Birkenhead – A Prevalence for Depression

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You won’t be reading this in Wirral View or Wirral Globe and certainly not Wirral Life but research by the Guardian shows the most depressed neighbourhoods in England are all in the north and the Midlands and as you can see above four of the top 15 are in and around Birkenhead.

But then that’s what you get when the local MP invites a ‘stunning lawyer’ who he worked with in the Child Poverty Action Group with the expectation of career advancement via the endless supply of poor/depressed people to Birkenhead.  What a ‘stunning’ legacy they leave behind.

The good news for those hitting the Sertraline and other unprescribed supplements of their own choice to get them through the daily grind of living in Birkenhead is that Frank Field is well and truly on his way out .

With the election of not one but two Green councillors in Birkenhead it has to be the case  that in the words of that great pop philosopher Yazz ,  ‘ The Only Way is Up’…

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Birkenhead – A Place of Depravity

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That’s not us making that declaration that’s the man who hopes to be the Labour candidate at the next General Election.

Cllr Tony ‘ Thick as Mince’ Norbury took to Twitter on April 2nd to share this absolutely priceless tweet. Our initial response to which was : ” Only 55% of Birkonians are living in a place of depravity?”

Perhaps Cllr Norbury has been on the campaign trail in Conway Street/Argyle Street of a Saturday night where ‘depravity’ would certainly be an apt description, otherwise we can only assume that Norbury failed to recall the word ‘deprivation’.  However as malapropisms go this has to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious ones we’ve come across.

Might we also suggest that if Norbury wants to take over the mantle of Frank Field and continue to indulge in the poverty porn so beloved of the current incumbent as the MP for Birkenhead he also needs to know that the town he desperately longs to represent is a ‘constituency’…

 

Peachez Creams Wirral Council

Peach arse

Red cheeks all round : Wirral Council makes an arse of itself over Peachez

Oh dear , another, er, cock up at Wirral Council as it makes yet another arse of itself . Wirral Leaks readers who have followed the Peachez ‘gentleman’s club’ debacle will know all about the lap dancing club and the hypocritical/hilarious attempts by Wirral Councillors , and particularly council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’, to close the strip joint down.

You can read the unfolding episodes of the full sordid saga here : Peachez

However the ,ahem, bottom line is that after initially being approved by council officers and six months after the bump’n’grind was, er, firmly established ,along came the tut-tutting councillors who have mistaken the constituency for Tunbridge Wells and tried to use planning laws to prevent Birkenhead falling yet further into moral turpitude. Clearly they’ve never been out on the lash on Conway Street of a Saturday night where cavorting about with very little clothing on is the norm.

Inevitably Wirral Council lost the case. Badly. Not only did they lose the case YOU dear reader had to pay the full costs as Peachez creamed Wirral Council for making  ‘”an unnecessary appeal”.

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate were particularly scathing about Wirral Council’s moral crusade saying it had made “vague and generalised assertions”, had acted “unreasonably” and provided “no evidence” of any requirement to “promote a positive image of the area” in the council’s development plan . Consequently the Inspectorate ruled that Peachez did not have a “significantly harmful effect on the vitality of Birkenhead”.

Now if this ruling isn’t enough to make you want to take your Council Tax contributions out of Power Boy Pip’s knicker elastic we don’t know what is!

 

Bust in Birkenhead

Bustin Out

A Wirral Leaks reader comments on the ongoing local hypocrisy concerning Peachez gentleman’s club :

Peachez gentleman’s club, demeaning to women. An argument I am sure many would agree with, however, I am surprised that Wirral Labour councillors are amongst them. It was an issue that didn’t seem to bother their parliamentary colleague Frank Field, who in February of this year was to write for the Sun newspaper, the same newspaper that only a month after Mr Field’s article appeared was to launch its annual ‘’Bust in Britain’’ competition.

As much as he likes to judge others we can’t see Birkenhead MP Frank Field on the judging panel for this alleged ‘boobylicious’ accolade. But as they say you should judge people by the company they keep. Frank Field writes for The S*n and Deputy Leader of Wirral Council  Cllr George Davies is his electoral agent. What a fine pair they make! Just sayin’ !

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – 2 weeks to go

Vote Goodies

PEACHEZ ‘N’ POLITIX 

So after being open for 6 months Wirral Council ‘s Planning Committee unanimously pulled the (butt) plug on Birkenhead ‘gentleman’s club’ Peachez . However the other Birkenhead ‘gentleman’s club’ was out in force bemoaning the bump’n’grind. Council ‘leader’ Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies even put in an appearance . Might we suggest this was more in support of Birkenhead & Tranmere ward candidate Paul Jobson – for whom the decision was described by Pip as a ‘fantastic victory’ – than a genuine concern that Peachez was turning the town into a hotbed of moral turpitude. Remind us , wasn’t Pip part of the crew who flew to sleazy Reno hoping to be twinned with a town who’s main attractions are booze,strippers and gambling? Whatever happened to that hook-up ? The only stripping Wirral councillors now seem to be in favour of is the stripping of public assets.

