More leaked emails from Wirral Council featuring correspondence between Liberty Antiques shop owner Sean Martin and various councillors is most illuminating on the political machinations that are going on behind the scenes.
We’re confident that our campaigning friends at Wirral Against The Litter Police (Kingdom Security) understand the motives of a ‘Tory-Come-Lately’ or a ‘Labour Appeaser’ as clearly there is much political capital that can be made from the increasingly contentious situation in the run up to the local elections in May.
Our main concern is that the current ruling administration would rather stick with a highly unpopular course of action than be seen to cave in to public pressure . The same approach also applies to the plans for the Hoylake Golf Resort/Celtic Manor Resort and the publication of Wirral View.
This also seems to be the approach of Cllr Anita Leech , Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Environment about whom it is alleged knows nothing of Kingdom’s actions – which is simply either untrue or a failure of scrutiny. Although it must be said from other comments she’s alleged to have made at least she seems to be upfront about her motives – money for Wirral Council and political power for her party.
All we know is that the controversy surrounding Kingdom will run and run until hopefully they are run out of town…
Liberty Antiques <email@example.com> Thu, Feb 14, 12:10 AM to all Wirral councillors
Good morning all Wirral Councillors I received a call today from a small business owner in Pensby who had just received a £300 fine from Kingdom. This is what he said to me: “I feel that Wirral Council have given someone the authority to enter our premises and take £300 from our till and there is nothing I can do about it” As an elected councillor whose job it is to serve the public if you think what Kingdom are doing is right you have lost touch with reality and you should be ashamed of yourself.
Your views on this matter would be welcomed
Kind Regards Sean Martin
Ellis, Gerry (Councillor) Thu, Feb 14, 8:34 PM
Dear Mr Martin
Thanks for the copy of your message to councillors. I totally agree with you. It was a discrace (sic) for Kingdom to behave in the way they did. However, I understand that our Cabinet Member responsible for Waste was not aware of Kingdom’s actions and she has now ordered them to cease the practise until council officers have investigated what is going on and reviewed the policy.
With best wishes Councillor Gerry Ellis Hoylake & Meols Ward
Liberty Antiques < Thu, Feb 14, 8:58 PM to Gerry Ellis
I am sorry sir but you are deluded if you think that. Her own constituents have been telling her for the last 4 weeks and she has been rude and dismissive with quotes such as “the council need the money” and “it’s either us or the tories so take your pick” . My local representatives Pat Hackett and Tony Jones have been canvassing her for the last 2 weeks without success. Pat Hackett actually asked her to come down to meet us and listen to our concerns and she ignored his request
Join us for the second part of our journey down the red carpet to hell.
“Five years ago, we were a local authority in crisis: focused on cuts and on the verge of government intervention. Since then, we’ve been recognised as the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Most Improved Council’, experiencing the fastest turnaround of any council in the UK. So what’s changed? In a nutshell, we refuse to give up; we never stop moving. Our pragmatic, innovative and bold plan, ‘2020 Vision’ will ensure that we’re getting the basics right; that we’re achieving more; that we’re changing the way we do things. In this role, you’ll take us to the next level and create a legacy for yourself in the process.” – Wirral Council advert to recruit a new Director of Finance will make you laugh , vomit or both.
“They don’t seem to realise I’m at the top of the peckingorder ” and referring to the investigator :“She doesn’t scare me and a little councillor involved might just shut her up.” – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) texts used as evidence against her during Standards Panel Code of Conduct investigation. LRJ describing herself as top of the pecking order brings visions of an Animal Farm hen coop in desperate need of a cock. The cock in question being Foghorn Leghorn!
” ‘Sustainable’ = slashed budgets and services.· ‘Transformed’ = cut, demoralised and damaged beyond recognition. ‘Partnership’ = developed in secret, operating in secret, condemned by local councils, a total lack of public/patient consultation, and the only happy partners are Richard Branson and a series of US ‘healthcos’. ” Defend Our NHS provide a definition of STP (Sustainability & Transformation Plans)
“An economic value below the legalminimum wage……..(would help employers) to take on low-productivity disabled workers.” – Frank Field ,Birkenhead MP demonstrates his deep understanding of disability and equality rights .
“For anyone in this day and age to hold those views, and especially someone in Frank Field’s position, is abominable. It is exactly the same sort of thinking as the Nazi ‘useless eaters’ rhetoric.” Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) responds to Field’s comments
“The right to equal treatment and equality are human rights. Human rights are not privileges. That’s why they are called rights. I suggest Mr Field goes back to the drawing board. His comments are a disgrace and he should now apologise. Furthermore, if the Labour Party wishes to prove that it has truly changed its tune, it will need to demonstrate that the New Labour old guard are no longer calling the shots and put the voices of disabled people first.The last time we looked, Mr Field was not a spokesperson for disabled people.” – John McArdle from campaign group Black Triangle also responds to Field’s comments. By the way people from Birkenhead , just a reminder, you are allowed to disagree with your MP.
