Summer Shorts : Car Boot Curios

 

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

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

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

Car boot 002

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

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

Car boot 002

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

Highways : Against the Flow of Traffic

Flow of Traffic

We raised the issue (and our eyebrows) at the proposal to bring the highways contract back under Wirral Council control as part of our Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #2

This particular story concerned a meeting of the Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) where Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green wanted reassurance that the decision to bring the highways contract back in house wasn’t “written on the back of a fagpacket” . We also noted that :

Incidental dark comedic value is to be had from the ever oleaginous senior officer David Armstrong who promises a short report and ingratiating interm Monitoring officer Philip McCourt who says that the commissioning of highways contract is a ‘live project’ and that the report would be a ‘ partial measure’ – ain’t that the truth!

Needless to say council officers showed their usual contempt for opposition councillors by failing to produce a written report for yesterday’s ARMC follow up meeting. There were also no shows from McCourt and ARMC chair Cllr Adrian Jones . Consequently Deputy Chief Executive Armstrong was allowed by stand-in chair Cllr Angela Davies to hand the hot potato over to poor sap Mark Smith (Strategic Commissioner for Environment) to deliver a verbal report – all the better to hinder proper scrutiny when nothing is written down and there’s no report in the public domain for ‘ a particular website’ to pick (pot)holes. It was enough to give us an attack of the verbals.

As you can see from the John Brace footage of last night’s meeting Smith gives a tortuous explanation of ‘options appraisals’ and how the decision was reached. Although we have to say that as he’s on £90,532 p.a. our sympathy for his squirming is somewhat limited.

However the information that was eventually dragged out of Smith was most illuminating (and probably explains the lack of a written report) . It was revealed  that the current holders of the highways contract BAM Nuttall get £6 million p.a. from Wirral Council . Smith described it as an ‘unusual scenario’ that BAM Nuttall chose not to take advantage of a contract extension to which they were entitled. BAM Nuttall currently spend £5 million is spent on sub-contractors and £1 million on what Armstrong described as 28/29  ‘operatives’ . It is these ‘operatives’ who will be TUPE* transferred back to Wirral Council (if they wish) – and the sub-contracting from the private sector will continue.

* Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment ) Regulations.

We begrudgingly give him his due on this one (because he’s had a shadowy part in this shady story) but Cllr Green whipped out his calculator trying to deconstruct the £1 million cost of 28/29 operatives -which he calculated to be about £700,000 . Labour councillor Christina Muspratt attempted to explain the missing £300,000 as ‘on costs’ However it was eventually wheedled out of Smith that ‘operatives’ included both managers and back room staff (approximately half operational and half management) so it wasn’t just staff filling potholes and replacing streetlights.

Armstrong and Smith were particularly twitchy on the issue of TUPE transfers with the former interrupting through the chair to advise Cllr Muspratt  that there was a list of staff who were eligible and who can “TUPE if they wish”  to either BAM Nuttall or Wirral Council . Smith went on to say that ” it wouldn’t be appropriate to go into any further detail in this forum”

However might we suggest there remain pertinent questions that need to be asked :  a) are the managers subject to TUPE some of the same Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) managers from Wirral Council who failed to win the highways contract during a tendering exercise in 2008 and who’s contracts of employment  were TUPE transferred to Colas and then presumably BAM Nuttall in 2014 and who have been in dispute with Wirral Council for a decade ? b) did this ongoing dispute influence or play any part in the decision (under delegated powers) to return the highways contract to Wirral Council control and c) has this dispute been resolved – and if so – how? 

Whilst , like some of the councillors at ARMC  , we welcome the return of highways to Wirral Council control , we seem to be rather more enquiring as to the reasons why – especially when such a decision goes ‘against the flow of traffic’ when it comes to outsourcing council services.

Bye Bye Beyga !

Chris Beyga Fugly

Who’s smiling now? – We are. The ‘dark days’ of Beyga are over!

You people are not making our semi -retirement easy are you? But then a semi is always a bit of an anti-climax isn’t it?

We did say we had unfinished business and we suspect that the powers that be have taken advantage of the fact that we’re out of the way in sunnier climes to try and sneak out of another long running scandal.

No chance! Thanks to the leak below we are confident we can draw a line under the Chris Beyga case. Regular readers will know that Beyga was the Managing Director ( ha!ha!ha!) of pretend Wirral Council backed company Wirral Evolutions (Charles Darwin would be turning in his grave as far as the management of this service is concerned as it would appear to be the ‘survival of the unfittest’ ). And what’s more as far as we’re concerned this was just another ploy to deprive vulnerable people of essential services via pseudo-outsourcing.  Before you read our latest leak here’s what we wrote last September – and once again it would appear we were spot on with our predictions and it would appear that indeed Beyga is a gonna !.

