The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Seven – The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

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PAST : It was with breathtaking cynicism that on Christmas Eve 6 years ago Wirral Council shut up shop and published a report by Richard Penn which investigated a minor case of alleged ‘whistleblowing’ which nevertheless managed to get some airtime on Radio Merseyside on Christmas Day 2012. We won’t go into the details as apparently to do so could potentially cause ‘damage and distress ‘ to those named in the report. As you can see from our report The Penn Is Mightier Than The Sword  such was the secrecy and subterfuge it was a week later (and six years to the day) before we  got around to  covering the story –  and let’s face it like most of you probably under the influence of a hangover.

PRESENT : So you might be wondering why are we bringing up the matter of on the sixth anniversary of the publication of  ‘The Penn Report’ now? Well ,dear readers  ‘The Penn Report’ featured as evidence this year in a significant legal case which ended up in the Upper Tribunal in London, far from prying eyes and inquisitive ears and which demonstrated what can happen when low friends in high places pull a few strings who want to avoid the publication of ‘The Warren Report’ covering  the same issues as the ‘The Penn Report’ but allegedly penned (no pun intended) by close friend of Frank Field who describes the author of the unpublished report as a ‘stunning lawyer’ . We prefer the term ‘compromised ex-Judge in a conflict of interest clusterfuck’ and we’re confident with all his legal knowledge Nicholas Warren isn’t going to sue us for expressing that reasonably held belief even when Warren himself was indemnified by you, dear readers, to write whatever he wants about whoever he likes even though his report can’t ever be published.

Morton v 1.Information Commissioner 2. Wirral Metropolitan Council : (2018) UKUT 295 (AAC)

FUTURE : We predict – no, we promise – both reports will feature significantly in future 2019 Wirral Leaks posts as we finally put to bed the biggest scandal in Wirral Council history and reveal just how deep the corruption goes in our most revered and venerated UK institutions and which extends far beyond the insular peninsula…

 

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The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Six – Organised Crime

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There were raised eyebrows at Leaky Towers at the moral outrage and shock ! horror! report titled Wirral bar that saw vicious attack had ‘strong link’ to organised crime gangs  where we found out that the licence for Sherlocks , a classy joint in downtown Birkenhead where apparently rival organised crime gangs like to beat seven shades of shite out of each other,  had been revoked after appeals by Merseyside Police to Wirral Council.

Funny that, we thought to ourselves, Merseyside Police weren’t quite so agitated when it came to organised crime gangs threatening to beat vulnerable people in the care of Wirral Council with baseball bats. Where were the cries from Merseyside Police to close down so called ‘care homes’ then? Could it be that both they and Wirral Council were compromised by the fact that the ‘care’ company  as reported in Private Eye was owned by Peter and Jane Spencer, ex Merseyside CID ? Just sayin’

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For further information read the the full horror story here  where you will discover how Merseyside Police and Wirral Council colluded with an Organised Crime Group – even when it meant the death of a vulnerable adult – all in the name of reputation management. It’s still the most shocking report that we’ve ever read in relation to Wirral Council – just think about that for a moment and then weep copious tears.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Five -More for Torus , Less for All of Us

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There’s an interesting post on the Save Our Social Housing Facebook page which reads :

Torus Housing Association ( Magenta Living’s bedfellows in Bamboo) have lodged an application to build 28 homes on the Lyndale School site in Eastham. They will be a mixture of 2,3 and 4 bedroom homes to be sold under a shared ownership scheme with four being let at affordable/social rents. This is not good enough. Wirral Council must require more homes for genuine affordable rents as per Labour Party policy. They should follow the Islington Council example who won their case against a developer forcing them to build more social housing. The Lyndale site is/ was Council property, I say at least 14 of those homes should be genuinely affordable rents.

Talking of bedfellows Wirral Leaks readers will know of the Torus /Bamboo connection because the Torus Chair is none other than Graham Burgess  who was formerly the CEO of Wirral Council when the decision was made to close Lyndale School . But for those who are unfamiliar with the story you can catch up here  and also find out the links to Magenta Living ( Board members Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr Jeff Green). The full sorry story of the closure of Lyndale School and the role of Cllr Steve Foulkes can be read here
And so what was once public property now becomes part of the portfolio of a private company  headed up by a former self serving public servant who did very well for himself at Wirral Council and did absolutely nothing for the people of Wirral.
Isn’t it just wonderful how the plans seem to work out for people such as Burgess, Foulkes and their ilk ? We’re left wondering whether future plans were hatched as far back as October 2012 at ‘The Mayor’s Ball’ were you can see from this story on our old website there were some familiar names involved in the closure of Lyndale School and a very interesting seating arrangement :

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Mr & Mrs G Burgess

Mr & Mrs G Hodkinson

Ms Julia Hassall

Mr David Armstrong

Ms Fiona Johnstone

Mr Kevin Adderley

Mrs Emma Degg

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Let them have shared ownership and be grateful…

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Four – Protect Money

 

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One of the advantages of this time of the year is that we can catch up on stories that landed in in our tray but we never got round to because we were distracted by another story and/or we needed to do some further research.