“It had adversely affected the staff morale and the reputation of the authority and rebuilding trust and transparency is still ongoing” – Simon Cuerden – Corporate Business Support Manager, WirralCouncil comments on the conviction of Wallasey Town Hall petty cash thief who would have evaded justice if an attempted cover up by officials hadn’t been uncovered by Wirral Leaks
” Wirral is officially the happiest place to live in the North West”– Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , ‘Leader’ of Wirral Council in peak Pollyanna mode latches onto a bogus Rightmove survey as if it somehow negates an Ofsted report deeming Children’s Services ‘inadequate’ and a Care Quality Commission assessment that over half of care homes on Wirral are inadequate or require improvement. Yeah, Pip, whatevs.
Comrades, “Now is the time” to stop acting like a “Party within a party” – and even like a “Momentum within Momentum”.
It is time to grasp that the mainstream (often called the “Left”) has won back the heart and soul of the Labour Party. I do not know of a single member of the Seacombe Branch who has not fully supported my own declarations for Corbyn on the two websites or who does not support him now. So why introduce friction where thereneed be none? Let’s try now to be a single Labour Party in Seacombe Ward.
Some comrades will remember that we also, for a while, held “Songs of the Labour Movement” musical evenings in the Park View Social Club – an opportunity for comrades to perform – or just listen and rub shoulders informally. But, since then, we have had the difficulty of the Party being suspended so long that many of us don’t even know eachother. – Cllr Adrian Jones keeps the red flag flying and addresses Wallasey CLP members seemingly in denial about the circumstances that led to the local branch being suspended by the Labour Party.
“To ensure the promotion of “professional curiosity” when vulnerable children seek advice” – The final recommendation made following the (unpublished) Serious Care Review report following the Rajenthiram Brothers Child Sexual Exploitation case. It comes to something when you have to ask those who get paid to protect vulnerable children to actually try and do their jobs properly!
“Wirral Council has to ensure every pound spent is wisely invested and we get the best value for our residents.This decision is the right decision at the right moment – the contract with BAM Nuttall was coming to an end and we believe we can deliver this service more effectively by taking direct control.”– Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies announces the surprise return of highways services to council control which is in the opposite direction of all other council services. There are suggestions this decision was influenced not by best value but by personal and political interests.
” Just goes to show what’s goingon out there .We live in a sheltered world . We’re all too good for our owngood“– Cllr Ron Abbey comments on the conduct of councillors in other councils clearly demonstrating he’s in denial and utterly deluded.
” I’ve always bought my houses, I’ve never inherited them……”Frank Field , MP bitch slaps fellow Labour MP Hilary Benn and manages to unite all members of the House of Commons in condemnation of his comment.
“The darkness around us is very deep” – Cllr Tony ‘Tight-fit’ Norbury reads a poem urging elected members to ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ whilst every single Wirral councillor appears to be oblivious to the darkness around them.
“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.” – ACarer contacts us to describe her experience of trying to get a much needed service for her disabled son.
“As the Labour member on the (Standards) Panel it was very difficult for me to hear that a Labour councillor had used her position as a councillor to damage the reputation and the livelihoods of other people. It goes without saying that people who come into this council were elected to serve the residents of the borough and not to use our position to do damage to them………”Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin proves to be another councillor in denial and conveniently forgets her role and that of other Labour councillors in damaging reputations and livelihoods of various former council officers who dared challenge them.
“Phil’s Folly “– Cllr Gerry Ellis proving there’s life in the old dog yet at a standing room only public meeting where he described Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil Davies and his plans for development of the Hoylake Golf Resort.
As we’ve commented earlier in this Advent adventure we’re lovin’ the emergence of a seemingly increasingly questioning Wirral public. It would seem that Wirral politicians relying on the supine,docile and uninformed seem to be over……and they don’t like it! Witness yesterday’s public meeting organised by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood about the Hoylake Golf Resort proposals. An increasingly exasperated Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was told to ‘stop sulking’ by a member of the public when he was repeatedly forced to halt his oft-repeated stream of BS. It’s called public accountability Pip – get used to it and quit with the titty-lip!
And we don’t know what superannuated Cllr Gerry Ellis is putting in his Horlicks – but can we have some? We couldn’t have done better than describe the dodgy housing development on the Green Belt masquerading as a ‘golf resort’ as ‘Phil’s Folly’
And apparently there’s more to come as tomorrow’s full Council meeting at Wallasey Town Hall which features more pesky members of the public wanting answers to various questions . We anticipate the BS quotient from Pip & Co will be through the Wallasey Town Hall roof. We’d like suggest that people might be better off making Freedom of Information requests but let’s face it , they probably wouldn’t be – life’s too short.
We are also breathless with anticipation as to whether Cllr Louise Reecejones actually turns up and offers a grovelling apology to rest of the council chamber and the public gallery for previously failing to make an acceptable apology for conduct unbecoming an elected member as well as being , well Cllr Louise Reecejones and therefore not one of the protected Labour Party cabal. Fortunately there are a number of attendees in the public gallery who’ve promised us some feedback on events as they unfold – so we look forward to reporting all the gory details.