 ” It is great to see so many people here as we move from a public service to a commercial entity” we asked the question “What could possibly go wrong?…….”

The answer to our question would appear to be  : ” The same as usual”
For those who don’t know what ‘Wirral Evolutions’ is – although we all pay for it –  it is a  : ” Local Authority Trading Company (LAC) bringing together nine key day centre and daytime services from across the area to continue to offer high-quality care for people with long term and learning disabilities” 
Whilst those in charge at Wirral Council are relentlessly and recklessly pursuing the ‘public services/assets are best held in private hands’ model, let’s see how that works in practice with a couple of examples.
Firstly, a Wirral Council manager with a penchant for awards ceremonies and expensive shoes ends up being the Chief Executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (Paula Basnett) .
Secondly, a rather more dowdy persona is made ‘Managing Director’ ( ha! ha!ha!) of a pretend company called ‘Wirral Evolutions’ ( Chris Beyga)
Other than power crazed empire building using public assets and public money what do they both have in common ?
That’s right the “The ‘N’ Word”. Needless to say the dirty ‘N’ word in this case is nepotism.
What we can’t understand is how Wirral Council are prepared to pump public assets into both enterprises whilst throwing public accountability out of the window.
However we have to give a round of applause to Wirral Council for keeping a lid on the Chris Beyga , ahem, situation using their timeworn strategy – ‘If it’s unmentionable , it’s manageable‘ – but then they can’t let their bogus flagship ‘commercial entity’ hit the rocks can they?
We’ve known since July that Beyga has been conspicuous by her absence. No doubt tending the flowerbeds (but not at Dale Farm). As one of our sources writes  : ” She also has always blanked the union but as soon as this happened she joined it.”
Let’s hope Unison (for it is they) give Beyga the same kind of support they give to the rank and file who come to them when they’re being victimised by their managers. If so Beyga’s a gonna.
Perhaps ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions , Carey Bamber can clarify for us exactly what is going on just as she did with the ‘open and transparent’ (yeah, whatever)  appointment of Beyga as ‘ Managing Director’ . Or perhaps she just lives up to her name – ‘ Carey’ – an imitation of caring. Or even better Cllr Adrian Jones can tell us what he knows about the allegations that were made against Beyga before she was appointed MD?
Meanwhile all we know is that it doesn’t Beyga belief – it’s just business as usual!
 https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/wirral-evolutions-origin-of-the-specious/
  

Now read this leak and cheer! :

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Oh dear , you can’t – because someone has asked us to remove it . Which makes us realise why we decamped in the first place. If people want things to change on Wirral they need to be brave , own their opinions and realise PUBLIC SERVANTS are there to serve them!

We particularly look forward to comments on latest developments from ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions, Carey Bamber, and  bullying- Beyga enabler Cllr Adrian Jones . Meanwhile we have one request :

Beyga & hodkinson

Hey Beyga ! – can you take this waste of space with you?

Leaky Awards 2017 – Quotes of the Year Part Two

Leaky awardsLeaky awardsLeaky awards

Join us for the second part of our journey down the red carpet to hell.

JULY

“Five years ago, we were a local authority in crisis: focused on cuts and on the verge of government intervention. Since then, we’ve been recognised as the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Most Improved Council’, experiencing the fastest turnaround of any council in the UK. So what’s changed? In a nutshell, we refuse to give up; we never stop moving. Our pragmatic, innovative and bold plan, ‘2020 Vision’ will ensure that we’re getting the basics right; that we’re achieving more; that we’re changing the way we do things. In this role, you’ll take us to the next level and create a legacy for yourself in the process.” – Wirral Council advert to recruit a new Director of Finance will make you laugh , vomit or both.

Full story : A LACK OF DISCRETION

“They don’t seem to realise I’m at the top of the pecking order ” and referring to the investigator : “She doesn’t scare me and a little councillor involved might just shut her up.” – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) texts used as evidence against her during Standards Panel Code of Conduct investigation. LRJ describing herself as top of the pecking order brings visions of an Animal Farm hen coop in desperate need of a cock. The cock in question being Foghorn Leghorn!

