The Gravy Train update – with special guests Anna and Bill

gravytrain

A round of applause for old Wirral Leaks favourites Anna Klonowski and Bill Norman as they make yet another guest appearance on our hallowed website.

You have to to hand it to Anna and Bill – never have such transparent blaggers made such a good living off the public purse. Needless to say their paths eventually crossed at Wirral Council –  the ground zero of local government corruption.

Having failed miserably to make a blind bit of difference to the culture of Wirral Council, whilst at the same time significantly enhancing their bank balances, we hold these particular fraudsters in complete contempt.

So what happened subsequently to these shysters? – that’s right they got found out.

Firstly – let’s deal with Anna and we reluctantly have to agree with a belligerent local Tory councillor on this one :

Blakeley - Klonowski

We noted at the time his deliberate typo ( ha! ha!ha!) but in the intervening 5 years this repugnant bulldog has just sniped from the sidelines and made NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER. Neither did Klonowski. She was too busy cashing her £250K cheque and then smugly sitting on the ‘Improvement Board’ and feeding off the blood, sweat and tears of whistleblowers like the local government parasite she is (put that on your LINKED IN profile why dontcha).

We need to thank the magnificent blog The Bristolian for keeping us up to date with Anna’s travels (or should that be be travails ? – either way she doesn’t care as long as she’s getting paid for it).

It seems that Anna picked up a few tips whilst working for the Wirral Council power elite – like paying off people to keep their mouths shut. As you can read here : Klonowski Gag

And not only that she picked up a few bullying tips from Foulkesy , who she strangely supported. Not strangely at all in retrospect – he paid her humongous bills. You can read all about her shameful progress here : Big Wedge’s Bully Shame

What we do admire is The Bristolian’s challenge to this gravy train gobshite and their rider :

NB. Any legal threats in relation to this article to the Bristolian’s email please.

Because as we know Anna is not averse to threatening people with legal action who dare to challenge her. As we’ve reported previously she set Martyn Scott from DLA Piper onto Wirral Council whistleblower Martin Morton, who let’s not forget made her a cool quarter of a million, because her dared question her as to why she didn’t do her job properly and fully expose , among other things , that Wirral Council and Merseyside Police were mixed up with drugs money launderers.

But let’s move on to Billyboy Norman .

And can we say we’re simply astonished that this piece of work has lasted as long as he has . What an inspiration to one and all – that no matter how corrupt,how incompetent, how damn ugly you are you can still trawl the country picking up cheques from people who are more corrupt, more incompetent and more ugly than you are.

Bill Norman – Police Probe

Anna Klonowski is no doubt taking notes and ready for her comeback.

NB. Any legal threats in relation to this article to Wirral Leaks email please.

 

 

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Local Government Association – Hand In Glove With The Glove Puppets

Glove Puppet
Today we have decided take the Trans-Pennine Express and visit our friends in York. Not only to update you all on Stewart Halliday affair but to enable us to vent about local government in general and the Local  Government Association (LGA) in particular.
Firstly we’d like to thank the excellent website York Mix for providing comprehensive coverage of the bounteous beneficence bestowed from Stewart to Stuart aka  ‘ The Goulden Showers’.
For those who can’t decipher this code might we suggest you read an introduction here : Transparency v Secrecy
Here you will find independent City of York (CYC) councillor Mark Warters showing up our supine Wirral councillors for the waste of space that they are and daring to ask pertnent questions in a CYC Audit & Governance meeting about a draft LGA report into the Halliday affair that has been with the council for some time :

 

“And according to the people who really run the council – the senior officers – this report, even after it has been sanitised between the council’s HR department and the LGA, is to remain secret. Are you as a committee willing to condone this state of affairs? He said the committee should insist on seeing the “full, unsanitised draft report”. Otherwise it would confirm the scenario “that elected members are merely the glove puppets of the senior officers riding the local authority gravy train”.

Further understanding on how things work in York, in local government and indeed closer to home can be found in the following report on the Supply Management website:

The Local Government Association (LGA) was called in to review procurement at the council in the wake of controversy over how consultancy services were acquired in the past.

