Top of the Tips

IMG_20190515_160339253

We reported on this environmental disaster in our Tipping Point story from last year. Alas! It would appear that nothing has improved for the people of Birkenhead despite  the high pitched protestations of Cllr Brian Kenny.

You’d think that after his return to political power after the sensible people of Birkenhead booted him out and he had to rely on being shoehorned into the safe seat of Bidston & St James vacated by convicted criminal Jim Crabtree and squeaky-voiced Kenny’s subsequent instalment as a member – and we use the term advisedly – of the  Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee it would be top of his ‘to-do’ list to address the tip situation in Cleveland Street.

IMG_20190515_160548305

But no! Another despairing member of the public has been in touch with their concerns and sadly it’s not just Cllr Kenny who isn’t responding :

I note Frank Fields 5 Point Plan as voted for by us, apparently, to improve Birkenhead. One of the points refers to the environment and fly tipping.The biggest fly tipping culprit is the council itself. Has anyone seen the vast fly tip and dump currently growing and festering at the end of Cleveland Street? Its been there for two or three years and is currently closed after a fire there last November’s bonfire night. People are still dumping mattresses there and old settees. God knows what is in the seemingly abandoned shed as it is stuffed to the roof with black bags. It was licensed by the council as a recycling centre. It is an appalling site and is next to a primary school, residential houses and Our Ladies Church, not to mention the Police Custody suite. I see Green councillors posing for pictures after cleaning up alleyways but this Giant Fly Tip is ignored and continues to grow.

No one seems interested really. I even spoke to Pat Cleary who batted it away. The fence has been pulled down now and settees and mattresses are being dumped again. I read a report that they were going to build houses now on the old Rivers Estate, about time, but do people want to live between two tips? The official council tip and the official council fly tip. Dreadful way to treat Birkenhead North End. They go on about flytipping but this is disgraceful. My uncle lives down there and they all deserve better than this…Brian Kenny is obviously distracted.

IMG_20190515_160829402

Tipping Point

IMG_2517

It’s not an unusual occurrence when a concerned citizen writes to us out of sheer frustration after hitting a brick wall of politician’s indifference. Makes us wonder what Cllr Brian Kenny and Birkenhead MP Frank Field are being so coy about ? Yet another failure of planning and scrutiny by the ruling administration at Wirral Council? 

Sirs

I refer to the rubbish dump that has appeared at the end of Cleveland Street adjacent to the police station.

Apparently this rubbish dump has a license as a recycling centre, although seeing as it has no power source it is difficult to see what it can be recycling.
The whole area is full of old settees and caravans and black bags full of God knows what. It recently went up in flames on bonfire night as you probably know.
IMG_2516
I have contacted Councillor Kenny who informs me that he is lost for words and the Council is investigating as well as The Environment Agency.
Rats are regularly seen exiting the huge brick shed used as a rubbish store although I cannot remember any works being carried out on this derelict eyesore.
The council tip is one mile down the road, this official fly tip is being used to dump foul smelling bags and mattresses. It is 50 yards from a primary school, a church and residential housing.
IMG_2514
It shows utter contempt for the people of Birkenhead to allow this now stinking sealed site to exist. I have had replies from Councillor Kenny informing me of his outrage but nothing yet as to who gave permission for this so called recycling centre to begin operations.

Also attached is letter from Environment Agency, I am yet to hear from Councillor Kenny re: who approved this strange business.

It’s the strangest recycling plant I have ever seen, unless they’ve come across a three piece suite recycling machine. The brick building has been derelict for as long as I can remember and I am 60 years old! People are now dumping mattresses outside.

Best Regards
Screen Shot 2018-12-04 at 15.52.45

Election Selection : Week 5

Pip - Corbyn rally

Storm the barricades: Power Boy Pip in his ‘The North Face’ windcheater doesn’t know whether to laugh at Cllr Brian Kenny in a hi-viz jacket or cry that he could have been the MP for Wirral West

Corbyn’s Tour of Wirral

As we have previously highlighted, the Wirral West constituency is the only local point of interest for us in the forthcoming General Election as it promises to be a closely contested marginal seat . Hence the presence of Jezza himself yesterday on West Kirby beach in support of current Labour MP, Margaret Greenwood. Let’s face it – in terms of profile it’s an improvement on ‘Lord’ Prescott and Labour Deputy John McDonnell who turned up to do the good cop/bad cop routine last time around.

