Pip’s Cabinet Kerfuffle

Following the local election comes the the arrival of the new civic year with the Mayor-making ceremony held earlier this week at Wallasey Town Hall which witnessed  Tory Cllr Geoffrey Watt installed as this year’s incumbent. Watt’s yawn-inducing acceptance speech gave Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson the opportunity to do what he does best – multitasking. By which we mean blinking and looking utterly vacant .

Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies then did what he does best  by rewarding failure – in this case we mean nominating former Cabinet member responsible for Children’s Services , Cllr Tony Smith to be Deputy Mayor (and therefore next year’s Mayor). This follows the inglorious record of failed and disgraced councillors who have been Labour’s nomination to be Wirral’s first citizen following on from the likes of Cllr Moira McLaughlin and Cllr Steve Foulkes.

Pip later moved on make the announcement of a Cabinet shake-up which involved the creation of new portfolios and the dropping of Cllr Christine Spriggs from Leisure and Recreation in favour of Cllr Philip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore . We can only wonder what prompted Pip to oust Spriggs – but we have a fairly good idea.  The other change of note is Cllr Paul Stuart heading up ‘Law and Order’ (no laughing at the back). Might we suggest that Stuart’s first test will be the argy-bargy brewing with Wirral Council staff who are part of the much heralded ‘Safer Wirral Hub’ at Solar Campus (more on that developing story later.)

Meanwhile here’s a Labour sources interesting observations on the recent election campaign , The Contact Company and the current Labour cabinet

Dear Wirral Leaks,

During the campaign in Birkenhead & Tranmere, it was widely known throughout the Labour camp that they were keeping record of Labour members within the ward who were planning on voting Green. It was claimed by Sheila Murphy, a delegate to Wirral Labour’s LCF, and Paul Jobson the Labour candidate that members who say on the doorstep they will vote Green can be removed from the party.
It is my understanding speaking to North West branch that this is false. Members may vote for whoever they choose as it is a secret ballot, provided they do not campaign for another party. It is my belief this was an intimidation tactic used by the Labour campaign to force members to vote Green.
However, if such a list exists separately from the data political parties may keep when knocking on the doorstep, then there would possibly be a legal infringement.
You may have also picked up a leaflet printed about Pat Cleary during the campaign, much of which was a personal attack up Pat rather than over policies. It should be noted that on Twitter many Labour members made their feelings clear over personal attacks against candidates rather than those on policies.
However, it is not only members who were being forced to get behind the campaign.
Wirral Council’s cabinet were also whipped to attend campaign days in Birkenhead & Tranmere on “action saturdays”, and it was only until this issue was raised by Labour’s LCF that other target seats were included too. Again, this was well known throughout the Labour campaign.
The pouring of resources into Birkenhead & Tranmere it is well known is less to do with a fear of Pat Cleary, and more due to the fact that there is a fear Phil Davies will lose his seat next year and throwing everything into the ward this year was meant to stem the Green tide. However, it may have come at the cost of Pensby, and the possibility of winning other seats.
One final note, an investigative piece into workers rights in The Contact Company, and Phil Davies and Liverpool City Region’s links to the company and its owner Asif may be well worth a look in to. Agency workers  on minimum wage, 13 week, zero hours contracts working over 40 hours a week, many getting sacked for spurious reasons linked to a LABOUR council leader…. you get the idea.
Please respect my anonymity, but understand I am only trying to uncover what is going on behind the scenes because the majority of Wirral Labour Party want this current cabinet out, and are in fact good people.
  Yours Faithfully,
  A Labour Source.
We managed to track down copies of the offending leaflets referred to above on Twitter courtesy of  @LuciBella_
Twitter - Election

Null and Void in New Brighton?