The LGA said procurement was held in high regard internally, with “many solid achievements” and delivering “good quality services”, but it was “subject to heightened scrutiny in York due to past internal control issues”.

“There remains a negative external perception of council procurement, including among members of the public,” said the report. “This negative perception needs to be addressed if the council is to secure public confidence in its procurement processes and the wider corporate governance arrangements.”

A previous audit report by Veritau in November 2016 focused on the appointment of a communications consultant and their associated company between 2013 and 2016. One particular chief officer, who no longer works for the council, was found to be mainly responsible for employing and making payments to the consultant and the company. These totalled more than £174,000.

The audit could find no material to back up claims contract procedures were followed. “At best this represents a failure to be transparent and to retain all relevant procurement documentation,” said the report. “However, it seems likely that there was a failure to follow proper procurement processes, including obtaining written quotations, ensuring sufficient potential suppliers were approached and agreeing a formal contract.”

The LGA review, carried out in June 2017, said it was “reassured to find that the council has a good corporate procurement function and that the compliance issues are being addressed”.

“However, as the council itself recognises, there is more to do in regard to procurement’s enabling role within the council’s developing commissioning framework and to address the residual negative perceptions of historical procurement issues.”

Full article can be read here : Negative Public Image
Doesn’t the excruciating, bureaucratic language of the LGA make ya wanna puke? Unfortunately this wretched organisation is stuffed to the gills with highly paid nonentities who think that what goes on in local government can be anonymised, rationalised and sanitised as long as it involves one of their own.
Fortunately for the truth -seekers out there we understand that after the meeting Cllr Warters collared the LGA representative giving the public report into procurement at City of York Council (CYC) as he left the meeting and left him in no doubt that the Halliday/Goulden business will end up with the police.
Now this is the kind of local representation we are crying out for and reinforces our long held view that INDEPENDENT candidates are the way to go and that DIVISIVE PARTY POLITICS HAS NO PLACE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT and that the LGA ARE HAND IN GLOVE WITH THE GLOVE PUPPETS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT .
Even closer to home we are grateful that local resident Charles Nunn understands the issues at stake and comprehends that someone with apparently no understanding of even the most basic concepts of public procurement can wangle a near cool £200K + gig from long suffering Wirral Council tax payers :
I find it somewhat ironic that the major political upheaval in York is over dodgy contracts worth £175,000. Halliday, courtesy of the ever benevolent Wirral Council Tax payer, will be bunged about £50k more than that as a result of his contract extension.
Read it and weep.

A Reality Check For Children’s Services

Brazil September.jpg

As you can see from the above report in the latest edition of Private Eye , children’s services troubleshooting troubadour and serial cheque collector Eleanor Brazil has now rocked up in Croydon.

Of course we remember Ms Brazil as the woman who bailed out of Wirral earlier in the year ,raising her hands in the air , like she just don’t care and claiming to be ‘shocked and appalled’ by the ‘shoddy’ treatment of  Julia Hassall ,Wirral Council’s chosen scapegoat for a series of failures in Children’s Services. Unfortunately Ms Brazil failed to enlighten us further on what she meant by ‘significant corporate issues’ which she felt were hindering progress on the ‘improvement journey’  (groan).

Portrait of A Gobshite

So we’ll fill in the blanks – Children’s Services still leave a lot to be desired and those controlling the show won’t face up to reality. This is evidenced by a couple of  council meetings held this week . Firstly at the Audit & Management Risk Committee Wirral Council ‘s external auditors Grant Thornton presented their annual findings and noted the risk to Wirral Council in the Executive Summary of the report.

In September 2016 the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and
Skills (Ofsted) issued its report on the inspection of the Council’s services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. The overall judgement was that children’s services were rated as inadequate. The inspection found widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children who need help and protection.
We recognise that the Council has made progress to improve Children’s services and the Improvement plan actions are designed to achieve the required service
improvements. However, recent Ofsted monitoring visits confirm that progress in
some areas has not yet met expectations and the Council acknowledge that it will take some time to implement all the actions that should deliver the required service improvement.

