Swing into Summer

Swing

You know it’s the ‘Silly Season’ when the weather breaks just in time for the school summer holidays and the national papers are full of cheap titillation and shaggy dog stories.

However it’s nice to see a story with a Wirral connection reaching the nationals. Let’s face it it makes a change from Frank Field writing for The S*n. This particular story has been picked up by the Daily Mirror from the Liverpool Echo and concerns a swingers club in Birkenhead known as the Townhouse , replete with a sex dungeon ,puppy cages ( no ,us neither – but we can imagine) ,swings , spanking benches and fetter’s wheel (again – a new one on us). Read fully story here : Inside the unassuming swingers club…

Wirral Council must be so pleased that their potential twin town arrangements with American sin city Reno are going well with lap dancing club Peachez defying attempts to close it down and this classy joint , er , springing up.

Owners Vicky and Jim described their clientele to Echo reporter Emilia Bona (!) ,yes you read that right ‘Bona’,- as follows :

We get solicitors,teachers,police,healthcare professionals…

Presumably solicitors bring their kinky briefs , teachers bring uniforms and canes , police bring handcuffs and truncheons and healthcare professionals bring condoms and STI test kits – and ladies and gentleman it’s time to schwing!.

There’s no mention of councillors or council officers being clients ,although the Townhouse seems just the place for a certain councillor we know to dance the night away . We wonder what former council officers of ill repute would make of the place ? – but then they preferred their shag-pads to be a bit more upmarket. West Kirby pop ups during the Open and that award winning hotel out in Thornton Hough – and all the better if Wirral Council taxpayers were paying for it!

This is not the first time the Townhouse has made the nationals . There was also a story in The S*n  earlier this year with the headline : TWO VIRGINS ROCK UP TO ORGY Virgin Media repair men turn up to fix broadband but interrupt swingers club’s Grand National -themed orgy , which needless to say we won’t be providing a link.

However it looks like Wirral is finally on the map and in the public consciousness at last  ! But please be warned don’t Google ‘Wirral -spit roast’ expecting to find recommendations for hearty dinners to be had on the pervy peninsula!

Swing into summer

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Universal Deceit

 

Universal Deceit 2

There was an interesting debate held in the House of Commons this week which to us at Wirral Leaks explains everything you need to know about politics (and especially local politics).

Margaret Greenwood ,Wirral West MP and Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions raised the issue of ‘The Secretary of State’s Handling of Universal Credit’ 

As you know – or at least you should know – is that that the current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is Tatton MP Esther McVey who,of course was Margaret Greenwood’s predecessor as MP for Wirral West.

So everything was perfectly set for a political catfight. And as we know no catfight is complete without Birkenhead MP Frank Field getting his catty claws out. He didn’t disappoint – well he did, that’s what he always does as far as we’re concerned, but you know what we mean!

Here is our take on the debate but you can read it for yourself  here

Greenwood opens up with :

I beg to move,

That this House
censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Tatton, for her handling of the roll-out of universal credit and her response to the NAO report, Rolling Out Universal Credit;
notes that the Department for Work and Pensions’ own survey of claimants published on 8 June 2018 showed that 40 per cent of claimants were experiencing financial hardship even nine months into a claim and that 20 per cent of claimants were unable to make a claim online;
further censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for not pausing the roll-out of universal credit in the light of this evidence;
and calls on the Government to reduce the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’ ministerial salary to zero for four weeks.

And goes on to ask :

Will the Secretary of State apologise for the two points she has failed yet to apologise for to the head of the National Audit Office?

McVey then goes on to a) show up Greenwood for the naive political amateur that she is and b) demonstrate the essential modern political prerequisite for an MP – shameless hardfacedness.

The answer is no, they will not be apologising.

As it is about apologies today—and, as I said, I made my apology straight away—let us go back to another apology. I was hoping that the shadow Chancellor would be here today, because I was waiting for years for an apology for the lynching comment against me. Of course, we never got that apology. As the Opposition spokesperson knows all about that campaign in Wirral West, perhaps she would like to apologise on behalf of her party.