Nevertheless our sources tell us it was much like the weather –  despite the numbers it was a bit of a damp squib. Organisers couldn’t quite co-ordinate the Corbyn motorcade with The Velvelettes classic  ‘He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ booming out on the PA – but full marks (or should that be Marx) for trying.

Corbyn turned up later as the support act for The Libertines at Prenton Park at the ‘Wirral Live’ concerts taking place over the weekend – although we’re not sure it’s exactly ethical that people turning up for a pop concert should be involuntarily treated to a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party. Having said that we couldn’t name a Libertines tune between us here at Leaky Towers. But we suspect that lead singer Pete Doherty would most definitely feel at home round here and would have no doubt provided a boost to the local economy. Just sayin’

Working Hard For Frankenfield

Corbynfield 015

Some of you lucky people have received Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s campaign leaflet published by his political agent Cllr George Davies. We know this as we’ve been forwarded a copy. First thing to say is why did Gorgeous George bother wasting Labour party funds on publishing such a pointless item when we all know that all Frankenfield needs to do to get elected is NOT support a corrupt local regime complicit in the abuse of vulnerable people. Oh………..

The leaflet is most curious as Frankenfield seems to concede that the forthcoming General Election is a foregone conclusion.

He says he’s going to:

  • Push the new government to negotiate a Brexit settlement that makes our country fairer and more prosperous while enabling us to control our own borders ,our own laws and our own taxpayer’ money
  • Build pressure on the new government to protect and strengthen the NHS and social care
  • Encourage the new government to place every household automatically onto the cheapest available tariff for their gas and electricity

So is he saying – the Conservative Party is a shoo-in or that he will be challenging his own party? Modern politics can be so confusing! As far as we’re concerned there appears to be a hare’s breath between all of the political parties after your vote. Not least when you consider Theresa May’s Tory Smorgasbord of policies nicked from left,right and centre.

For example did you know that analysis of party manifestos by Resolution Foundation shows Jeremy Corbyn would go ahead with most of former Tory chancellor George Osborne’s planned benefits cuts. This includes at least a £7bn slash to welfare even if Labour wins power. Apparently three-quarters of the huge package of benefit cuts announced by the former chancellor in 2015 are yet to be implemented, including a major reduction in support given to the low-paid, and limiting payments to families with more than two children. Did Jezza mention any of this during his rousing speeches over the weekend?  Just askin’ .

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/20/labour-manifesto-keep-planned-tory-benefit-cuts-resolution-foundation?CMP=share_btn_tw

Finally – we just need to reiterate our apolitical credentials. We do not intend to exert any political influence over our readers. All we ask is that you question everything, especially when ongoing political campaigns seem to confirm the old adage that politics is showbiz for ugly people!

 

The Liptrot Mystery

Evans

Opposition councillors seem unusually curious about the recent controversial appointment of Council leader Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’Davies political ally , Martin Liptrot(sky) to the post of  ‘Interim’ Investment Lead .

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15173137.Special_meeting_heats_up_as_Wirral_councillors_clash_over_controversial_new_job_for_Labour_s_policy_chief/

And so they might be! The ongoing saga is worthy of an Agatha Christie murder mystery ….. but who knows where the bodies are buried !?

Of course we anticipated such an appointment long ago The Uncanny and the Corrupt

That’s not because we have second sight, it’s simply because, by now, we know all Wirral Council’s plot devices.

So before we get to the heart of the mystery, let us set out the story so far. Are you sitting comfortably? – because we guarantee you won’t be for much longer!

Remember when we exclusively announced Liptrot’s arrival at Wirral Council and questioned how his ‘Policy Advisor’ post came about?

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/all-hail-the-new-king-of-spin/

Remember when we questioned his apolitical credentials when he was appointed to a politically restricted post despite declaring his long held Labour Party affiliations all over social media ?

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/a-political-mr-liptrot/

Who can forget when Wirral Globe disclosed that leaked toecurling early morning email exchange between Liptrot and Pip?  Where the former, in full on diva mode, appears to be calling the shots – complaining about his pay and bemoaning the fact that he has to hand in time sheets to Super Duper Director  Joe Blott  – oh the shame!

