“We are not going to haul anyone over the coals for this…” – Eric Robinson

arse cover

Many of our readers have asked us to comment on this week’s Wirral Council meeting of the Audit & Risk Management Committee which discussed the fall out from the Stewart Halliday scandal , the full gory story you can read in our Halliday Archive.

To be honest we couldn’t bring ourselves to watch the webcast or read the ‘Journo-Come-Lately’ local press reports because as we commented in our Wirral Leaks : Past,Present,Future post this is perhaps the story that frustrates us more than any other we have covered. Is it the most compelling and appalling case of institutional corruption at Wirral Council ? No, that’ll be ‘Wirralgate’ episode.  Nevertheless it has been the one story more than any other story that makes us want to repeatedly do this :

bang head

However you kept plying us with excerpts and quotes and  like the moth’s great imperfection we find ourselves succumbing to the fatal charm of the Wirral Council flame. The quote we were particularly drawn to was the title of the post uttered by Wirral CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson. And what a quote it is – somehow summing up the well, ‘feebleness’ , of Wirral Council ‘management’ team and elected member ‘scrutiny’.

Robinson’s sly blaming of ‘junior staff’ for a situation where someone like Halliday can nearly QUADRUPLE his income at Wirral Council having left his previous employer not so much under a cloud but a tornado of unanswered questions and evasions of responsibility was a new low in the cowardly history of Wirral Council. Especially when Wirral Leaks readers will know our very own City of York correspondent, the indomitable Charles Nunn, had written to Stressed Eric appraising him of the genuine concerns about Halliday that were emerging from across the Pennines. Remember this wasn’t an employer/employee relationship where termination of employment is fraught with legal complications. Halliday was initially employed as a (highly paid) consultant. When failures of due diligence became apparent it would have been legitimate to tell Halliday ‘off you pop’ – but no this is Wirral Council where throwing good money after bad has been turned into an art form. Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson misses the point by a country  mile when he says the infamous episode has caused him and Wirral Council ’embarrassment’. Robinson seems to think that ‘taking responsibility’ is the same as ‘accountability’.

No, sweetheart what happened here (and which was completely avoidable) cost Wirral council taxpayers a shedload of money. But then again it’s not your money so what’s a little ’embarrassment’ between you and your bank account?!

Memo to Eric: The reason you get paid big bucks (£200K plus substantial Returning Officer top ups) is that the BUCK STOPS WITH YOU!…

Do we want people ‘hauled over the coals’? Not necessarily – but what we don’t want is failure to be rewarded with hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money again and again and again…

Eric Gut

‘Woe is Wirral’ : The Halliday scandal reaches Private Eye – again !

A very good summary of the foreseeable Stewart Halliday scandal in this week’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ section of Private Eye. And how courteous of them to acknowledge Wiralleaks (sic) as being an ‘excellent website’. It would seem that gone are the days when a local journo would earn a bit of pin money by flogging stories filched from us to Lord Gnome’s esteemed organ. Whilst we were OK with spreading the (bad) word about Wirral Council what did rankle was the lack of acknowledgment of where the stories or information first appeared. This is a tradition that the Liverpool Echo, in particular, continues with to this day. The belated coverage of the Halliday case by the local press entirely failed to mention that the incriminating invoices at the centre of the scandal and which led to Halliday’s downfall first appeared on this website in our EXCLUSIVE : What’s in a Name? – Is this the real reason the controversial, high profile Stewart/Stuart Halliday appointment was suddenly dropped by Wirral Council?

p1010764.jpg

Dear Eric , Now about this Halliday guy…

Our commentator in yesterday’s Halliday and Our Last Hurrah! post gave a shout out to Lib Dem Cllr Phil Gilchrist which prompted us to scurrying to our leaks archive to retrieve an email sent by Gilchrist to hapless and hopeless CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson raising concerns about the Stewart Halliday appointment .

