Take Me To Your Leader

1PE

It’s election time : when the air is full of speeches and vice versa!.

Indeed the election campaign has kicked off good and proper with the dissolution of parliament and the leaders debate on TV.

This gives Wirral Leaks endless ( and by the looks of it boy do we mean endless…..) opportunities to cast our jaundiced eye over the local political scene.
So having given Wirral MPs Frankenfield and McVague the Wirral Leaks treatment we thought we’d move on to Wirral’s political bottom feeders and focus on the so-called “leaders” who will be spearheading the local council election campaigns.

Protocol dictates we must start with the man who is the current council leader and the man with self declared “special powers” – the one and only Power Boy Pip! Well what can we say about The Pipster ? – other than to thank him for the continuous comedic opportunities he provides us with and which mostly emanate from his resolute adherence to ” The Pollyanna Principle”

SEE HERE

Unfortunately aiding and abetting the poor fool’s delusions are the likes of the Local Godawful Association giving Wirral Council Mickey Mouse awards – really you people should know better than to be an enabler for such flights of fancy as luxury golf resorts and trying to hook up with gambling resorts or envisioning skyscrapers over the Mersey….. most other people would be heavily medicated rather than encouraged to pursue such rampant lunacy.

The reality is expertly disinterred by the current edition of Private Eye under the headline “Mythed Opportunity”:
As we’ve said before and will no doubt say again the only thing this leader is good for is leading everyone up the garden path. As witnessed this week with the launch of the local labour campaign featuring a video of Power Boy Pip where the awkwardness spurts out of him like spit from a Roy Hattersley Spitting Image puppet.

SEE HERE
But as Her Ladyship said at least prospective Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood “put some lippy on this time ” unlike her horrorshow of a performance when she was the support act to “Harriet Harperson’s Travelling Let’s Patronise Women Roadshow” when it recently hit West Wirral.

Pip’s faltering up close and personal piece to camera covered the usual bases – foodbanks and zero hour contracts being prominent among the soundbites. However it strikes us as sheer hypocrisy on Pip’s part as local Labour politicians seem to see foodbanks as no more than photo -ops and where the opening of a new one is somehow a cause for celebration.Moreover we suggest Pip spares a thought for council staff he and his cronies have made redundant and thereby putting staff on zero hours pemanently.The council’s appalling treatment of CCTV control room staff being a shameful case in point.

A new departure which nevertheless follows the usual negative campaigning template is attacks upon Arrowe Park Hospital which seem to be orchestrated as usual by Frankenfield.
The shoddy bullying tactic comes across as not about genuinely caring for the future of the NHS but rather a case of :” Ner ner ner ner ner…you’re worse than we are….”.

And so we move on to Nigel Farage soundalike Tory leader Jefferson Green – who seems to be permanently “outraged”, “appalled” or “shocked” about how the Council conducts it’s business (usually after he’s read some revelation on a local blog) but seems unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. This is the man who was once accused by Foulkesy of conducting a ” £250,000 ambush” following the fallout from the Morton whistleblowing scandal when the former Labour leader was booted out in a vote of no confidence.Of course as we know Foulkesy floated to the surface like an air-filled turd when he later became mayor ( talk about rewarding failure).

Foulkesy’s comment suggesting that Green would cynically use the serious issues raised in a series of scandalous reports to gain political power is perhaps only inaccurate in the sense that it wasn’t a £250,000 ambush – it was more like a £400,000 ambush ( which is what Klonowski and legal eagles/vultures pocketed between them !)….

