This week’s very minor political news is that Rock Ferry residents now find themselves without a Labour councillor as Cllr Bill Davies is the latest local politician to claim to be ‘Independent’ and yet paradoxically recite the same script of those councillors who’ve gone before him. “Hard left”, ” I can’t continue to support something I no longer believe in.” etc;etc;
No mention of mention of bullying/anti-semitism so far. But then we suspect that Billyboy wouldn’t understand what either meant. After all his main claim to fame for Wirral Leaks readers came when he somehow found himself chairing the Standards and Constitutional Committee and where we observed:
Now if your idea of fun is watching someone picking their teeth, gurning and looking generally befuddled for 40 minutes we recommend you keep your eye on Committee chair Cllr Bill Davies – “standards” don’t even come into it !
Her Ladyship turned her head away from the screen and cried despairingly : “Oh for goodness sake get that man a toothpick and some lessons in etiquette.What is it with local councillors called Davies ? – they appear to be social disgraces unacquainted with the social graces
Read full story : Low Standards, High Fives
So now with Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies taking the coward’s route out before either the Greens or the Reds forced him out and Cllr Bill Davies joining Cllrs McLaughlin, Meaden and Sullivan and their vainglorious ‘Independent’ venture Labour councillors called Davies are a threatened species. No wonder local Labour activists are throwing everything at the local election campaign to enable Labour Cabinet member Cllr Angie ‘Excited’ Davies to remain in the Prenton ward. This is a ward in which the Green Party made huge gains at the last local elections and will be hotly contested this time round (see above).
Somehow Angie is being touted as a future Labour leader (even by local Tories) which makes us want to use an expression using the following words : scraping, bottom and barrel.
The other Davies remaining in the Labour ranks is the infamous Cllr George Davies who by rights he should have been stripped of public office a long time ago. It’s a shame that when Cllr Bill Davies claimed that the Labour Party was not the party he joined and could no longer believe in was because of the corrupt antics of the likes of Cllr George Davies and Cllr Phil Davies . As we presume it’s not – Bill just looks like the latest of local Labour politicians who have benefitted from colluding with a corrupt cabal and are now unhappy with democratic processes which mean that they’re not getting their own way anymore… to which we can only say good riddance and for God’s sake get a decent pair of dentures.
We confidently predict that next week will be a challenging one for the ruling administration at Wirral Council. As we heralded in our Message from Wirral Green Space Alliance : Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting 25th February there is a coordinated protest prior to the meeting which is concerned with the long-running ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ saga.
There is a growing alliance of protestors against the luxury homes with a golf course proposal and from some unexpected quarters. Who would have believed that having gone independent as a councillor that ex- Labour Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin would suddenly be ‘independent’ of thought ? Now having helped set up an ‘independent group’ at Wirral Council (along with Cllrs Chris Meaden and Michael Sullivan ) Matron now feels free to express doubts on her former leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ pet project.
Liverpool Echo reports :
While Cllr McLaughlin would not reveal which she would vote for or against (at the Extraordinary Meeting) , she revealed her “grave concerns” about the huge project, and the “capacity” of officers to carry it through…
Meanwhile we have also received a leaked email sent by Wirral Trades Union Council :
Anticipating the strength of growing opposition Pip and his ever decreasing cohort of cronies have been busily preparing their justifications and prepping the press.
We understand that this preparation for tomorrow included a visit by Pip , Cllr Angela ‘Excited’ Davies and Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’Robinson to Celtic Manor Golf Resort in South Wales on 6th February . Labour councillors were briefed about the visit last week (18th February) giving them a week to rehearse their roles and memorise their lines in time for tomorrow’s meeting. This will no doubt include reference to the news found in the Place North West article Hoylake’s £200m golf resort ‘ready to go’ as contractor joins team where we find Jim Anderson of developer Nicklaus Joint Venture Group (NJVG) , saying the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal was “fully funded” with an aim to “start work the next day” if planning permission is secured. Anderson goes on to say :
Hopefully we won’t be used as a political item one way or another. It’s important for us to get out to the people to understand what their concerns are; we have a year of planning where we can look at those concerns and hopefully address them, and a lot of that will be when they understand the true nature of the project.
The doors of the golf course are very much open. You don’t have to be a member to come into the clubhouse to have a coffee or have a pint or use the restaurants; it’s there for everyone. It’s a misconception that this is a playground for the rich and only they can use it, and frankly, the business model wouldn’t work if we didn’t get engagement with the local population.
