Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #20

West Kirby Parking

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Wirral Leaks reader contacts us about the above parking signs in West Kirby and comments :

Hi
No doubt the incompetent company that erected this rubbish will be paid to correct it.
Mean while any parking restrictions will, I assume, be invalid.
Toot Toot

Perhaps local resident and Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies can get on the phone to someone and rectify this latest parking malarkey asap. But be warned West Kirbyians that based on previous experience he’ll only do so if it is politically opportune.

SIGN OF THE TIMES 2

Sohool

You’ve probably all seen this by now but blimey this is yet another example of what happens when Wirral Council outsources to companies who don’t give a shit as Council-hired staff painted “SOHOOL” in yellow letters outside Woodslee Primary in Bromborough, Wirral.

A spokesman for Wirral Council said it trusts the worker had been given “a detention to work on his lines”.The spokesman added the contractor was given “top marks” for correcting the mistake on the same day it was made.

Ha! ha! bloody ha ! We’d like to remind Council spokesperson  (Lost Kev perchance?) about who pays for this incompetence . Yes , Wirral council taxpayers! Let’s hope they find it equally hilarious!

MEDIA HOUGHTON

image1 (9)

Now we’re sure Young Tom is a very nice chappy….. – for a journalist anyway ! However ,as we’ve alluded to before , we are deeply concerned about these so-called ‘Local Democracy Reporters’  which for us unfortunately translates as ‘homogeneous news on the cheap’ – where there is one story,one view,one truth across the local mainstream media . Needless to say Tom ‘Media’ Houghton (geddit?)  has not approached us for news stories – which is rather surprising considering our track record when it comes to local exclusives. Indeed when approached by a local resident with the comment ‘Hey Tom why don’t you start with WIRRALGATE!’  all he could come back with was a rather feeble  : “I’m just getting my head round your comments’ but feel free to comment on my author page.”  I think we’re safe to assume we’re not dealing with the next John Pilger.

AND FINALLY……. COMMUNITY TRANSPORT PETITION

Inspired by our Community Transport – Thrown Under The Bus ?     story a petition has been set up here . The post quotes our original post and ends with the comment : The following article was left on Wirral Leaks but Wirral Leaks is not enough. 

The petitioner is absolutely right – but then what options do local people have ? Perhaps the disaffected of Wirral can rely on a ‘Local Democracy Reporter’ to get their story heard – or perhaps not!

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Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead Part 2

House of Fraser

” Bloody useless……” – Cllr George Davies

We we’re going to call this post the ‘House of Failure’. However it’s not the fault of their employees that they’ve been made redundant by Chinese-owned high street retailer House of Fraser.

Read here : House of Fraser closures

However we did give everyone the heads up on this one four months ago in a post titled Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead when we wrote :

Whilst there have long been rumours that House of Fraser is on the way out  -and let’s face it since the demise of Beattie’s it has rapidly gone downhill – it staggers on , but for how long?  As far as we’re concerned that would be the final nail in the coffin and then all Birkenhead will be fit for is a set for a remake of  ‘Dawn of the Living Dead’ – the zombie movie set in a shopping mall.

So the demise of what was once the Birkonian shoplifter’s destination of choice should come as no surprise what should also come as no surprise is the same desperate politicians and parasitic consultants running round suddenly saying we need:

” A PLAN”

Read here : Plan

To which we can only say is WTAF have you been doing with our money and our mandate all these years?

Time to shout it loud and shout it clear : THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING!

We’re afraid to say it’s time to put Birkenhead town centre out of it’s misery – misery caused by the political parasites who wouldn’t shop there even if they had a discount PICK-A-PLAN SHOP.

To be continued…..

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #19

IMG_1442

HAVE YOUR SAY ON PROPOSED PARKING CHARGES BEFORE JUNE 22

Derby Pool car park users have their say now its up to the rest of you to let Wirral Council know that drivers aren’t cash cows to fund fat cats.

ARTIST’S IMPRESSION OF THE WEEK

WW AI Latest 

Here’s the latest artist’s impression for Wirral Waters (are they still calling it that?)

Apparently so :

As well as creating a hub for marine ‘entrepreneurship, enterprise, skills and culture’, the complex will revamp the 1860s central hydraulic tower and engine house designed by Jesse Hartley as a copy of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The Grade II-listed building was bombed during the Second World War and has remained largely derelict ever since.