Full story : AN LRJ REACTION

AUGUST

”  ‘Sustainable’ = slashed budgets and services.·   ‘Transformed’ = cut, demoralised and damaged beyond recognition. ‘Partnership’ = developed in secret, operating in secret, condemned by local councils, a total lack of public/patient consultation, and the only happy partners are Richard Branson and a series of US ‘healthcos’. ”  Defend Our NHS provide a definition of STP (Sustainability & Transformation Plans)

Full story : BANK HOLIDAY BULLETIN BOARD

SEPTEMBER

“An economic value below the legal minimum wage……..(would help employers) to take on low-productivity disabled workers.”  – Frank Field ,Birkenhead MP demonstrates his deep understanding of disability and equality rights .

“For anyone in this day and age to hold those views, and especially someone in Frank Field’s position, is abominable. It is exactly the same sort of thinking as the Nazi ‘useless eaters’ rhetoric.” Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) responds to Field’s comments

“The right to equal treatment and equality are human rights. Human rights are not privileges. That’s why they are called rights. I suggest Mr Field goes back to the drawing board. His comments are a disgrace and he should now apologise. Furthermore, if the Labour Party wishes to prove that it has truly changed its tune, it will need to demonstrate that the New Labour old guard are no longer calling the shots and put the voices of disabled people first.The last time we looked, Mr Field was not a spokesperson for disabled people.” John McArdle from campaign group Black Triangle also responds to Field’s comments. By the way people from Birkenhead , just a reminder, you are allowed to disagree with your MP.

Full story : THE SKWARKING CANARY COMES HOME TO ROOST

“It had adversely affected the staff morale and the reputation of the authority and rebuilding trust and transparency is still ongoing”   –  Simon Cuerden – Corporate Business Support Manager, Wirral Council comments on the conviction of Wallasey Town Hall petty cash thief  who would have evaded justice if an attempted cover up by officials hadn’t been uncovered by Wirral Leaks

Full story : EXCLUSIVE : THICK AS THIEVES UPDATE

OCTOBER

” Wirral is officially the happiest place to live in the North West” Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , ‘Leader’ of Wirral Council in peak Pollyanna mode latches onto a bogus Rightmove survey as if it somehow negates an Ofsted report deeming Children’s Services ‘inadequate’ and a Care Quality Commission assessment that over half of care homes on Wirral are inadequate or require improvement. Yeah, Pip, whatevs.

Full story : HAPPY TALK

No laughing matter

Hotel Prestige ,Sorrento try to apologise to holidaymakers for alleged conduct unbecoming a former Wirral Council Mayor and his consort. 

Full story : SORRENTO SHAME 2 : NO LAUGHING MATTER

Comrades, “Now is the time” to stop acting like a “Party within a party” – and even like a “Momentum within Momentum”.

It is time to grasp that the mainstream (often called the “Left”) has won back the heart and soul of the Labour Party.  I do not know of a single member of the Seacombe Branch who has not fully supported my own declarations for Corbyn on the two websites or who does not support him now.  So why introduce friction where there need be none? Let’s try now to be a single Labour Party in Seacombe Ward.

Some comrades will remember that we also, for a while, held “Songs of the Labour Movement” musical evenings in the Park View Social Club – an opportunity for comrades to perform – or just listen and rub shoulders informally.  But, since then, we have had the difficulty of the Party being suspended so long that many of us don’t even know each other. – Cllr Adrian Jones keeps the red flag flying and addresses Wallasey CLP members seemingly in denial about the circumstances that led to the local branch being suspended by the Labour Party. 

Full story : SONGS OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT – TWO TRIBES

NOVEMBER

“To ensure the promotion of “professional curiosity” when vulnerable children seek advice” – The final recommendation made following the (unpublished) Serious Care Review report following the Rajenthiram Brothers Child Sexual Exploitation case. It comes to something when you have to ask those who get paid to protect vulnerable children to actually try and do their jobs properly!

Full story :  A REPULSIVE EXCLUSIVE 

“Wirral Council has to ensure every pound spent is wisely invested and we get the best value for our residents.This decision is the right decision at the right moment – the contract with BAM Nuttall was coming to an end and we believe we can deliver this service more effectively by taking direct control.” – Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies announces the surprise return of highways services to council control which is in the opposite direction of all other council services. There are suggestions this decision was influenced not by best value but by personal and political interests.

Full story : WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU SCAM

” Just goes to show what’s going on out there . We live in a sheltered world . We’re all too good for our own  good  Cllr Ron Abbey comments on the conduct of councillors in other councils clearly demonstrating he’s in denial and utterly deluded.

Full story : APOLOGIES AND APOLOGISTS

” I’ve always bought my houses, I’ve never inherited them……”   Frank Field , MP bitch slaps fellow Labour MP Hilary Benn and manages to unite all members of the House of Commons in condemnation of his comment.   