For this story we are indebted to John Brace for having the patience to wade through Wirral Council invoices and publish the details on his website way back in August in a post titled  What has Wirral Council been spending money on in 2017 and 2018 (part 2)

The information that particularly caught our eye was the fact that Wirral Council have paid Public Concern at Work £11,250 for a whistleblowing advice line. Since the publication of these details the whistleblowing charity has since had a re-branding and changed their name to the snappier, if rather ambiguous, Protect.

Now you may be wondering as to why we took a particular interest in this payment . Surely you may think that  it would be money well spent ,even for cash-strapped Wirral Council, especially when you consider their chequered history when it has come to dealing with various high profile and damaging whistleblowing cases. Indeed Wirral Council first bunged the charity £10K + in 2012 when they involved them in re-writing their woeful whistleblowing policies and procedures. However what we take issue with is that Protect already offer a free whistleblowing advice line , so why are Wirral Council paying a premium for a dedicated advice line and how can this possibly be value for money?  It would be interesting to know how many workers have taken advantage of this advice line and what monitoring information that Protect provide to Wirral Council.

What’s more surely there are conflict of interest issues involved if Protect are supposed to be giving impartial, independent advice to Wirral Council workers who have concerns about their employer when ultimately Wirral Council are paying for that advice!

From what we’ve gathered from local whistleblowing sources Protect are not held in high regard anyway, often advising whistleblowers to leave their employment rather than risk the threat of victimisation for the heinous crime of telling the truth. Whilst this sometimes may indeed be in the workers  best interest it does nothing to address their whistleblowing concerns and ultimately it is not in the public interest to allow  employers to ignore the following disclosures that a worker reasonably believes are happening, has taken place, or is likely to happen in the future.

  • A criminal offence
  • The breach of a legal obligation
  • A miscarriage of justice
  • A danger to the health and safety of any individual
  • Damage to the environment
  • Deliberate attempt to conceal any of the above.

Which makes us wonder what’s the Protect money is for ? – to protect whuistleblowers or to protect the reputation of Wirral Council? We certainly know were we’d put our £11,250…

 

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what are Wirral Council trying to ‘protect’ their staff orwho is to protect

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Three – Go Yellow

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We’d like to thank the Rail,Maritime & Transport (RMT) Union for the little stick of rock that found itself in this year’s Christmas stocking. How thoughtful of them to match the colour of the confectionary to not only the livery of Merseytravel but in solidarity with les gilets jaunes and the current colour of rebellion.

Now we haven’t always seen eye to eye with unions (and Unison in particular) but we’re quite happy to support righteous and concerted causes such as the Cammell Laird ‘Turning the Tide on Casualisation’ action organised by GMB and Unite  and the RMT campaign to maintain guards on the trains.

What we’re not so happy to report is former Wirral Council spin doctor Emma Degg gegging in on the latter situation and squarely blaming the disruption to Northern train services on ‘strike action’  :

Emma Degg, Chief Executive of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT): “We welcome this proactive initiative on the part of Northern to seek to resolve the ongoing strike action that has caused so much damage to our region’s economy. We hope both sides can work together to deliver the much-needed improvements that are planned to our railways in 2019.”

Full story : Employers and passenger groups back independent inquiry to resolve RMT dispute at Northern

We’re not usually concerned with what comes out of Degg’s mouth but we have to say we    doff our cap to this consummate player with the great connections – making her a mover and a shaker in the North West, commenting on matters of regional significance and from what we hear, still harbouring political ambitions. But then you know what they say  – you can’t keep a good woman down (insert own joke here).

Unfortunately, from our perspective , the people running the show are the appeasers who are given a platform to appeal for reasonableness and wanting everything to be as nice and pleasant and comfortable as their own existence without acknowledging that some people’s lives are brutal and tough and their livelihoods are at the whim of so-called ‘leaders’ .