Grant Thornton Audit Findings

Subsequently there were gallant attempts from new Director of Children’s Services, Deborah Gornik, and her Deputy, Simone White , to steady the sinking ship at last night’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Whilst they hinted that Ofsted may be pleased with progress in some areas it is clear there are still some choppy waters to navigate on the ‘improvement journey’. Incidentally, we understand that Ms White is a poacher turned gamekeeper turned poacher as a former employee of both Wirral Council and Ofsted and now second in command back at Wirral Council.

But Deborah and Simone should fear not ! – help is at hand as councillors have agreed to undertake a series of ‘Reality Check’ visits to enable them to engage directly with frontline staff in Children’s Services. Hurrah !  – it’s just a shame the arrangement isn’t reciprocal and frontline staff  get to ‘reality check’ councillors and find out whether their failure to properly scrutinize Children’s Services, being forever in denial, turning a visually impaired eye to problems and being more concerned about reputation management than the safeguarding of children contributed to frontline staff having OFSTED inspectors crawling all over them. Could this be the ‘significant corporate issues’ to which Ms Brazil referred to?

Talking of a reality check we note that we’re still awaiting the publication of the Serious Case Review report concerned with the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) case that we commented on earlier this year . As we reported in our  Basket Case Review article :

I suppose we have to wait for the publication of the Serious Case Review in the summer before we can FULLY judge the failings of Wirral Council and other statutory agencies involved in the appalling Rajenthiram brother’s depraved exploitation of our most vulnerable.

A quick look out of the window will tells us that summer has long since passed – so where are the findings of the Serious Case Review ? However we do note there was an exempt item at last night’s Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee – could the Serious Case Review report have been discussed then? Or is that a reality check too far for now?

 

 

 

 

Oh no it’s a LOBO!

 

Image result for debt resistance ukImage result for Debt Resistance UK

With all this Labour Party conference talk of Private Finance Initiative ( PFI) schemes we thought we’d turn our attention to the Local Authority (LA) equivalent of the never-never and and return to an old story concerned with LOBO loans.

LOBO-tomy Loans

For those unfamiliar with the concept -although you might not know you’re paying through the nose for one –  a LOBO stands for Lender Option Borrower Option.

The Lender Option means that periodically the lender can impose a new interest rate.

The Borrower Option is to agree to new interest rate or pay loan back in full.

However if the local authority chooses to pay the loan back in full there are punitive ‘break penalties’ which can cost the local authority (and more specifically the council taxpayer) an arm and a leg.

Last night’s Audit & Risk Management Committee confirmed that Wirral Council have taken out a LOBO loan and the reason that the annual accounts have not been fully signed off by external auditor Grant Thornton is that a member of the public has raised an objection to the LOBO loan situation.

Indeed we understand  from the excellent Debt Resistance UK website that Wirral Council is one of  46  councils that are subject to such a legal objection (see below). Full details can be read here : LOBO legal objections

LOBO Debt & “Fair (repayment) Value” for financial liabilities at 46 UK Councils where objections were lodged in 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.

As you can see Wirral have taken out an eyewatering  LOBO loan of £157+ million and it is estimated that they will be paying back £295 + million .  The loan repayments represent 10.2% of council tax income and debt per person on Wirral is £924 .

Furthermore latest figures Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) indicate that Wirral is the 13th (unlucky for us) overall highest LA borrower in the UK. No doubt part of that that is to cover pay-offs to council managers,  contracts for consultants and salaries for ‘transformers !

Borrowing_and_Investment_Live_Table_2014-15_small-798x1024

 

A Thornton Huff : Where once again ‘ignorance is bliss’ when it comes to the Green Belt

Thornton Manor

A marquee of distinction

We’d like to thank Heswall Today for their excellent coverage of yet another Wirral Council debacle. Their report , which can be read in full  HERE  states as follows : 

Thornton Hall Hotel in Thornton Hough has applied for a judicial review against Wirral Council that aims to explain and overturn planning permission given in error by the Council that allowed nearby Thornton Manor to erect three large marquees without any conditions.