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 12.48.58

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 13.11.48

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 12.50.32

So along with esteemed Wirral citizen and friend of Wirral Leaks ,Charles Nunn, who also dared raise the same concerns with Stressed Eric  (after all he does pay the guy’s over-inflated salary) – only to be labelled ‘vexatious’  – might we suggest that Wirral Council’s CEO needs to get out from under his armour-plated desk and be held publicly accountable for this debacle ?

Here’s Stressed Eric’s response and our comment which we published here on April 28 2017 – two days before Gilchrist also contacted him – coincidence much?

Indomitable local resident Charles Nunn is particularly aggrieved that his Council Tax and that of many other Wirral tax payers appears to be being spent on a series of snake oil salesmen and has pursued this matter with Wirral Council CEO (the ‘O’ seemingly standing for ostrich) Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson. Stressed Eric provided the following response:

Dear Mr Nunn

Thank you for your email  dated 13 March 2017 and follow up email on 26 March 2017.

The Council’s Human Resources Team has confirmed the following:

Mr Halliday is engaged via an agency through the Council’s contract with Matrix Ltd.  Under the process, Matrix require supplying agencies to supply references for the previous two years employment history.

These references were sent directly to the line manager recruiting the worker.  There is no requirement for our Human Resources Team to be involved in all such engagements.  The line manager also elected to seek an additional reference from the former Chief Executive of York Council and subsequently a further reference was provided to the agency by the Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods still currently working at York.

We have been advised by Mr Halliday that he refutes all the allegations which are matter of ongoing dispute between him and his previous employer. It is not appropriate for Wirral Council to comment any further on these allegations.

Regards

Eric Robinson
Chief Executive
Wirral Council

And to think for his trouble Wirral Council were having Nunn of it and resorted to tried and tested tactics which we reported here

What better way of avoiding scrutiny and accountability by pulling the ‘vexatious’ card from the bottom of the pack. The latest target of this dubious tactic is our old friend Charles Nunn – who has been denied information about consultant Stewart Halliday’s ongoing (?) inflated remuneration because he might say mean things on social media. Wirral Council solicitor Rosemary Lyon , who must be a delicate little flower ,  is also upset by Charles’ ‘tone’ and writes:

I consider that you as a third party are pursuing a legitimate interest.
However I consider that that legitimate interest has been lessened by the
tone of your request in asking the Council to confirm whether “there will
be no further contract extension for this man?”

I have had regard to the guidance issued by the ICO “Dealing with
vexatious requests (Section 14) 20151218 Version 1.3. Paragraph 56 states
that “The context and history in which a request is made will often be a
major factor in determining whether the request is vexatious.” Having
regard to your previous requests about the same individual and also having
regard to comments you have made in the public domain concerning this
individual, I consider that the tone of part of this request for
information is potentially vexatious.

I consider that the processing of personal data ie the release of personal
data in respect of  Mr Halliday is unwarranted  by reason of prejudice to
the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of him as the data
subject………..I consider that disclosure of the requested information would be
unwarranted having regard to the prejudice that would be caused to the
rights and legitimate interests of Stewart Halliday. 

For full details : Stewart Halliday FOI Request

Wirral Leaks is left wondering ‘Whatever happened to Ms Lyon ?’ and whether in the light of subsequent events she is now regretting her classic  ‘I was only following orders’ response along with her collusive role in other matters which we fully intend to come to before we shut up shop…

Halliday and Our Last Hurrah!

halliday

Halliday : The unacceptable face of local government

We’ve waited for the dust to settle and the hot air to dissipate following this Monday’s meeting of the Audit & Risk Management Committee. This meeting included an agenda item discussing the audit report into the Stewart Halliday/Wirral Council clusterfuck which we’d already given you the heads up about in these posts  : Heads up on Halliday and The Audit Report is out – but is Halliday? and The Halliday Report – Money for the few not the many…

Indeed we’d started giving you all the heads up about Halliday since 23 February 2017 and as you can read at your leisure here in dozens of posts since … but then why let facts get in the way of the Liverpool Echo/Wirral Globe report which can plagiarise a local blog and rewrite history to exclude all reference to the history of this latest Wirral Council debacle?

