Notes & Observations

We’ve had a couple of notes and observations from Wirral Leaks readers that we hope some of our other followers can help,  especially when His Lordship and Her Ladyship are still away and we’re been having a lazy Sunday back at Leaky Towers …sssssh- don’t tell anyone!

First of all we received this note about our old friends Change,Grow,Live (still the lamest company name we’ve ever come across) :

I note that the council Scrutiny committee has just extended a three year contract into six for Kingdom, the litter fascists, as reported in The Globe.
Has the committee also ‘scrutinised’ the drug treatment contract for CGL, awarded in Feb 2015 for three years, time is up and nothing has been announced about whether it is to be extended…probably…or re-tendered. The contract is huge and comes to £7.5million annually. Surely this should be scrutinised as to exactly what we have bought and what CGL are doing.
As you know CGL replaced the excellent NHS service, Wirral Drug Service, presumably on monetary grounds. Drug related deaths are now at a national high and Wirral CGL has been taken to task about this as you also know. 78 deaths in their first 18 months of operation. Crime is up, street begging and drinking is up, street drug crime itself is increasing, all of which is obvious to anyone living in Birkenhead. Street prostitutes are increasing around the Cleveland road area and CGL provide no service to them such as condoms or needles or advice. The old service tackled all of these issues CGL do not. Even the provision of clean needles from pharmacies has deteriorated, again a matter of pride for the old service.
What have we gained from CGLs arrival, nothing in my view, treatment and support for Wirrals addicts is appalling. All I can see is the so called Spider Project in Hamilton Street providing addicts a place to write poetry and draw pictures.
£7.5 million pounds for a poorly run and poorly delivered service is a bit rich!

Now, we thought a new £7million + Public Health contract was waived through ,no bother,by Wirral Council  in April , but we’d be delighted to be proved wrong. In fact , we’d be delighted. As you all know we’ve long held concerns about this particular organisation.  Read here : Public Health England brought into investigate concerns first raised by Wirral Leaks

All we could do at this point was to advise that the Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee was Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin so any chance of any proper scrutiny was out the window!

Meanwhile we have also received this intriguing observation on the issue of Wirral Council’s proposals for the potential use of  ‘brownfield’ sites which we covered earlier this week :

Just an observation about Wirral Council’s extensive list of brownfield sites in Birkenhead that may be suitable for housing and commercial development. One of these sites is Duncan Street car park, near Hamilton Square.

But if anyone tries to build here, they’ll be in for a shock when they dig the foundations – because the Mersey Tunnel runs just a few feet under the ground at this spot. That’s why it has never been built on since the tunnel was constructed in the 1930s. Perhaps someone should tell the council.

Great website, by the way.

I’m no engineer or expert, just someone who’s interested in local history.

However, I’m sure what I’ve said about the Duncan Street car park is correct – the tunnel is just too near the surface for any building to be feasible above it. You can see from the attached map the route of the tunnel.

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 12.19.09

Are there any structural engineers who can advise our reader ? We know we’re good at digging for dirt but we draw the line at digging for information on tunnels ! Oh and please,no comments on the  ‘Square Entrance’ illustration at the bottom of the map. After all, this is a family blog…

4 thoughts on “Notes & Observations

  1. Just to let you know regarding CGL Ltd’s potential awarding 3 more years: this will be a surprise to a) HM Gov (since competitive tendering is what all this change (& grow & live) was supposed to be about, and NOT a choice for the council to make. And b)will be a shock for Cheshire & Wirral Partnership Trust (CWP-the previous provider and a proper NHS trust who I know for a fact were going to bid this year, even contacting their former staff now on lower pay as TUPE runs out, to see if they would be prepared to work for CWP’s drug service should they succeed in the bid for Wirral’s much needed drug &alcohol & mental health services increasingly needed as you say. Also because there is currently an epidemic of cheap but very high strength cocaine and heroin, since both Afghanistan & Colombia have produced bumper crops this year.
    what can we do about it?

  2. Extended or re-tendered ? This certainly needs scrutinising. We also need a service user voice/forum for feedback , although CGL have a service user rep, that person is an employee of the company , so clients have a fear of being honest. To put all the recent deaths down to an ageing population is an insult to those who died and those who personaly knew them. This service should certainly be handed back to the NHS and control of the budget should not be run by local councils. Just wanted to add , as mentioned in the article The Spider Project , anyone attending has to be totally abstinant.

    • Hi Francis.
      Can you please tell me where you have heard that CWP are contacting former staff? Also your information about former CWP staff now being paid less is incorrect. This would only happen if a former CWP employee has agreed to take on a different job and agreed to CGL’s terms and conditions. Also, are you still a service user rep?

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