Full story : BIRKENHEAD MP’S BREXIT BITCHFEST BACKFIRES

“The darkness around us is very deep” – Cllr Tony ‘Tight-fit’ Norbury reads a poem urging elected members to ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ whilst every single Wirral councillor appears to be oblivious to the darkness around them.

Red Card 009

Full story : SHOW INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS THE RED CARD

“Basically, it is the same thing over and over and over: incompetence, very poor communication (with me, but also with other agencies and between themselves), rudeness, poor or non-existent note-taking, people leaving at short notice and with no proper explanation, etc etc. It just goes on and on.

When the Klonowski enquiry produced its damning report, I briefly hoped that the people found to be grossly incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) would be removed. Disheartening, to say the least, to see people like Steve Foulkes still in place. Where is the accountability? There simply is none.

It beggars belief that Wirral Council has not been placed in special measures. I daresay the reasons behind that are political. The Tories asking for it are being hypocritical because part of the problem is chronic underfunding from central govt but I do think that being placed in special measures would be the best thing. The only thing, actually, that would give people like me and my son the chance at least of a semi-decent service. I know special measures are not a panacea but they would be our best chance.” – A Carer contacts us to describe her experience of trying to get a much needed service for her disabled son.

Full story : THE NEVER-ENDING STORY

Private Eye Nov 2017 014

Private Eye report of Wirral Leaks exclusive featuring some choice quotes.

Full story : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

“As the Labour  member on the (Standards) Panel it was very difficult for me  to hear that a Labour councillor had used her position as a councillor to damage the reputation and the livelihoods of other people. It goes without saying that people who come into this council were elected to serve the residents of the borough and not to use our position to do damage to them………” Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin proves to be another councillor in denial and conveniently forgets her role and that of other Labour councillors in damaging reputations and livelihoods of various former council officers who dared challenge them.

Full story : IT HAS TO STOP

DECEMBER

“Phil’s Folly “Cllr Gerry Ellis proving there’s life in the old dog yet at a standing room only public meeting where he described  Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil Davies and his plans for development of the Hoylake Golf Resort.

Full story : ADVENT FAREWELL 10 – QUESTION EVERYTHING

“LABOUR COUNCIL LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC!” – Wirral Needs campaigners repeated chant in the public gallery during last full Council meeting of 2017.

Full story : ADVENT FAREWELL 14 – WHY WIRRAL LEAKS SPEAKS IN PARABLES

Songs of The Labour Movement : Two Tribes

 adrianjonesprotest
Our interest in the rising tide of Corbynism is, of course, how it impacts on local politics.  And you can say what you like about Jezzamania but it has at least shaken up (or a least slightly stirred) the moribund and complacent cabal at the heart of Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP).  Frank Field, having decried the Labour leader at every opportunity prior to this year’s general election, has been awfully quiet on the Corbyn front lately hasn’t he?
However where the impact has been most felt has been in the Wallasey CLP.  Ever since Wallasey MP Angela Eagle’s doomed Labour leadership challenge there have been deep divisions within the local CLP…..and it would seem from a leaked email from Cllr Adrian Jones sent to ‘Momentum Comrades’ – which somehow made its way to us – there clearly still are!
We’ll spare you the full text of the email as it’s more Citizen Smith than Councillor Jones. Suffice to say it’s as long-winded and self righteous as his council speeches and sets out his long-standing Corbyn – supporting credentials.

The genesis of all this rift was a bitter CLP meeting on 24th June 2016, when Cllr Bernie Mooney (now Joint Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Labour Group ) was voted out of her position as secretary of Wallasey CLP and replaced by lefty Kathy Miller.  Paul Davies was voted in as co-vice Chair ( Cllr Paul Stuart was the other co-Vice Chair.)

The CLP voted to back Corbyn in his leadership bid.  Eagle got wind of this and was presumably an ‘Angry Bird’!  She hadn’t yet said she was going to run for leader… and didn’t until early July.

Meanwhile the CLP was suspended by the Labour NEC at their London HQ and remains suspended to this day.  Indeed the CLP only realised they’d been suspended when they read it in the Liverpool Echo!

This suspension was done on the ‘strength’ of bogus allegations that were lodged with the press (not the police, where they should have gone – but that presumably would have risked counter charges of wasting police time) saying that some members at the above meeting had engaged in bullying of others, intimidation and ‘homophobic acts’ against Eagle, who was not even present.