We think that Power Boy Pip’s appearance in the Liverpool Echo video included in their Pip on Peachez story should itself be x-rated. Inevitably Wirral Labour described his performance (and it was a performance ) as ‘powerful’. Pip once again used the phrase ‘sordid business’ and it was hard to tell whether he was describing Peachez , his blatant electioneering or Wirral Council’s modus operandi.

However we had to laugh at the inevitable inane comment from that ultimate exemplar of political and personal decorum Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes:  “I don’t know much about these places but I’ve not seen one in Liverpool on the main thoroughfare” he said sounding like a snooty, teetotal maiden aunt all of a sudden.

Bizarrely the refusal for planning permission was moved on the grounds that it would “not promote a positive image of the area”  – which prompts us to wonder whether any of the councillors involved in the decision leading to Peachez going tits up have actually been to Birkenhead lately? Just sayin’ !

THORNY ISSUE FOR LABOUR ROSE

Tory Wirral Council group leader Ian Lewis managed to get a front page from Wirral Globe ‘blasting’ reports that 170 foster children went missing in 2016/17. The revelations gave further insight into why Children’s Services have been deemed inadequate by Ofsted.  In response Paul ” Boycey’ Boyce , Wirral Council’s Director of Children’s Services was in in full ” that was then,this is now”  “right direction” “moving forward”  mode  – you know the drill by now. However taking things even further in her local election campaign leaflet Labour Rose (no sniggering at the back) Cllr Christine Spriggs simply rewrites history when it comes to the past failures in Children’s Services.

We readily acknowledge that since 2010 the decimation of local authority funding under Tory rule has had a severe detrimental impact upon local services.  However we would ask local politicians to be honest  – a big ask we know – and acknowledge in return, that many of the failings in recent years with regard to vulnerable people, both young and old on Wirral, have had more to do with bad management and poor scrutiny.  Consequently the £20 million (of your money) that Wirral Council are putting into Children’s Services are because they have had to remedy these past failings are less to do with “Tory cuts”.

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Back to the Future

Whilst you’re all waiting for the red bridge between Birkenhead and Wallasey to be finally put back in place after a series of delays read here all we can say is a) this is what happens when you hand over control of your own land to an organisation (Peel) who are only interested in acquiring public land and public money for private profit and b) we don’t believe in delays or delayed gratification. As Mark Twain said :

” Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”

Believe us -the red bridge debacle is the shape of things to come or should that be remembrance of things past? After yesterday’s post where we published the artist’s impression of the forthcoming ‘Wirral Waters’ dementia care village an eagle eyed reader brought a nostalgic tear to our jaundiced eye by recalling the similarity to the infamous (and subsequently demolished) Birkenhead landmark of Oak and Eldon Gardens. Accordingly we won’t keep this pithy observation from our readers until later this week in our weekly dispatch and bring it to you now :

LOOKALIKES

Oak and Eldon Gardens 3

DEMENTIA CARE VILLAGE

Dementia 3

OAK AND ELDON GARDENS

 

 

Come To Sunny Birkenhead

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We understand that it was a typical Bank Holiday Monday back in Blighty. Bleak,wet and miserable. Indeed we’ve been sent the above picture which not only seemed to reflect the general  mood but also served as an antidote to all the idealised artist’s impressions of Birkenhead we’ve been seeing all over the press lately.

Apparently the picture was taken at the bottom of Holt Hill , Birkenhead – ironically the scene for  one of the most famous pictures ever taken on Wirral when Cammell Laird was an industrial powerhouse and the town’s main employer.

Holt Hill 2

Although it ain’t Bansky we think the graffiti speaks volumes about post-industrial nihilism and the challenge that faces those who optimistically seek to transform Birkenhead . Meanwhile what a dispiriting and depressing experience this must be for those who have to pass this vulgar ugliness every day.

The obscene scene also reminded us of the Philip Larkin poem ‘Sunny Prestatyn’  which presents a bleak picture of the harsh realities juxtaposed with the false promises of glossy advertising. Just don’t expect to see this picture reproduced in Wirral View or in a wraparound advertising feature paid for by Wirral Council.