As reported in Heswall Today, despite the land being Green Belt, the Council decided to give permission to Thornton Manor on the basis that it would last just five years, and that some of the profits generated by the new facilities would be reinvested in parts of the estate considered to be “at risk”. Other conditions included the installation of noise limiters and restrictions on the use of fireworks.

However, for reasons which, the Council says, are “impossible to understand”, the Decision Notice was sent out without any such conditions, and the Council was blissfully ignorant of the error.

When the five years elapsed late last year and planning officers assumed a new planning application would have to be made, Thornton Manor produced the Decision Notice it had received and stated that its terms were the ones it intended to abide by. In other words, the three marquees were here to stay and there was nothing the Council could do about them.

So basically,  the privileged folk who run Thornton Manor have done what the less privileged and long suffering council taxpayers of Wirral would like to do and stick two fingers up to Wirral Council.

Meanwhile equally privileged local hospitality rival Thornton Hall Hotel have issued Judicial Review proceedings because they claim they’re not on a level playing field with their local rival.

However what galls us at Leaky Towers is that whilst the application for the Judicial Review by Thornton Hall Hotel will not be contested by the Council,  Thornton Manor will oppose it. Which means, yes, you guessed it, that it will be Wirral council taxpayers who will once again have to stump up for costly legal proceedings because some numpty at Wirral Council can’t do their job properly and send out a Decision Notice specifying exactly why the Green Belt should not be despoiled by money-grasping opportunists.

We are led to ask ourselves as to whether all of this might explain why Thornton Hall Hotel swiftly withdrew their advertising from Wirral Council’s woeful Wirral View publication and whether the future venue for Wirral Council Mayor’s Balls be left dangling ?

 

Tellers and Tremors

Field pointing

Frank addresses the Birkenhead CLP : “I’m a teller and you lot do as your told “

Just a quick  update on last night’s Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting which promised to be earth-shattering 

Whilst you can read the Skwawkbox report that is headlined BIRKENHEAD RESULT ‘MIXED BUT SEISMIC’- AND CONTROVERSY AS MP COUNTS VOTES

we also received eyewitness reports suggesting that whilst there were a few concessions and accommodations made but the old guard fought a rearguard(!) action and  consequently they described the outcome of the meeting as more of a slight tremor than a seismic earthquake .

However it was clear the cabal was rattled with Birkenhead MP Frank Field taking his control freakery to a whole new level by acting as a teller at the vote count. What is interesting to us  that as far as the Skwawkbox  know , no Labour MP has acted as a teller before and :

‘This caused consternation among members and the regional Labour regional representative at the meeting reportedly told members that if they decided to put a complaint in about the MP teller, he would have to uphold it. As yet, no decision on a complaint is known to have been made.’

However breath-holding is not advised on Labour North West taking any action against Field even if the matter is referred to them. Nevertheless ,with Field facing the first significant challenge to his autocracy in many years , these are particularly interesting times for local politics which means that Wirral Leaks remains on stand by with the Geiger counter.

The Skwawking Canary Comes Home To Roost

 

SAINT-FRANK

Yes ,we know it’s not a canary but then Frank’s no saint!

There are alternative sources out there for the politically curious beyond the usual newspaper columns, press releases and soundbites.

Indeed we’ve been inundated with contacts providing links to a couple of left -leaning blogs The Canary and Skwawkbox and telling us that they’re singing our song.

And so it would seem there’s only so much backstabbing of the Labour Party leader that Corbynistas are prepared to tolerate from Birkenhead MP Frank Field.

Firstly, The Canary rustles Frank Field’s feathers by challenging him on his reprehensible stand on paying disabled people less than the National Living Wage (NLW). Apparently this is because their work has “an economic value below the legal minimum wage”. He says his idea is to help employers “to take on low-productivity disabled workers”. Field, in his typical high handed manner ,dismisses criticism of his standpoint as “absurd” . Might we suggest as a point of comparison he checks out the “economic value” of some of the charlatans on six figure salaries running Wirral Council?

Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) believes that Field does not understand why his comments have upset disabled people. She told The Canary:

For anyone in this day and age to hold those views, and especially someone in Frank Field’s position, is abominable. It is exactly the same sort of thinking as the Nazi ‘useless eaters’ rhetoric.

