Bye, Bye, Bernie!

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Two days is a long time in Wirral politics. Soon-to be ex-councillor Mooney is now smiling on the other side of her face.

We always know there’s something is brewing when an old post suddenly starts racking up the stats and sure enough Wirral Leaks Scoops the Mooney Scoop  has had a lot of interest all week.  Now we learn that Deputy Leader of Wirral Council ,Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney, is the latest local politician to be subject to democratic party processes and then go running to the ever compliant Liverpool Echo complaining of ‘the hard left’ and ‘bullying’ and how it’s all so ‘unfair’ when they get ousted by their own party members from seeking re-selection.

Needless to say ,and as you can read in our post above, we knew this was on the cards after we exclusively revealed the skullduggery surrounding Mooney’s nomination as a Labour candidate for Liscard at the forthcoming local elections . Once again here’s a reminder of her rap sheet during that particular selection process :

  • Multiple complaints about phone calls, done to promote herself – not permitted.
  • Using an email address “Wallasey Labour Party”, when the email was from her personally
  • The email had the Constituency Labour Party Office address on it and a photo which included people who had not been asked for permission, and were not in fact endorsing sitting councillor Mooney
  • Repeated canvassing of Branch members by phone using the Party database at a time when this is not allowed by the rules
  • Some of these phone calls also misrepresented the situation, implying that a candidate had already been chosen, and so discouraging members who favoured a full selection process from attending the meeting
  • Leafleting in support of a candidate inside the meeting venue, with other copies of the leaflets next to the signing in sheet, which is also not allowed
  • All of this conveyed the impression that the sitting councillor was the official or preferred candidate of the Labour Party
  • It was unfair to other potential candidates who might otherwise have been invited to address the meeting, and be given the chance to become the Council candidate in May 2019

Inevitably these issues are glossed over as a ‘dispute’ and ‘breach of procedures’ in the latest Liverpool Echo story titled  Council’s ‘next leader ‘ ousted as she becomes latest to hit out at ‘hard-left Labour Party takeover’ as we get the usual extended litany of McCarthyite ‘reds under the bed’ rhetoric from Mooney and co.

However what delights more than anything is that the decision to oust Mooney comes two days after she smirked and belligerently shouted “There’s always one…’ when whistleblower Martin Morton put in an inconvenient  appearance at Monday’s Wirral Council Cabinet meeting .  Now with delicious irony she says that she’s been booted out “because I stood up and refused to be bullied…” – a line which is right out of the Morton Playbook.

All we do know that this decision will be a particularly hard smack in the face for ‘The Bruiser’ and affirmation of the old adage that ‘he who laughs loudest laughs last…’

 

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Heads up on Halliday

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After first being sent to elected members, we understand that a confidential report concerned with allegations involving controversial Wirral Council appointment  Stuart/Stewart Halliday and others ,which was exclusively revealed by Wirral Leaks , is due to be published shortly . For those wanting to do a bit of background reading in the mean time (especially as the story can’t be found anywhere else ) we recommend :

Halliday Money : The Rising Son of York

The Curse of Leaky Towers : Heave-ho for Halliday ?!

EXCLUSIVE : What’s in a Name? – Is this the real reason the controversial, high profile Stewart/Stuart Halliday appointment was suddenly dropped by Wirral Council?

Halliday fallout : Will Wirral Council Deputy CEO David Armstrong be the fall guy ?

The report is due before the Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) and up until now there have been no moves to make the report an exempt item on the agenda. As the next meeting of ARMC is on 11 March we expect the report to be available to the public early next week. This is curious for a number reasons ,not least the reluctance , or more accurately the fierce resistance, of Wirral Council to publish a previous investigation report from 2015 which as far as we are aware has never been so much the subject of curiosity let alone discussion by members of ARMC. But more on the Warren Report another time…

All we’ve managed to elicit so far on this latest report is that it is “…worth watching out for…”

Tune in to Wirral Leaks for our forensic analysis of the findings when the report can be found on the Wirral Council website.

