And so after a previous meeting behind closed doors of the Employment and Appointments Committee it would appear that full Council on Monday 19th March will rubber stamp the permanent appointment of current interim Assistant Director : Law and Governance Philip McCourt to the new post of Director – Governance & Assurance (Monitoring Officer)
We have to doff our coronet to McCourt on this one. He sat back as Wirral Council struggled to appoint to this poisoned chalice of a post and watched gimlet-eyed as they had to bump up the pay (funny how there’s always money to be found for the upper echelons of local government isn’t it?) and upgrade the post from Assistant Director to Director enabling McCourt to sit at the top table of council chief officers. And from what we understand there was none of that tiresome psychometric testing or bothersome interview process for such a high profile post. Oh no it was a shoo-in for fêted Phil.
Canny McCourt has cleverly manoeuvred himself into a strong position by getting the lowdown – and boy do we mean lowdown – on Wirral Council. This was not only on the job – when he could fit Wirral Council business in around his other consultancy commitments that is. Checking out his LinkedIn profile this included not only work for solicitors Weightmans LLP , where no doubt he would have encountered former Wirral Council legal alumni Morris Hill and Simon Goacher, but also during a stint at Bristol City Council in 2016 where he would have compared cheques with Anna Klonowski – author of damning Independent Review and Corporate Governance reports about his latest employer. The man who took over from McCourt at Milton Keynes Council in May 2013 was a Stephen Gerrard (no, not that one) . Coincidentally enough Gerrard was Interim Head of Legal and Member Services at Wirral Council October 2012 -May 2013 during the then permanent head, Bill Norman’s suspension (Norman later went on to become involved in all kinds of shenanigans at Hereford and Cheshire East councils) . Gerrard also left somewhat hastily , whether it was because he and his deputy Surjit Tour were not the best of buddies we can only speculate. However ,as we know, Tour was later to make the most of an unguarded (and racist) comment from Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Cllr George Davies and astonishingly ascend to the top legal job at Wirral Council before escaping back to Sandwell Council. We don’t know about you but this local government merry go round makes us dizzy (and slightly nauseous).
Whether McCourt will prove to be as controversial appointment as Norman and Tour only time will tell but we do know he’s inherited some very thorny legal issues and knowing his political paymasters as we do there will no doubt be more to come. As ever the real test for a head of law at Wirral Council will be how they reconcile protecting powerful politicians with protecting the public purse and the public interest. We shall be particularly interested to see whether McCourt follows the path of least resistance trodden by his predecessors and favours the former over the latter.
And still the merry- go- round keeps revolving!!!!
Andy More to come Titty La…..let’s see what unfolds I’m sure our readers will be bouncing especially our Charlie
Total and utter disgrace both him and the appointment. He knows what goes on in this gutter council, he can read surely?
He is on the take, he has been there long enough to work out (even if he can’t read)just how much remuneration wmbc will pay for sycophantic,spineless egotistical failures . 🤑 .. any solicitor with integrity wouldn’t touch this place with someone else’s
And who sees and agrees the pre employment checks ? Who decides that anything he may have done in the past is fine no problem?
Interesting that the first port of call to defend and v my case was WEIGHTMANS
We know Weightmans were involved in 2 Wirral Council cover ups
I don’t know about the 2 cover ups and honestly the amount of information on here still astounds me and still 🙄 I hope that someone soon, stands up and rids this council of the perpetual chronic news fodder. It’s not fair on all those that work so damned hard to get it right ,that go that extra 20 miles for the tax payer , this council is full of them. I don’t want to pay an increase in tax then read on here eg there are 2 cover up reports known to paid for external advice!! Or that 2 people genuinely absolutely believe have evidence that 2million pounds was not accounted for correctly and therefore must have cost the tax payer. Vexatious surely has to be unfounded ,this information point takes a million hits they don’t come for a fairy tale they consider there is merit , why then does mr McCourt not invite everyone that wishes to talk to wmbc in, let tax payers talk to him as this surely as director of is his bag ?, the majority of posts mistrust their democratic process, fundamentally, that reassurance is a councils duty Or have I completely misunderstood “the right thing “
Look out Philip McCourt….. (mind your head) … here is the Sunday morning BOOMERANG….
‘We have given them almost six years to own up and say it was all wrong, they’ve lied, cheated, hidden stuff, obfuscated and told bare faced lies’
(The Aussie, on the Wirral Biz/Council scandal)
As my mate Bobby 47 would say
Check out Squashy McCourt sneeky little peepers.
Why would you want to take on Sir Git’s shit filled job?
Unless he is open, honest and transparent about all the shite such as Wirral “Funny” Bizz he is just as dodgy as the rest of the crud at wirral……
and the rest of the dross all over the £2,000,000.00 knock off.
Luv ya Leaks and you too Bobby47 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
You missed McLoughlin, Sullivan, Angie Davies, Mooney, Spriggs, Janette Williamson, Brightmore and Stuart off your list, don’t think for one minute they are not involved in widespread corruption. No Morals, No principles and No backbones the lot of them!!!
Widespread corruption? Can this be evidenced? It can be in some other cases.
In 2009 Cheshire West and Chester monitoring officer Simon Goacher snatched away not just my livelihood, but my statutory right to place FOI requests and applications for personal data. He knew this was completely ultra vires but went ahead and broke the law anyway.
Luckily, my friend and fellow traveller on the path of righteous action Hugh Tomlinson QC waived his fee (£1,000 per hour) and duffed the arseholes up.
I get a nice buzz of satisfaction even now just thinking about it.
Now working for WEIGHTMANS LLP Goacher may have lots of cash and perks, but what little dignity he had remaining is now in tatters, shot to pieces.
Simon Goacher was talking at yesterday evening’s Standards Panel (Wirral Council). You can watch the first part below https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEXSs69Bvmo . He’d written an investigation report into three councillors (Lewis, Anderson and Hayes).
After that was filmed he had to spend around 16 minutes waiting outside in a corridor near Committee Room 1 with a pair of Braces. 😀
Interesting – that’s a blast from the past.
Thanks so much John. Great stuff. Have just commented on there.
It was never in any doubt, he jumped straight in were Tour left. Corrupt solicitors the lot of them.
They only move into Local Government because their rubbish at being a solicitor, they join the web of deceit.
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