We do however note that Green has gone awfully quiet on the subject of the Wirralgate scandal – which considering it was based on a conspiracy to discredit him seems to be a bit out of character. Could it be that even Green doesn’t come out of this episode smelling of roses – but then nobody including the “whistleblowers” do as far as we’re concerned.
In fact we think it was Foulkesy who summed up Green best during the joke of an investigation into “Wirralgate” cobbled together by Patricia Thynne where he described him as ” Kindred”

Indeed judging from the last council meeting that Foulkesy presided over as mayor and Green’s fawning,obsequious speech about the former’s year in office suggests that the feeling is mutual (if not symbiotic) and may help explain as to why Green is happy to rock the boat as long as he doesn’t make any waves……

As for the Lib Dem leader Phil Gilchrist – what can we say?.Nothing much to be honest.We can’t even drum up the enthusiasm to coin a satirical nickname.Apparently he’s been a councillor for 37 years and from what we can gather is well liked in his ward and is polite and inoffensive during political debates. Whilst his support of Lyndale School has been admirable it has to be said that his socks and sandals and cycle clips Lib-Demness has been no match for the Birkenhead Boot Boys on the Labour benches.

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Talking of ( re) cycling there is the (green) fly in the ointment that is sole Green councillor Pat Cleary.Remember it was Cleary who ousted Labour favourite Bri “Nylon” Kenny in the last council elections and he (and his party) have been the subject of much hostility from Labour politicians ever since.
A further reason that Cleary seems to irritate those in power is his utterly perplexing habit of cycling to council meetings.The freeloading Labour group are simply incredulous at the fact that he’s not jumping taxis or bunging in mileage claims for a huge gas guzzler.As this picture of the Queen of Social Care Matron McLaughlin proves it would appear this is how they think councillors should arrive at Wallasey Town Hall.

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However there is some good news concerned with the the local elections as we understand that the one man swearbox that is Councillor Harry Smith finally bows out of local political life. Oh how we’ll miss his constant inane interruptions in council meetings and his habit of verbally abusing journalists. However Wirral Council should be praised for their Equal Opportunities stance when it comes to Cllr Smith – as it seems to us from his behaviour he must be the first councillor with Tourette’s Syndrome to be appointed to the cabinet and will forever remain an inspiration to our pottymouthed butler Eldritch.

The bad news is that – yes you guessed it – aforementioned election failure Bri “Nylon” Kenny is to be parachuted into Cllr Smith’s safe Labour seat – which only goes to prove Red Ken Livingstone’s maxim that : “If voting changed anything they’d abolish it…..”

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Christmas Caption Competition: I’m Dreaming of A Whitewash Christmas

 A-leaky-Xmas-2
 “A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” – Benjamin Franklin
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Please send your captions to : wirraleaks@gmail.com
Please note do not make comments on Facebook page as apparently last time that led to someone banging in a hurt feelings claim to Wirral Council….(no we don’t know how that works either).
From everyone at Leaky Towers we’d like to wish all our devoted readers a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with truth and justice.

 

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).

Big Guns in Tiny Town

TINY

Following our earlier story about the beano in Reno Verity has been doing some further research into other towns who have had the dubious honour of being twinned with Wirral.  Apparently Wirral has been rather wanton with it’s unique charms and has previously wooed (in no particular order) Gennevilliers (France) ,Lorient (France) ,Latina (Italy) and Midland (Texas ,USA not the Black Country).
Then of course there was the Eurowirral office in Brussels which achieved er, well nothing much at all really.

As we’ve said before it seems to us at Leaky Towers that never has so much public money been spent on air miles by so many globetrotting councillors and officers to achieve so very little………

Of course the Twin Town debate is something that has concerned the great and the ghoul of Wirral for sometime.
Leaky Towers have always maintained we should be twinned with Jericho in recognition of our local whistleblowing community whilst Frankenfield seems to think that Birkenhead should be twinned with Beirut!.

However it seems to us that Wirral is behaving like a desperate divorcee on a dating website – posting flattering pictures to prospective partners in the hope of finding true love and salvation. The Reno hook-up seems particularly dodgy – apparently the fact that “The Chamber of Commerce had a contact over in Reno with a guy who used to work in Liverpool in the video gaming industry….” was enough for the Wirral posse to metaphorically put on the lippy ,reach for the Wonderbra and fly down to Reno on a wing and a prayer.

Finally we’d particularly love to know what clean living local Councillor Paul “Danceaway” Doughty thinks about twinning with Reno – famous for gambling and quickie divorces.

Let’s just hope if we get a delegation from Reno visiting that Wirral tops up the Botox to prevent “The Biggest Little City in The World” seeking a quickie divorce…….