“Apparently I’m supposed to work for 24 quid an hour and hand time sheets to Joe Blott [strategic director].Clearly that is both insulting and wildly unrealistic for the scope of the role we are discussing.There is no way I’m going to earn even less than I am now. We need to work out what we need to agree and you will probably have to just step up and tell everyone what you want doing in the end. Let’s talk tomorrow.’

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14306240.Emails_give_extraordinary_insight_into_Wirral_Council_s_controversial_hiring_of_former_Labour_spin_doctor/

And so having set the scene we move on to the latest chapter in the charmed life of Mr Liptrot and his latest ‘transformation'(!) as ‘Interim’ Investment Lead at Wirral Council.

An extraordinary series of extracts from leaked emails details the ‘bureaucratic machinations’ behind this latest appointment and provides us with even more plot twists……..

Firstly , we might recall that  24 councillors  issued  a ‘Notice of Motion’ in respect of, what was at the time, the creation of ‘a senior post of Investor Development Manager’ in response to the Labour Cabinet meeting held on 16 January .  This meeting was chaired by Power Boy Pip and included a report calling for the removal of ‘Call – in’ , thus denying opposition councillors the opportunity to ask any awkward questions about the post. The report stated :

‘Although this was not a key decision, in the light of the time critical nature of these activities, it was considered necessary to request that call-in be waived. This would enable the activities to progress at once and, therefore, ensure that work was completed in time to meet deadlines for key events such as MIPIM. Due to the absence of the Chief Executive, and on his behalf, the Assistant Chief Executive had recommended that call-in be waived’.

Head of Law Surjit Tour clarified the situation : ‘Cabinet agreed to waive ‘call-in’ in accordance with the Constitution and the decision is therefore implementable immediately notwithstanding the request for an extraordinary council having been made and agreed. Council at the extraordinary council meeting is being invited to scrutinise the creation of the post and decide whether it is justified – but council would only be expressing its opinion/view in respect of the post and its justification. The decision maker remains the Executive and the decision in question remains implementable.’

The post was advertised via  Wirral Council’s temporary worker system (Matrix) . Matrix passed on the job specification to recruitment agencies at an equivalent day rate of £195.

Initially six applications were received. However according to Wirral Council’s HR  : ‘none of the applicants met the specification. We  have received feedback from the agencies that the remuneration is not sufficient to attract calibre candidates.Given the urgent requirement for the additional capacity and limited budget we are sourcing an Interim role – Interim Investment Lead on an interim rate, but for a shorter period of time’

HR went on to later add :‘The agencies feedback that they could potentially source some applicants at £350 day , but the calibre we required is likely to be £500 day. Given the urgent requirement for the additional capacity and limited budget we need to increase the day rate .’

Frankly it is simply an astonishing state of affairs when so-called committed, and no doubt ‘passionate’ public servants, don’t consider it worthwhile getting out of bed for less than £350 a day!  And of course the recruitment agencies are going to advocate such a hike in the daily rate because presumably it means more money for them! All of which means that public authorities are held a hostage to fortune!

Needless to say when the post was advertised at the higher rate, 13 further applications were received !

5 candidates were shortlisted. One of the candidates was unable to make the interview date and one candidate withdrew. And in true Agatha Christie fashion :  ‘And then there were 3’. These interviews took place on 15 February 2017.

Initially we understand that Asif Hamid was due to be on the interview panel but he mysteriously withdrew to be replaced , inevitably, by Wirral Chamber of Commerce chum Paula Basnett. Clare Fish , Wirral Council’s Executive Director for Strategy was also a late absentee. This left :

  • Alan Evans, Strategic Commissioner for Growth (Chair of the Panel)
  • Stephen Butterworth, Interim Strategic Project Support
  • Sally Shah, Lead Commissioner: Place and Investment
  • Paula Basnett, Chief Executive, Wirral Chamber of Commerce
  • Ellen Cutler, Director Inward Investment, Liverpool Vision

Now as we know the successful candidate was our leading suspect Martin Liptrot who was awarded an an initial 4 month contract  @ £350 a day.

However the  mystery here is whether the panel made the appointment or was the final decision made by Power Boy Pip and his supine CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson?