Under the circumstances we would expect Mr Anderson to be at tomorrow’s meeting to help address concerns of protestors and engage with the local population. As for the Hoylake Golf Resort being used as a ‘political item one way or another’ does he know that it’s a) Wirral and b) a local election year ?…
Presumably we’re not on Wirral Council’s distribution list but we’ve just received their ‘Wirral Waters One’ news release anyway. No doubt it will be reproduced faithfully elsewhere but here it is in its original form. Needless to say we predicted there would be an upcoming media onslaught about how Birkenhead was ‘on the up’ . No wonder Peel Land & Property – f’chrissakes how many names do they go under? – are said to be ‘delighted’ at the news about WW1 . They must be laughing all the way to their Isle of Man tax haven as more ‘national funding’ has been secured to kick start development on their land . It’s becoming increasingly clear that we’ve been sold a pup and the promised ‘International Trade Centre’ of ‘Wirral Waters’ has been traded in for ad-hoc housing projects of ‘Wirral Waters One’ and to prove that Wirral Council is committed to development on brownfield sites to distract from the Green Belt debacle.
No doubt we find out more about how much money this involves and where it came from at the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting on October 1. Considering that the Cabinet meeting is the week after next we presume that the timing of the news release has something to do with the upcoming Labour Party Conference in Liverpool and the fact that journalists from all over the place have been sniffing around looking for stories in the wake of Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party spat.
Above are some of the redacted comments that according to Frank Field friend and ally Mail on Sunday have appeared on social media in the wake of his resigning the whip and his comments about bullying,intimidation and anti-semitism in the Labour Party (and particularly the local Labour Party). Whilst undoubtedly it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience to be on the receiving end of such comments we have to ask ourselves what exactly does he expect when he labels people ‘thugs’ , ‘toerags’ (and worse) and then suddenly discovers that there are people without his power and influence who only have a PC and a pottymouth and aren’t afraid to use it! Is any of the above worse than referring to a council officer “a bloody useless Chink” as Field’s electoral agent once did ? No, it isn’t – because the people making the comments don’t have the power of Cllr George Davies ,Deputy Leader of Wirral Council, to directly prejudice or influence important political decisions.
What’s more according to former Wirral Labour councillor Louise Reecejones (LRJ) Field himself once advised her that she needed to “harden up ,bullying is part of politics”. Whilst we acknowledge that LRJ is not the most reliable of sources it is something we can well believe her on this one as it is the type of arrogant statement we can imagine him saying. LRJ made the claims in a ‘press release’ to the Daily Telegraph in the knowledge that they were going to publish a story which included damning comments from Field. In the interest of journalistic balance The Daily Telegraph chose not to print a word of LRJ’s statement in defence. Consequently LRJ has chosen to share it on social media and here it is . Please note : the typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are LRJ’s own.
My press release to the telegraph who are publishing a negative story about me tomorrow thanks to Frank Field.
I am responding to this from Hospital, I have been poorly for over three years and spent most of this year in Hospital, proberly brought on by stress.Mr field and his supporters are fully aware I have been so poorly and not even been active in the party, and yet he continues to behave in this way.
The panel you refer to I am not even going to justify with an answer, because there are no words to describe the lengths people go to to discredit and try to break a person. There is also Franks friend ex Labour Cllr James Crabtree who was convicted after his threats against me following the murder of Jo Cox MP.
Frank field has publicly attempted to discredit me, and the charity I am involved for disabled children and their families, this is minuted in Birkenhead CLP. Frank field gave me advice that I need to harden up, bullying is part of politics, well I said it then and I say it now. Bullying has not place in a civilised society and as an MP I was shocked that was your view.Franks conduct speaks for its self, any MP who writes for the S@@ rag has no place in politics.I wish Frank well for the future and any other Councillor waiting to take the headlines over the coming weeks with resignations from Wirral Labour.
I fully support Jeremy Corbyn and have supported him before he was ever on a leadership ballot paper, he is a proud man with clear values and integrity. This is what our country needs and this is what some members don’t want. I am proud to be a socialist with a kind heart, always putting others first and working hard to make a difference.
Times have changed, Birkenhead CLP and the other three Wirral CLP’s are now pleasant, its an environment that I can now allow my children to attend without the fear of shouting and nastiness.We welcome all new members of all backgrounds abilities and ages for friendly, socialist debate.
Kind regards,Louise Reecejones
The Daily Telegraph‘s sister paper The Sunday Telegraph continued the saga of internal strife within the local Labour Party by including a tale re-told by long- time fawning Field acolyte Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin and a clash of handbags in the street between Labour councillors Angela Davies and Tony Norbury , this classy little incident apparently reduced two Labour Party members to tears – though presumably not McLaughlin, Davies and Norbury who would be well aware of Frank’s dictum that ‘bullying was part of politics’ Read full story here : Ghost of Militant Barges Through Birkenhead
All of which adds to the impression of a local party about to implode. However according to leaked emails we have received none of this should come as any surprise to North West Regional Director of Labour , Anna Hutchinson. The emails were sent to her in July and September 2016 and includes compelling evidence of allegations of misconduct by Labour politicians including Field, Cllr George Davies, former Labour leader Cllr Steve Foulkes and current Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies .
