Suspension Suspense

suspended_animation

Following the time-honoured tradition of burying bad news it was announced (or rather it was dragged out of them) just prior to the elections ,that the North West Labour Party had suspended Wirral Labour Councillor Louise Reece Jones pending a further investigation.As you can see from the press report they are desperately trying to keep this one on media lockdown. HERE

Consequently, we have been asked whether we know why Cllr.Reecejones had been suspended – and needless to say – we do.

This is Wirral Council we’re talking about – where leaks are in direct proportion to secrets.

We publicly stated on Twitter that we wouldn’t want to jeopardise due process (an alien concept at Wallasey Town Hall) so we’ll keep a watching brief on this development for now.

We expect the usual – a report to be released on Christmas Eve stating how robustly Labour Party investigated the matter and there will be press release stating either a) there is no case to answer or b) appropriate sanction will be made as such misconduct will not be tolerated (unless you’re Cllr.Steve Foulkes or Cllr.George Davies).

Talking of which we were excited about new kid on the blog “The Morton Distortions” written by Wirral Council whistleblower Martin Morton but somewhat like Cllr.Reece jones that currently also seems to be in a state of suspended animation.

From what we’d read there were a couple of revelations about the Wirralgate scandal which we didn’t know about – but much of it we already knew and had already disclosed.

We’re just waiting information from a couple of sources and we’re ready to publish “The Definitive Guide to Wirralgate”.

Might we suggest that it might be useful to her if Cllr Reecejones reads the guide so as to understand what conduct the local Labour group think is or is not acceptable.

Failing that we think her only hope is to foster a friendship with Frankenfield very,very quickly or her days are numbered.

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Frankenfield’s Monsters v Little Green Men

FRANK SPACE

Well it’s all been happening Rock Ferry way hasn’t it?

Formerly known as the place where complacent Labour politicians could rely on the unquestioning support of local residents (well the few who voted that is)

However it would appear that times have changed and Wirral Leaks is particularly pleased to see the disenfranchised and disillusioned finally find their voice over plans for the former Rock Ferry High School site at a public meeting at Highfield Church (or should that be High-handed Field Church?)

Recent discussions on future proposals for the use of the site culminated in a meeting last week where – as the world and her husband now know – that veteran Birkenhead MP Frank Field was suddenly taken ill. However Frankenfield ‘s subsequent response to the unfortunate incident clearly indicate to us something that we have long believed at Leaky Towers and that Frankenfield has really,really lost the plot this time.

We have documented the man’s wild conspiracy theories on here for some time – from the Wirral highways robbery scandal that seemingly never was, to the time he claimed on Radio Merseyside that mysterious members of the public were conspiring to bring certain parts of Wirral Council down by making an excessive number of Freedom of Information requests ( this wayward allegation was later dismissed by the Information Commissioners Office – the body responsible for monitoring FOI requests ) ,to his sardonic remarks about this very blog at a Birkenhead Constituency Committee meeting – but he really has excelled himself this time. There was always a possibility he would resort to conspiracies about Little Green Men taking over the world but we never expected this……

Witness his aggrieved wailings about Green Party members in the aftermath of the public meeting described above and where we understand there was 1 Green Party member present.Frankenfield used the platform of his Wirral “News” column to bleat:

“A small number of people are carrying out political thuggery in a way I haven’t witnessed since the Trotskyist Miltant Tendency tried to infiltrate the Labour Party thirty years ago.”

It would be easy to dismiss these wild-eyed statements if it wasn’t for the fact that the local media are still in thrall to Field and despite – as far as we know ,that no journalist who has written about the meeting actually attended it , the press coverage of the incident at Highfield Church has been as unbalanced as the man himself.

The Liverpool Echo saw fit to print this apparent nonsense straight from Frankenfield’s disapprovingly pursed lips :

“There were five of them [agitators at the meeting]. They dot themselves about the hall to make out this is a huge uprising. They do the same sort of appalling things as the Trots, which is these are people who are going to rat on you so you are set up to fail.”

Paranoid Android much?

Meanwhile in the same report friend,confidante,Rock (or should that be Rocky) Ferry councillor and Wirral Council social care failure Matron McLaughlin chipped in that events at the meeting were “orchestrated” by about 5 agitators ( oh do get your stories straight people).

What isn’t reported is that members of the audience had been described as “a mean spirited little group of people” in an email sent by Frankenfield to McLaughlin and that another Rock Ferry councillor Chris “Meany” Meaden called them “horrible people” at the meeting. And before you can say Her Ladyship and I can talk when it comes to pejorative comments can we remind our readers that we are not elected representatives meant to serve their constituents and represent their best interests.