Reputedly, it was Cllr Stuart who was the ringleader of 17 people alleging bullying, intimidation and homophobia.  Angela Eagle christened them “whistleblowers”, sullying the name of genuine, good faith whistleblowers everywhere, and whatdyaknow?  the likes of the Liverpool Echo and The Guardian were there, ever eager to fuel the fire.

Throughout all this nothing was heard from Cllr Adrian Jones, the huge “Corbyn fan”, as his hero was pilloried in order to push Eagle’s leadership chances.  And whaddyaknow?  Both Jones’s Mr and Mrs and Cllr Stuart can be seen in the photos attached to this tweet, supporting Eagle.  This was in the run-up to the 2017 election, 9 months after the CLP suspension and #Brickgate.

Ultimately the allegations went nowhere, but the damage inflicted by the media coverage had been done. We understand one CLP member still has a charge hanging over them, whilst those making bogus allegations have been strangely passed over for any disciplinary action.  Is it any wonder the rifts persist and that there are plenty of angry left wingers in Wallasey CLP who feel betrayed?  After being expected to tramp the streets in support of Angela Eagle during the general election campaign , some are suspecting that deals will now be done behind their backs rather than the embedded enemy within faced head on and challenged.

 

Meanwhile, Cllr Paul Stuart who’d nailed his colours to the Eagle mast has,  since Corbyn’s unexpectedly strong performance in the general election,  had a bit of a rethink and now wants the world to know, via the leaked Jones email , that he is supporting Jezza. But the idea that Cllr Stuart would now also be backing Corbyn is outrageous when you can find him on the internet posing for photos outside the smashed window of #Brickgate.  Along with Cllr Stuart , Eagle diehards Cllr Mooney, and Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy were immediately on hand to be interviewed on TV and press suggesting that Corbyn supporters were behind the brick through the shared stairwell window ….which apparently wasn’t Eagle’s constituency office window anyway! You can get a flavour of the furore here 
Moreover, Merseyside plod calmly intoned six months later that the constituency office window was never reported to them as being damaged !  But you wouldn’t know this if you picked up any national or local newspaper because they wouldn’t touch it !  And by that time, the whole sorry circus of MSM dissemblers had left Eagle’s “busy summer of lies” unretracted, and moved onto the next emerging #FakeNews bombshell needing their undivided attention….
Meanwhile only time will tell whether Cllr Stuart proves to be as an effective shape-shifting politico as Cllr Jones,

 

To quote from the latter’s email…

Comrades, “Now is the time” to stop acting like a “Party within a party” – and even like a “Momentum within Momentum”.

It is time to grasp that the mainstream (often called the “Left”) has won back the heart and soul of the Labour Party.  I do not know of a single member of the Seacombe Branch who has not fully supported my own declarations for Corbyn on the two websites or who does not support him now.  So why introduce friction where there need be none? Let’s try now to be a single Labour Party in Seacombe Ward.

Some comrades will remember that we also, for a while, held “Songs of the Labour Movement” musical evenings in the Park View Social Club – an opportunity for comrades to perform – or just listen and rub shoulders informally.  But, since then, we have had the difficulty of the Party being suspended so long that many of us don’t even know each other.

Under the circumstances can we suggest that any future CLP sing-a-long  starts off with a rousing rendition of  “Two Tribes” ?

 

 

Video Nasties

Psycho Sullivan 009

One of the advantages of the nights drawing in is the opportunity to hunker down under the duvet and review the prolific output of esteemed local videographer John Brace.

What will we do when Wirral Council start filming their own meetings next year and we can no longer view the unedited, unexpurgated and unrehearsed proceedings that ,laughably, are held in the name of local democracy?

Talking of laughing, my how we laughed at Leaky Towers at the sight of the chair of the Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee , Cllr  Michael  ‘Wild-Eyed’ Sullivan, having a pop at fellow Labour councillor Ron Abbey  (and Cllr Jerry Williams) for contemptuously putting his coat on, throwing his agenda in the bin and walking away before this particular meeting had finished.  Of course we know that Cllr Abbey is a graduate of the Cllr Harry Smith Charm School so we expect nothing less from this bellicose bruiser. However it’s a high five from Wirral Leaks to Cllr Sullivan, who Her Ladyship describes as a looking like a ‘ Dapper Psychopath’ , and that’s a compliment by the way. You can view the hilarity here from 6:38 – Sullivan v Abbey spat

On a rather more serious note we’d like to ask Mark ‘ Nodding Dog’ Niblock   (astonishingly) Wirral Council’s Head of Infernal Audit  – do you think it is appropriate to give Robin Baker the thumbs up when it is announced by  Cllr Adrian ‘ Welsh Windbag’ Jones , the chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee,that the Grant Thornton external audit contract has been renewed for another 5 years  – for ‘services (not) rendered’. Niblock and Baker – a sweetheart contract made in hell. And unfortunately we’re paying for it!

