Tales From The Chamber : Chapter 1 – ‘The Elephant in the Lift’

BID pic

We understand that Wirral Council’s ‘Witchfinder General’ and Deputy CEO David Armstrong has been making less than discreet enquiries about who has leaking information to us .  So let’s help him with his enquiries and let him know it’s ‘Spartacus’. The thing he (and other local powerbrokers) need to understand is that when toxic and dysfunctional organisations treat people badly then those people who have inside knowledge as to what goes on within these organisations will sometimes seek an outlet to bear witness to what they’ve seen and heard . It was how Wirral Leaks came to be and we are honoured and privileged that people come to us ,  as where else would they go?

Whilst we have been receiving information about the Wirral Chamber of Commerce  (WCoC) from various sources for some time often people are reluctant for us to publish their compelling stories merely because they recognise the power of the local connections that WCoC have (and particularly with Wirral Council). That in itself is a damning indictment of the corrosive, insular culture’ that has been created on Wirral.  So as an antidote to last night’s meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee and the anodyne news in the Constituency Manager’s report about litterpicks and skip hire we provide an insight into what lies behind jargon such as this :

3.4 Birkenhead First Activity Update: 2018 Since May 2018, we have had two of our Town Hosts leave the team, this has opened up an opportunity for us to re-evaluate the strengths of the team and review where our strategic focus needs to be aligned in terms of moving the BID forward

Read full report here : Birkenhead Constituency report

Whilst the information should be of particular interest to Birkenhead Improvement District (BID) levy payers we also think that there is a significant public interest element to the first anthology of Chamber tales we’ve compiled below :

I will offer you some interesting facts. Why isn’t the expenditure of the levy money made public ? Why aren’t the accounts available to be scrutinised? Simply because it’s mis- managed. Ask the question – why was Mark Barrow ( Campaign Manager) paid his salary out of the levy money? Why have the Chamber paid £25,000 to The Hive to be a Patron ? Who paid for the lights within the gardens of Hamilton Square?  Who is behind the creation of the CIC Food village at Woodside ? Who are the board members and associates? – I’m sure you can guess! There is only ONE host remaining at Birkenhead – considering there was 4 – ask the question about a public document that was put out by the BID after their first year – in it states about extra cops in the town – think from memory it said 37 extra cops – a simple question where’s the paper trail of how those cops were paid for? How was it accounted for? Simple answer is ,  it’s a number plucked from the air . PP (‘Princess’ Paula Basnett – WCoC CEO) took it to (Wirral Council) cabinet and stood up and quoted it as fact.

The BID  money is about £370,000 per year. The first two years nothing was spent on the town other than planters and some money for alley gates near Sally Army. So where did the money go?  It went to prop up and pay for the Chamber – and its staff

Quite funny you should mention about PPs salary-  at some point PP and her chums salaries details were given out by mistake to staff. I think PP was on a substantial salary . Big red faces and emails directing people not to disclose.

Around mid 2017 the BID produced its annual report. Within that report was mentioned what the BID had done over the last 12 months – by and large most of it is inaccurate and misleading. This document was taken by PP to (Wirral Council)  Cabinet – who painted a picture of how great things were. Like all things official – it’s about showing to the public and in this case more appropriately the businesses in the BID area that there is credibility in the BID.

A system was believed to be in use to record Town Host activities. It was a system used by (Wirral) Council to track maintenance but it was used as a way by the BID to record activity. It would have been useful for councillors to ask the question as to which areas were subject of the 70 clean ups as stated in the published yearly report and ask WCoC to   produce the records of those clean ups.Who was involved? What was cleaned up? Where was cleaned up?

37 extra cops in the area? Ask the question as I’ve mentioned previously – it costs around £600 a day for a Police Officer – you pay not only for the officer but the supporting infrastructure. Ask PP to disclose the costs – I’m sure it would be recorded somewhere. NOT. To produce an Annual Statement that features inaccurate and misleading information surely can’t be right and should be brought into the public domain. As an organisation (WCoC) that advises new and existing business they run their own business in such a shambolic way. Disclosures that over 20 people have left over the last 18 months or more – if it’s that good, why do people leave. Do you know about the elephant in the lift at Pacific Road? More wasted money. Paid for by PP at a charity auction at Oxton cricket club. It’s a huge almost life size model of an elephant made of copper or something similar. But since all the work at Pacific Road it sits in the lift .And has done for some time. Cost of lights in Hamilton Sq gardens was about £50,000. I’m sure BID  levy payers in Oxton Road would see the benefit of that money being spent.