Perhaps the most disturbing report we have of the meeting (besides the police presence ) was the comment from McLaughlin that if local residents wanted to visit a green space perhaps they could use public transport and visit a park!.
Coming from a Councillor who’s taxi bill is the largest in Wirral Council and paid for by the people she was treating so contemptuously is a comment that reeks of (taxi) rank hypocrisy!

However having said all that it’s not that the “horrible people” of Leaky Towers are unsympathetic to Mr.Field’s health concerns – quite the opposite – we think that for the good of his health and the well being of his constituency he needs to retire as soon as possible………

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

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“There is a purpose to journalism…It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men” – Peter Oborne – journalist resigning this week from Telegraph newspaper group

During the interminable run-up to the local and national elections we must learn to get used to PR and puff pieces and party political broadcasts masquerading as news so Wirral Leaks will continue to bring you the news that you won’t read in local newspapers or websites.
Wirral Council – please take note  below  are just some of the despairing correspondence sent to us recently by your adoring public…..

I Spy With My FOI

“Haven’t bothered for a while but seen John Braces video from the council budget proposals for the coming years and then was amazed to see my old job (only twelve months ago) with a hefty bit of investment and the promise of new staff to carry out a role deemed redundant only last March.
After many emails, F.O.I requests, meetings with councillors who soon disregarded me as soon as they realised I was talking sense and trying many other avenues to raise the point making us redundant was a stupid idea in the first place because their plan was built on lies and was quite shit also.

Now Philly boy has eventually decided that yes it was a shit idea and as he was told the Police couldn’t carry out the same role carried out by the council staff and for the amount of money invested in the cctv and repairs it was better left alone with the fully qualified staff carrying out their role much un-noticed but much admired and appreciated by Merseyside police officers and many other stakeholders. As previously stated they were all hoodwinked by our ex boss …… who is now failing to pitch for council contracts..thankfully.”

We Don’t Need No Education

“The level of misconduct, negligence and breach of the legal responsibilities of Wirral LEA (Local Education Authority) and Social Services confounds me.
I am being forced to take legal action against them as, even now, their behaviour (is) ridiculous.”

Our Source Is Outsourced

“I don’t know if you are aware that a company is being set up (extremely quickly!) by the council for all the services who trade / provide services to schools , it will run as a partnership with Cheshire and Cheshire West, like Cosocious. Staff will be type transferred across so they no longer will be council employees, they also will loose the option to take EVR /redundancy at the enhanced rate. No negotiations have been had with unions and staff have not been told t&cs (terms and conditions,) The financial information is not forthcoming to staff in relation to the ‘ business case ‘ that was drawn up by consultants ( which were apparently paid for by the government) so it makes the staff ask the question , is this company being set up to fail to rid the council of a number of staff at a reduced redundancy rate? I do wish to remain anonymous please, as repercussions do still happen within the council ”

Preaching to the Converted

‘Spect you’re v. busy with elections looming. Don’t know if the mormon councillor for Prenton’s standing for re-election in May but here’s some info about his ‘church’ & their latest efforts.

HERE 

“How he’s balanced commitment to this organisation with his role as a Labour councillor is baffling. Throw in his continued membership of XXX……well, just makes your head start to spin. Why is he still chair of a major committee? (Merseyside Pension Fund) & how does he find the time to fit everything in? His building company SDA’s got a lot of planning applications currently in process; the late (but unlamented) Dirty Food, Hoylake (prev Bej Vegetarian) restaurant’s been re-incarnated as Steak & Lobster & his day nursery (Little Angels), occupies a disused mormon meeting house in Moreton is pretty much full.”

Which brings us to …..

Alison McGovern wringing her hands –  HERE – & he’s coining it from this venture. Last OFSTED inspection (October 2012) reports 66 children in attendance. The mormons’ll conveniently overlook this one tho as all his income generates at least 10% for them so he’ll be filling their trough nicely & the good people of Wirral have helped those donations along over the last 4 years as his councillor allowance will also be available to tithe. Plus gift aid & if he is up for re-election, that’ll be another 4 years of creaming off the 10% from the long suffering citizens of Wirral.

Burgesski’s Legacy

BYEBYEGOOFY-B

“Oh, the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows ’em, pearly white………………” (Mack the Knife)

So farewell then Wirral Council Chief Executive Graham Burgess aka Comrade Burgesski – The Man Who Tarted Up The Town Hall. And that is your lasting legacy …… a local government vampire with veneers as shiny and bright as soap opera starlet and just as false. However you will always be remembered at Leaky Towers for this pseudo-profound shallow soundbite :

” Having won the war, we must win the peace….”