The Extraordinary Council meeting held earlier this week was an attempt by some curious councillors to find the answer to this whodunnit and other mysteries surrounding the case. However the Labour group were anxious to shut this line of enquiry down with Cllr Brian Kenny squeaking up for a ‘guillotine’ thereby reducing the time available for debating the issue.

Perhaps curious opposition councillors should seek clues about the recruitment process from Alan Evans, the Strategic Commissioner for Growth, who chaired the selection panel?

We understand that Evans’ unsung team in Department of Regeneration have been doing some excellent work  behind the scenes  and we can only wonder what they must feel about the influx of Johnny-Come -Lately’s such as Liptrot  who ,under the guise of ‘transformers’ , appear to be muscling in on their act and potentially taking the credit for their work.

We await further plot developments with great interest!

A Bit of Bovver at The Lauries

Following our concerns about the operation  of The Lauries seemingly being gifted to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce we gratifingly note that a campaign been launched to take back community control of the centre

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/the-sorry-story-of-the-lauries/

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/the-sorry-story-of-the-lauries-chapter-two/

Coincidentally we’ve also been forwarded the Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Industry submission to Companies House made on 23rd December ( to take advantage of the Christmas lull?). Whilst this submission is is a legal requirement ,being classified as a small company means the Wirral Chamber of Commerce is only required to submit abbreviated accounts. Nevertheless  they still make for very interesting reading as do the details of 67 resignations.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/00120076/filing-history

 

assets-009

Note particularly that the assets of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce rose between 1 January 2015 and 31 March 2016 from £11,754 to a whopping £981,106. This rise in assets would appear to have been purely as a result of gifting of publicly owned buildings to them by Wirral Council.

Even more interesting reading is the complaint concerning The Lauries Centre submitted to Wirral Council by Birkenhead and Tranmere Neighbourhood Planning Forum earlier in December. This is yet another campaign which we will be following with great interest.

STAGE 1 COMPLAINT: OPERATION OF THE LAURIES LIMITED LEASE

We, the undersigned, ask that the issues outlined below are dealt with in accordance with Wirral Council’s complaints procedure.

As this complaint contains concerns about the conduct and actions of councillors and officers of the Council we would appreciate your early response regarding how this will be investigated and, if corrective and/or disciplinary action is required, what procedures will apply.

We would also appreciate the opportunity to meet with the person appointed to deal with this complaint in order to provide any necessary clarification and to assist in the resolution of this matter at the earliest stage of the Council’s complaints procedure. We consider that you are obliged to provide for this in order to meet the Councils 2020 Vision commitment to openness and transparency.

Background to complaint
Early in the year 2000 community representatives, Councillors and Council officers met in the old YMCA building to discuss which community objectives for capital expenditure under European Objective 1 (Round 2) and Single Regeneration Budget (Round 6) should be prioritised. At that meeting two headline capital projects were decided upon that would provide community meeting spaces at zero or very low cost for community groups across the Birkenhead Ward (pre 2003 boundary). These capital projects were The Lauries Project and the St James Centre. Both buildings were constructed, thereby fulfilling the principal objective of community representatives.

On 29 September 2005 the Council leased The Lauries Centre to The Lauries Limited for a period of 125 years.

The lease defines the permitted use of the building as use:only for the purposes of a community centre, a neighbourhood college (including workshops), a café/snack bar, offices and meeting rooms, conference and events…in furtherance of the Tenant’s aims and objectives as set out in its memorandum and articles of association…being in brief the promotion of any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community of Birkenhead and areas surrounding and in particular the advancement of education the promotion of good health and providing a focus for development and regeneration.

The lease therefore specifically links its own terms with those of the memorandum and articles of association of The Lauries Limited.

Earlier this year it came to our attention that public access to the building had been curtailed, the café had been closed down and it was rumoured that the Wirral Chamber of Commerce had annexed the building. This has since been confirmed because on its website the Wirral Chamber of Commerce now promotes The Lauries Centre as one of its “unique and exclusive office centres”.1 This makes it clear that the building is now used exclusively for commercial purposes, rather than for the purposes that together define the permitted use of the building, as set out in the lease.

