylor or Joyce Redfearn who shake their heads, give a slap on the wrists, take the money and run to another lucrative gig……..and make NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER.
Cllr Warters asks of LGA : ‘Without knowing the answers to the questions I posed to you it is hard to assess whether waiting for your investigation to conclude is reason to hold off any longer taking the matter to the police.’
Isn’t it a shame that our own dear councillors don’t take this more rigorous approach and report what we regard to be much more serious concerns to the local police ?