John McArdle from campaign group Black Triangle also criticised Field :

The right to equal treatment and equality are human rights. Human rights are not privileges. That’s why they are called rights. I suggest Mr Field goes back to the drawing board. His comments are a disgrace and he should now apologise. Furthermore, if the Labour Party wishes to prove that it has truly changed its tune, it will need to demonstrate that the New Labour old guard are no longer calling the shots and put the voices of disabled people first.

The last time we looked, Mr Field was not a spokesperson for disabled people.

Read the full article here : Sack Field

However talking of the ‘old guard’ Field and his cabal will be facing a much more serious and pressing challenge much closer to home at tonight’s Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) AGM to be held at The Lauries.

Skwawkbox reports a local activist as saying  that :  “The cabal of right-wing, clapped-out councillors needs a shakeup. We now have a record membership – they just need to turn up, in numbers, and make change happen!”

This is like a line from our back pages as is the ‘slate’ for a member driven Birkenhead CLP  which includes the following commitments . These are the ones that stood out for us but the full list can be found here: Birkenhead CLP AGM

  •  A member driven CLP run from the bottom up ,not a top-down Cabal .
  •  A more competent CLP ; where meetings are properly organised, and managed  for the benefit of ALL members ,not just the needs of a few Councillors or the MP
  • Honesty,integrity and openness;where decisions are democratically arrived at, and nobody is bullied, disenfranchised or discriminated against by those with agendas or vested interests
  • A more visible , and active CLP ; that campaign’s on multiple fronts (locally and nationally) not just to preserve the careers of elected members ! we will be more visible and active than ever – in our Community and beyond

Ouch!

But then we’ve always maintained that it was only a long established small cabal who were responsible for bringing the local Labour Party into such disrepute. Furthermore we always said that it would be party members who would finally call time on this abuse of power.  We shall be following tonight’s developments with interest in anticipation of ,not so much a coup d’état , as a coup de grâce – for everyone’s sake it really is time to put the old guard out of their (and our)  misery.

PuppetMaster

Wirral Evolutions : Origin of the Specious

Stop Following Me

Public services in private hands is NOT the way to go

When Chris  Beyga , Acting Managing Director of Wirral Evolutions , declared at its launch : ” It is great to see so many people here as we move from a public service to a commercial entity” we asked the question “What could possibly go wrong?…….”
 
The answer to our question would appear to be  : ” The same as usual”
For those who don’t know what ‘Wirral Evolutions’ is – although we all pay for it –  it is a  : ” Local Authority Trading Company (LAC) bringing together nine key day centre and daytime services from across the area to continue to offer high-quality care for people with long term and learning disabilities” 
Beast

Feed the beast!

Whilst those in charge at Wirral Council are relentlessly and recklessly pursuing the ‘public services/assets are best held in private hands’ model, let’s see how that works in practice with a couple of examples.
Firstly, a Wirral Council manager with a penchant for awards ceremonies and expensive shoes ends up being the Chief Executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (Paula Basnett) .
Secondly, a rather more dowdy persona is made ‘Managing Director’ ( ha! ha!ha!) of a pretend company called ‘Wirral Evolutions’ ( Chris Beyga)
Other than power crazed empire building using public assets and public money what do they both have in common ?
That’s right the “The ‘N’ Word”. Needless to say the dirty ‘N’ word in this case is nepotism.
What we can’t understand is how Wirral Council are prepared to pump public assets into both enterprises whilst throwing public accountability out of the window.
However we have to give a round of applause to Wirral Council for keeping a lid on the Chris Beyga , ahem, situation using their timeworn strategy – ‘If it’s unmentionable , it’s manageable‘ – but then they can’t let their bogus flagship ‘commercial entity’ hit the rocks can they?
We’ve known since July that Beyga has been conspicuous by her absence. No doubt tending the flowerbeds (but not at Dale Farm). As one of our sources writes  : ” She also has always blanked the union but as soon as this happened she joined it.”
Let’s hope Unison (for it is they) give Beyga the same kind of support they give to the rank and file who come to them when they’re being victimised by their managers. If so Beyga’s a gonna.
Perhaps ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions , Carey Bamber can clarify for us exactly what is going on just as she did with the ‘open and transparent’ (yeah, whatever)  appointment of Beyga as ‘ Managing Director’ . Or perhaps she just lives up to her name – ‘ Carey’ – an imitation of caring. Or even better Cllr Adrian Jones can tell us what he knows about the allegations that were made against Beyga before she was appointed MD?
Meanwhile all we know is that it doesn’t Beyga belief – it’s just business as usual!
 Bamberbitch 011