We have agreed not to publish the correspondence for the time being but it has been agreed that we can publish the prophetic and telling statements which end both of the emails.
Email 1 : “You may choose to ignore these allegations but you can’t say you weren’t told …”
Email 2: “You have a problem with your politicians on Wirral – a real problem”
Now with Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies doing his bit for ‘The Gang’ by asking for an investigation into the local Labour Group. Read more here – Labour Council Leader Demands Bullying Investigation In Wake Of Frank Field Resignation – We would suggest that knowing what we know Pip needs to be careful what he wishes for…
As a follow up to yesterday’s Peel group story and as promised we bring you news of a significant appointment at Wirral Council which has surprisingly gone unheralded.
So ladies and gentleman we proudly present to you , Brian Bailey , who from last month has been Wirral Council’s Corporate Director for Economic and Housing Growth
As you can see he has a very familiar profile to the unlamented former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess. Indeed they would have worked together at Blackburn with Darwen Council as Bailey was there between 2001-18 .
We can only surmise his former CEO and mentor at Blackburn with Darwen Council must have given him some sage advice. Something along the lines of : ” Fill yer boots. Just don’t get too big for’em or Frank’ll have you out in a flash”
So how was Bailey’s appointment greeted by long suffering staff at Wallasey Town Hall? This is typical of the correspondence received by Wirral Leaks but is particularly interesting in the light of recent press coverage as it reveals a significant connection to Peel Group:
Hello —See attached the Google search for Delyse Bailey, the wife of Wirral Council’s new regen and economic chief Brian Bailey. Weirdly (or not so weirdly) the LinkedIn profile in question has now been deleted. The council has deals with Peel — and the new guy in charge of the councils relationship will be liaising directly with his wife! It comes at a time when MPs in the borough are launching scathing attacks on Peel for land banking (see Angela Eagle article published on the Globe online). Councillors like Angie Davies have also waded in.Was Brian’s appointment a Conflict of Interest? Was due diligence even done for this £120k plus role? It stinks. We lower-ranking officers are sick of the incompetency at the top, it emanates from Eric Robinson.Question surely is what’s going on at an officer level in Wallasey Town Hall? Incompetency, incompetency, incompetency.This info needs to come out.Yours,Wallasey Town Hall insider
Wirral’s Local Plan
Wirral Council chief executive Robinson opened the event with a presentation outlining the upcoming opportunities in the borough as it looks to put in place its Local Plan.
- Wirral is one of three authorities in the country that does not have a Local Plan, but is now proposing a major review of green belt land, which will see the proportion of green belt in the borough drop from 46% to 32%
- The “big thing” for the plan was to transform Birkenhead, with a “fantastic opportunity” in place to reverse the decline that has impacted the area for nearly 50 years
- He said the area needed a “younger, more vibrant offer” particularly around Hamilton Square, with options around Birkenhead including a new civic centre, leisure centre, offices, and residential, as part of the Wirral Growth Company’s plans being delivered in partnership with Muse
- Reflecting on the area’s relationship with Liverpool, Robinson said: “Birkenhead should be Brooklyn, not another Manhattan”
- However, Robinson said the Local Plan would look to adopt a “brownfield-first” approach to development, and would look to benefit “the whole of Wirral”
- The chief executive, who has been in post since 2015, said the council had become “much more commercial and business-like in its approach” following changes at the top, and had taken steps to improve skills within the council including doubling its planning team
Full story here : Meet the Authorities: Public-Private Partnerships
Whilst it was bizarrely reassuring to find that Eric Feeble finally acknowledged that Birkenhead had been in decline for half a century we have a horrible vision of him, Bailey and growing horde of ‘transformers’ and ‘planners’ in t-shirts emblazoned with the message :
BIRKENHEAD SHOULD BE BROOKLYN, NOT ANOTHER MANHATTAN
Another week , another front page shock horror probe about the Green Belt courtesy of Wirral Globe.
Following on from Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson coming out from under his desk at Wallasey Town Hall to make a special guest appearance and announce his deep and heartfelt concern about Wirral’s green and pleasant land we now have a ‘leaked document’ which has been sent to the Wirral View , sorry , we mean Wirral Globe.