The full googly-eyed horrorshow can be viewed here at 0.50 –  Grant Thornton Thumbs Up

Video Nasties 018

And at this juncture we’d like like to ask Niblock – ‘ It worked out well for you but are you proud of being David Garry’s bitch?’  Just sayin’ !

And finally here’s Cllr Moira ‘ Matron’ McLaughlin chairing the latest Adult Care & Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

Video Nasties 020

Don’t have nightmares.

Wirral Evolutions : Origin of the Specious

Stop Following Me

Public services in private hands is NOT the way to go

When Chris  Beyga , Acting Managing Director of Wirral Evolutions , declared at its launch : ” It is great to see so many people here as we move from a public service to a commercial entity” we asked the question “What could possibly go wrong?…….”
 
The answer to our question would appear to be  : ” The same as usual”
For those who don’t know what ‘Wirral Evolutions’ is – although we all pay for it –  it is a  : ” Local Authority Trading Company (LAC) bringing together nine key day centre and daytime services from across the area to continue to offer high-quality care for people with long term and learning disabilities” 
Beast

Feed the beast!

Whilst those in charge at Wirral Council are relentlessly and recklessly pursuing the ‘public services/assets are best held in private hands’ model, let’s see how that works in practice with a couple of examples.
Firstly, a Wirral Council manager with a penchant for awards ceremonies and expensive shoes ends up being the Chief Executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (Paula Basnett) .
Secondly, a rather more dowdy persona is made ‘Managing Director’ ( ha! ha!ha!) of a pretend company called ‘Wirral Evolutions’ ( Chris Beyga)
Other than power crazed empire building using public assets and public money what do they both have in common ?
That’s right the “The ‘N’ Word”. Needless to say the dirty ‘N’ word in this case is nepotism.
What we can’t understand is how Wirral Council are prepared to pump public assets into both enterprises whilst throwing public accountability out of the window.
However we have to give a round of applause to Wirral Council for keeping a lid on the Chris Beyga , ahem, situation using their timeworn strategy – ‘If it’s unmentionable , it’s manageable‘ – but then they can’t let their bogus flagship ‘commercial entity’ hit the rocks can they?
We’ve known since July that Beyga has been conspicuous by her absence. No doubt tending the flowerbeds (but not at Dale Farm). As one of our sources writes  : ” She also has always blanked the union but as soon as this happened she joined it.”
Let’s hope Unison (for it is they) give Beyga the same kind of support they give to the rank and file who come to them when they’re being victimised by their managers. If so Beyga’s a gonna.
Perhaps ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions , Carey Bamber can clarify for us exactly what is going on just as she did with the ‘open and transparent’ (yeah, whatever)  appointment of Beyga as ‘ Managing Director’ . Or perhaps she just lives up to her name – ‘ Carey’ – an imitation of caring. Or even better Cllr Adrian Jones can tell us what he knows about the allegations that were made against Beyga before she was appointed MD?
Meanwhile all we know is that it doesn’t Beyga belief – it’s just business as usual!
 Bamberbitch 011

 

News Briefs

News Briefs

News Item 1

Our thanks go to the wag who sent us details of the News and Content Officer post being recruited to by Wirral Council and for asking us whether our very own Verity was applying!. Verity told that she is always true to her name so will be giving it a swerve !.

https://ww3.wirral.gov.uk/jobs/jobdetail.asp?VacancyID=7374&Other

However we’d like to wish the person responsible for “having  real enthusiasm for communicating what a fantastic place Wirral is to live and work”  the very best of luck. Let’s make a deal – you do the turdpolishing , we’ll do the dirty laundry!.We’re particularly looking forward to reading about Wirral Council Employee of the Month – from the stories we’ve covered that’ll be someone who hasn’t stolen the petty cash , handed over money to scam merchants , failed to follow procurement procedures or been involved in sexual shenanigans and senior management fisticuffs.

Talking of which …….