 

 

Kingdom and Merseytravel – ‘Liverpool Litter Plod’ taking it to the streets…

Our thanks to ‘Liverpool Litter Plod‘ for taking it to the streets over the ongoing Kingdom Security debacle and forthrightly putting his concerns to Wirral Councillor and Merseytravel Committee member Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes about how Kingdom operate and particularly on Merseytravel property on behalf of Wirral Council .

Foulkesy replies with the classic line : “I’ve never defended poor behaviour in my life …”

Are you sure about that Foulkesy? As far as we’re concerned your entire political career has been characterised by ‘poor behaviour’. Foulkesy may not like ‘Liverpool Litter Plod’s ‘style of engagement’ but it’s becoming increasingly clear that for complacent local politicians to sit up and take notice you sometimes have to take it to the streets and use the language of the streets – otherwise they will dictate the rules of engagement and they will control the course of events.

Can we please have more of this type of thing?

 

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Merseytravel HQ

The Grubby World of Wirral Politics

As a postscript to Monday’s Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting, which if nothing else gave many ordinary people on Wirral the opportunity to witness first hand the pantomime that passes for local political debate, we promised to bring you some further pictures of the night’s proceedings.

We feel as though the candid shots and the accompanying commentary provided by an eyewitness are a perfect summation of both the evening and how politics ‘works’ on Wirral.

Hi,

Just been down the Town Hall for the meeting. What a f***ing joke! The voting system seems to have come from some third world country!

You might be able to use these photos.

Grubby people, behind grubby windows, doing grubby deals! (I should work for the Star!)

Davies in the pre-meeting warning the members to vote his way and Foulkes being Foulkes!

Cheers

davies warning the troops

foulkes

They say that a picture paints a thousand words but we’ll give you three to start with :

COMPLACENT. CORPULENT. CORRUPT.

A Day of Protest at Wallasey Town Hall Part 2 : A scorched earth approach to Wirral’s Green Belt

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Many thanks to those who have sent us photos from last night’s extraordinary turnout at the Wirral Council Extraordinary Meeting to discuss Wirral’s Green Belt and specifically Notices of Motion on the Hoylake Golf Resort. There were many pictures to choose from but we’ve tried to keep them as apolitical as possible. We’ll be also be posting a couple of further candid shots later as we think they’re particularly telling and worthy of a post of their own.

When it came to it the Green Belt debate was by the by as the Labour group seemed to want to carry on their ongoing self-immolation in front of a large audience.  Not only do certain sections of the local Labour Party hierarchy seem to have a scorched earth policy when it comes to the Green Belt it also seems to apply to members of their own party.

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First up there was Cllr Chris Meaden and a ‘personal statement’  about her recent deselection about which you’d really need to have a heart of stone not to laugh. It was the usual unsubstantiated attacks on other Labour Party members and ‘poor-me’ on parade.The blown kisses to family members in the public gallery was a nice touch to end on.  There was a standing ovation from the Tory benches (yes, the Tory benches) as Meaden had previously warned that the Labour Group ,which she had been a part of for so many years, wouldn’t stand they’d been told they couldn’t ( by the party whip? The party ‘leader’? Sonic rays from outer space?) So does Meaden want us believe that  in all the years she’d been a councillor that she never followed such directions?  A sickening postscript to this show of disloyalty on both sides of the Labour schism was Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes telling Cllr Meaden he would still be her ‘fwend’ ! Not so much BFF but BSF!

Our favourite aspect of the night’s proceedings were the repeated digs from right across the political spectrum pointing to Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ failure of leadership. However it was best evidenced by Wirral’s most prominent political power couple Labour’s Cllr Jo Bird and Cllr Tony Norbury. We couldn’t help thinking that the former would make the better future leader but it was clear that she wanted shut of Pip pronto! Cllr Norbury was more mealymouthed about why he was voting against the Tory Notice of Motion to ditch the Hoylake Golf Resort (which was narrowly lost) claiming that the evening’s proceedings were a political stunt and protesting was a complete waste of time . Norbury thereby managed to alienate the public gallery and further protestors in the overflow Committee rooms.  Way to go, Tone!