Until then we’ll leave you with the petition organised by the Hoylake & West Kirby Campaign Group which has forwarded to us. And finally remember – when it comes to Wirral Council – question everything!
A few days ago the petition, below, was delivered to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, signed by 600+ people. The Council will now go through its ‘validation process’ which means excluding any signature which was not accompanied by a full address.
People are still waiting for Margaret Greenwood, the Wirral West MP, to oppose Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to devastate the NW England Greenbelt at Hoylake and West Kirby.
SAVE WIRRAL’S COUNTRYSIDE. STOP THE HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT. STOP THE URBANISATION OF WIRRAL’S GREENBELT.
To – PHIL DAVIES, Council Leader, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 8ED.
We are opposed to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to build the exclusive ‘HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT’ on 285 acres of the Birket Valley, which is publicly owned greenbelt land. The Council’s plan includes: the construction of roads; car parking; a luxury housing estate; a 250 bedroom, exclusive hotel; a spa; and a conference centre. The Hoylake Municipal Golf Course is to be relocated. There are already 17 golf courses in the Wirral Metropolitan Borough. Most Wirral residents do not play golf. Hoylake already has two golf courses, one privately owned and one publicly owned. There is no need for another, private golf course in the Hoylake/West Kirby area. The Council has failed to act in an open, transparent and fair manner, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project. . A Freedom of Information request (FOI request 827270), of August 2014, revealed that the Council had paid £237,012, of public funds, to consultants, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project. The Council failed to allow members of the public to participate at an early stage in the planning process, in an effective way, when ALL options were open. There is no evidence that the Council allowed members of the public to propose any alternative plans for the 285 acre area or for the area to remain as it is. There is no guarantee that the exclusive Hoylake Golf Resort would be an economic success. Golf resorts, all over the world, have gone bankrupt, including several in the USA and one in Northern Ireland. The proposed, private Hoylake Golf Resort would have a detrimental impact on the Hoylake and West Kirby landscape. It would urbanise a rural area. We, the undersigned, call on Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council to cancel its exclusive ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ plan. Housing should be built on ‘brown field’ sites, not on valuable, much appreciated, ‘green belt’ land, in the borough. We believe that the remaining Wirral greenbelt countryside should be protected. The construction of the Hoylake Golf Resort would not be in the interest of the local community.
NAME SIGNATURE ADDRESS DATE
…………… …………………… ……………….………… …… Published by: Hoylake and West Kirby Campaign Group.
So much money, so much time , so much energy defending this clown. Can somebody please explain?
Ladies and gentleman we present you with the Wirral Council Circus. Witness amazing feats of escapology performed before your very eyes!.
Recorded for posterity by the indomitable John Brace – who seems to have recovered from being barred from last week’s Standards Panel meeting to bring us the thrills and spills from this week’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.
Watch as chief town hall juggler Surjit Tour squirms as he walks the tightrope of truth and demonstrates a complete inability to give a straight answer by using the word ‘rationale’ as many times as he can as though he’s being sponsored for Comic Relief!
Watch Cllr Matron McLaughlin change the subject when awkward questions are being asked about the conduct of councillors by using the magic words “Working Party”. We’d like to ask an awkward question using the word “Anna” and whether a declaration of interest should have been required at the Standards Panel.
Watch ineffectual and callow opposition councillors (minus one honourable exception) “play nice”
Watch human potato Cllr Paul Stuart make the unfortunate mistake of asking about “recording devices” ( the new councillor obviously didn’t get the memo from Labour HQ!)
Watch as Surjit puts his head down to conceal his wry smirk as Cllr Stuart mentions “recording devices” – for as we know no one as benefited as much from this technological device than he has!. The Complainants must be so proud!- their pursuit of £48,000 each has gifted Tour a job for life ( Frank Field’s words)
Watch as an old dog learns new tricks – kudos to Cllr Gerry Ellis as he asks the obvious questions about what’s the point of protocols,policies and procedures if nobody on the Committee is allowed to know what complaints about councillors are about and what the outcome of the complaint is?. There is no point Gerry , none at all. Accept that councillors are beyond accountability and move on.
Watch as words like “due process” and concerns about length of time it takes to deal with complaints are raised and laugh out loud that those assembled can somehow manage keep a straight face whilst asking the question
Watch as Councillor Denise Roberts drags a quickfire meeting out as long as she can despite the fact that Committee members can’t seem to wait to get the hell out of there. As Her Ladyship cried : “Somebody pass the cattle prod”
Watch as it is revealed that the people you voted for have relinquished their responsibility for making decisions about Code of Conduct complaints to Tour and an “independent person”. This might explain why Joe Blott and his posse whisked so called “independent person” Brian Cummings off after last week’s Standards Panel to tell him what decision he should make. It doesn’t explain why Tour deftly tries to pretend that the Committee are the ones making decisions – as once again the ringmaster has the whip hand and helps facilitate the placement of political and personal interests above the public interest! .