 

‘Never let facts get in the way of a good story……’

AFrank-WIRRAL-LEAKS

We’ve just clocked that on the day that we reported on Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s toerag tirade against Anti-Social Behaviour All That Glitters  

that Wirral Council announced the creation (inevitably) of the The Safer Wirral Hub

So can we all now rest easily in our beds ? Facts ,conveniently omitted from the business case for Frankenfield’s monster would suggest not – and although his agent , Cllr George Davies fronts it , it is undoubtedly Field’s creation.

But as the saying goes, never let facts get in the way of a long running story about the appalling behaviour of ‘toe -rags’ . Indeed we were dismayed to discover that a letter written by one of our Wirral Leaks regulars , who we know affectionately as ‘The Prof’, was deemed to be not fit for publication in response .

Whilst we publish the response below it appears there is an alarming and increasing tendency to control the ‘narrative’ , which admittedly is a hateful word  but it seems most apt.

With the continuing publication of Wirral View  , the prospect of Wirral Council filming their own meetings and sidelining our beloved Mr Brace , councillors receiving media training  to support them with party political broadcasts to a captive audience on social media , it seems to us it is becoming more and more difficult to counter the dominant local political narrative with either facts or opinions.

 Frank Field has called for an explanation of why why the Wirral Council Antisocial Behaviour Unit has not clamped down on the ‘toe rags’ turning Birkenhead into ‘Beirut’. He seems to have forgotten that the ASBO Crusade, invented by Tony Blair, was totally discredited several years ago after the courts and senior police accepted its ineffectiveness and governments abandoned it nationally. It missed the ‘toe rags’ but targeted and punished people with mental health and disability problems ncluding attempted suicides, homeless alcoholics and autistic teenagers. Frank seems to be having several memory problems.

In 2015 he congratulated DCLG Minister Eric Pickles in the House of Commons on the fantastic success of the sanctions based, Troubled Families Programme in ‘turning around’ Frank’s antisocial ‘families from hell’. He thanked Pickles  ‘on behalf of my constituents, many of whom now have a more peaceful existence…’ thanks, allegedly to the TFP. Unfortunately the government sponsored National Evaluation of the TFP proved that it had NO impact on criminal and antisocial behaviour in the families …including in Wirral.
The Evaluation also concluded that NO money was saved on the state support costs of these families. Yet remarkably Wirral claimed that 99% of their families were ‘turned around’ successfully! In 2012 Wirral claimed the average ‘troubled family’ cost us £75K per annum. In 2016 they claimed £76K per family had been saved….all of the cost! But the government Evaluation says the TFP had NO impact and saved NO money…anywhere.
Since this project locally, cost and is costing us, several million pounds, perhaps Frank should investigate this? But what about the gang ‘smashing up’ bus stops in the North End? Well, stop calling it antisocial behaviour…it is serious criminal damage…and call the police to account. If they catch the perpetrators throw the book at them.                     

Good Health In Bad Hands

DONHS 2 012

Apologies for the delay in publishing this but it landed in our spam. This is feedback from the Defend Our NHS (DONHS) Wirral meeting that we previously plugged. 

In the mean time it seems that local politicians have been belatedly gegging in on the action , most particularly in relation to the now ‘temporary’ closure of Eastham NHS Walk-in centre. This week’s Adult Care Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee was a humdinger with NHS head honchoes – Simon Banks ( NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group) and Karen Howell ( Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust) getting a good mauling.