Read more here : Wirral Waters Marine Complex

It wouldn’t surprise us that the next thing you know Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and the usual crew from the Wirral Chamber of Commerce will be jetting off to Italy to twin Birkenhead with Florence!

However it seems to us that Wirral Waters continues to progress with its opportunistic, ad hoc  developments. A dementia care village here, a marine complex there etc; etc ; – backed by a never ending portfolio of artist’s impressions . All very eyecatching – but not as eyecatching as the big red bridge in Tower Road that is still resolutely refusing to be put back in its place.

IMG_7734.JPG.gallery

Pic courtesy of Wirral Globe

BAMBOO HULLABALOO

From “Save Our Social Housing” Facebook group :

Screenshot_20180603-140459

Might we suggest that Labour Party members approach Wirral Councillors who sit on Magenta Living’s Board and particularly their Labour representatives Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes and Cllr Stuart ‘Witless’ Whittingham (or even Tory councillor  Jeff Green – after all he is Foulkesy’s ‘kindred’). Or perhaps not……

Magenta Living Board

AND FINALLY ……THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Details of  latest Wirral councillors ‘Gifts and Hospitality’ register has been published . Needless to say we were particularly drawn to Council leader  Power Boy Pip’s entries. which are as follows :

Birkenhead and Tranmere leader of the council Cllr Phil Davies

March 11, 2018: Visit to New York for the City Leadership initiative – March 11 to 15, 2018, offered by Bloomberg Foundation.

Accepted.  

Value: unknown.

November 28, 2017: Meal and concert ticket at the Echo Arena, Liverpool offered by The Contact Company.

Accepted.

Value: unknown.

As our eyewitness source told us last November the latter was not just a meal and concert ticket- Pip  was in a private box….

 

….council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , seen bopping away in a PRIVATE box in the Liverpool Echo Arena at last night’s Queen & Adam Lambert concert, paid for the dubious privilege or at least made an appropriate conflict of interest declaration. Just sayin’ …… Full story here : A Repulsive Exclusive

We thought at the time that Pip could have been enjoying the hospitality of the Liverpool Echo itself  but it now transpires that he was the beneficiary of Asif Hamid’s largesse (!) via The Contact Company . As far as we’re concerned this is considerably worse in terms of conflict of interest , especially when you consider that Hamid is the Chair of Wirral Chamber of Commerce who have been the beneficiaries of Wirral Council generosity when it comes to giving the Chamber  grace and favour properties – sometimes at peppercorn rent. We would’ve thought that it would have been prudent of Pip to think twice before accepting such a gift.

But then we suppose this is nothing new for Pip. After all he is used to dancing to an old Queen’s tune isn’t he?…….

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #17

THE OTHER HALF

We’ve been sent the other half of the Labour Party leaflet distributed in Birkenhead & Tranmere during the recent local election campaign..

Might we suggest that the Green Party stick to their ethical principles and recycle this leaflet next time the local elections roll around. They just need to cross out where it says : ‘Pat Cleary lives in West Kirby’ and replace it with ‘Phil Davies lives in West Kirby’.  Of course there would be very little chance of  Power Boy Pip getting elected where he actually lives. So with the Green Party increasingly making inroads in traditional Labour wards perhaps Pip will need to look for a safer seat come the next local elections. Then he won’t have to rely on his Sat Nav to steer him towards the ward he apparently represents in Birkenhead & Tranmere to find out how the other half lives.

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SUFFRAGETTE CITY

Oh dear – forever late to the party here’s the Labour ladies with their kitten heels on the new carpet and their green and purple rosettes commemorating female suffrage. It must pain them to wear green and to add insult to injury doesn’t red and blue make purple? We just hope they realise that in 1918, Parliament passed an act  which only granted the vote to women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, and graduates of British universities.It wasn’t until 1928 that a Conservative Party led Parliament passed the Representation of the People ( Equal Franchise) Act  which granted 21 year old women the right to vote on the same terms as men.

Rosettes

Sadly for us there is  no appearance from Wirral Leaks regular – former Labour councillor Louise Reecejones (LRJ)  –  who was quietly replaced at the recent local elections by Cllr Kate Cannon. This is consistent to the Stalinist approach that the local Labour group take when it comes to historical  events. If there’s one thing they excel at it’s erasing people and events from their own history.