Dare we a suggest that those who lack the political and personal guile to ‘succeed’ as ‘leaders’ need to be a bit more Gallic in their outlook and and be more like les gilets jaunes – a little less civil, a little less servile , a little less obedient…

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Two – Pretty Green

 

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We don’t know about you filles et garçons but we feel as though our livers are being prepped for a catering size pack of pâté de foie gras.However we’ve hauled ourselves off the chaise longue to bring you some news that was sent to us in the run up to Christmas.

If you are driving past The Warren golf course, there might be a few photo opportunities, they have pulled in staff from all over to work on every green bunker and fairway to undertake repairs that have been neglected for years. All to make it appealing to the new sell off. Costing thousands . The work being done is unprecedented .It’s looking very, very good. Rebuilding all the bunkers. , renewing some tees, and reseeding sections of all the fairways .Can’t understand it , if they going to get rid,why spend all that money ?

Just heard that they are doing the same to Arrowe Park, these two are the ones that are going out next year, they are the only ones that show any private interest as they are used – after a fashion . The others are white elephants…
Were left wondering how long it will be after the prettification and all that lovely green land is wrapped up like a Christmas present that a property developer will realise there’s not a lot of  money to be made in this declining recreational pursuit and bungs in a planning application for luxury homes. Arrowe Park looks particularly ripe for development after the precedent of the Warrens medical centre and with the hospital already banging in a planning application for 400 car parking spaces , what’s a few residential units on an ever shrinking green amenity?

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day One : Joyeux Noel

A Merry Christmas – or Joyeux Noel as they say in our part of the world – to all our readers ,even the ones who just check in to see whether we’ve named and shamed them, after all it is the season of goodwill.

Today marks the first day of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ and we’ll be celebrating in our inimitable style. So forgive us if Christmas ‘tradition’ is re-packaged as re-runs,repeats ,compilations and reviews which culminate in the annual Leaky Awards 2018 . We were hoping Wirral Chamber of Commerce CEO Paula Basnett would host but sadly we can’t afford her…

Xmas Message

Two down, two to go…

Satan's Little Helper

Foulkesy Turkey trot

Fun with Fascism

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Oh ja, they did!…

We admit to be being late to the (Nazi) party with this one. But we couldn’t help presenting you with this stocking filler brought to us by an appalled reader before we move on to our Wirral Leaks ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ Special :

It has been brought to my attention by a very upset /disgusted couple who bought tickets to attend a concert ‘Then and Now commemorating 100 years since WW1’

The charity evening held at Wallasey Town Hall was to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charities on Friday 30th November.

Apparently the evening included the comperes (2) wearing Swastikas and performing Nazi salutes, and wearing Hitler moustaches, all part of the elderly  comperes’ ‘comedy routine’

I am told the event was organised for the Mayor & Mayoress by 2 members of the Wirral Conservative party Sheila Clarke and Cherry Povall* ( one a current councillor and the other a past councillor) why would anyone find this blatant distasteful act acceptable.

My source also said the sound system broke down, and in their opinion the evening was poorly executed/organised.
Also in attendance (as guests one would assume) were the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant, and Mayors from other areas, heaven only knows what they thought.
This person also informed me that high ranking TA (Territorial Army) personnel were in attendance and I am sure they must have been very upset, disturbed and embarrassed at this clear display of fascism! Fascism is never funny in my opinion.
*who we’ve been since informed were allegedly responsible for ‘organising food’ only 
We can only disagree on one point and that is that in the right hands satire and bad taste can be a good thing when it comes to undermining fascism. Let’s face it – it’s our stock in trade.Think Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ or Mel Brook’s ‘The Producers’. Otherwise it’s Prince Harry in Nazi drag or that ‘situation comedy’ abomination ‘Heil,Honey I’m Home’  – crass ,embarrassing  and WTF were they thinking!?
But then Wallasey Town Hall is well used to harbouring right wing fanatics – it’s just a shame that most of them seem to be in charge of the local Labour Party!

Defend Our NHS: Thank You and Happy Christmas!

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Dear friends of the NHS

Thank you! In fact 32,000 thank-yous. That’s the number (still rising) who signed petitions protesting against Wirral CCG’s plans for our walk-in and minor injuries services.

The petitions (from Defend Our NHS, all the centres and a number of patient groups) were collected at street stalls and in Wirral GP practices and hospitals and on-line.

They not only call for a total rethink of the CCG’s urgent care proposals but also demand a meeting in every single Wirral council ward. This is so that the CCG (and Wirral councillors) can explain just what they think they are doing to our NHS. There has never been any meaningful public engagement or consultation on the massive changes – as the Borough first became part of the ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’, then adopted ‘accountable care’, and then sneaked in ‘integrated care’.

