And so another Labour councillor from Wirral Council is found to be unworthy of holding public office as a damning Standards Panel ‘Decision Notice’ is published. Wirral Leaks readers will know that Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) is no stranger to these pages . This time she appears to be the perpetrator rather than the victim of malicious acts.
The Standards Panel , after considering an Investigators Report, “found the actions of Cllr Reecejones were designed to threaten,intimidate,underine and cause difficulties at work “ for one of the complainants Tamsin Coates . The Standards Panel also noted that LRJ took a similar approach to the second complainant , Jessica Smyth, where she had made a complaint to the organisation where Ms Jessica Smyth volunteered . Both Ms Coates and Ms Smyth had previously raised legitimate concerns with Wirral Council’s Internal Audit and Merseyside Police. Although no charges were brought against LRJ because of ‘insufficient evidence’ the complainants were found to be justified in raising their concerns.
Furthermore the Standards Panel found all the complainants to be credible ( there were more from the Overchurch Residents Association) and yet LRJ was found to be ‘inconsistent, vague and misleading’ – we know what they’re trying to say there don’t we boys and girls? Of particular interest to us was this quote from the Decision Notice :
However it was when we read the ‘Sanctions’ section that apoplexy rapidly set in.
There are 5 sanctions in all : i ) a formal warning letter from Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour (!) ii) LJR must provide a written apology to all complainants iii) Labour leader Cllr Phil Davies to consider whether party disciplinary action be taken against LRJ and whether she should be removed from all outside bodies to which she has been appointed iv) Tour will be arranging ‘training’ for LRJ which she must attend v) The Panel’s decision to be considered further by the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.
These sanctions stand in stark contrast to the mild rebuke that was imposed on Cllr Steve Foulkes last year. Foulkesy got away with an apology to Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green who wasn’t even the complainant! Foulkesy had lied to Wirral Council, lied to the investigator (necessitating a further investigation costing Wirral Council taxpayers £17K) and continues to lie about what he and Cllr George Davies had been up to – to this very day.
If we were LRJ we’d be asking some serious questions as to why Foulkesy wasn’t given similar sanctions. Especially in relation to a proven liar being able to represent Wirral Council on outside bodies.If anything he is even more unworthy of public office than LRJ – and it would appear that’s really saying something!
But then again we did advise LRJ she was on a hiding to nothing a long time ago . She’s not and never has been part of the ‘Inner Ring’ . Unlike Standards Panel member Cllr Moira McLaughlin who must have enjoyed sticking the knife in someone who played a part in bringing down disgraced former Labour councillor Jim Crabtree – who was , very much, part of the ‘Inner Ring’ .
We have never claimed that all Labour councillors are dishonest,incompetent or corrupt but we have consistently called out the cabal that are. Ultimately we believe it is this ‘Inner Ring’ which has consistently brought Wirral Council into disrepute and until these people are removed from public office the people of Wirral will continue to be poorly served.
Although currently marked ‘Strictly Private and Confidential ‘ the full ‘Investigators Report’ can be found here