Acting chair  Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin took the opportunity to say that it was “important that the decision-makers are held to account.” Yes, those words actually came out of her mouth. My, how we laughed. And then we cried such bitter tears.

She also took the opportunity to plug a prospective Labour councillor who had organised (yet another) petition.  We note that campaigning for next year’s local elections has already started then !

However more concerning for us was an issue that received  zero press coverage and caused considerably less outrage among councillors and that was the closure of  Thorn Heys, an NHS respite service for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.  Somebody remind us what was that Wirral Plan ‘pledge’ about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ again?

What is most apparent is that ‘partnership’ working between Wirral Council and its NHS counterparts is not what it should be – the power struggles and the safeguarding of ever diminishing budgets was there for all to see – although of course some highly paid public servants and consultants still seem to be doing okay out of it ! As ever the only people to suffer are those who pay for what appears the deliberate (?) and ongoing (mis)managed decline of a once great institution !

Dear friends of the NHS

Are you angry? The packed audience at our public meeting on Thursday were angry. But they were also full of ideas for the fight back to defend our NHS. There was a spirited and constructive discussion after superb inputs from national campaigner Steve Carne and from a number of local campaigns on our own patch.

Why are people angry? Read the list below* and then come back here.

Are you angry yet? You should be. And if you are you can do something! This is what Thursday’s meeting decided. You can do some or all the following now.

  1. Let us have email addresses of others who might want to join the fight.
  2. Read AND act upon AND share the ‘to do’ list (in the ‘Files’ section on our Facebook page and attached to this message):https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/files/
  3. Come along to the many NHS meetings and protests (some on the ‘to do’ list but starting with the Eastham event on Monday detailed below). Some important events are shown. PLEASE COME!
  4. Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth will be in Eastham to meet with members and people affected by the closure.
    If you are available, and if you know anyone who is concerned about the closure, please bring them along.
    When? Monday September 11, 2017 at 11am – 1pm. Where? St David’s united reform church Eastham Wirral ch62 9dg
  5. STOP THE STP! Wirral Council has the power – and has already said it opposes the STP. Why doesn’t it do it? Wednesday 13th September 6.00pm at Wallasey Town Hall. Let’s make this the biggest lobby ever! Arrive early! http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=819&MId=6118&Ver=4
  6. Attend the Wirral CCG AGM @Tranmere Rovers 28th September from 1.00pmhttps://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/wirral-ccgs-annual-general-meeting-2017/ It’s the CCG which has the local purse strings and makes the cuts.
  7. Share your experiences on Facebook or by email.

Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

…………………………………………………………………………………………

* That list:

  • The closure at short notice last week of the Eastham NHS walk-in centre.
  • The simultaneously announced end of the Eastham-Arrowe Park bus service.
  • The ‘pilot’ closure of the Clatterbridge dermatology ward.
  • A further near ONE BILLION POUNDS of cuts in the pipeline for Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The payment of £300,000 to Price Waterhouse Cooper to compile the list of cuts to be made locally.
  • The payment across England of £21 MILLION POUNDS to firms like PwC for similar ‘work’.
  • The news that PwC and other ‘tax management’ outfits are being given the job of organising NHS service commissioning.
  • All this part of the 44 awful ‘sustainability and transformation partnerships’ (STP) including one here in Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The STPs and everything else above comes from the brain of the head of NHS England Simon Stevens who now effectively controls the whole of our NHS. (Jeremy Hunt has washed his hands, Pontius Pilate-style.)
  • The revelation that Simon Stevens came to the NHS from US health ‘corporation’ United Healthcare.
  • The revelations of the anti-patient and anti-doctor business behaviour of United while Stevens was a boss.
  • EVERY local council has rejected the STP. Wirral Council has the power to stop the STP in its tracks and voiced its opposition last December – BUT it took the leader of the Council, Phil Davies, EIGHT MONTHS to write the letter to Jeremy Hunt.
  • Meanwhile the cuts have got worse, the waiting lists longer, the appointments harder to get, the adverts for American-style health services appear on GP notice boards – yet wonderful NHS staff continue to offer a fantastic service despite all this and despite years of effective pay cuts.