Even councillors on the important scrutiny committee were kept in the dark. (We are challenging the legality of that.) And last week, at the packed meeting when the boxes and boxes full of petitions were presented, all the CCG could offer was ten minutes for protesters to have their say – and then promise to ‘listen’.

Who has the CCG’s ear? 32,000 Wirral residents? Or the few hundred (they can’t be specific) who they claim were ‘confused’ by current arrangements? In fact it’s the boss of NHS England. The man who has famously said, “The worldwide need for healthcare in ageing populations will lead to a demand for goods and services that can drive sales of American insurance, medical devices, and record-keeping technology.” (US health corporations already operate in Wirral. Did you know?)

Meanwhile Wirral Council (in the month when it has fulminated without any obvious effect against the CCG walk-in plans) has effectively amalgamated our health and care services and budgets with the same CCG. Without any of the required scrutiny (merely bombastic speeches) they have confirmed their acquiescence to the notorious ‘Section 75’. A minority of councillors stood on our side but they were outvoted by a majority coalition from three parties.

All of this means we will have our work cut out to DEFEND OUR NHS in 2019. There will be no let-up in our campaigning and we hope we can count on your active support. Tens of thousands of Wirral residents are with you.

Stay in touch.

AND have a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

On behalf of Defend Our NHS

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Field of War – Let the Political Battle for Birkenhead Commence!

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After the phoney war that was Frank Field flouncing out of the local Labour Party and resigning the whip it would seem that hostilities have begun in earnest in what was dubbed the ‘Battle for Birkenhead’ in the local media , as if the town was the personal fiefdom of the sitting MP!

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We state this after receiving a leaked email sent out by Momentum which anticipates that Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will instruct the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) to begin to select a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

It is further anticipated that there will be a large volume of applications and Momentum are requesting that anyone who wants to receive their support ‘must subscribe to the aims and values of the organisation as well as, and most importantly, support the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.’

This ,presumably, rules out Frank Field as he has done everything he can to undermine the Labour leader since he mischievously nominated him for leader ‘to encourage debate within the Labour Party’. This has since become a classic case of be careful what you wish for !

Of course being a wily politician and a peerless media manipulator we anticipate that Field will be in the bunker and gathering the old guard in a last ditch attempt to stave off what seems an inevitable defeat on the political battleground of Birkenhead.

2019 is already shaping up to be a momentous year for local politics.

In the new year, we anticipate that Labour’s NEC will instruct Birkenhead CLP to begin procedures to select a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, following the resignation of Frank Field from the Labour Party.

In the past few weeks, Momentum has called hundreds of members and supporters and many of you have participated in our survey consultation in Birkenhead. Thank you to those who spoke to us during this process. It was important to hear your hopes and aspirations for a Labour candidate in Birkenhead. Your views matter and will be fed into our process going forward whether you are active in Momentum and Labour or not. If we did not manage to speak to you during our consultation feel free to email us on the contact details provided below.

We have endeavoured to have the most open and involved process possible and have tried to involve every Momentum member and supporter in Birkenhead.

As is the case with seats like Birkenhead, it is expected that there will be a large volume of applications. If you are thinking about standing yourself or know somebody that is, and you/they wish to receive the support of Momentum through this process, you can apply by responding to this email. You do not have to be a member of Momentum to apply but you must subscribe to the aims and values of the organisation as well as, and most importantly, support the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

How to Apply for Momentum’s Support

  • Please email damian.bailey@peoplesmomentum.com to request an application form be sent.
  • Fill in the application form and return todamian.bailey@peoplesmomentum.com by midnight on Sunday 6th January.
  • If you have a problem with applying by the deadline owing to personal circumstances and/or have a problem filling in the application or any special requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

What Happens Next?

  • Momentum’s democratically elected governing body, the National Coordinating Group has convened a panel of NCG members. These NCG representatives are elected by thousands of Momentum members to represent you. In addition, members from the Wirral and Birkenhead will be represented on the panel. It will be the panel’s task to review applications and interview prospective candidates.
  • The process to endorse a candidate will begin soon after the applications close. At this point, applications will be reviewed, and interviews will take place soon after with those candidates.
  • Prospective candidates will need to be available for interview at a date arranged by the panel in conjunction with the prospective candidates.

If you are interested, we hope to hear from you very soon. Indeed, if you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch.

In Unity,

Momentum
http://momentum.nationbuilder.com/

Momentum is funded entirely by membership fees and donations from thousands of supporters across the UK.