The four original priorities of the BID are falling short. Budget £100,000 – Safety and Security. Budget £75,000 – Marketing and Promotion. Budget £110,000 – Clean and Attractive. Budget £50,000 – Supporting Business. As can be seen in the Annual report this was the budget for each of the BID’s priorities. Once again ask the question – how is the money spent ? Surely as an organisation that advises and supports new and old business they keep ACCURATE records !!!! All this will show that the BID does not have any credibility. It needs to be brought out into the public domain – ie via your website/ social media platforms.

My final comment at the end of this extensive piece is that within the UK there are over 200 BIDs operating. As far as I’m aware there are NO BIDs that are set up like the Wirral BID – most if not all are stand alone companies. They invoice out and record all their expenditure – they are more likely to operate independently without any of the money being diverted to support another organisation. In this case the WCoC. The levy money is there to make a difference to the local business community – above and beyond what is already provided. But it’s clearly not.

I have to say there is a huge amount of good people in the chamber but sadly really, really badly led …







8 thoughts on “Tales From The Chamber : Chapter 1 – ‘The Elephant in the Lift’

  1. G’day Leaky

    Why wouldn’t there be a big staff turnover.

    I went to her to tell her of a £2,000,000.00 Wirral “Funny” Bizz knock off.

    She started to suggest I might get a job at Invest(In thyself and the Basnettfamily) Wirral.

    She wouldn’t talk to me without AdderleyDadderleyDooLally who lied through his ashtray stained teeth and they ignored me an then “Highbrow” and continued to pay the half wits who were the criminals for eighteen months.



    The baddies got off to Portugal with the loot and the cops did nothing as wirral bc took over being the complainant.

    Luv ya Lordy I’ll buy you a drink at The Spotty Blue Teapot ha ha ha ha


    Must be good they got at least two grants in the family.

  2. The formation of the ‘new ‘Chamber was shrouded in controversy so why should people be surprised? The amount of taxpayers money, Basnett; Hamid; Adderley et al got via Wirral Council was obscene – just look at the time when the Council could not support Foxdale school in their hour of need, yet could give in excess of £1 million pounds to the newly-formed “independent” Chamber of Commerce to re-furbish Pacific Road theatre (owned by us!) and their continued donation of Council properties (such as The Lauries Centre, etc.) to the Chamber, yet no one seems to be held accountable….disgraceful !!

  3. When will people realise the extent of this disgrace . They are creaming money off everyone just to pay the huge salaries of PP and her family and friends . She has surrounded herself by a board of cronies and very close friends and I mean very close from the Clowncil. Money is being ripped off from the businesses to support the cronies and from the clowncil and government through PPs husband and close friend Bonker Evans . A disgrace .

  4. It would help if messages were in plain understandable English. I can see that Wirral Council’s ethics are somewhat suspect but there needs to be less in the way of coded references, nicknames etc. if we are to get at the facts – and more important, if more people are to become involved through FOI demands. If your intentions are serious and you are not just having fun, please take this criticism seriously.
    Peter Ryan

    • Hi Peter

      Thanks for your criticism which is a) been said before and b) totally justified.
      However we have absolutely no intention of taking a blind bit of notice of it.

      With respect please don’t tell us what write on OUR blog.For example we’d never publish something like “Wirral Council’s ethics are somewhat suspect’. We call out the ruling administration at Wirral Council to be totally and utterly corrupt and have done for some years. If you don’t get the references – tough – we don’t provide a glossary so we suggest you read our extensive archive instead.

      As for ‘facts’- they’re all there. Do your own research if you want more.

      As for people becoming involved through FOI demands you’re a bit late to the party on that one aren’t you? Come back to us when you get a result on the FOI front?

      Finally , as for ‘fun’ .You seriously think what we do is ‘fun’ ? Believe us it is thoroughly depressing to chronicle local corruption day in,day out and nothing but NOTHING ever changes. Meanwhile we make no apologies if our posts are not in ‘plain understandable English’ . We don’t do ‘plain’ we leave that the local MSM in general and Wirral View in particular.

      Regards, Wirral Leaks

      • Well said Wirraleaks. Keep taking the dishonest to task…none of our local news agencies will.

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