McVey completely wrongfoots Greenwood by attacking Labour Party Deputy leader John McDonnell which means the Blessed Margaret can only come up with the feeble response:

The point that the Secretary of State makes had nothing to do with my campaign in Wirral West in 2015.

Of course it doesn’t and that is exactly the point! – and McVey is now allowed to plough on furrowing her own path rather than digging her own grave. However  no political pantomime is complete without a Wicked Godfather . Enter stage right Birkenhead MP Frank Field:

An apology: I was in the House when somebody repeated that campaign phrase against the Secretary of State. I was stunned by what was said, and I hope that she will forgive me for not getting up immediately to object to it. I apologise for my total failure to respond as a human being when that was said, and I hope that she forgives me if I do not actually recite what was said, because such nastiness and evil is not directed just at her; it is directed at my hon. Friend Ms Eagle, the neighbouring constituency to the one that the Secretary of State fought. What is occurring is a disgrace. How we stop it, I do not know, but we can at least apologise when it occurs. I am grateful that the right hon. Lady raised it today so that my saying that would be in order.

FFS! Frankenfield spare us the melodramatics . However what follows is a case of Esther and Frank sitting in a tree ,K-I-S-S-I-N-G …or perhaps not!

McVey responds :

I know those words are heartfelt, and I accept that apology. It took a long time for people to come forward. I would have liked those on the Opposition Front Bench to have done so, because they represent the Labour party, and I know that such a thing is not at the heart of the Labour party.

We started off with a ding-dong in the Chamber today. I do not necessarily think that we are at our best in Parliament when we have a ding-dong like that. People watching outside do not understand the real reasons why we, on both sides of the House, came into politics. I put this on the record now: let us work cross-party to get universal credit right. Let us work with third sector organisations to get it right. Let us reach out and get it right, because it affects so many millions of people. We are doing our best, and lots more people are in work, but we can do more. Let us do it together.

Meanwhile whilst Wallasey MP Angela Eagle gets completely sidelined in the debate allowing for this following lovey-dovey exchange between McVey and Field :

One last point: Back Benchers can apologise only for our own action or inaction. That is my apology.

In this debate, one wonders what truth is and what facts are. When reading the NAO report, I reached totally different conclusions to the Secretary of State. I thought the message was that the Comptroller and Auditor General was perplexed beyond belief that he could not recommend to go back or to go forward. There was a clear recommendation that we should pause, and I ask the Secretary of State for that pause—not never to resume the roll-out, but to at least to ensure that we are not inflicting unnecessary suffering, horror and hunger on our constituents, which Opposition Members have certainly registered, and which must have been registered by Members on the other side of the House.

Yes, indeed, but I am really anxious to respond to the Secretary of State’s wish that we work together. The building block of working together is to take that key sentence from the NAO report, whatever else it said, about a pause—not to scrap universal credit, but to have a pause—to make sure that in three respects we are not party to inflicting untold misery, horror and hunger on our constituents.

The first is that we do not continue the roll-out until we have universal support. We do not have universal support in the way in which all of us understand the word universal.

Secondly, on real-time information, the experience in my constituency—it must be the experience in other constituencies as well—is that real-time information is neither real nor on time. That is causing the most incredible problems with people’s claims. Might we have a pause until we make sure the Revenue can service the Secretary of State’s Department in a way that we need for a successful continuation of the roll-out of universal credit?

Thirdly, on debt, on which the Secretary of State could decide today, debts of yesteryear are being found and charged to people on universal credit. The repayment of those debts is overwhelming people. I am not saying that people should not pay their debts, but do we not think that feeding one’s children, and ensuring the rent is paid and the heating is on, ought to be at least equal in importance to the repayment of debt? Might I therefore make a plea to the Secretary of State that she looks at the rules—not to scrap the repayment of debt, but the amount that is reclaimed—on debts that most of us will have forgotten?

Photo of Esther McVeyEsther McVey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Again, I thank the right hon. Gentleman for saying that. I want to reassure him. I have not been in post that long to get to grips with absolutely everything on UC, but debt and how it is repaid is precisely what I am focusing on at the moment.