Potential breaches of the lease and company mismanagement
Companies House records show that on 31 May 2015 all of the existing directors of The Lauries Limited (including Cllr Brian Kenny) resigned en masse and two new directors, Paula Basnett and Asif Hamid, who are both closely associated with Wirral Chamber of Commerce, replaced them.

The articles of association of The Lauries Limited require only one third of the directors to resign at each annual general meeting. So, the resignation of all directors was unusual to say the least. The articles of association also require a minimum of five directors to be in post at any one time. Once this was drawn to the attention of Paula Basnett, three new directors were appointed (Patricia Crocker, Katherine Eugeni and Sharon Stanton).

According to the articles of association, those three new directors may only remain in post until the next annual general meeting, when their appointment may only be extended by a vote of members of the company. The question of membership of the company is therefore also a key issue.

On behalf of the Forum our chair wrote to the Company Secretary, Paula Basnett, on 6 November 2016 requesting membership under the provisions of Article 1.3 of the company’s articles of association. The Forum also requested other information that the company is supposed to maintain, namely:

  • The company’s membership admissions policy
  • A membership application form
  • A list of current membership classes and their respective subscription fees

To date, no reply to this letter has been received.

The Forum was then approached by a former member of The Lauries Limited, who showed us a letter written in 2009, in which one of the directors at the time dismissed all of the remaining 36 members of the company, offering to refund the balance of any subscriptions paid.

The available evidence indicates that the company has had no members since 30 November 2009. However, it is members of the company who elect directors at each annual general meeting. If there have been no members since 2009 then all directors appointed after 30 November 2009 were occupying those positions unlawfully, as are the current directors. If there are no members, then the company has been operating outside of its own articles of association for a substantial period of time and would therefore appear also to be in breach of its lease with the Council.

Substance of complaint
We believe that the available evidence demonstrates that The Lauries Limited is operating outside of the parameters laid down in its articles of association, which in turn means that the terms of its lease with the Council have been breached. This unlawful operation of the company appears to have been ongoing since 30 November 2009.

We believe that Cllr Jean Stapleton, who was a director of The Lauries Limited continuously from 18 May 2003 until 31 March 2015 was a party to company mismanagement and breaches of the lease that occurred during this time.

We believe that Cllr Phil Davies, who was a director of The Lauries Limited from 6 January 2005 until 18 May 2013 was a party to company mismanagement and breaches of the lease that occurred during this time.

We believe that Cllr Brian Kenny, who was a director of The Lauries Limited from 17 February 2009 until 31 May 2015 was a party to company mismanagement and breaches of the lease that occurred during this time.

In the light of the evidence obtained by the Forum and public records, we believe that any reasonable person would conclude that Councillors Davies, Kenny and Stapleton were party to unlawful decisions, either knowingly or through gross negligence, in a manner that betrayed the commitment to community control and ownership enshrined in the memorandum and articles of association of The Lauries Limited.

It appears that Councillors and Council officers have failed:
1) in their duty to ensure that a significant public asset is managed in accordance with the terms of a lease agreement;
2) to effectively monitor the extent to which The Lauries Limited has been and is being operated in accordance with its memorandum and articles of association, and
3) to safeguard the use of public funds invested in the construction of The Lauries Centre.

Given these apparent failures we have further concerns that the sub-leases of the building, which require Council approval, may not comply with the terms of the principal lease.

In particular we are concerned that market rents are not applied to sub-leases made to commercial companies.

We request that all of the concerns raised in the foregoing paragraphs are investigated by the Council and that arrangements are put in place to ensure that The Lauries Limited is henceforth operated fully in accordance with its memorandum and articles of association and that the lease is properly policed.

The Forum will co-operate fully with the Council’s investigation, including providing copies of the evidential documents referred to in this letter, if the Council cannot obtain them elsewhere.

The Sorry Story of The Lauries : Chapter Two

the-lauries-2

We knew we were opening a can of worms – or tapeworms as we’re talking about parasites here –  when we delved into ‘The Sorry Story of The Lauries’ :

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/the-sorry-story-of-the-lauries/

This has been reinforced by a couple of people who’ve been in touch to tell us about the dubious machinations of the indivisible Wirral Council / Wirral Chamber of Commerce connection which is basically shaping up to be a Paula Basnett Family Benefit Society and/or a safe space for Wirral Council failures (at our expense).