COURT REPORTS

This looks like it may develop into a regular feature. The latest news is that long time Wirral Leaks contributor Nigel ‘Highbrow’ Hobro finally gets his day in court.

Birkenhead County Court – 10.30am, Tuesday 22nd May 2018  (TOMORROW) 

Now we don’t know the precise details of the case against Wirral Council so we don’t know whether any members of the public will be able to attend the hearing. However we hope to provide you details of proceedings at a later date.

As we promised in Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch 15 : There is still no news on the outcome of the Morton v Information Commissioner‘s Office and Wirral Borough Council case . We also understand that our other main Wirral institution is also keeping under wraps a matter that will soon come before Liverpool Crown Court. We’ll keep you posted………

And sure enough whilst there is still no news on the Morton v ICO & Wirral Council case there have been developments on the Damien Renshaw child porn case ( which as far as we know as not been reported on Wirral and which we’ve known about since his suspension and subsequent sacking .Meanwhile Wirral Globe chose to tell us about Paul Thompson ,a nurse at Arrowe Park Hospital who has been struck off by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) for amongst many other misdemeanours  messaging a 18 year old colleague on Facebook saying he wanted ‘to give her a bed bath with his tongue’. Nice. Read more here : APH nurse struck off

Might we suggest that whilst this conduct is utterly repulsive it is hardly in the same league as former Arrowe Park Hospital IT worker Damien Renshaw . The 34 year old –  – was last week found guilty of downloading child porn. Read more here : Smirking Paedophile

It’s cases like these that provide us with an understanding of the  toxic culture within some parts of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) than any number of independent inquiries.

AND FINALLY 

There was a news story this week where the headline read :  Shirley Ballas swears at Johnny Vegas on Celebrity Juice.  

Has the silly season arrived early ? Now we know hasbeen hoofer Ballas was born in Wallasey but as far as pitching a local angle on a (non) news story goes this is about as tenuous as it gets. What next ? Paul Hollywood eats cake on The Great British Bake Off ?

 

Memento MORI

 

Memento Mori

The slow,painful death of public services

This year’s biennial Ipsos MORI report looking at the key findings of the 2017 Wirral Residents ‘ Survey was published earlier this week . The research was designed to explore  :

– Residents’ views on Wirral as a place to live, particularly around perceptions of litter and anti-social behaviour;

– Community involvement and social cohesion;

– Satisfaction with the Council and with specific public services;

– Resident health, with focus on prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption;

– Well-being and resilience.

So under the circumstances you’d think that Wirral Council would be making a song and dance about the results like they did last time around – The C Word

However  Wirral Council seem to be rather coy when it comes to disseminating and discussing the results which you can read here :  Residents’ Survey 2017

Pots 017

We note that Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and their elective mute CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson shove hapless patsy and Wirral Leaks correspondent Kev ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum into the fray to polish the stinking turd that is Wirral Council. Read here :  Public Trust has dropped significantly

Our toes instinctively curled as we read how Kev tries to rationalise why sensible people on Wirral are sick to the back teeth with the poor services and lack of respect they receive from Wirral Council.

Yes, yes, Kev the survey reflects national trends – Whatevs,babes.You’re out of your depth and always were. Now – as is your wont – you need to get lost and leave this to intelligent people who aren’t taken in by the corporate bullshit you’re paid very well to pedal. We just ain’t buyin’ what you’re sellin’! Just sayin’!

So let’s break it down. First of all can we say that Ipsos MORI are getting money for old rope when they come up with nuggets like: ” Older people are less likely to consider themselves in good health compared to younger people” and ” Generally males drink more and on a more regular basis than females” . No shit, Sherlock!

However the summary of Council services says it all for us :

 There has been a fall in resident satisfaction with a number of key performance indicators for the Council.

– Overall satisfaction with the way the Council runs things has decreased by 6 percentage points;

– Those who would be critical of the Council spontaneously or if asked has increased by 6 percentage points;

– Mistrust of the Council has increased by 8 percentage points;

– The perception that the Council does not provide value for money has increased by 9 percentage points; and

– Belief that the Council acts on residents’ concerns has decreased by 5 percentage points.