Wirral Leaks not only called this one way back , WE SHOUTED OUT LOUD – but it would appear that Wirral Council just don’t want to listen and the vast majority of people of Wirral just don’t get to hear…until the damage is done.

So true to our outsider ways (and for completeness) we’ll be taking an oblique view of the latest proceedings and thanking, yes thanking , Mr Halliday not only for the consistent high quality blog fodder he has provided us these past two years but how this case as a whole serves as an exemplar of how incompetence/greed/dishonesty/collusion  are seemingly not only deeply entrenched but endemic across our public institutions.

Of the many comments that winged their way to us from people who have observed the Wirral Council webcast this one succinctly nails the main issues raised :

If you haven’t watched/listened to Cllr Kathy Hodson’s comments, then you should…. she’s on the money. She pulls up that Halliday had no authority to procure/order services/contractors, yet had authorised payments by signing off invoices – she said that’s like marking your own homework (shame she didn’t use the ‘F’ word ?!!!!)
Another very important point was that she queries how his invoices are annotated when amounts invoiced are different ? She was making the point that if he invoiced different amounts how did that relate to the work he was doing?
Good to see/hear Jeff Green asking why CX  (Eric Robinson) and S151  (Shaer Halewood) didn’t get to know until 24th/25th Jan, when officers knew on 16th – it was very convenient that they didn’t (or say they didn’t) know, when the CX announced that Halliday was to be the Interim Director of Housing Growth etc on was it 24th Jan?
The S151 officer doesn’t come across as very bright, or am I being unfair ? She says some staff who weren’t senior and some who were, didn’t realise or think the matter was serious enough to be brought to the attention of the CX… ????? A consultant who had been paid £300k, and was to be appointed as a Director, was invoicing the council using a dissolved company which had an invalid vat number ? If that isn’t a serious matter, I don’t know what is…. They should have been told immediately! She says ‘it was an error on my part that my staff hadn’t informed me by that time’ ? How can it be an error on her part ? Maybe she was so friendly with Halliday that they didn’t want to risk being bollocked for spoiling the love in? Maybe she’s such a tyrant she would have shot the messenger ? Anyway, it’s an interesting choice of words, to say she was at fault ?!!!
Also good to hear Cllr Phil Gilchrist saying that he had (before Halliday’s original appointment) drawn to the attention of the CX what had happened at York, and referred to reports and A&G meetings etc. The CX said that he had spoken to the CX of York (presumably Kersten England), and she had said it was ok, and she even gave Halliday a reference. We all now why she did that, don’t we ?… She defended Halliday to stop him landing her in it !!! 
As an aside, did anyone notice the sub-titles ? Very poor interpretation.
halewood

Halewood : another unacceptable face

For what it’s worth here are our thoughts and observations  : Firstly, we were taken aback at the sheer gall of Finance Director Shaer Halewood who’s curious mea culpa seems to be more a case of wanting to have her cake,eat it and then throw it up all over less senior Wirral Council staff. All in the name of  protecting Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson.
We can see how Ms Halewood got the job can’t we ? A classic example of of the ‘Kiss Up/ Kick Down’ culture that still permeates the council . Meanwhile can we forget the distractions about who knew what when ? The simple fact is that HALLIDAY SHOULDN’T HAVE GOT A CONSULTANCY JOB AT WIRRAL COUNCIL IN THE FIRST PLACE ! Essentially everything that followed his engagement is a failure of due diligence and all roads (via York) lead back to Eric Robinson  …
Eric Gut

Robinson : unacceptable everything

Meanwhile for us at Wirral Leaks the Halliday case has proved to be the catalyst – if not the cause – of our decision to capitulate to corporate forces and pack it all in, which in some quarters will be seen as money well spent regardless of how much public money was lavished on Halliday.
More news on our last hurrah to follow…

The Halliday Report – Money for the few not the many…

Greed

The things we do for you people – like reading a turgid INTERNAL AUDIT REVIEW INTO PAYMENTS MADE TO FORGE HOUSE ASSOCIATES LTD  of a Sunday afternoon. Our first observation is that Forge House Associates Ltd is an exercise in nominative determinism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Charles Dickens novel.