Norbury went on to claim that although he agreed with the Notice of Motion a) he wouldn’t side with Tories and b) if he did he would be suspended by the Labour whip. So kudos goes to Labour Cllr Jean Robinson for sticking by her principles and calling time on the Council ‘leader’s expensive ego trip and not kowtowing to political pressure.Whether she’ll be suspended  by the Labour Group for doing so is a moot point but if she isn’t it will make Cllr Norbury’s protestations seem like empty words…

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A Day of Protest at Wallasey Town Hall Part 1 : ‘There’s always one…’

Lordy photo

He’s ‘armless really…

As we predicted in Sunday’s  Hoylake Golf Resort : Protest and Protect post the start to the week would be a challenging one for the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council.

However we couldn’t have predicted that it would start so early with an unexpected surprise at the end of what seems to be the dreariest Wirral Council meeting ever. As you can see from our exclusive footage serial whistleblower Martin Morton makes a return to the scene of many a crime. We are grateful for his son for forwarding the footage , apparently Morton Jnr is at University studying film and is making a video about whistleblowing. Should be essential viewing and if it involves Wirral Council –  x-rated!

 

Of course we just took that the message on Morton’s t-shirt – LORDY, I HOPE THERE ARE TAPES – was addressed directly to us at Wirral Leaks. Is this an example of what is known in modern parlance as ‘meta’? For as we know ‘His Lordship’ has known about Wirralgate since 2013 and knows that there are tapes (as does Mr Morton and many others) and which would (and should have) brought the corrupt ruling Labour administration crashing down a long time ago .

However we appreciate that for many of our readers and the wider public that the origins of the quote on the t-shirt may be somewhat obscure. We’ve done a bit of research and apparently these are the infamous words of former FBI Director James Comey commenting on alleged recorded conversations between him and US President Donald Trump.

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Unfortunately you won’t see the footage on the Wirral Council website or, rather disappointingly on John Brace’s video coverage – although we understand that he wouldn’t want to spoil the enjoyment of the 4 people who have endured the video so far.

Unfortunately there is no sound but we understand that belligerent Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney shouts out :

“There’s always one…”  

and you can lip read Mr Morton’s reply :

Yes,there is…

Apparently the cheeky wave from Morton was directed at Wirral Council’s Head of Communications Kev ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum who was sitting there stony-faced and cross-armed and you can see Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore leaving his seat to get a good look at the message on the t-shirt. Meanwhile the three wise monkeys at the back ( Head of Law Philip McCourt, council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and council CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson appear to be having a jolly good laugh at Morton’s expense )

Watching that sickening section of footage (we advise you watch it on full screen and focus on the three of them) we can’t help thinking that Morton should have pulled this stunt way back in 2013 at the Improvement Board meeting where Power Boy Pip couldn’t even stay in the room when Morton spoke. Now, like a typical coward –  and oh how weakness and cowardice have characterised his political career – Pip feels confident with  a room full of cronies behind him to LOL.

We’re left wondering as to who will have the last laugh?  History tells us it will be Pip and co – but that’s only because other people who had the means to do something about it, have instead, simply allowed it or in some cases through fear or favour , facilitated it. Shame on you all…

 

 

 

 

Hoylake Golf Resort : Protest and Protect

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We confidently predict that next week will be  a challenging one for the ruling administration at Wirral Council.  As we heralded in our  Message from Wirral Green Space Alliance : Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting 25th February there is a coordinated protest prior to the meeting which is concerned with the long-running  ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ saga.

There is a growing alliance of protestors against the luxury homes with a golf course proposal and from some unexpected quarters. Who would have believed that having gone independent as a councillor that ex- Labour Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin would suddenly be ‘independent’ of thought ? Now having helped set up an ‘independent group’ at Wirral Council (along with Cllrs  Chris Meaden and Michael Sullivan ) Matron now feels free to express doubts on her former leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ pet project.

Liverpool Echo reports :

While Cllr McLaughlin would not reveal which she would vote for or against (at the Extraordinary Meeting) , she revealed her “grave concerns” about the huge project, and the “capacity” of officers to carry it through…

Meanwhile we have also received a leaked email sent by Wirral Trades Union Council :

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Anticipating the strength of growing opposition Pip and his ever decreasing cohort of cronies have been busily preparing their justifications and prepping the press.