However what is particularly shameful is the evidence that the Wirral Council funded Wirral View has failed SPECTACULARLY and EXPENSIVELY.  ‘The majority of residents (60%) do not feel that the council keeps them well informed about the services it provides. This does mean, that six in ten residents feel ill informed”. Which as the survey notes : “Compared to their peers, Wirral Council has significantly more negative results.” 

So much for addressing the alleged ‘information deficit’ or attracting advertising revenue (but then Wirral Globe has them over a barrel on that score!) Not for the first time we say its time to put the scabby dog that is Wirral View out of its misery. Not that those who run Wirral Council will – they just expect us to put up and pay up for their egotistical bullshit. Which, might we suggest, more than anything, explains the damning results of the Ipsos MORI survey!

 

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

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #16

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS 

PuppetMaster

Desperate stuff from beleaguered Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the announcement that those French puppets on steroids will be visiting your shores in the autumn .

Wirral Council leader Phil Davies said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Giants across the Mersey for the first time.Wirral is thriving – we have huge regeneration schemes coming to fruition, thousands of jobs being created through our Wirral Growth Company, and a programme of incredibly exciting events taking place throughout the year as part of Imagine Wirral. Working with our colleagues in the Liverpool City Region to bring huge events like the Giants to our shores is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing.These events attract thousands of visitors to our region, boosting local businesses and helping local people and families create memories which will stay with them forever.”

Read full story here : Giants

Is anyone taken in by this ocean-going, international bullshit? Just you watch Power Boy Pip will be gegging in on the Tranmere Rovers ascendancy to the Football League next. However can we just remind everyone he’s talking about puppets.  They maybe bloody big puppets but the expression ‘Bread & Circuses’ comes to mind. We can admire the artistry and the technical skill involved but at the end of the day they’re just bloody big puppets.

And Lord knows Pip must know what that feels like! Let’s face it he (and others) have been Frank Field’s puppets for years!

BIRKENHEAD BID – DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO

IMG_1439

You may remember we’ve previously covered the hyperbole surrounding award-winning  Wirral Chamber of Commerce offshoot Birkenhead Business Improvement District (BID) who made a big deal about cleaning  up the town like Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’  Read more here : Chamber of Horrors

So imagine our surprise ( not!) to receive this message and the accompanying  photo above:

Good to see the Birkenhead BID outfit who take money of businesses in Birkenhead to tidy the town up.Maybe they should sort their own shop out!

 

KINGDOM COME LATELY

We note with a certain amount of cynicism how suddenly everyone seems to be gegging in on the litter Hitlers known as Kingdom Security and how they are simply aghast at their practices.  The newest guest late to the party is ‘Local Democracy Reporter’ Tom  ‘Media’ Houghton . We’ll be returning to the matter of ‘Local Democracy Reporters’ at a later date but meanwhile here’s his Eye Watering Sums story which notes that  Kingdom began issuing fixed penalty notices on behalf of Wirral Council back in July 2015. Shame we started raising concerns about Kingdom within months of their appointment : Cash for Trash

As we said way back then ‘Fixed Penalty Notices’ are not about caring about the environment but about cold hard cash for a wasteful council.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

Another story covered by Young Tom was the announcement that a couple of Wirral pubs would be turned into a) flats and b) a restaurant and which informed us :

Paul Doughty, who is the agent involved in the proposals, said: “It’s a well-located building in a prominent position and we are hoping these plans will be approved.There’s been no objections to date. The client already has a successful restaurant in Prenton. There’s a shortage of good quality places to go and have a meal in Birkenhead generally, so we are hoping it will be a good addition to the local economy – creating jobs and providing a place for people to eat and socialise.”

Full story here : Changes

Could this be COUNCILLOR Paul ‘Danceaway’ Doughty we ask ourselves? If so Doughty seems to have become involved with a ‘colourful character’  by the name of ‘Michael’ Read more here : Wirral Life -But Not As We Know It!

It would certainly explain as to why a member of the public questioned the number of Labour election posters that were recently on display above the restaurant where ‘Michael’ is the manager.

Of course Doughty is not a stranger to such hook ups having previously been involved with another ‘colourful character ‘ – notorious flytipper Arthur Morgan. Read more here :  Architecture and Morality

Might we suggest that Mr Houghton would unearth a particularly rich seam if he cared to investigate these connections further.