Our second observation is that it’s the usual Wirral Council evasions and obfuscations  where you get the general impression that SOMETHING’S NOT QUITE RIGHT. But then what do you expect from a report written by Chief Internal Auditor Mark ‘Knobhead’ Niblock? A parallel universe where everything is done correctly and yet still manages to be a monumental cock up.

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 16.48.50

Due to the strangulated language it’s left to the reader to join the dots and reach the conclusion that NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING . Nevertheless it is still evident that what’s going on here is a spectacular systemic failure – particularly a failure of scrutiny and a failure of due diligence.

One recommendation that had the steam coming out of our ears was this :

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 16.41.30

We can only presume Wirral managers will be told that to ensure ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ that they :  i) Try Google ii) Try Google

However what had us banging our head against the wall in sheer frustration was contained in ‘Appendix 2 – Timeline of events relating to Forge House Associates LTD to the referral to Internal Audit on 16 January 2019′

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 16.57.11

Here we learn : “The Senior Accountant  confirmed that the spend relates to the Growth Company, The Transformation Team is currently responsible for getting it up and running and when it becomes an actual functioning entity the responsibility for spend will be transferred to economic and Housing growth.   Although Economic and Housing Growth are accountable for the spend, they do not have control or any real knowledge  of what is being processed and paid against the code.The Senior Accountant confirmed that in preparation for the budget monitoring meeting, the transactions report was examined relating to the Economic and Housing Growth budget, for any errors/miscodes etc…

One large spend related to DWF LLP (Legal Services) who the Senior Accountant knew of. However, the other large spend was for Forge House Associates Limited and the Senior Accountant did not know who this company was and what services they actually provide. Therefore, the Senior Accountant tried to obtain this information from the company website, using google as the search engine. The Senior Accountant could not find a website for the company.

During the meeting the Senior Accountant, Assistant Director – Regeneration & Inward Investment, Lead Commissioner – Place and Investment and the Economic Development Lead discussed the fact that they do not know who the company is and what they do and they agreed to look into the matter further.

You do the math – all those highly paid public servants acting like incompetent tin pot property tycoons…at our expense. But then this is what happens when it’s NOT YOUR MONEY that’s being frittered away. No wonder Halliday found the perfect safe haven in Wirral after facing no sanctions after he fled City of York Council.

What’s more, are we the only ones asking what exactly did the people of Wirral get for the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS that was lavished on Halliday during his increasingly questionable time at Wirral Council?

 

 

 

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

halliday

Not so smug now…

And so it would appear that according to the Liverpool Echo  Council suddenly drops man lined up for top job after ‘financial irregularity’ concerns

That man of course being Stewart Halliday , someone we’ve been reporting on and expressing concerns since 2017, mainly about how he could ever be in a position to secure a ‘top job’ at Wirral Council in the first place.  Something that the local mainstream media has studiously avoided – until today . Now apparently, according to a Wirral Council spokesperson:

Some concerns were raised by council officers about potential financial irregularities regarding how a supplier was being paid.These concerns were immediately acted upon, and the contractor has stopped work for the council while further investigations take place. Until those investigations are concluded, no further comment can be made. 