Our first correspondent tells us :

I having just read your piece on the Lauries centre it confirms what everyone knew that the Lauries name was poached in order to receive building grant. In 2011 work started on a so called Craven Street/Paterson Steet regeneration scheme. It quickly deteriorated into chaos and the work done shambolic. I soon came into conflict with the architect ( his credentials are suspect) and Wirral Council who put me on to Councillor Kenny who seemed cowed by the builders and architects and did not put forward anyone’s complaints at the meetings held in the Methodist Hall.  Wirral Council eventually signed off the bad workmanship against my wishes even though Councillor Kenny was well informed of the damage and unfinished work to my home. I have tried to go to arbitration in order to get the work finished on the grounds that my home has been devalued by thousands in comparison to similar homes in the area . I also attempting to put together a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Frank Field and Unite union. 

Whilst we implore you to support the gallant Philip Barton’s  ‘ Retake the Lauries’ Crowdfund campaign below can we just say that the response so far is indicative of the apathy that infects the insular peninsula when it comes to local politics and therefore it seems the local electorate is ripe for the picking  when it comes to picking up the tab!

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/RetakeTheLauriesLtd?utm_id=1&utm_term=zQQ2nGpMV

The Lauries Community Centre in Claughton Road, Birkenhead, was built in 2003 using millions of pounds of tax-payers money secured from European Union and UK Government regeneration funds. It was a community-led project designed to provide much-needed community space in what is one of the most socially and economically deprived wards in England.

A company limited by guarantee, The Lauries Limited, was incorporated to run the centre, with public accountability assured by the inclusion as directors of two elected Ward Councillors. This company has members who elect between 5 and 11 directors at each annual general meeting to run the centre, which is leased from Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council for a peppercorn rent.

However, on 31 May 2015, all of the existing directors resigned and were replaced by two private business people who are not publicly accountable. Local residents were concerned to find recently that the building is no longer open to the public and it appears that The Lauries Limited is not being operated in accordance with its own articles of association – not least because there are now only two directors rather than the minimum of five.

This campaign seeks to re-establish public accountability for the running of this much-needed community centre in what is one of the most deprived parts of England and to restore control of the appointment of directors of The Lauries Limited to members of the company.

We are likely to encounter resolute resistance from the two directors of the company and need to establish a fighting fund to pay the substantial anticipated legal costs that we are likely to incur in wrestling control away from the current directors and bringing the company and the community centre back into democratic community control.

The Sorry Story of The Lauries

the-lauries-2

As you know we’ve long thought that the Wirral Council/ Wirral Chamber of Commerce/ The Contact Centre hook up was way dodgy.

And we’re gratified to find that we’re not the only ones!. As we’ve previously reported the Wirral Chamber of Commerce seems to have been set up to support pulchritudinous Paula Basnett and her family, friends , pets and ex- Wirral Council reprobates.

However our focus of attention on this particular occasion is ‘The Lauries Centre’ which has received funding from all over the place including Wirral Council.We understand this funding runs into hundreds of thousands. We also understand it was a place for many a Labour Party gathering and a favourite place for Matron McLaughlin to meet. However as one of our sources comments :

“Cafe closed, no front entrance open anymore and trust me it’s grim around the back which a notice on the door says you can use.”

The Wirral Network seem to have picked up on ‘The Lauries’ situation  on their Facebook page with this status :

So, from the available information, it appears that the Lauries Centre is still a public asset, owned by the Council.  However, the resignation in May 2015 of Cllrs Kenny and Stapleton as directors, means that there is no longer any direct political accountability for the way the building is run.  Was enough done to investigate whether a different form of public control would work before deciding to hand over control of the companies to private individuals over whom the public has no direct political oversight at all?  Would it have been possible for a coalition of community and voluntary groups to take over the running of the building on the same generous terms (i.e. a “nominal peppercorn rent”) now enjoyed by Paula Basnett and Asif Hamid?  How are the charitable objects of the company being delivered now?  According to the memorandum of association of the company (also a charity, apparently), the objects are: “to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community within Birkenhead and areas surrounding (the area of benefit) and in particular the advancement of education, the promotion of good health and providing focus for development and regeneration”. The ways in which this object would be delivered include: “To promote and assist in the creation of [sic] continuing operation of new enterprises which are owned and controlled by employees or which are operated by and for the benefit of particular communities which suffer from economic disadvantage…To provide a means whereby the business community can contribute to the wellbeing of areas in need of regeneration…To promote the interests of those living or working in such areas…To develop, market and deliver community services including services of an educational, leisure, sporting, artistic, community safety, childcare or for the creation of employment services…To procure grants and funding from third parties and to assist others to do the same…”  