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We had been contacted by Paula Walters the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward in this week’s local elections prior to Wirral Globe updating  its original story from 23rd April about Ms Walter’s alleged ‘hate tweeting’ .  Today , a week after the article, Wirral Globe have also issued an apology to Ms Walters – see here
The upshot of all this hoo -ha is that depending on the outcome of the election that Ms Walters may well have to petition to have the  New Brighton election declared null and void (see below).
We won’t comment on Ms Walters’ statement to us other than to say that we fully concur with Ms Walters’ final line :
I was contacted by Liverpool Echo that Christine Spriggs accused me of hate tweeting and would I like to comment. I asked to see the article so that I could respond. They refused but did send the tweets which were from 2015. I responded to each and every one of them which to be fair was a bit like ‘War and Peace’. I was then advised by Tom Houghton from the Echo that he was unable to honour my right to reply and went ahead to publish – on April 22nd see here –  what in my opinion is an unfair,unjust article. The Globe reproduced the article in its entirety but went further in their headline that I am standing down. There has been no sign of an apology for trampling over my reputation (until today –  a week after the original article ) and the Police are now involved, also The Independent Press Standards Organisation. I often attack policies of other parties but would not attack other candidates as a way of point scoring. I find this abhorrent. Feel free to publish my statement
STATEMENT : It has been falsely alleged by Christine Spriggs, The Liverpool Echo and by the Wirral Globe that I have posted ‘hateful’ Tweets. These Tweets have not been reproduced by the paper. I tweeted that Halal slaughter, in which animals are conscious when their throats are cut, should not be allowed in this country. I tweeted that money should be given to those needing cancer treatment, pensioners and the homeless rather than illegal immigrants. I tweeted that illegal immigration jeopardises our security, as ISIS has pledged (again last week) to send jihadists into our societies. I tweeted that people who have multiple wives – a criminal offence in this country – should not be paid extra benefits for them. The Wirral Globe/Echo did not reproduce these Tweets, because they were aware that huge numbers of Wirral voters agree with them, wholeheartedly.
Instead, they have propagated the lie that they were ‘hateful’.  They have additionally now stated that I am standing down as a candidate in the forthcoming election. This is another lie, and an illegal interference with the election, contravening Section 106 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983 I cannot now do anything to change that, so on the Town Hall’s advice I will be petitioning for the election to be declared null and void. I regret the cost and inconvenience this will cause, but if someone lies repeatedly and breaks the law to affect an election, it is the only proper course to take. These people will stop at nothing.
Paula Walters, UKIP candidate for New Brighton

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – 1 week to go

We didn’t know whether the local elections had been cancelled as you’ve all been very quiet and then suddenly our inbox (and your letterbox) has been pounded in the hope of a big finish and/or happy ending (!) and then suddenly we realised it must be the last week of local election campaigning!

GREEN SHOOTS

You poor ,poor people – it’s a case ‘Hobson’s Choice’ for most of you and if you’re living in Birkenhead & Tranmere ward you’re really unlucky – it’s a case of ‘Jobson’s Choice’!

Talking of which – here’s an interesting factoid :

Green Shoots

Just sayin’

SMEAR CAMPAIGN 

We’re a broad church here at Wirral Leaks and we’re always happy to redress the political balance if people approach us with tales of political hypocrisy . Here’s one we received this week from Kipper Central titled  Local UKIP Candidate in Smear Campaign

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Here we find ‘Labour Rose’  Cllr Christine Spriggs apparently involved in a smear campaign :

Paula Walters, the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward on Wirral council, is being targeted in a politically motivated smear campaign. The Liverpool Echo, owned by the overtly left-wing Trinity Mirror group which owns the Mirror stable of newspapers amoung (sic) others, has teamed up with local Labour councillor Christine Spriggs to try and force Ms Walters to stand down.

A smear campaign with racist allegations?  Perhaps Cllr Spriggs needs to check the conduct of her Labour colleagues Cllr George Davies and Cllr Steve Foulkes before she starts throwing stones in glass houses!

Just sayin’

ASTERISK OF HOPE 

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Talking of which many of our readers have been in touch asking permission to use Wirral Leaks content in their election campaigning only to find the object of their objections wasn’t standing . Most prominently – and once again for all the wrong reasons  – was Cllr Steve Foulkes aka ‘Foulkesy’ . Someone had done some research and sent us this picture of the 2015 election result and claiming that the asterisk meant ‘retiring councillor’ . We don’t want to dash their hopes but we think Foulkesy is here to stay . How else is this piece of poliical detritus meant to feel important? And what’s more the good folk of Claughton seem to enjoy the spectacle of fisticuffs with the missus!