We’re not pre-empting investigations but doesn’t this sound all very reminiscent of what happened  at Halliday’s previous employment at City of York Council (CoYC)?  For those interested in finding out exactly what went on can now read the once secret Strictly Private and Confidential Report that CoYC were once desperate to keep out of the public domain HERE

Although Halliday declined to participate in the investigation we think you can probably work out who is…

Wirral Council can’t say they weren’t warned, especially by us, ( note that Liverpool Echo are careful not to mention the blog that dare not be named) and there are serious questions to be asked ,not least of CEO Eric Robinson’s judgment at appointing someone with dodgy references ,something we highlighted in our post Reference Point where we reported that “…it was Wirral Council who made NO DIRECT APPROACH to CoYC  for a reference for Halliday…”

And this is just the start – we ‘re left wondering whether the Liverpool Echo press release is a spoiler for even bigger news about a high profile departure from Wirral Council? This time the news brings into question the judgment of the ‘Leader’ of Wirral Council when it comes to high profile appointments and indicates to us that the Curse of Leaky Towers may have struck once again…

 

 

Halliday Money : The Rising Son of York

smug-halliday

Hooray! Hooray! It’s a Halli-Halliday ?…

You may recall that we brought you the news of the appointment  and resignation of Brian Bailey, Wirral Council’s Corporate Director for Economic and Housing Growth  , a significant role which includes overseeing the production of Wirral’s non-existant Local Plan.

We’ll give you one guess as to his successor…

Good guess. But no, sorry it wasn’t Martin Liptrot . As you know some CCTV footage may have put paid to his meteoric – and  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies -assisted – rise through the Wirral Council ranks …

Have another go .Yes, that’s right, it the other one. Stewart Halliday, the rising son of York. The man who arrived with a chequered past from over the Pennines and the adventures of whom Wirral Leaks have chronicled for the past couple of years.

Here are a selection of Halliday’s (and our) greatest hits :

Wirral Council – Where Transformation Means More Of The Same

Reference Point

Happy Halliday

Secret Chamber

We may never know what Halliday did (or didn’t ) get up to in York but from the reaction we’ve received from contacts in City of York Council they’re not best pleased at the appointment :

After pocketing around £300k for 21 months ‘work’? as a consultant at Wirral …, he’s now been made a Director by this LA….
It stinks !!!!
Meanwhile as far as we can see not a peep from Wirral Council or its councillors , Wirral View or the local press on the prestigious and highly remunerated new appointment. Shall we await a big media splash or will the powers that be not want to cause any waves or muddy the (Wirral Waters) about their fishing in the shallow end of the local government talent pool? …
P1010373

York Paving The Way

 

 

With news filtering through that Wirral Council may have gotten themselves in yet another procurement pickle we thought it would be timely to catch up with our friends in the north – and it would seem that the procurement scandal that highly remunerated Wirral Council officer Stewart Halliday left behind at his former local authority, City of York Council (CYC), refuses to go away!  It would seem that Halliday whilst long gone from York Council is most certainly not forgotten!
Last week saw yet another attempt by CYC councillors to see a report into the scandal which has been withheld and then censored. Although as we know council officials all over the land like to use the term ‘redacted’ to make the act of censorship sound bureaucratically palatable. The report concerns the conduct of officers and members at the infamous 22 February 2017 Audit and Governance Committee meeting which we reported here
As we commented at the time : “That’s decided – we’re moving to York”.  OK it must be said we subsequently moved in the complete opposite direction but in spirit we are at one with the Yorkists. Not necessarily CYC  – but the eloquent, knowledgeable,challenging , citizens of York who are concerned about the not insignificant matters of openness, transparency, integrity, accountability, honesty and democracy. We do recommend Wirralians watch the highly instructive video of the Audit & Governance Committee held on 30 April 2018 and ponder on how they too can at least attempt to hold public servants to account.
Firstly note how CYC film their own meetings. Unfortunately they preface comments from the public with a reminder about making defamatory comments , which to us looks like nothing more than bureaucratic bullying.  As we’ve long maintained – those who want to control the public discourse want to control everything .
Note particularly the robust challenge of a CYC councillor and 4 ( count’em) members of the public and  note also it is the independent member of the Audit & Governance Committee who picks up the mistakes in the minutes . There’s also incidental pleasure to be had from the CYC councillor sporting a A Flock of Seagulls hair don’t!
From what we can gather from the video the latest twist in that scandal involves the continuing refusal of senior CYC staff to release a report into the conduct of a meeting on the 22 February 2017 in which a report into Halliday’s actions in handing over £000s of public money to a ‘communications consultant’ without following correct procurement procedures was, following an attempted cover up made public and discussed at that meeting, leading to ‘conduct issues’ when officers clashed with members. So a report into the conduct at a meeting that degenerated into little more than an unseemly slanging match between CYC officers and elected members over an attempted cover up is now the subject of a cover up attempt by senior CYC officers!
This cover up over a cover up scenario  ( #Wirralgate) is very familiar to Wirral Leaks readers if not to the Wirral public at large mainly due to the power of local politicians and a complicit local press.
We think it’s time for the people of Wirral to start channelling our friends from York who have paved the way when it comes to demanding public accountability!