Further to this observation a deeply valued commentator adds :
“Funds/Grants to Contact Centre….interesting that Paula’s husband is a board member of the above…cosy night time chats maybe? “

Apparently Mark Basnett is  :  “A Guarantor Director for Liverpool LEP, Mark was formerly the Director of Investment at the Mersey Partnership which has now transitioned into the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (Liverpool LEP) where he is Executive Director for key Growth Sectors.

Mark’s role here is to drive forward the economy’s key growth sectors working closely with businesses, education and government.”

Ain’t that impressive?. Especially the transitioned bit which makes the Liverpool LEP sound like the Caitlyn Jenner of regional grant funding – a confused travesty of what they they used to be and desperately seeking approval. Roughly translated that means Mark Basnett is a richly rewarded bullshit merchant on the public payroll.To which Wirral Leaks would like to comment  : Enough already of this jiggerypokery  with Euro-money and being prepared to kiss the arse of Brussels bureaucrats and name a bus station in a town dying on it’s arse  ‘Europa Boulevard’! .

Finally , as we’ve already noted, the cafe in The Lauries is closed.
As somebody else commented to us : ” CAFE !…now isn’t that right up someone’s street?”
Could they be referring to the proprietor of the failed enterprise that was the recipient of various grants – ‘The Spotty Blue Teapot’?.
Although we have  to say we do have our reservations as to how twee teashops would work in downtown Birkenhead. Perhaps a rebranding to ‘Smack and Snack’ is the way to go?. Just sayin’!

The Curse of Leaky Towers

Leaky towers

So farewell then – for now  –   Cllr Jim “Crabby” Crabtree who on Friday night failed in his appeal against deselection by Bidston & St.James ward members.

Our congratulations go to the ward members who held their resolve whilst no doubt under extreme pressure from prominent local politicians. May we wish that they are now able to freely appoint a representative in whom they have trust and confidence.

Although no doubt he will be nursing both a sore head and injured pride after last night’s local Labour Party Christmas do at Our Lady’s we’re left wondering how long it is before Crabtree is parachuted into a safe seat somewhat like his helium voiced colleague Cllr Brian Kenny such is the perverse regard with which he is held by those who pull the strings (and pull the public’s leg) .

However we’re left reflecting at Leaky Towers upon the continuous trail of the Wirral Council elite (both councillors and officers) that have in recent history (dis) -graced our pages that have gradually fallen from grace and/or favour.

Her Ladyship , who is not only very superstitious and also has something of the Cassandra about her, has christened this strange phenomena “The Curse of Leaky Towers”  –  from the likes of  Adderley , Burgess and  Degg (funny how we always associate these three together) to more obscure horrors like Rick ” 4 week delay” O’Brien there is a pattern reminiscent of lost teens in a stalk “n” slash movie as one by one the seemingly untouchable of Wirral Council prove they are not omnipotent deities but ordinary mortals who are usually more monsters than gods.

Let’s make it clear this karmic satisfaction is not motivated by irrational , random dislike for fine upstanding members of the community .Our cutting coverage has always guided by the information provided by our downtrodden followers and it is invariably about the same bad eggs up to the same old stuff they’ve been up to for years and years and getting away with it….but now it seems ,alas,thanks to Wirral Leaks it is no more.

However as this social media screenshot shows it’s nice to see Crabby/Jimbo/Jumbo/Whatever remaining stoical in defeat and getting support from another who ignominiously fell from grace – though not far enough as far as we’re concerned – when he was unceremoniously ousted as Leader of Wirral Council in a vote of confidence , the one and only (thank the Lord) Stephen Foulkes (aka Foulkesy).

We just need to let Foulkesy know that our hex is very much still on as far as he and the other 3 constituent parts of the Gang of Four is concerned.

Jumbo