Photo of Frank FieldFrank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

That is wonderful news, but after the right hon. Lady has considered debt and decided on it there is the business about real-time information. This is not under her control as the information is supplied to her by another Department. It is not real and it is not on time, so perhaps she could look at that as the next item on the list. There is also the crucial business of universal support. I tried to claim, but I could not do it in the time. A lot of us need that support to make sure we can make a claim successfully. If we are going to work cross-party on this, there has to be give on the other side as well as on this side.

So there you have it – Greenwood’s motion gets tossed into the bog and Field and McVey carry on with their love in, with Frankenfield seemingly having no political/ideological differences with McVey about Universal Credit but merely expressing  frustration at the bureaucratic processes associated with its implementation.As far as we’re concerned he was more keen about getting his bitchy digs in about the Labour leadership than ‘the untold misery, horror and hunger’ of Universal Credit . And as for Frankenfield giving way willingly – we’re best saying nothing!

All we will say is that if Field donned a blonde wig and a pair of kitten heels would we be able to tell the difference between him and McVey when it comes to Universal Credit ?

Is it any wonder McVey gets away with it?As this Guardian article puts it  If Esther McVey’s getting away with it, things must be really bad

Noone becomes No-one

Bertha 006

So farewell then Maura Noone – as it would appear the ‘Curse of Leaky Towers’ strikes again and Noone has deservedly gone back to being a no-one.

This time her departure is not from Wirral Council or Northamptonshire County Council but from Reading Council where as we reported last month ,astonishingly, she turned up as ‘Interim Head(case) of Social Care’ and no doubt she’ll turn up at another gullible council blissfully unaware of the trail of destruction she has previously left in her wake.

After we ran the story of Noone’s gobsmacking appointment which you can read here fellow Wirral blogger Wirral In It Together took the baton and despite being given the runaround by politicians and callow media types from Wirral to Reading he managed to establish that Noone had passed the finishing line.

It was  Cllr Tony Jones (no, not our very own Cllr Tony Jones) but Labour & Co-op Party Councillor for Redlands and Lead Member for Adult Social Care in Reading who was forced to eventually tweet :

Read full story here : High Noone at Reading Council. Danger averted.

Ah yes , Cllr Jones isn’t lucky for you and Reading Council that  it was a ‘temporary contract’ . Shame you didn’t elaborate on how on earth Noone got that ‘temporary contract’ and how that ‘temporary contract’ suddenly ceased shortly after Wirral Leaks had joined the dots for people seemingly averse to due diligence.

We can only sit back and wonder at Reading Council’s recruitment processes and the gaps and the gloss that the Noone CV must have contained to enable her to obtain a ‘temporary contract’ in the first place. Having said that, it’s all very reminiscent of Stewart Halliday ,our very own Transformation Tsar at Wirral Council isn’t it?

However if you think these particular recruitment decisions are cruel and unusual ,be prepared to be disabused of this notion when Wirral Leaks tells you all about the current Director of Adult Social Care and Cheshire West & Chester Council , who coincidentally was also previously a senior manager at Wirral Council’s notoriously toxic and dysfunctional Department of Adult Social Services alongside Noone.

We know shit floats but we’re sitting here open mouthed (no pun intended) when we read the revelations about this high ranking public official that have been sent to us following the fallout from the Noone fiasco. However we’ll leave His Lordship to fill you in (so to speak) on this particular piece of work when he returns from his holidays…

Green Gauge Summer

Green Siege 003

Another week , another front page shock horror probe about the Green Belt courtesy of Wirral Globe.

Following on from Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson coming out from under his desk at Wallasey Town Hall to make a special guest appearance and announce his deep and heartfelt concern about Wirral’s green and pleasant land we now have a ‘leaked document’ which has been sent to the Wirral View , sorry , we mean Wirral Globe.

This ‘leaked document’ – yeah right ! -‘leaked’ from Wallasey Town Hall HQ  with full approval of council leaders and their lackeys by the looks of it- apparently tells us that :

A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral’s precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.

In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.