POTHOLE OF THE WEEK 

King Street, Wallasey. Not so much a pothole as a ravine.

Screenshot_20180509-110056

AND FINALLY 

An outfit by the name of Angelfish Opinions are actually willing to pay you money to tell them what you think of Wirral Council. So are they paying you your own money back to tell them how Wirral Council waste your money in the first place? If so claim your rebate now! This is from their Facebook page : Angelfish Opinions Facebook

CALLING LOVELY PEOPLE FROM THE WIRRAL – WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are looking for people who live in Wirral aged 20+ to attend an interactive 90 minute group workshop to share your ideas and views on the councils public services.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 24th May at either 6pm – 7:30pm or 8pm – 9:30pm and as a thank you for your time you will recieve £30 in cash at the venue.

To register your interest, please apply using the link below:
https://hubs.ly/H0c081-0

Don’t forget to refer friends and family for the chance to receive £10 Love2Shop per successful referral that takes part!

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Wirral – Where Public Service Went To Die …

Human Nature

This week we were quite happy taking a sentimental journey round the septic isle until Dr Robert diagnosed us with ‘Sandie Shaw Syndrome’ . No , we’re not in the words of the barefoot singer’s Eurovision winner ‘Puppets On A String’ (we leave that to others). As fellow sufferers of the syndrome know  : “There’s Always Something There To Remind Me” and it messes with your head.

So whilst it’s vaguely concerning/amusing/appalling that other local authorities are equally inept and corrupt, let’s be reminded of Wirral Council’s rap sheet courtesy of ‘The Good Doctor’. Although as we replied to our esteemed commentator the sleaze (there is no other word) that lies behind the bare reported facts doesn’t bear thinking about!

WIRRAL COUNCIL… WHERE PUBLIC SERVICE WENT TO DIE…

It is 2011, and Wirral Council is in serious trouble. It is on the brink of Government intervention and has received a damning report1 from consultant Anna Klonowski (AKA Associates). The report paints a graphic picture of Wirral Council’s corrosive and bullying corporate culture, failures in corporate governance, and of Wirral as ‘the insular peninsula’. The Council is vividly described as an inward-looking organisation where the abnormal had become normal. The Council Leader and Chief Executive unreservedly accept the devastating assessment, and all the consultant’s findings.

In April 2012 the ‘window dressing’ started. A politically-expedient decision reportedly taken by Frank Field MP and Eric Pickles (then-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government), established a Local Government Association (LGA) Wirral Council ‘Improvement Board’. Called ‘sector-led improvement’ by the LGA, a review of Wirral Council’s corporate governance was undertaken by an ‘expert’ (peer review) panel. Its role was to identify the embedded detrimental issues and agree a corporate improvement programme.

In November 2013 the ‘Improvement Board’ produced a 63-page draft report congratulating themselves for enabling ‘the fastest turnaround2 in local government history’. Its job deemed complete, Wirral Council was unleashed from supervision.

Once unleashed, Council Leader Phil Davies guaranteed the casting vote on all Council committees. Replacing all opposition-councillor committee Chairs with ruling group councillors was in direct contravention of the Improvement Board agreement. The Council and Cabinet has had no effective political opposition since.

November 2014 saw a presentation given by Cllr Phil Davies and Graham Burgess, who appeared to have moved seamlessly3 in 2013 from Improvement Board member to Wirral Council CEO. The judging panel for this presentation, comprising primarily LGA members, judged for the first and only time, the Local Government Chronicle’s (LGC) ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain’ award. Never awarded before, never awarded since. Without warning, Mr Burgess, described as a ‘leading light’ of the LGA, ‘retired’ from Wirral Council at the end of 2014.

It was March 2015 when Wirral residents awoke to media headlines announcing “From ‘abnormal to inspirational’ – Wirral wins ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain’ award4.” In Wirral the question on everyone’s lips… is it April 1st?

A new Wirral CEO5, Eric Robinson, a former social worker from Staffordshire CC, was appointed in April 2015. Cllr Phil Davies stated… “Eric is the ideal appointment to take us forward towards my ambition for Wirral to become an outstanding council.”