Meanwhile we’re wondering whether George phoned Rob to tell him you were a “safe pair of hands” enabling you take up “a new challenge” with another shedload of cash – possibly after you’ve had the luxury of spending the dark months of January and February in the Algarve whilst in your wake the staff you left behind face redundancies and local services are slashed? We understand that Rob likes the Algarve too doesn’t he? (although not as much as himself ).

A parting message from Wirral Leaks: You didn’t win the war – you were just a collaborator and your weapons of choice were PR and BS.

– this one’s for you – put this on your i-Pod as you walk along the beach:

“I’ll give you anything,
anything to shut you up”

The Legacy ?

BMWGB

Fishing On The Mersey – Millers Crossing ?

More Wirral Mugs ?

 

So what exactly has Doncaster Council Chief Executive Jo Miller been doing on the wilder shores of Wirral? On a fishing expedition following news of the imminent departure of outgoing failure Comrade Burgesski? Or borrowing a few more bob for Doncaster Council from the Wirral kitty?

She certainly has all the right credentials for the Wirral Council Chief Executive post – female ( we all know why that is) , links to SOLACE and the Local Government Association and has had former appointments on Merseyside so will no doubt have all the “right” connections.

http://www.solace.org.uk/policy/jo_miller/

Therefore we can only wonder whether her Wirral mug is soon to become her poisoned chalice ! ?…….

Christmas Tradition

PEAs Wirral Leaks crashes through the quarter of a million hits barrier whilst being on WordPress we celebrate the age -old Christmas Tradition of  Wirral Council appearing in the Christmas edition of Private Eye. Let’s face it Rotten Boroughs is to Wirral Council what stuffing is to turkey.

The article itself  titled “Stella Performance” takes centre stage with a box and a cartoon all of it’s own. As the title suggests the story concerns Wirral Council’s globetrotting exploits from the wooing of Shiu  to the beano in Reno.

Private Eye writes :

“Despite all the evidence that Wirral Council was being had , it’s regeneration director Kevin Adderley insisted all ” due diligence” had been done,while council leader Phil Davies pathetically insisted: This is not a myth ,they are real companies with real investment plans.” Alas,nothing has been heard of Ms.Shiu since. Never mind,Onward!”

The story may well not be new to Wirral Leaks readers but it’s certainly the first time we’ve seen Addled and “due diligence” in the same sentence (shurely shome mishtake?!)

And we must say the word “pathetically” clings to Power Boy Pip like a limpet to a sinking ship. Leader? – the only way this guy leads the people of Wirral is up the garden path. Witness his pathetic history – ” There’s nothing we can do – they’ve all  left…” he said wimping out after it was revealed that council officers had departed cheque in hand after failing to tell councillors that oops! they’d run up £30 million +  in toxic debts. Byeeeee! And didn’t he chair a disciplinary hearing when he exonerated and let off  two of the main protagonists involved in this financial mismanagement?

As Private Eye says: I think we should be told!

Witness also his ongoing support of Foulkesy and Georgy as Wirralgate unravels…..”I can’t defend that” he apparently said after hearing the Wirralgate recording.
Oh but he has and will continue to do so as long as he clings (pathetically) on to power ( cont. p.94).

Christmas Post

 keep-calm-and-build-a-crisis-management-plan
As we predicted earlier this week it wasn’t long before a copy of that email landed on the Leaky Towers doormat…and not just one copy either! When we say email the author Martin “Mad” Morton actually describes it as “An Open Letter to Wirral Council ( & Frank Field) and there was a collective wry smile here when we read the line from one of our leakers about the leak itself which went: ” I’m sure it is what he would have wanted.” We thought it made it sound as though Morton had shuffled off this mortal coil.Although to be frank actual assassination (as opposed to character assassination)  may be Wirral Council’s best option.We predict that there may come a day when we read John Brace’s forensic examination of Wirral Council’s accounts and find a payment to the contemporary equivalent of committed Marxist-Leninist hitman Carlos the Jackal.
Now we haven’t had the go ahead (yet) from the man himself to publish the letter so instead Verity is going to extract the pertinent points from the letter which are primarily concerned with “Wirralgate” and add it to what we already know from a variety of sources to bring you a Christmas cut out and keep “Wirralgate For Dummies” special.
What we can reveal is that the opening line of the letter reads : “The Mayor of Wirral Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr.George Davies are unfit for public office”……..which isn’t exactly news but we are wondering why Morton stopped there – we would have thrown in Frankenfield and Power Boy Pip for starters and anyone who puts their head in the sand in the hope this scandal blows over.
What is particularly shameful is that considering the length of time this has sorry saga has gone on https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/exclusive-wirralgate/
is that the likes of “Foulkesy” and his sidekick have been able to be involved in decisions involving redundancies,cuts to services and closure of Lyndale School when they should have been exposed and ran out of town (hall). Remember it was Foulkesy who originally chaired the Committee to “consult” on the closure of Lyndale and at a previous meeting it was Davies, G who seconded the motion for closure.
Indeed here he is this very week for voting for closure.As far as we’re concerned that should be grounds enough to have the closure decision overruled.
 COMBOVERVOTE

 

Crushed – The Closing of Lyndale School

UGG LOGO
We implored Wirral Council to “tread softly” when it came to Lyndale School.
However reverting to type last night they decided to put on the bovver-boy boots and crush the hopes of pupils,parents,carers,teachers and supporters by deciding to close the special school.