The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, “will fundamentally change the nature of our community.” Full story here : Leaked Document

Note how  councillors Phillip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore and Angela Davies don’t seem particularly bothered that the document has been leaked with the former commenting that : “Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals……”

No sorry to have to tell you  Phil , sweetheart , but what residents are pissed off about is being subject to the cynical media manipulation that’s going on here.

Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?

Oh and can anyone identify where the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is on the ‘Green Belt threat map’ – or is that not considered a threat? And if not why not?…

 

Summer Shorts : Ward Off!

Ward Niblock

Here we see on the right the fresh-faced toddler Warren Ward before he was elected as a councillor . Wisely, he quit before he turned into the man on the left ,ex-councillor Steve Niblock.

So farewell then teen sensation Cllr Warren Ward who yesterday  announced his retirement from local politics at the ripe old age of 12 (or thereabouts).

The former Bromborough Ward gave an emotional speech at last night’s Wirral Council meeting where he reminded everyone he was the first foetus ever to be voted into public office (or something like that).

Of course Ward proves the local dictum ‘if you can’t stand the heat get a nice little earner with the Wirral Chamber of Commerce’ (or words to that effect) . The Chamber now has so many Wirral Council refugees we’re surprised the Border Agency hasn’t raided the place and been asking various people with fancy titles whether they have the proper credentials to do the job.

By the way can somebody tell us where jobs with the Wirral Chamber of Commerce are advertised?Wirral Life? Tatler? Harpies & Queen? the Mayor’s parlour at Wallasey Town Hall ?

However having said all that we do feel that , with his relentless self promotion , Ward has found himself the perfect sinecure at the Chamber. No doubt we’ll be seeing pictures of Ward at various vacuous awards ceremonies for years to come… and certainly if his Twitter account is anything to go by, he’ll be keeping it classy !

 

Summer Shorts : Car Boot Curios

 

The people of Wirral might not get too enthused about local politics unless it hits them in the pocket but they do seem to like their car boot sales. Even local politicians have been known to share this enthusiasm for money-making fun . Indeed we understand that husband and wife team Councillors Adrian and Chris Jones set up stall at the Tranmere Rovers car boot sale this morning.

Our local bargain hunting source told us that among the items for sale were a collection of German (?) bier steins and a green rubber gas mask (kinky!). Now we don’t know whether this could signal that the Jones’ are both on the wagon and considering retirement from local politics – after all we’d have thought that a stiff drink and a gas mask would be essential kit for someone to operate as a councillor in Wallasey Town Hall ,where the stench of corruption can sometimes be all pervading.

Coincidentally we were sent the above picture from the same car boot sale (it’s obviously the place to be of a Sunday morning!) As far as we know this wasn’t the vehicle the Jones’ arrived in – as apparently at the back of their pasting table was a monster gas guzzler.

Car boot 002

The curious aspect about this particular vehicle that has been brought to our attention is the signage indicating those who support the Neo Cafe (part of  Frank Field’s  ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ project).

Now before we go any further we’d better say that the wonderful people associated with this project can get very touchy and Wirral Leaks have had a couple of run-ins in the past  – so let’s establish Neo Cafe is definitely ,definitely NOT a foodbank.

Car boot 002

However the issue that was brought to our attention was the list of supporters credited on the side of the van. Whilst particular prominence is given to ‘Cheshire Freemasons’ it was the mention of Wirral Labour Group amongst the list of supporters that aroused the interest of  our source who asked whether ‘support’ included funding from  Labour Group or from Wirral Council (via all party  Birkenhead Constituency Committee and /or ‘Your Wirral’ grant funding ?) We’re sure somebody can clarify – after all we’re sure that ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ initiative wouldn’t want to be thought of as making political capital out of poverty and hunger now would they?

Summer Shorts : The Heat is On 2 – Quo Bono?

Green Belt Eric 008

This follow up to yesterday’s bogus  Stressed Eric ‘Green Belt’ Wirral Globe story is a timely reminder that on Wirral there is a need to question every front page ‘exclusive’ , especially when it comes to timing and motivation.

We are grateful for ‘The Prof’ for giving us a sneak preview of this  letter to the Globe editor

The Globe report on Green Belt development, quoting Eric Robinson, is puzzling.