Just sayin’

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – 2 weeks to go

Vote Goodies

PEACHEZ ‘N’ POLITIX 

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

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

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

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

THORNY ISSUE FOR LABOUR ROSE

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

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

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Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #12

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WHAT A WASTE

We’d like to thank the Wirral Leaks reader who sent us the above snapshot which is supposed to represent what Wirral life is like after you’ve made an additional payment over and above your council tax for Wirral Council to deal with your waste . It made us ask ourselves why we ever left Wirral and then we remembered amongst many other things that nepotism , undue deference and general subservience wasn’t for us.

Whilst it seems to be a case of ‘another week, another advertisement feature’ in Wirral Globe it really makes us wonder what made Wirral Globe so popular with Wirral Council all of a sudden – especially when they’ve got their own sewage outlet with Wirral View. Perhaps someone can enlighten us. Oh , wait a minute , they already have!

What’s more we were told :

It’s US-sourced stock photo library time again in Wallasey. This scene of glamorous young people at a barbecue in Tranmere is so typical of life round here.

https://mailchi.mp/wirral/wirrals-garden-waste-club-11th-april?e=c5e90571ae

Ain’t it just! We thought it was just us who didn’t buy the happy,shiny, ethnically diverse people malarkey! Lazy,unimaginative,insensitive and out of touch with reality – yes, that’s Wirral Council folks!

As for the comment on the right of our picture which reads ‘paper is inside’ shouldn’t that be ‘ paper is on the inside’ …….of the ‘Inner Ring’ that is. What a difference a tape makes! Just sayin’ !

SPRIGGS HAS SPRUNG

Keeping the seasonal theme it would appear that not only has spring has sprung so has Cllr Christine Spriggs – sprung into action that is after last week’s post where we questioned the lack of activity when it came to Wirral Council’s  Imagine Wirral programme. Subsequently a Wirral Leaks observer wrote to us to say :

Further strange odd coincidences… you will recall my email to you when I mentioned that there had been nil activity on the Imagine Wirral twitter account since its Feb 18th launch date….

And then of course (yesterday?) you posted a comment about Imagine Wirral – and asked a question to Cllr Christine Spriggs….

But then guess what? The Imagine Wirral Twitter account suddenly appears to have lots of activity on it… and guess who’s ‘tweets’ are very prominent?

Of course just an ‘odd’ coincidence…                            .

And here is another photo from elsewhere…from a couple of ‘election’ days ago.Haha

 

FROM A BANG TO A WHIMPER

We’ve been asked what questions you should ask those smiley people with rosettes (do they still wear rosettes?) currently interrupting your favourite TV programme. That’s up to you and what you feel is important to you ,your family and community – potholes? dog crap? litter? incompetence,dishonesty and corruption? However one reader has made the following suggestion :

My dear Lordship,

In this time of local elections I have been confused by silence. Only a week ago it was reported that the government were allocating a million pounds to the businesses of central Salisbury following the alleged Russian poisoning scandal. This was to support the local shopkeepers who had lost trade due to the tourists and locals steering a wide berth from the town centre.

I seem to remember there is another centre of a town on the Wirral that people are currently steering a wide berth from due to the fact, “It no longer exists, having been blown to bits”.

The good people of New Ferry are probably too shocked following the explosive nature of the incident to ask the question.

And what is the question you may ask?

Why is there no indignation from the local MP’s and councillors in regard to this matter. Or as in the case of a certain former Eastham school, is the land earmarked for a super housing development. Just asking your Lordship?

Regards

AND FINALLY…….. FROM INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE TO DEMENTIA CARE VILLAGE

Meanwhile it’s a case of another week, another artist’s impression!