Knowing what she was up against parent spokesperson Chrissie Woodland declined to speak at the meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet claiming that it was a “waste of time”.

Indeed it appears to us the whole consultation process was a completely stage managed farrago. We imagine the pre-meeting conversations went something like: ” Right Julia , Ann will ask the first question and then Bernie can ask the next one and then you give us your rehearsed answer and we’ll nod along pretending to be interested”.

Let’s face it as soon as Julia Hassall stated from the outset of the consultation that Wirral Council was “minded” to close Lyndale School it was a done deal.

What we don’t understand that if “economic considerations” were the reason for the closure why don’t the sums add up?
Are the “economic considerations” more to do with a future potential capital receipt for the land we ask ourselves?

Meanwhile the valiant parents have vowed to challenge the process which led to the decision and have it quashed at Judicial Review.

So before they bulldoze the sensory garden funded by £80,000 worth of donations from Wirral Globe readers Wirral Council need to be “minded” that the fight is far from over. We’ll be ringside hoping for a knockout blow in this David and Goliath battle.

Death By A Thousand Cuts

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This week Wirral Council agreed to £2.5 million worth of cuts (disguised as “budget savings) to local services. Despite the fact that the “refreshed” Corporate Plan gave “protecting the vulnerable ” top billing it’s clear from where the axe fell that this claim is nothing more than a miserable lie. It is clear that the vast majority of the cuts were aimed at vulnerable people – namely respite services for disabled adults and children and the scrapping of Council Tax discount to pensioners over 70.

The Council meeting where these cuts were discussed appears to be a rather tense affair judging by the footage on John Brace’s blog

Mayor Foulkes seemed particularly tetchy telling lone Green Councillor Pat “Green Not Mean” Cleary that he couldn’t address Council because he didn’t have a seconder (which is a bit difficult when you’re on your own) :  ” I’ve made the decision.Sit down….” he yelled before going on to tell another Green ,by name if not by nature,this being the Tory leader Jefferson, to : ” Sit down. I’m speaking…” .

Foulkesy then went on to relent ” as it was Christmas” and obviously regretted the decision as Cllr Cleary’s impassioned anti-austerity speech drew rapturous applause from the public gallery. ” I won’t be ambushed again” pouted the titty-lipped tinpot dictator.

It’s clear from the public’s reaction  the Green Party is cultivating a groundswell of support (geddit?) and long may it continue. Anything that disrupts the political hegemony which has blighted Wirral for far too long is alright by us at Leaky Towers.

There was another speech of note from  Cllr Janette ” Millie Tant” Williamson who railed against the coalition government and their policies which was very much in the Labour tradition of blaming the government for decisions made by Wirral Council. What is always missing from the ” it’s all central government’s fault”  default position is the fact that the coalition government did NOT dictate to  Wirral Council how to implement the Bedroom Tax or their increasingly reprehensible approach to Council Tax discounts and exemptions or their continual scapegoating of disabled people – talking of which will this inglorious history continue tonight when Cabinet finally decides the fate of Lyndale School?

What’s more is Cllr.Williamson aware of the national Labour Party’s stance on austerity?
It is clear from  policy statements made by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls that if Labour succeed in getting into power following the next General Election then Labour have promised yet more austerity measures.

Who will Wirral Council blame then?

He Wouldnt’ Let It Lie

BOB

News reaches us that Bob Mortimer  (wacky sidekick to Vic Reeves) lookie-likie Martin Morton has been whistleblowing again.

” That man’s cheeks must look like Kim Kardashian’s arse” piped up Eldritch rather ungraciously.

Apparently there’s an email doing the rounds detailing further calamities at Wirral Council.  Astonishingly we’ve been told it has absolutely nothing to do with this gobsmacking Freedom Of Information request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cover_up_of_financial_abuse_of_d

It just makes us want to ask – what exactly is up with these people at Wirral Council?

Are they just living in hope that the guy spontaneously combusts?

Fear not dear readers – it’s only a matter of time before the email gets leaked…….

The Mayor Reacts

The Mayor Reacts