This ‘leaked document’ – yeah right ! -‘leaked’ from Wallasey Town Hall HQ with full approval of council leaders and their lackeys by the looks of it- apparently tells us that :
A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral’s precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.
In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.
The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, “will fundamentally change the nature of our community.” Full story here : Leaked Document
Note how councillors Phillip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore and Angela Davies don’t seem particularly bothered that the document has been leaked with the former commenting that : “Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals……”
No sorry to have to tell you Phil , sweetheart , but what residents are pissed off about is being subject to the cynical media manipulation that’s going on here.
Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?
Oh and can anyone identify where the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is on the ‘Green Belt threat map’ – or is that not considered a threat? And if not why not?…
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.
After this week’s call for a snap election we thought we’d set up a weekly report on the local political hustings fun , campaign fails and General Election jiggerypokery. Accordingly we’d like to invite our readers to send in any of their electioneering snippets and general observations on the madness of modern politicking.
The Usual Crap
First off – we’ve been forwarded the Prenton edition of the ‘Brickie to stand for Metro Mayor’ campaign leaflet first reported here : Purdah Palaver
It would seem the local Labour group are riding on the coat-tails of the Metro Mayor election and inserting information about their local wards in the middle of the glossy 4 page propaganda piece . The Prenton edition (see above) is particularly inept featuring as it does a regurgitated press release about the Liverpool City Region by Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and the compulsory piece about dog crap – because as we know that’s all the Wirral electorate care about according to former Wirral Council CEO Steve Maddox.
However what is most galling is the gurning features of Cllr Angela ‘CGL’ Davies and Cllr Tony ‘Tight-fit” Norbury holding a ‘Care For the NHS’ placard. The doublethink going on here is mindblowing. Once again these mindless hypocrites are quite happy to campaign to keep the NHS from ending up in private hands – started by the Labour Party under Tony Blair , lest we forget – but are quite happy for Wirral Council services to be farmed out to the lowest bidder. Of course Cllr Angela Davies cares for the NHS so much because not only does it pay her a good wage but when the service she worked for was outsourced to Change! Grow! Live ! (FFS!) she didn’t much like it and bolted back to the warm bosom of public service. Shame she doesn’t afford that opportunity to Wirral Council employees facing redundancy and/or less favourable employment contracts in the private sector. Just sayin’!
Tip-top local blogger Wirralinittogether (geddit?) clearly doesn’t need to go to Specsavers as he counted not one, not two but three local at Tory leader Theresa May’s election launch in Bolton .
All we can say the Tory councillors must’ve felt at home in Bolton at their Labour led Council is another one that thinks it can do what the bloody hell it likes with public money! Last year Bolton Council were heavily criticised for giving £300,000 of public money to a private law firm – like you do!
Moonlighting for Margaret ?
These must be trying times for Wirral Council’s renaissance man Martin Liptrotsky. Policy advisor, business guru and political campaigner – is there no beginning to this man’s talents? Having helped Margaret Greenwood win the Wirral West for Labour seat at the the last General Election we have to wonder with Liptrot being appointed to a politically restricted post at Wirral Council who Greenwood is going to get to do her ‘dirty work’ this time round? Now we were no fans of previous Wirral West MP Esther McVey but the Liptrot orchestrated campaign at the last election was perhaps the most vicious and nasty in recent memory. And we’re not talking about the abusive graffiti , we’re talking about “Lord” Prescott’s appearance on West Kirby beach and Labour deputy leader John McDonnell endorsing a comment by a local Labour activist to ‘hang the bitch’ . So much for Labour leader Jezza Corbyn’s call for ‘kinder,gentler politics’ ! Needless to say any reports that Liptrot is moonlighting for Margaret during the latest campaign will be gratefully received!……………..
We need to thank our lucky stars that Wirral Council ‘leader’ ( ha!ha!ha!) Cllr Phil Davies aka Power Boy Pip yesterday authorised a Wirral representative to attend a ‘Transformation’ beano in Manchester today.
Unfortunately that representative was his namesake Cllr Angela Davies.
Although it must be said that whilst ‘Our Ange’ knows all about the ‘public sector transformational journey’, it would appear she didn’t like it much. Whilst working for the NHS she was quite happy to enjoy the transformation of the drug and alcohol services over into the private sector in the guise of ‘Crime Reduction Initiatives/ Change, Grow, Live’ but then it all got a bit messy for the poor lass. And whilst she was quick to criticise her new employer on the QT she soon hotfooted back to secure employment within the NHS when she realised just exactly how they meant to ‘transform’ services.
And so the moral of this story would appear to be that ‘transformation’ is alright for us plebs but not for those with a secure pension plan – and the opportunity to enjoy free lunch and refreshments at the Manchester Hilton!