East Germany

We still haven’t had a grovelling apology from Wirral Council about Wirral Waters and how they were duped by a Hong Kong bankrupt by the name of Stella Shiu and wasted thousands of £££££’s on far eastern jaunts in the hope of financing an ‘International Trade Centre’ . Instead it would appear we’re getting a ‘Dementia Care Village’ that is reminiscent of East German brutalist architecture from the 1970’s !

Whilst there is still a prize to be had for the person who tells us whatever happened to the portrait of Shiu that hung adjacent to the Wirral Council CEO’s office ,perhaps the Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Cllr George Davies can finally admit that Shiu was “ bloody useless….” . Or perhaps not!

 

 

 

Wirral Leaks Election Selection 2018 – 3 weeks to go

FAILURE TO LAUNCH

The ‘failure’ of course being Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies who ‘launched’ Labour’s  local election campaign earlier this week. We’ve been sent the email and picture that was sent to Labour Party members and which found its way swiftly over to us from a number of sources, which is ironic as we understand Pip has been bemoaning the number of leaks emanating from the party faithless disillusioned with the local political ‘leadership’. The email was accompanied with the comment :  “Leaks? – oh dear Pip here’s another one!:    

Labour Rotheram pic

Hello –

Today, alongside Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, I launched Wirral Labour’s local election campaign.

As you know, the choice for local people at this election is very clear – a Tory Party obsessed with austerity, cuts to the budgets of Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, falling numbers of nurses and doctors in our NHS, a crisis in teacher recruitment in our schools, and cuts to the Local Authority budgets which provide vital services to Wirral residents.

Read more from my speech here:  https://wirrallabour.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/labour-is-last-line-of-defence-against-savage-tory-cut…

On May 3rd, residents can choose a Labour Council which acts as the last line of defence for Wirral families and residents against these damaging Conservative cuts which are gambling with people’s lives.

I hope to see you on the campaign trail!

With best wishes,

Cllr Phil Davies
Leader of Wirral Council

NICK’S PICK

From the same photo session as above comes this delightful pic featuring Labour’s Claughton councillors Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes ,  Cllr ‘Gorgeous’ George Davies and the other one. See here : Gilly Keeps Bad Company in Claughton

Line of tory

Line of Tory ? – well if you say so!

There they are basking in the successful electoral lustre of Metro Mayor Steve ‘ The Brickie’ Rotheram. Does the Brickie know who he’s mixing with? All we’re saying is that if you take Cllr Gill Whatsherface out of her picture we wouldn’t be surprised to see former British National Party president Nick Griffin standing there. Just sayin’!

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

We thought that a long standing mystery had been resolved when we’d been sent the leaflet below. Wirral leaks readers may remember our  Campaign Fail story from the 2016 local election  involving Labour  candidate (and now Labour councillor) Tony ‘Lifeboat Disaster’ Jones. You may recall that Jones distributed election leaflets without showing name of agent, candidate or printer on the leaflet . As we reported at the time :

The Electoral Commission takes these things very seriously. Section 143 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 introduced a new requirement for all election material to bear the name and address of the printer, promoter and the name and address of any person on behalf of whom material is being published (and who is not the promoter). A candidate or election agent contravening this provision is guilty of an illegal practice.

Cllr Jones has subsequently proved to be very mysterious about his contact details. However we thought the mystery had been solved when we saw these details until we told this wasn’t an election leaflet but a newsletter and that fellow Labour Cllr Christine Spriggs resides at a different address . All very confusing :

Sprigg & Jones

LOOKING AT THE PEACHEZ

Pip told us he was on the campaign trail. Little did he tell us he would be mainly conducting it from the gutter. We’ve already told you about how the local Labour group are focussing on ousting sole Green councillor Pat Cleary. We also told you a while ago about ‘gentleman’s club ‘Peachez’  here. These two unlikely subjects collide in this desperate electioneering ploy from Pip and gormless Birkenhead & Tranmere ward candidate Paul ‘Hand’ Jobson who are suddenly wanting to close down the so called strip-joint in downtown Birkenhead.