Wirral Leaks Advent Calendar – Fail to Plan,Plan to Fail.

CONF IDE
Wirral Council seem to think that as long as they have plan that everything is A-OK on Planet Fail!!
They may not keep to the plan,the plan may be filled with meaningless happy clappy platitudes but hey they’ve got a plan. Hooray! God bless us one and all.
The latest manifestation of their plan-mania is the “Corporate Plan : Refreshed for 2015-16” (which appropriately enough makes it sound like a cheap toilet disinfectant)
The plan itself has all the substance of over-spun candyfloss  exemplified by one of those cliched and hackneyed word clouds ( somebody tell me have we time travelled back to 2010?)
The four words which comprise this word cloud are : Confidence,Ambition,Integrity and Efficiency.Please – no laughing at the back……..
However we thought that in honour of the Mayor the most prominent word should read (Vote of no) Confidence …..followed by (Over) – Ambitious , (Lack of) Integrity and (Full of) Effluence.

 

Shark Attack

Boofuckinghoo

We have long held that working for Wirral Council must be like swimming with sharks

SEE HERE

This is never more so than at the minute – it must be a pretty grim swim in this sub-aquatic food chain trying to avoid the sharks and the shoals of bottom feeders and the pond life.

What’s more the waters appear to be very choppy at the moment  – with the Burgesski “retirement” and two further senior manager resignations ( Head of Paid Services and Director of Resources) and possibly more on the way…….

Is Burgesski finally realising that he may have been a big fish in a small pond ( a mere babbling brook so to speak ) – but he wasn’t the biggest fish swimming in the Wirral Council aquarium……and what’s more it looks like the Fisher of Men sitting outside on the edge has him hook,line and sinker ……..

It seems to us that Burgesski’s retirement is strangely redolent of the demise of former Wirral Council Chief Executive Wee Jimmy Winkle – where once again the sharks got narked over management restructure proposals….and a particular proposal which has resurfaced like the siren’s song echoing across the bay ………….. and has caused more than a few ripples.

We suggest that this could prove to be the longest two months of Burgesski’s life  – but then those who want to make the earth move should eventually expect a tsunami……..

Bye Bye Burgesski !

GOOFY-ESCAPES

 

And so with tedious inevitably comes the announcement that another Wirral Council Chief Executive bites the dust.

SEE HERE

Of course knowing what we know it comes as no surprise to us here at Leaky Towers that Comrade Burgesski will be heading for the beautifully appointed fire escape just before the great political conflagration engulfs Wallasey Town Hall once and for all.

Somehow we suspect that despite the praise emanating from Power Boy Pip and co that Burgesski will not be eulogised in quite the same way that former Chief Executive Steve “Mad Dog” Maddox was on the announcement of his sudden departure to spend more time with his long suffering golf clubs.

Will it be an OBE and Freedom of the Borough of Wirral for the man who allegedly turned Wirral Council around into the model of efficiency it now so clearly is ( honest guv) after a series of scandals?………..

We humbly suggest that a fitting tribute in honour of Burgesski’s tenure would be a revolving door fitted to the Chief Executive’s office !

Futile and Redundant

FUTILESo Wirral Council , how’s that “Future Council”  thingy going for you?.
Or as Wirral Leaks fan “Santa” says in our comments section  : “More like Futile Council ……”
SEE HERE

Well from our metaphorical bulging postbag it would appear that any dreams of a future utopia are turning into the usual Wirral Council nightmare.

Firstly we’ve had many concerns raised about the “Future Council” consultation (aka stitch up) itself – mainly about how on earth are members of the public meant to decide on “options” (aka cuts)  when it’s clear that  proposals are far from an “informed choice”.
It seems to many people that council officials still haven’t completed their jobs when it comes to consultations,reviews,costings and alternative services or indeed whether there should be services at all. Surely there’s a basic understanding and degree of knowledge about services required before anyone could decide where the axe should fall?