A Sticky End?

Passionate 010

Sticky Change : Fridge magnets made flesh.

As we said yesterday in our Spot the Blott post we do like to follow the progress of former Wirral Council alumni who have graced (and disgraced) our pages. Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for them ) there are correspondents around the country – and particularly from Bristol, Hereford, York and  Sandwell – who have kept us informed of  Wirral Council’s cast-offs and how they carry on regardless of any scandals or scrapes they’ve been involved in beforehand. However it would appear that we have a particular keen following in Cheshire East. Thanks mainly to the travels and travails of Wirral Council ‘s former head of law – the infamous Bill Norman.
Firstly we hear that there are currently no less than SIX ( count ’em) police investigations concerning Tory led Cheshire East Council. Read more here : Cheshire East police investigations
Kudos to the Cheshire Constabulary for actually taking allegations of Council corruption seriously which is more than be said of Merseyside Police who are seemingly too lazy and/or too busy exchanging funny handshakes and going to the confessional box to be bothered investigating legitimate concerns about Wirral Council . We’ll be interested to know whether the mud will stick and there will be a sticky end for Cheshire East councillors and council officers.
However particular thanks go out to  “A member of ItsRandom the Wirralleaks franchise in Cheshire East”  who sends us this particularly interesting missive concerning Mr Norman and the use of Wirral based consultants ‘Sticky Change’. Now we know that ‘ Sticky Change’ may sound like an old Wirral Leaks headline from the days when we were covering stories about Wirral Council senior management sex romps but this change management consultancy firm website reads like satire to us : Sticky Change .  Their ‘Our Values’ page has to be seen to believed (and sorry we don’t believe any of it). Any one who uses the word ‘ Passionate’ to describe the process of making money is to be viewed with great suspicion as far as we’re concerned. And as for the ‘ look at my backside’ quip – oh do give over ! It’s more a case of all my arse as far as we’re concerned.We’re not sure whether Wirral Council have ever used ‘Sticky Change’ (perhaps somebody would like to enquire) . Meanwhile read this and weep :
Wirral Council and Cheshire East Council have far more in common than anyone realises, so its little wonder that whistle blowing staff and residents are in fear of speaking out. Bill Norman left his mark at both Councils, but the blame lies with those that allowed his appointment…..and they are the ones which always keep their jobs. When Councils appoint people like Bill Norman they know exactly what they are getting. Cheshire East and Wirral Council are not alone in appointing expendable people to take the flack when wrongdoing is exposed. 
Corporate organisations like to appoint people who share the values of the company, but what happens when the people at the top of an organisation not only tolerate wrongdoing but potentially reward employees via promotion for allowing it to happen. With these type of organisation all employees are seen as expendable. In fact to the people at the very top of many public sector organisations the sacrificing of employees is little more than a snake sacrificing its own skin – it means nothing because its still a snake. 
 