We are told that ‘there is no other option’ than to build on the Green Belt and it’s the wicked government’s fault. It seems we must build 12,000 new homes by 2035 or ~700 per annum. This is all very strange.In February Phil Davies wrote to the CLG & H minister, Sajid Javid,  to reassure him all was well.

Here are the key bits:

‘Planning permission is currently in place for 16,098 homes, including 2,577 on existing urban and previously developed sites and up to 13,521 dwellings at a large regeneration site …at Wirral Waters…The council’s SHLAA  to April 2017 shows the potential for a further 4,531 dwellings, subject to viability…’Taking these numbers in total we have 20,620 homes with planning permission, or 29 years worth at the required rate of building. We are also told that ‘1,315 new dwellings were under construction in April 2017 compared to only 475 in April 2016’ an average of 895 homes per year in recent years compared with the average needed rate of ~700.

Clearly the ‘government’ required rate of building is possible to meet. Robinson’s view that new Green Belt land must be used is therefore puzzling. I also note Javid’s comment that Wirral ‘is not an area of high housing pressure’ which is interesting. Javid’s attack was not about numbers but about Wirral’s failure to meet the statutory duty to have a Local Plan in place. The last plan was published in 2000 !

To conflate statutory plan duties with Green Belt release issues is arguably mischievous. Is all this blather something to do with forcing through pet council Green Belt schemes like the ‘Golf Resort’? Tax payers might reasonably ask, Quo Bono?

Professor D P Gregg (retired)

So there we have a perfect riposte with facts,figures and everyfink ! – and ending with the pertinent question as to who benefits from bogus front page stories like this ?
PS  Oh and to the reader who asked us whether the name at bottom left of the Globe picture was a subliminal message – well spotted. You win a Chinese meal , a recording device and four blank cheques courtesy of Wirral Council.

Summer Shorts : The Heat is On

Green Belt Eric 008

In the absence of His Lordship we are titling this series of brief posts as ‘Summer Shorts’!

This truncated story comes courtesy of several readers who were startled to see a picture of shy and (hopefully) retiring Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson on the front page of this week’s print edition of Wirral Globe .

Whilst most of our readers were startled to belatedly discover the identity of our reclusive ‘Council chief’ (no laughing at the back!) especially when the mischievous Globe dug out the infamous picture that introduced the charismatic ‘Stressed Eric’ to us all when he got the top job at Wallasey Town Hall.

However one particularly perceptive blog follower reader asked us whether this ‘exclusive’ was the death knell to Stressed Eric’s ‘Reign of Error’ as having kept a profile lower than a rattlesnake’s belly he suddenly finds himself thrust into the public gaze.

Feebly pointing the finger at ‘guvmint’ for threats to the local Green Belt because Wirral Council’s failure to meet the statutory  requirement to have a ‘Local Plan’  is somehow the fault of Whitehall mandarins (huh?) , Stressed Eric appears to be dubiously entering the political arena in which local authority CEOs are required to remain resolutely neutral.

With the increasingly unpopular ruling Labour administration currently being under fire from the Wirral public over parking charges and their retention of litter Hitlers Kingdom Security, the cowardly bullies seem to be reverting to type . Historically, when the heat is on they like to throw a CEO and sundry senior officers into the furnace. From Maddox to Wilkie to Coleman to Burgess – especially Burgess who had the temerity to try and mark his territory and stand up to leader of Wirral Council Frank Field, sorry , we mean  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies  –  there has been a scorched earth policy where highly paid public officials are burned at the stake and the politicians rise up like a phoenix from the flames.

We are left asking ourselves how long can Stressed Eric stand the heat before he’s all burnt out?……..

Eric Gut

Living off the fat of the land : Is Eric Robinson morphing into Eric Pickles?

 

U -Turn on Parking Charges

IMG_1683

So it would seem that the Wirral Council ‘leadership’ (ha! ha! ha!) have been forced to make yet another embarrassing u-turn on coastal parking charges.