In 2012 Wirral Council had agreed with findings that it was an ‘inward-looking organisation’ where ‘the abnormal had become accepted as normal’. In November 2015 it still was, as a very low-key peer review revealed. That was, if you could find it.

Also in November 2015, almost absolute power lay in the hands of the Council Leader when Wirral Council Cabinet agreed constitutional changes6. Coupled with the ruling group en-bloc voting7 and abstention regime, any decision could be bulldozed through. This change effectively negated any political opposition and scrutiny, Ward, community8, or resident9 representation.

Political, individual and council organisational survival were now the priorities. Residents were paid lip-service with endless ‘consultations’, as infrastructure deteriorated10, and public services reduced dramatically.

As local criticism grew, Wirral Council Leader took to ‘reputation management’. Described in the media as ‘cronyism’, in February 2016 Martin Liptrot, a self-proclaimed ‘reputation manager’, was appointed. This elicited headlines such as “Emails give extraordinary insight into Wirral Council’s controversial hiring11 of former Labour spin doctor”.

In September 2016, CEO Eric Robinson described Wirral Council’s ‘improvement journey’ as moving from “from the brink of intervention to the pinnacle12 of local government”. With his background in Children’s Services, was all well at the pinnacle of all pinnacles?

‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council’s Children’s Services were rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in September 2016. Hidden away was a Serious Case Review into the grooming of teenage girls13 in Wirral Council care over a 5-year period. In a desperate attempt to deflect criticism and accountability, the oft-quoted ‘austerity-hit, cash-strapped’ Leader initially promised £2m additional funding. Then a promise of £10m. Then a promise of £20m, to ‘demonstrate Council commitment’.

With ‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council’s reputation in tatters, Martin Liptrot was then fast-tracked to ‘Investor Development Manager’ with ‘no questions asked’14, and immediately sent to Cannes to attend MIPIM, a ‘property market’, with the Council Leader, Council CEO and others.

…and it goes on…in November 2017 following the 2016 Serious Case Review, two brothers were jailed for a combined 40 years after being convicted of 27 sexual offences against girls as young as 14. The Children’s Services Improvement Board Chair, Eleanor Brazil, resigned15 citing Wirral Council’s “shoddy treatment” of Julia Hassall, the then Director of Children’s Services, and “…some significant corporate issues…”

… and on…Jim Crabtree, a (now ex-) Councillor and Chair of Audit & Risk committee was convicted in January 2017 of making death threats16 towards fellow Councillor Louise Reecejones, regarding an unidentified sum of £19,000. In March 2018 the threatened Councillor resigned to free herself from “the noose”17.

Without Local Government Commissioners’ intervention, ‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council is the graveyard of the 7 ‘Nolan Principles’18 of public life, viz.  Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty & Leadership.

In Wirral you won’t hear the ghosts of the Nolan Principles wailing and roaming the streets at night. They left long ago.

 

Weblinks 1-18

 

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9263981.Chief_executive_and_political_leader_accept_responsibility_for_council_failures/

https://www.lgcplus.com/home/lgc-awards-2017-the-shortlist/lgc-awards-2016/lgc-awards/lgc-awards-2015/most-improved-council/5083096.article

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/chief-executive-graham-burgess-wirral-3325136

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/11851526.UPDATED__From__abnormal_to_inspirational____Wirral_wins_Most_Improved_Council_award/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/former-social-worker-appointed-wirral-8595400

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/13944494.Sweeping_changes_will_see_Wirral_s_cabinet_councillors_given_extensive_new_powers/

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/time-for-an-intervention/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/wirral-school-parents-fought-tooth-14516957 

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14601265.Girtrell_Court_closure_row_reignites_with_claims_council__misrepresented__carers/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15179685.Who_put_the_lights_out__Call_for_urgent_action_to_repair_Wirral_s_2_200_broken_street_lamps/

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

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/the-big-lie-gets-even-bigger/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/five-years-shame-how-wirral-13045435

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15022687.UPDATED__Wirral_Council_agrees_to_create_new___80k_management_job___with_no_questions_asked_/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15325055.Leaked_resignation_letter_shows_Wirral_s_child_safeguarding_improvement_board_boss_was__shocked_and_appalled__by_director_s__shoddy__treatment/ 

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ex-councillor-sent-drunken-death-9612068

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/lrj-an-unofficial-announcement/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life–2

 

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #15

We’ll forego any further post mortem of the body politic after this week’s local election and turn our attention to the more obscure news items that you’ve been sending to us this past week.