Come To Sunny Prestatyn
Laughed the girl on the poster,
Kneeling up on the sand   
In tautened white satin.   
Behind her, a hunk of coast, a
Hotel with palms
Seemed to expand from her thighs and   
Spread breast-lifting arms.
She was slapped up one day in March.   
A couple of weeks, and her face
Was snaggle-toothed and boss-eyed;   
Huge tits and a fissured crotch
Were scored well in, and the space   
Between her legs held scrawls
That set her fairly astride
A tuberous cock and balls
Autographed Titch Thomas, while   
Someone had used a knife
Or something to stab right through   
The moustached lips of her smile.   
She was too good for this life.   
Very soon, a great transverse tear   
Left only a hand and some blue.   
Now Fight Cancer is there.
Philip Larkin, “Sunny Prestatyn ” from Whitsun Weddings. Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin. 

 

 

Birkenhead MP’s Brexit Bitchfest Backfires

Birkenhead MP Frank Field ,  having moved an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal ) Bill earlier this week must be grateful that the local TV media chose a clip of Wirral South MP Alison McGovern’s contribution to the House of Commons Brexit debate for their news bulletin rather than his latest waspish display of self-aggrandizing disrespect for others. Therefore we’d particularly like to thank Old Queen TV  for posting the above footage.

Field’s innocuous amendment read : ” The UK ceases to belong to the European Union on 30 March 2019″ and  we can say one thing about Frankenfield and that he united the House during the debate  – united that is in their distaste of his sly jibes.

The most spectacular putdown was of fellow Labour MP Hilary Benn which drew gasps from benches on both sides of the House. Sitting behind Frankenfield David Lammy looks simply aghast……and who wouldn’t be as Field snipes at Benn : ” I’ve always bought my houses, I’ve never inherited them……”  . On being corrected by Benn he apologised and withdrew the comment. However the snooty, sarky tone of his statement , part Lady Bracknell/part Lily Savage, continued unabated.  

The thing is with Frankenfield is that locally he is so used to saying what he likes to who he likes – and being gifted a platform to do it – that it comes as a bit of a surprise when someone dares to challenge him on the facts.

However there were several other comments Frankenfield made during his speech which led to us sit here scratching our heads with our mouths agape. The full transcript of the debate can read here

 

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We’re confused as to what Frankenfield is trying to say in these statements . However it  should be noted that overall 51.7% of the voters of Wirral voted to remain in the  EU Referendum , whilst  his own constituency  voted 51.7% to leave .

 

 

Tourist Trap

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It seems as though that the demolition of this infamous Borough Rd eyesore in Birkenhead has taken as long as the construction of the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.

You may remember an excellent report which we published earlier this year which questioned Wirral tourist figures which were being bandied about.

Tourism Awards : Wirral-style

Our knowledgeable contributor has undertaken further analysis and apparently according to the figures Wirral has the same lure for tourists as Barcelona (hence our picture and comments above).

Therefore the moral of this story is , as we’ve often said :  question everything !

Wirral Tourist Figures – Fake News?

As a rule I hate banging on about things, but, in this case I’m going to make an exception and bang on about the Wirral Tourism figures!

I apologise for the length of this item but I am truly dumbfounded that the people who are supposed to be running this Borough believe the figures.

Power Boy Pip and our very own tourism champ Tony ‘The Hoff’ Jones have both quoted the figures.

Wirral Chamber of Horrors, Wirral View, the Liverpool Echo, VisitWirral.com and various other outlets have fallen foul of the scourge of the internet age, copy and paste (ad infinitum). Nobody questions the figures because they are on the internet, therefore they must be true! Everybody believes them.

Well after contacting Lord Leaky a few months ago I got to thinking about the figures and did some deeper digging. I have come to the conclusion they are a load of spin. Should I be surprised? Probably not.

Were they used to ‘woo the Shiu’? Or are they to reinforce the case for a golf complex? Maybe they are just to say what a wonderful job the council and our esteemed Chamber of Horrors are doing in promoting this green and pleasant peninsula? Whatever the reason, they’re rubbish!

Its difficult to present the full picture succinctly so I shall use round figures and as few as possible.

Links to the documents are scattered around if you really want to read them???

The figures quoted for Wirral are:

8 Million visitors

£385m income

Over 5000 jobs

That equates to 22,000 visitors per day each spending £48 each! Do you believe that?

Lets put this into perspective. Barcelona is introducing legislation to limit tourism as they are overwhelmed. They had 8.3m tourists in 2015. (About the same as Wirral. Ha Ha Ha Ha)

Now at this point dear reader you are probably thinking ‘I’ve read this before’ but please bear with me. (You don’t need to read all the figures below, just look at the total.)

Figures from North West Research, Tourism Data Summary published July 2016.