It would appear that Wirral Council ‘leader’  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies  has been out meeting the people and has been told in no uncertain terms what the local council tax payers think of his proposals. As when it comes to parking charges they’ve told him he can’t stick ’em where the sun do shine! Read more here : Council leader scraps Wirral coastal car parking plan

Of course when the opposition is on his own doorstep Pip was bound to finally sit up and take notice – especially when the protest is this eyecatching and dare we say, artisanal. How very West Kirby!

IMG_1673

Blog Of A Thousand Posts – Our Greatest Hits

 

1000 posts 3

Wirral Leaks en vacances. We’ve decided to enjoy our holidays earlier this year to avoid the high season hoi polloi.

As we reach another milestone, after crashing through the million hits barrier earlier this year , we were hoping that our 1,000th blog post would be a Wirral Leaks exclusive finally exposing the biggest scandal in Wirral’s political history. Alas, it would appear that the establishment are closing ranks on this one – for now anyway. However how long before the dam bursts and we’re all showered in the filth that’s been building up behind the wall of silence?

Meanwhile we thought we’d celebrate our latest landmark by recalling our top five greatest hits or to be more precise – our posts with the greatest number of hits. You may have your own favourite but in reverse order we have :

5 – PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT : PARKING FINES (January 2018)

Whilst we think there are far more serious concerns that should preoccupy the people of Wirral than parking fines, dog crap and litter but what we do get is their frustration with authorities abusing their power and screwing every penny out of them.

Public Service Announcement : Parking Fines

4  – THE GREEN SHOOTS OF SPRING (March 2013)

This is a blast from the past (2013 to be precise ) when we wrote about former  Wirral Council highflyer Dave Green who subsequently and inevitably flew the  council coop along with a golden nest egg . Although we have to say we don’t know if the enduring appeal of this particular post is Green (who?) or the picture of the delightful Dita Von Teese.

The Green Shoots of Spring

3 – SORRENTO SHAME : HOLIDAYMAKERS CLAIM THEY FACED ‘RACIST ABUSE’ FROM EX-WIRRAL MAYORESS (October 2017)

With holidays in mind who could forget the ultimate ‘Brits Abroad’ story as  Wirral’s former Mayor and his charming consort aka Foulkesy and Lainey take their particular brand of personal decorum and international race relations to sunny Sorrento. Indeed it is alleged that similar kind of behaviour described in this shocking post carried on back in Blighty.  Which as Cllr Foulkes knows in particular – if there are no consequences or sanctions to your actions then you’ll just carry on just as before.

Sorrento Shame : Holidaymakers Claim They Faced ‘Racist Abuse’ From Ex-Wirral Mayoress

2  – THE BUNG, THE BAD & THE UGLY : SILENCE IS A GOLDEN HANDSHAKE (July 2015)

The time when the talk of Wallasey Town Hall and beyond was laid bare for all to see. Graham Burgess the man brought in to drain the cesspit ended up wallowing in the dirt and adding to the sleaze. There will come a day when we look back and remember that 2013-15 were the darkest days in Wirral Council’s history. The conduct of particular politicians and council officers throughout this period of time was morally and politically reprehensible and the repercussions are still being felt on Wirral to this day  ………

The Bung, The Bad & The Uggly : Silence is a Golden Handshake

 1 EXCLUSIVE :  WIRRALGATE (September 2013) 

…….talking of which – what could possibly be the enduring appeal of  this particular post ? We must credit where it’s due the power elite at Wirral Council might not be able to organise a bunfight in a bakery but when they want to organise a cover up there are no finer exponents in the land . We believe the reason they’ve managed to keep the Wirralgate scandal  under wraps for nearly 5 years is  parts necessity, part geography and part complicity –  where on earth would such a corrupt cabal have been able to get away with this town hall horrorshow other than on the insular peninsula where the power is concentrated in the wrong hands , where it pays to collude with the abuse of power and where the people are uninformed of the abuses of power being carried out behind closed doors and funded with their hard earned cash!  

And with that thought we’ll leave you. However keep sending in your stories and bulletins ,someone will press the publish button if they think it’s worth a plug and if the ‘big one’ finally breaks we’ll let you know ……….

 

blog en vacance