We understand that this preparation for tomorrow included a visit  by Pip , Cllr Angela ‘Excited’ Davies and Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’Robinson to Celtic Manor Golf Resort in South Wales on 6th February . Labour councillors were briefed about the visit last week (18th February) giving them a week to rehearse their roles and memorise their lines in time for tomorrow’s meeting. This will no doubt include reference to the news found in the Place North West article  Hoylake’s £200m golf resort ‘ready to go’ as contractor joins team where we find Jim Anderson of developer Nicklaus Joint Venture Group (NJVG) , saying the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal was “fully funded” with an aim to “start work the next day” if planning permission is secured. Anderson goes on to say :

Hopefully we won’t be used as a political item one way or another. It’s important for us to get out to the people to understand what their concerns are; we have a year of planning where we can look at those concerns and hopefully address them, and a lot of that will be when they understand the true nature of the project.

The doors of the golf course are very much open. You don’t have to be a member to come into the clubhouse to have a coffee or have a pint or use the restaurants; it’s there for everyone. It’s a misconception that this is a playground for the rich and only they can use it, and frankly, the business model wouldn’t work if we didn’t get engagement with the local population.

Under the circumstances we would expect Mr Anderson to be at tomorrow’s meeting to help address concerns of protestors and engage with the local population. As for the Hoylake Golf Resort being used as a ‘political item one way or another’ does he know that it’s a) Wirral and b) a local election year ?…

 

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Kingdom Consensus

The redoubtable Wirral Against The Litter Police (Kingdom Security) Facebook page is currently a meeting point/melting pot for interested parties seeking to expunge Kingdom Security from our shores and high streets and car parks and promenades and country parks and bus stations and …you get the drift …

All political denominations are there – look there’s the Lib Dems belatedly requisitioning a ‘Special Council meeting’…

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…and oh look over there , the 4 Labour CLPs are calling for Kingdom to be kicked to the kerb and elsewhere high flying Labour councillor Jo Bird offering her support…

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…and then there’s the Green Party reminding everyone that their sole councillor Pat Cleary  was the only one to vote against a motion where Wirral Council rejected criticism  of Kingdom’s conduct…

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…and of course there’s Tom ‘Media’ Houghton picking up the scraps promising write ups in the Echo and Globe (in that order obvs) and celebrity shop owners Sean Martin and Cathy Roberts brandishing their letters and sweet wrappers respectively and now mainstream media favourites. Ms Roberts also achieved what we consider the ultimate accolade in social media by appearing on the Angry People in Local Newspapers Facebook page.

Indeed we understand that the Fry’s Chocolate Orange wrapper , although not being the sweet wrapper that resulted in a threatened £300 fine, has its own agent and publicist and is in negotiations for a reality TV series.  Oh and there’s even  a link to Wirral Globe’s Granty’s Infernal column where there was no conflict of interest acknowledged but at least we got a passing mention…

Don’t get us wrong these are observations not criticisms .We’re celebrating both a growing political consensus and the tireless efforts of campaigners. Nor are we after bragging rights that Wirral Leaks first raised concerns about Kingdom way back in 2015. After all we are commentators not campaigners and our weapons of choice are sarcasm and satire.  However the point we want to make (and we do have one) is that much of Wirral  only get involved in local politics when something impacts on them directly – be it  being hassled on the street or issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by Kingdom operatives. But remember whilst you may not always be interested in local politics ,  local politicians are always interested in you and involved in almost every aspect of your life…