Whilst idly flicking through the Future Council consultation document Her Ladyship commented : ” Can somebody tell me what “Youth Zone” is ?…..it sounds like an advertisement for Clearasil.” Similarly we all thought “Girtrell Court” was a stately home until we read that it was a  ‘short break’ respite service for adults with disability with 20 beds. Yes, it sounds like a valuable service but otherwise we’re none the wiser.

If Wirral Council was truly committed to “consulting”  Council Tax payers shouldn’t it be consulting on fundamental principles and leaving the policy decisions to politicians and the implementation of these policies to council officers? Surely that’s what they’re there for?

For example only last week Cllr Chris ” Meany” Meaden decreed that former British Army personnel who had previously had concessionary passes to Wirral’s leisure facilities were to be withdrawn unless the former servicemen and woman could prove they had a disability or condition that had arisen out of their army service. Meaden said that ex-armed forces personnel were to be “punished” (her words) because the scheme had been exploited by scam merchants who had joined the Territorial Army and then received a dishonourable discharge after a week  – supposedly so they could get a free pass to gyms and swimming pools. The question of who was responsible for drawing up such a pathetic eligibility criteria in the first place wasn’t discussed.

Why wasn’t this matter consulted on?

Similarly were the people of Wirral consulted on £35 million worth of loans  at “mates rates” made by Wirral Council to other Labour  Councils.

A keen local eagle-eyed inquisitor has discovered  that “investments” current at 31 March 2014 were :

Doncaster £2m @ 0.8%

Lancashire £6m @ 0.75%

Northumberland £6m @ 0.75%

Newcastle on Tyne £2m @ 1.8%

OR

Current investments at 31 July 2014 i.e. ignoring those that have matured since 31/03/14

Lancashire £6m @ 0.75%

Newcastle on Tyne £2m @ 1.8%

However further investigation by our eagle -eyed investigator discovered that  :

“Lancashire and Newcastle on Tyne lend out money as part of enterprise schemes I have confirmed that Lancashire (borrow from Wirral at 0.75%) lend at 6.2%.I have confirmed that Newcastle on Tyne (borrow from Wirral at 1.8%) lend at 9.9%.
These figures show what Wirral gets in interest from the other authorities, (very low).
I asked ‘what rate of interest did they charge their borrowers’?
Those I mentioned, Lancashire and Newcastle charge their borrowers more than five times the rate they pay back to Wirral. Doesn’t seem a very fair deal for Wirral taxpayers”

Do the people of Wirral know they are seemingly “subbing” other Councils, effectively at a loss – as they would surely get higher interest rates elsewhere – whilst locally services are being cut and jobs are being lost?

Talking of which we’re getting a lot of concerns being raised by Council staff facing redundancy. Seems like it’s the usual horrorshow – incompetent managers making up the redundancy “consultation”process as they go along. Which reminds us haven’t consultancy firm Ernst & Young been paid over £400,000 since April 2014 to assist with the culling, sorry redundancy, process?

Meanwhile the corporate game players are in their element with nepotism and self preservation being , quite literally, the order of the day.
Council staff are telling us the redundancy process is “unfair”,”shocking”,”flawed”,”callous”,”discriminatory”
(and these are the good points!)
All Wirral Leaks can think to say to council staff is that you can’t say you haven’t been warned! And anyway you’ve always got your unions to support you! ……..ha!ha!

Seems to us your choice is known by the Eldritch-like acronym FIFO – ” Fit In or Fuck Off”!!

No Future Council

Vicious and Rotten ? It’s ‘No Fun’

FUTURE COUNCILWhich I’m sure you’ll all agree is a mightily impressive logo!

We don’t know who came up with this masterpiece of graphic design but we’re guessing it was a Friday afternoon job. However whoever is responsible for it we’re sure they had fun putting out the subliminal message that the Future of Council/Wirral is Green. Now we don’t know whether they mean the Green Party or the golf resort or even Jefferson himself but everything’s gone green.

Of course we brought you news some time ago that Future Council was coming our way – so we’ve endeavored to do some further research on your behalf.