In fact looking at Bill Normans work history at other councils I would be amazed if Cheshire East Councils didn’t provide details of the payoff and compromise agreement as part of the employment contract for new starters. Most organisations want honest consciousness employees, but Cheshire East Council see these employees as potential whistle blowers and manage (bully) them out. 
 
Sticky Change…….
I feel Cheshire East Council spending over £150,000 to bring in a consultancy firm called Sticky Change in order to help the authority tackle its ‘bullying’ culture is more about creating good PR to fool the public into believing that the leopard really wants to change its spots. It was reported that Sticky Change worked with Everton Football club and this might help explain my point. 
 
Football is a results based business, and even when the decision was made by Everton FC to bring in Sticky Change the directors knew that the manager would still be the one picking the team to play a 442 system. It wont be any different at Cheshire East Council.
As Cheshire East Council seem committed to at least appear to be drag their reputation from out of the sewers then perhaps they would answer the question I made a week ago:

The real question is when did Sticky Change work with Torbay Council – before, during, or after Bill Normans employment with Torbay Council?

This is very important because Cheshire East Council need to be aware that the decision to choose Sticky Change as external consultants should be open to public scrutiny.
  • Sticky Change previously worked at Torbay Council and it is important to know if this was before, during, or after Bill Normans time with the council? If it was during or after Bill Normans time with Torbay Council then Bill Norman and Sticky Change may have a connection. 
  • The fact that CEC didn’t mention Torbay Council in their press release when naming who else Sticky Change had previously worked with seemed strange, so was it a deliberate omission to avoid drawing attention to any potential link?
  • Just months after the departure of Bill Norman from Cheshire East Council it was announced that Sticky Change would be brought in to tackle the bullying culture. So how and when did CEC first look at using the services of Sticky Change and did his overlap with Bill Normans time at CEC?
  • Sticky Change are based on the Wirral and whilst working at Wirral Council its believed that Bill Norman also lived on the Wirral (Bill might have continued to live on the Wirral whilst working at CEC). Given the points above and Bill Normans very close geographical relationship to Sticky Change on the Wirral there is a possibility that there is a connection/relationship between Bill Norman and Sticky Change. What steps have CEC taken to ensure that the decision to use Sticky Change (and their independence) will stand up to public scrutiny?
I cant speak on behalf of other people but I don’t think I would be comfortable discussing the bullying culture at CEC with consultants from Sticky Change if the above points remain unanswered. The fact that CEC didnt seem to carry out any due diligence when appointing Bill Norman means how can anyone be sure that it wasn’t Bill Norman that recommended CEC to bring in Sticky Change?
Sticky Change (Consultants) Ltd
Sticky Change (Partners) Ltd

Secret Chamber

york-council-chamber-guildhall-updated

Above is a picture of the rather splendid council chamber at York Guildhall.  The admirable  York Mix website tells us that it will be here next week that a group of senior councillors are challenging City of York Council (CYC) leader Cllr David Carr to publish  a ‘secret report’.

Secret Report

Regular Wirral Leaks readers will know that our interest is piqued by the fact that we understand the report follows a Local Government Association (LGA) investigation into  what Stewart Halliday got up to before he landed a £200K +  ‘transformer’ gig at Wirral Council.

What also interests us is the sheer persistence of CYC councillors in pursuing this matter in the public interest. Can you imagine Wirral Council’s equivalent to CYC’s Audit & Governance Committee writing a cross- party letter to the leader of the Council asking for a report to published in the name of openness and transparency?

Indeed if they were doing their jobs properly there’s a particular ‘secret report’ that Wirral Council’s Audit & Risk Management Committee should be asking to be published. The sad fact is that half of this committee don’t even know what report we’re referring to and the other half know exactly what report we are referring to and are choosing to sweep the matter under the Wallasey Town Hall carpet !