Tales from the Chamber : Food for thought…

Woodside Food & Ferry

Pic: Woodside Food & Ferry

Next week we will be making information appeals for some ‘Special Reports’ that we’ve been working on .However before that we thought we’d catch up on Wirral Chamber of Commerce which will be one of our forthcoming areas of investigation.
However we understand it’s been an interesting past few weeks at the Chamber. An insider tell us :
Gemma Nichols, who was brought into the chamber to be Head of Visitor Economy and BID has left quietly although through no fault of her own. She signed up to one thing, was moved onto another and then was put under the ‘former model’ Kate (Eugeni). It was the usual Paula process.
Kate was appointed as Director of Visitor Economy and over saw the BID (Birkenhead Improvement District)  –  (Wirral) council refused to pay Kate’s salary to Princess P(aula Basnett) and so now that there’s no money in the pot…what’s a girl to do?! 
Well, spoiler alert!
Their bright idea is to set up a Marketing and PR firm….and Kate is leading it. It’s due to launch in April……Just like the visitor economy she led for a few months, she has loads of experience in doing just that. She couldn’t write a press release to save her life…but then it’s not like she’ll actually do any of the work…is it?
I wonder what the PR and Marketing businesses who are members think of this? 
If the Woodside Ferry Village is anything to go by: they have nothing to be worried about.It’s worth having a right good rummage of the Woodside Ferry Village though…could one of the directors be  due to resign his position? Can accounts from WFV had to pay some of the BID’s bills to help balance the books because the BID money has been loaned to the WFV to set it up ?- and with Kate getting paid out of that pot…could there’ be nothing left to pay the bills?  
So: Gemma – good luck and well done for getting out. When the BID is up for vote with Birkenhead businesses – it was not you who let them down … 
Meanwhile an unquestioning local press is willing to publish overheated souffles about the ‘food concept venue’ Woodside Ferry Village which we’ve previously ridiculed here
Following the newly established pattern of publishing a  Wirral Chamber of Commerce/Wirral Council press release in the Liverpool Echo before exactly the same story is re-heated by the same journo in the Wirral Globe we get news that there are  Plans revealed for’next Baltic Market’ with shipping container shops and stunning River Mersey Views
Needless to say there are the compulsory artist’s impressions and quotes from, no!, not Chief Executive ‘Princess” Paula Basnett but the ‘Interim Managing Director’ of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce  , Sharon Stanton, who happens to be ,er, Princess Paula’s sister!
Our Shaz provides some unintended hilarity by saying:

“We have been looking at it for some time. We applied for the lease, and luckily enough, we got it and it went from there…”

 

Well I never! Funny how that happens isn’t it ? Some organisations have all the luck! A building here, a building there! Another fortuitous acquisition for Nepotism Central !

With one of our incredulous sources stating : “I can’t believe they keep getting away with it…”  we asked our Chamber insider who would be likely to challenge Princess Paula and the Chamber of Cronyism

Eric Robinson: his son is currently there…and Eric HATES confrontation and difficult conversations…so he won’t challenge the ‘norm’.
Phil Davies: he’s going and equally never stood up to her.
Alan Evans: he’s sown up in the Chamber, the Woodside Food Village, and the council. 
And Jesus wept, don’t get me started on the little **** who’s currently up Paula’s arse… Warren Ward.
Back to Woodside Ferry Village – they’re talking Baltic Triangle, we’re saying Bermuda Triangle , they ‘re talking Las Ramblas, we’re saying ramshackle .And before we get accused of pissing on the barbeque we do so in the knowledge that as long as cronyism, and nepotism are the guiding the way the true Wirral innovators and visionaries won’t get a look in and Wirral (and particularly Birkenhead) will continue to depend on the sorry shower who are currently running the show…and look where that’s got us!

EXCLUSIVE : And the new Chairman of Wirral University Teaching Hospital is…

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As instructed by scary NHS Chief Executive Janelle Holmes we are ‘cascading’ the news that Sir David Henshaw has been appointed as the Chairman of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH).

Well I never! What a surprise! Knock us down with a feather! Who’d a thunk? etc;etc;

Of course this announcement will come as no surprise to Wirral Leaks readers who have chronicled the Henshaw ascendancy since he was controversially appointed as Interim Chair  in March 2018 :

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Now nearly a year later and after a ‘robust process’ (no laughing at the back) we provide a reminder as to why we think this appointment may not be the right one for a beleaguered organisation plagued with allegations of bullying .

Read our back catalogue of Sir David Henshaw stories and what was going on the behind the screens that led to his appointment as Chairman at WUTH  here