News Item 2

How delighted we were to see Kevin “Addled” Adderley at last weeks Birkenhead Constituency Committee meeting – pockets bulging with Council taxpayers cash and telling the gathered throng about the wonderful things he was now doing in retirement with the Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

It wasn’t all good news though as we hear that Frank Field has stepped down from his role as Chair of the Committee. Frankenfield was always good for a petulant quote or two – who can forget his sly dig at this very blog?.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/frankie-says-wirral-leaks/

Frankenfield is still keeping his hand in (so to speak) as the new Chair is his political agent Cllr  George ” We Shall Overcomb”  Davies . We had questioned Frankenfield’s suitability to chair this Committee from the outset – should the local MP be making decisions on how the Council spends its money ?. But then he’s been used to spending Council money on his pet projects for years as Tony Kinsella and Nick Warren can testify (and we can only hope that one day they may have to !).

Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies helpfully explained that the selfless Birkenhead MP was spending  more time on “parliamentary duties” . By which we think he means having  a bitchfight with BHS bad boy “Sir” Philip Green.

Field has received a letter from Green’s lawyers asking him to apologise for comments he made comparing him unfavourably to pension plunderer Robert Maxwell.

Field told Sky News: “I don’t know how that will run, but it adds to the gaiety of life doesn’t it?”

Doesn’t it just sweetie!.

Frankenfield has gone on to call Green “evil” – which suggests to us that he has a particularly delicate sensibility or he needs to get out more and meet some of his constituents who contribute to his description of Birkenhead being “like Beirut”.

News Item 3

…and finally we read that Cllr Adrian “Janus-faced” Jones is the only Wirral Councillor to publicly support Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by signing a pro-Corbyn letter (although we do know that fellow Labour councillors Treena Johnson and Louise Reecejones are also Jezza fans)

http://labourlist.org/2016/06/hundreds-of-councillors-sign-pro-corbyn-letter/

 

Father Christmas and eagle

Awks

 

 

 

Dodo in the Doo-doo ?

Father Christmas and eagle.jpg

Father Christmas/Cllr Jones : What would you like for Christmas annwyl Ms.Eagle : A united and electable Labour Party  Cllr Jones : Wouldn’t you like a pony instead?

It’s strange and disturbing how Wirral, more accurately Wallasey, has been the focus of local and national media attention for a whole week. There are swarms of unknown, meddling metropolitan journalists walking up and down the promenade, microphone in hand … yet not so much as a murmur has arisen from the televisual backdrop of Wallasey Town Hall, slap bang in the middle of it all.

So in the absence of a press release or some sort of official statement on Wirral.gov.uk’s so-called ‘news’ page, we’re left wondering … who do members support?

Are they backing Jezza Corbyn ?  Or do they favour Our Ange?  And if it’s the latter – because word on the street is at least three quarters of Labour members do back Ange? then what’s keeping them? .  You’d think they’d be proud to sing their support from the rooftops for a local lass made mediocre – recently and memorably described as “the lesser of two Eagles” – or failing that to go negative and further undermine the democratically-elected Labour leader.

After all, 600+ Labour councillors from up and down the country have already done that, going onto the record to say Corbyn needs to go:

http://labourlist.org/2016/06/over-500-councillors-tell-corbyn-time-to-step-down/

…and as they don’t state in their letter who should replace Jezza, they must be desperate for anybody, so we’ll assume the Wallasey MP fits the bill as ‘anybody’, despite, or maybe because of her consistent right wing voting record.

The only Wirral councillors brave or stupid enough to add their names to this list are:

  • Matron Moira McLaughlin, Rock Ferry’s answer to Nurse Ratched
  • Denise Roberts (See Wirral Leaks passim for her dubious manoeuverings)
  • Phillip “Brightboy” Brightmore

Labour party members in Wallasey however are overwhelmingly supporting Corbyn, and nominated him for leader and Angela Eagle for deputy last summer.  That position stands to this day.  Awkward.  So perhaps most Labour councillors will be clocking Angela Eagle’s movements and thinking, hmmm, how will all this affect me if and when she stands, and should I wait ‘til then to decide whether to jump off the fence?

We understand that on June 30 ‘somebody’ (not announcing who they were) was ringing around Labour party members in Wallasey asking who they’ll be supporting.  And while this was underway, Angela Eagle announced she’d be delaying her decision to stand for the leadership.

Fascinating from our perspective  but we wonder who could have been behind these anonymous, underhand soundings?  If it was Eagle’s office, Jezza’s approval rating means it certainly wouldn’t have gone as planned! .