Top Events Attendance 2015

Top Free Events

Three Queens – 1.2m

Mersey River Festival – 220,000

Transatlantic 175 – 200,000

International Music Festival – 161,000

Africa Oye – 80,000

Top Paid Events

Grand National – 142,500

Southport Air Show – 80,000

Creamfields – 70,000

Southport Flower Show – 54,000

Musical Fireworks – 35,000

Top Free Attractions

Museum of Liverpool – 747,000

Merseyside Maritime Museum – 662,000

World Museum – 658,000

Tate Liverpool – 626,000

International Slavery Museum – 460,000

Top Paid Attractions

Mersey Ferries – 607,500

Pleasure land Southport – 500,000

Beatles Story – 250,000

Haydock Racecourse – 203,000

Aintree Racecourse – 173,500

Total attendance for all these events held in the Liverpool City region 5,395,500!!!

That means more people visited Wirral than went to all of the above attractions and events (and some). Yeh!

Are you starting to see where I’m coming from with this?

The World Tourism Organization defines tourism as people “travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”

(Acronym alert!!!!)

The figures are compiled using the STEAM model, (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor) by http://www.globaltourismsolutions.co.uk on behalf of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Well, I don’t know how they do things in Scarborough but it don’t work in this neck of the woods!

Their beautifully illustrated pdf is available here

And this document gives the game away. https://www.liverpoollep.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/wpid-digest-of-tourism-statistics-12-2013.pdf

Section 1.5 tells us that:

A key component of the way in which STEAM works is its definition of ‘day visitors’; this is

defined as a person travelling to a district other than that in which they live, for a non-

routine purpose, with a stay of over 3 hours. Thus, someone making a trip to Southport Pier from Liverpool could be classed as a day visitor, but not someone making a

similar trip who lived in Formby.

Now I understand. These aren’t visitors to the Wirral, they are visits within the Wirral by people who live here. Hardly tourism or even visitor numbers.

Do you now see how useless these figures are?

So there you have it. Fake news!!

http://wirralview.com/news/wirral-enjoys-fresh-boost-visitor-economy-0

And yes, I did lose my bet on The Wro winning bar of the year 2017. They weren’t even nominated so I suspect they were asked to withdraw this year to give someone else a chance!

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Sagrada Familia it ain’t – but at least it’s a start.

His Lordship Makes An Announcement

Citizen-Leaks

Live from Leaky Towers we proudly present an important  press statement from His Lordship :

‘After serious consideration and stumping up the £500 election deposit by selling some of the family silver I have resolved to stand as the Leaky Party candidate at the next General Election.

Of course this will mean I will have to relinquish my title and forego the afternoon snoozes in the House of Lords – not to mention the expenses.

Newly appointed Wirral Leaks Press Officer Ms. McCalamity whispers in ear : ‘ I thought we agreed it would be best if you didn’t actually mention your expenses at all ! Remember that little problem you had explaining the gold-plated trouser press and the appointment of your own personal nobbler, sorry ,cobbler claiming you were only trying to emulate the incumbent MP for Birkenhead ?’ – https://order-order.com/2009/10/19/is-frank-field-really-so-saintly/

However from now I will be a commoner and appropriately enough I will be standing in the Birkenhead Constituency. For the duration of my campaign I will be known simply as Julian ( McCalamity whispers in ear) . Oh yes , we’ve agreed on a bit of rebranding and that to maximise the youth vote I will be going by name ‘Joolz’ and my election tagline will be ‘Joolz 4 Birko’ .

Her Ladyship is already busily preparing to become Birkenhead’s First Lady – as opposed to Wirral Chamber of Commerce CEO Paula Basnett who is Birkenhead First’s Lady . Because as everyone knows behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes and running the show!

The Leaky Party will be standing on a platform of  investing and supporting public services , promoting openness,transparency and accountability, refusing to reward failure with public money, preventing the appointment of overpaid consultants, promoting meritocracy and rejecting cronyism , barring BS and spurning spin. Oh and whilst we’re at it stopping ‘Returning Officer’ payments at elections – if ever there is case of the undeserving rich it is Eric ‘ Feeble’ Robinson pocketing another 15 grand just before the summer hols. C’mon Eric – do as one of your predecessors once did and donate this unwarranted perk to charity . Might we suggest adding this election windfall to fundraising efforts for victims of the New Ferry  gas explosion. Put OUR money where the need is!

So in conclusion as I launch our campaign I say to the people of Wirral ( and particularly Birkenhead)  – let’s all rise up together and be something more than pitiers of the poor and do something more than promote ourselves,our friends and our own personal agendas.

Let the political games begin……’