 

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The first thing we have to say about the Wirral Globe story :  Campaigners call for Birkenhead strip club to be closed down   is to ask – Who the hell is Pip to talk about ‘sordid business’ !?

Whilst a representative declined to comment on the Wirral Globe article Dustin Paul from Peachez did post this marvellous riposte on the Globe’s Facebook page :

I would like to offer anyone of the Wirral Globe readers free admission this weekend just say WIRRAL GLOBE on entrance to the club and you will be granted free entrance to see how nice the club is for yourself!!
Hope to see you all in Peachez this weekend!!
PS thank you Wirral Globe for the free advert last time we had to pay you to advertise Peachez in your paper!!!

Which just goes to show that those who take money for advertising are in no position to publish politically motivated stories judging those who take notes in the knicker elastic! Just sayin’!

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #11

Apologies for the late edition of our weekly dispatch. A bit too much pastis over le weekend – that’s the French spirit and not the Gregg’s delicacy obvs !

MARKS OF EXTINCTION

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So farewell then to Birkenhead’s Marks and Spencer. And what a sorry sight you leave behind. No more sourdough bread and sturdy gussets. Even the intervention of Birkenhead MP Frank Field couldn’t save it from extinction. Is Frankenfield losing his touch ? After failing to get ‘Sir’ Philip Green stripped of his knighthood  and as yet not succeeding in getting car parking for nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital scrapped he’ll have to go back to getting his own way with Wirral Council and DWP .

However the good news for the down town trackie-clad denizens of Birkenhead is that they will be well served by JD Sports moving to larger ,refurbished premises.

USING OUR IMAGINATION

Imagine Wirral

Although being a contributor to the cultural life of Wirral (!) we unfortunately couldn’t attend the February launch of the Wirral Council programme Imagine Wirral which apparently is about celebrating culture,creativity and ideas. Other than the re- branding of ‘The Leisure Peninsula’ and the website there hasn’t been an awful lot going on at #ImagineWirral since its launch so we’re left using our imagination as to what it’s all about – other than promoting established events and gegging in with a bit of opportunistic branding. If Wirral Council leisure guru Cllr Christine Spriggs could enlighten us further we’d appreciate it……

POTHOLE OF THE WEEK

So with the news that central government has allocated some money from its £100 million pothole fund to Liverpool City Region out of which Wirral Council gets a whopping £184,000 (which judging by the state of Wirral’s roads we all know won’t go very far), especially when we consider this example sent to us from Tranmere :

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HUB OF THE WEEK

Excellent work here from the Peel Group. There are so many buzzword bingo boxes ticked with our headline of the year so far:

 

Exciting new ‘pop up’ leisure hub for Wirral Waters

 

As an added bonus there’s the obligatory artist’s impression :

 

Float on

Find it in all its glory here

and finally….. HOLE OF THE WEEK

Yes – we’re sure you’ve all seen the guy having sex with a hole on the Brackenwood golf course. As this is a family blog (!) we’ll leave you to find the footage on Youtube for yourself. But when it comes to leisure and celebrating culture,creativity and ideas on Wirral perhaps we can expect find it , er,popping up on the Imagine Wirral website soon!

The Never-ending Story

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Now if there’s one area of council business we receive more complaints about than any other it’s social services (be it children’s or adult services and particularly the transition between the two). Of course this might be expected. It’s an important component of public services and is a difficult area of work as it involves the most vulnerable people in our community and the involvement of statutory services is often required at times of crisis and distress.

With the push towards more integrated working with the NHS , includes moves to create an All-Age Disability Service – which we hear is not going down too well with staff as it it as seen as another way of undermining professional expertise and status of social workers – we are left to pity the poor carers and service users out there who find themselves all at sea trying to deal with what are now called ‘care navigators’ .