After we were treated to a video of Comrade Burgesski on the Wirral Globe website looking about as comfortable as soggy undercrackers and explaining how the budget is as tight as Cllr Tony Norbury’s suits we thought we’d check out the consultation pack where Burgesski helpfully explains  :

“The Council has conducted a comprehensive review into all of its services. Every part of the Council has been scrutinised to ensure every pound is spent effectively and every service is as efficient as it can possibly be.
This project is called ‘Future Council……”

My how we laughed here at Leaky Towers at reading claims of  scrutiny ,effectiveness and efficiency at Wirral Council –  and the portentous tone that goes with it.
” This project is called Future Council …” sounds like something a Dr.Who alien would say just before they pressed a button to blow up a distant planet.

In the consultation document Burgesski front-loads the big scary numbers in his introduction like some kind of megalomaniac bingo caller – £100 million!, £ 70 million!, £57 million ! – but basically he’s asking the people of Wirral to decide upon where the axe should fall in achieving  £2.5 million cuts to public services (out of a total of £18 million worth of budget reductions.)

Although the consultation document explains that 300 Council jobs are going to have to go it doesn’t explain as to why – so we did a bit of number – crunching of our own and came up with this suggestion:

£10 million : “We have also agreed to restructure every Council department to reduce our employee costs by almost £10 million, which is part of a decision (and a saving) agreed last year. While the impact upon residents from these changes will be reduced, saving £10 million in employee costs means, in effect, around 300 Wirral Council jobs will be lost – hopefully mostly on a voluntary redundancy basis…”

£10 million : The amount of toxic debt which Wirral Council had to write off last year as a result of  incompetence and dishonesty of council managers and the negligence and lack of scrutiny by councillors.  We advice council employees to remember this comparison when they receive their redundancy notices   –  SEE HERE

However it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s low comedy to be had throughout the consultation document. For example it’s as if there’s someone digging Burgesski in the ribs and telling him to intermittently include something about how much the Council cares for the vulnerable (despite all evidence to the contrary)

Bullshit Bingo fans will enjoy the use of the words  “outsource” “robustly” and “hub” .

Whilst lovers of Spot the Gobbledygook will cherish this particular example : “Assets  – Delivering the consolidated asset requirements of the services, enabling key service changes through the rationalisation and future proofing of the asset base”

However praise be to the comic genius who came up with this :” The workforce and elected members of Wirral Council are public servants. We are here to serve the people of Wirral and that will not change. What must change is how we serve you. Meeting our duty as public servants means finding the best, most cost effective way of improving residents’ quality of life…..”

Satire at it’s finest!

“Cold & Bureaucratic” – The Closure of Lyndale School

beuaracy

And so with heartbreaking and crushing inevitability comes the news that Wirral Council’s Labour Cabinet has voted unanimously to close Lyndale School.
A special school which taught and supported some of Wirral’s most vulnerable children who have a multitude of complex needs.

Remember the Council’s pledge to protect the most vulnerable in the wake of damning reports criticising how they treated disabled people? Remember the “What Really Matters?” consultation where the people of Wirral said they wanted the Council to protect our most vulnerable citizens?  Remember how Director of Childrens Services Julia “No” Hassall said she was “minded” to close Lyndale School last November?

The same Julia Hassall who claimed at the Cabinet meeting that compared to the desperate pleas of the parents and staff speaking on behalf of the children they loved and cared for she sounded “cold and bureaucratic”.

“Cold and bureaucratic” doesn’t come close to describing the sham of a consultation, the dragging on the usual highly paid “independent consultant” Lynn “Wrong &” Wright ,the shameless going through the motion of listening to parents and staff and petitions and the “we know best” decisions made behind closed doors.

In other words the usual “bureaucratic machinations” which have plagued Wirral Council for years and continue to do so – and all to the detriment of Wirral’s citizens and particularly when it’s concerned with the treatment of disabled children.

Finally  we implore you to remember the names of the Cabinet members making the decision to close Lyndale School and particularly the one Councillor who we feel is simply not fit to hold public office , let alone make a decision significantly affecting the lives of people who he clearly regards merely as a means to pay his Council expenses.