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We understand the the long running New Brighton lifeboat station saga continues.We’re particularly interested in the involvement of Cllr Tony Jones but those who want to follow the latest developments :

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PETER’S POTHOLE PLEA

I am not a active “political” person  but as a keen cyclist the state of our roads is of close and personal interest since their rapid deterioration presents a serious hazard each and every time I use my bike. I routinely risk being thrown from my bike and being mown down by the always impatient motorists, van and lorry drivers.

I have tried and failed to find any information on the Wirral council website as to numbers / locations of reported pot holes and their plan for rectification in the borough during 2018.
I did read somewhere that a plan was supposed to be published by end of April 2018.
I see no action being taken and only things getting worse which inevitably will mean higher eventual repair costs
Can you give me any advice was to how to find out or who to contact to find out what the council is doing?
I was especially annoyed when reading my council tax demand that Our Dear Leader Phil specifically claims he will be repairing our roads with the money raised but there appears to be zero action taken.

Look forward to any advice and will share information if I learn anything useful.

We understand that Labour Cllr Stuart  Whittingham is the Cabinet member responsible for this area of work . However if anybody has any further assistance/advice on the pothole problem we’ll pass on to Peter.

COURT REPORTS  

Still no news on the outcome of the Morton v Information Commissioner ‘s Office and Wirral Borough Council case . We also understand that our other main Wirral institution is also keeping under wraps a matter that will soon come before Liverpool Crown Court. We’ll keep you posted………

 

 

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – The Results

 

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Phew! we bet you’re all glad that’s it’s over and you can all get back to what passes for normal on Wirral.

It seems to be very much a case of ‘as you were’ with no gains or losses for any political party in the local elections . However considering the effort that Labour put into trying to topple lone Green councillor Pat Cleary in Birkenhead & Tranmere this has to be considered a huge moral and political victory for the popular and hardworking councillor deep in hardcore Labour territory . Although superannuated  Birkenhead MP  Frank Field was in attendance at the count and said he hoped for Labour success in his constituency even ‘The Field Effect’ couldn’t save them. This must come as a bitter blow to someone who is used to getting his own way in what he regards as his own personal and political fiefdom.

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Everything’s Gone Green : Green in the background and Green to the fore makes reds go green with envy !Pic courtesy : Wirral Globe

Cleary thanked the people of Birkenhead and Tranmere for re-electing him “in the face of a horrible,negative campaign by the Labour party” . Meanwhile Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies stood by with a face like a smacked arse as Wirral CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson read out the result .

We were left wondering which one of the following options that Stressed Eric will choose to do with his mega electoral expenses :

a) deposit in an offshore bank account

b) donate to a local charity

c) prop up the bar and order trebles all round in ‘Brew Dog’

The closest result of the night was in the Pensby and Thingwall ward where Labour candidate Kate Cannon held off the challenge of Conservative candidate Michael Collins by a mere 23 votes. Close but no cigar for the poacher turned gamekeeper . Suffice to say that some of our most devoted readers were very pleased indeed that their former colleague experienced the bitter taste of disappointment.  Schadenfreude can be such an unseemly emotion but can be so,so satisfying.

Meanwhile ambitious Labour councillor Gillian ‘Gilly’ Wood came over all stateswomanlike as she was (inevitably) announced the victor in the Claughton ward and starting channelling the Pankhursts. Unfortunately the gravitas was somewhat undermined by the reporting of her profound words as follows (full report read here ) :

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Suffragits ? Faught?  Listen guys and guyesses from the Globe we know it was a late night – but really?  As Her Ladyship said : ” The rousing speech ended up not so much Emmeline or Christabel but more Emily Davison .” Perhaps suffragits was a subliminal message about the gits that Gilly has to suffer .  Those gits being Gilly’s her fellow ward councillors – Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr George Davies.

As you know a couple of the reasons that we continued Wirral Leaks whilst in self imposed exile is that we wanted to cover the local elections and reach a million hits . It looks like that serendipitously that both events will coincide within a few hours. So it will be just a case of tying up a few loose ends and we can finally enjoy our day in the sun.