Earlier this week at the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting we had councillors  Christine Spriggs, Chris Jones and Phil Davies extolling the virtues of integrated working and how it would prevent carers telling their ‘story’  over and over again in an attempt to acquire a service to which they are legally entitled. Needless to say Cllr Bernie Mooney waded in to blame everything on Tory cuts but reassured everyone she had written to everyone she could think of to protest about how unfair it all was. This included a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. You can imagine the consternation in 10 Downing Street can’t you? as a special adviser whispers in the PM’s ear : “Psst ! Theresa – you’d better drop the Brexit negotiations and forget about that bit of bother you’ve got with Priti and Boris and Damian and Michael and whoever the next errant Tory is – Cllr Bernie Mooney is on the warpath and you wouldn’t like it when she gets angry!”

So what we’d like to do here is to provide a case study which is typical of the many complaints we receive from carers and which suggest the problems that Wirral Council have are not just about money it is, as ever ,about the CULTURE  of Wirral Council.  How about they look more closely at why they can’t recruit and retain quality staff and have to spend a fortune on consultants and agency staff.   Talking of which we hear a social services big hitter may soon be on their way out……we’ll bring you more when we get it.

Meanwhile read this never-ending story and weep :

I could fill a book about this but, in short, my severely autistic and learning-disabled son (aged 19) and I have just lost our second second social worker in 15 months.

Last August (2016) I got a call out of the blue from our social worker to say “I am going on secondment and I won’t be seeing you again.” 3 weeks earlier she had said, without prompting, that she would be “right beside you” for at least another year, as my son went through his last year at school and made crucial preparations for college and work placements. When I objected she said “Here’s the number of my immediate boss. Take up your concerns with him.” I kept phoning, over a good two weeks, only to get voice-mail. I left a message that wasn’t picked up, etc. Eventually it turns out that her immediate boss had already been on “indefinite sick leave” for quite a time already, something she must have known when she suggested I ring him.

My son still asks what happened to this social worker and wonders why she didn’t say goodbye.

A new social worker arrived from another borough in Sept 2016. (As did another person to replace the person who was on indefinite sick leave.) In January, the second of these two people gave a week’s notice and went back to South Wales, clearly defeated by Wirral Council’s complete inability to organise. . .anything. Our new social worker kept saying to me “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.” I have tried for a year now to get my son’s respite dates guaranteed to me in writing by Wirral Social Services. I have been in contact with the MP about it, and she has tried repeatedly to be in contact with them. They are usually on voice-mail, or don’t respond to emails, hers or mine. I still have no written guarantee.

The social worker, after lots of meetings/phonecalls with me, assured me at the start of June that my son’s two work placements would start this September. September came: no work placements. It turns out that the work placements hadn’t received the necessary paperwork from the social worker to enable my son to start work; Social Worker insisted that they had the necessary paperwork. Then she and I and the work placement people (Wirral Evolutions) have a meeting in which it is agreed that my son needs one-to-one support at both of the placements. “Don’t worry, I’ll get these sorted” social worker tells me. This was at the end of September. Yesterday (November 3rd), having heard nothing, I phoned the social worker to ask what the delay is. I get a person on the phone who says “Social Worker doesn’t work for Wirral Council anymore. She left 2 weeks ago. Who are you?” This person was, apparently, a receptionist, someone I’d never dealt with before, left with the task of telling x number of people that they have been abandoned.

Wirral Council/Wirral Social Services are grossly incompetent. They are rude. They have no regard for their clients and their clients’ families. They don’t even show the most basic courtesies or consideration. In due course, I daresay I’ll get a call from whoever the replacement social worker is, and the replacement will say “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.”

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.

Apparently the new person to whom my son and I have been allotted is going to be in contact “in due course.” Big deal. The “leader” of the “integrated” (!) team for disabilities at Wirral Social Services since January is someone who clearly does not lead. When I told him at that point (no-one had told us the previous man had left, I found out by chance) that Wirral Social Services is a shambles, he replied with “But that’s just your opinion.”  No-one with a shred of conscience can stay working with these people for any length of time: they either go off sick, having had some kind of breakdown, or they are “let go.” The people there for any significant length of time are, almost by definition, dead wood.

When my son is going to get his work placements is anyone’s guess. Ever? SW who has just gone was saying to me most of the past 12 months “It’s very important that your son gets a 5-day week”. .. I know, I had never suggested otherwise!”