As we know to our cost, Wirral is not your average grey and tedious borough, there simply to collect your bins and switch off your street lights.  It’s colourful bordering on the mindbendingly psychedelic.  There’s a long history of back-stabbing, or even in yer face front-stabbing that’s gone on ever since London-born Frank Field landed in Birkenhead way back in the late 70s.  Even before he’d packed away his parachute, he was busy sharpening his knife and hitting the ground running.  There was competition for candidacy at the next election, but voting rules were mangled left, right and centre to suit Frank.  A legal challenge was forming, but the local Constituency Labour Party found itself suspended, with a ‘militant’ label firmly attached to the popular people’s candidate at the time.  All done to facilitate a Frankenfield victory.  37 years later, Birkenhead (or Beirut, as Frank likes to call it) is still licking its wounds.

Our Ange was a more recent arrival in 1992, but similar antics unfolded when it came to choosing a suitable election candidate.  There were more individual suspensions, another CLP suspension and when her successful candidacy was announced, a shroud of secrecy quickly descended over the internal workings of how such an unpredictable result had been arrived at in what was supposed to be a ‘democratic election’.  Once again, the ‘Wirral Way’ had come to the fore, Ange’s career was set into motion, and here she is now, on the very brink of the leadership. However it remains to be seen whether she will she be flying as high as an eagle or will she be as dead as a dodo ?.

We at Leaky Towers think the people of Wirral deserve a public statement NOW from Town Hall ditherers or they awaiting instructions from their very own chosen ‘leader’ as Frankenfield does his usual act of setting off the hares , sitting back and watching the hounds tear his chosen quarry to shreds?.

 

Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities

Following the local elections Wirral Council “leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies has had a Cabinet reshuffle. But let’s face it judged by his awkward public performances he’s always fiddling with his drawers.

However – out goes Welsh windbag Cllr Adrian Jones having mainly served his purpose of pretending to support whistleblowers and giving his former Cabinet colleagues the heads up about where the next bombshell might be  coming. He must be so proud.

Also tossed aside is Cllr Chris Meaden , who as we commented this week seems to have been thrown under the bus by Power Boy Pip over the Passport for Life leisure pass fiasco . Her (personal) involvement in the Control Room debacle probably didn’t help either….

So what are we left with when it comes to the big decision makers affecting the quality of life for people on Wirral ?.

Read this and weep:

“Leader” , Strategic Economic Development , Finance & Devolution – Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies

You know what they say about a man with a big portfolio don’t you?. Yes! –  that’s right he’s hiding behind important titles to make him sound “bigger” than he is.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Group , Transformation , Leisure & Culture – Ann McLachlan

Talk about one trick pony. If this woman says “moving forward” one more time she’s going to blow the turret off Leaky Towers (and no that isn’t a euphemism). As for “culture” – somebody needs to tell her that doesn’t mean drinking a pro-biotic yoghurt every morning.

Deputy Leader of The Council, Housing & Community Safety – George Davies 

Well,well ,well. No Cabinet would be complete without Georgie-boy would it?. Old faithful. The runaround. The go-between.The fixer.

We look forward to the day when Power Boy Pip  is indisposed and Gorgeous George has to command the authority of the Council chamber without putting on his glasses and reading from his notes (written in crayon).

Adult Social Care – Chris Jones

Sadly as her husband has been ousted from the cabinet Welsh Windbag-ess Chris Jones will no longer be able to regale us with her rendition of Amy Winehouse’s classic ” Me & Mr.Jones”.

However her continuing appointment as a cabinet member after the Girtrell Court still has us singing “what kind of fuckery is this?”.

Children & Family Services – Tony Smith

Love the Irish lilt. Hate his role in the closure of Lyndale School. He probably does too. But he’s still in the cabinet. These are the choices people make in life. Again , he must be so proud.

Highways & Infrastructure – Stuart Whittingham 

The big question is whether Stuart “Witless” Whittingham knows what “infrastructure” means. Remember this is guy who spawned a jokes about streetlights and how many people does it take a change a lightbulb on Wirral.

Answer : lots of them and and great cost and only after being highlighted (pun intended) on this blog and elsewhere.

Environment – Bernie Mooney 

Bernie sees it as her personal duty to be publicly affronted by absolutely everything from the Tory government to fly-tipping to litter to dog crap.

But mainly dog crap. Because that’s where the votes are.

Public Health – Janette Williamson

Congrats to Janette “Milly Tant” Williamson at getting a cabinet seat for being gushingly enthusiastic about absolutely everything Wirral Council does.

There is the added advantage she can advise on matters related to the elderly – such as euthanising members of the royal family and in the case of money owed to the council Jan would have no trouble recommending sending in the bailiffs mainly because that’s who she used to “work” for. So much for being a champion of the poor and oppressed!.

Community Engagement & Communications  – Matthew Patrick    Martin Liptrot

Enough said.