Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #3

We’ve got stories backing up like a blocked up bog during the plague – and believe us they all stink to high heaven.

However let’s get on with this week’s Wirral snippets :

Rock the Boat 

There has been an interesting development with regards to New Brighton Lifeboat story which we have reported on from time to time. Apparently Wallasey MP Angela Eagle has belatedly intervened to rock the boat and ask some pertinent questions as to what exactly is going on in this long running saga . The Royal National Lifeboat Institution ( RNLI) has rejected Eagle’s claim that a ‘restricted service’ at New Brighton Lifeboat station has had an impact on its life-saving work and patronisingly invited her over for a cup of tea and a chat.  Read here : New Brighton Lifeboat
As ever there is much more to this than meets the eye and one of our long standing sources on the story has written to us to say :

Someone makes a fairly astute ‘comment’ after the end of the (Wirral Globe) article ….yes, why doesn’t Angela Eagle have a word with the Chairman of New Brighton Lifeboat, LABOUR Councillor Tony Jones. As we all know he is the bloke who fucked over the sacked crew in the first place.  And while she is at it maybe she could get Phil Davies to take a bit of interest…..

And so it would appear -and not for the first time – that the Eagle has landed without fully knowing the local background and finds herself out of her depth . Once she finds out we guarantee she’ll retreat to her eyrie
A Direct Approach to Saving Money
After an inglorious history of  DASS -tardly plots to saving money and denying vulnerable services the to which they are legally entitled – unlawful charging, 4 week delays in care packages etc; – we bring you  Wirral Council’s Health & Social Care Service (formerly Wirral Council’s Department of Adult Social Services ) latest cruel wheeze which has been forwarded to us from Facebook.
image1

Toxic Twins

Evil Twins

We’ve long bemoaned that Wirral’s pre-eminent institutions are virtually indivisible in terms of their toxic cultures. Further confirmation arrived this week :

You may want to ask some questions of senior management at Wirral University Teaching Hospital where I understand that there is an systemic culture of bullying and arse covering at the expense of both patient and staff welfare.
(This week) – management refused …..to classify a matter as a serious incident, preferring instead to downgrade the matter and protect their reputations……… 
the coroner’s findings will be very interesting to all who of us who are obliged to use this failing establishment for their medical needs.
Wirral Leaks asked : But is this a failing establishment or is it being deliberately run down? Your thoughts please. 
My belief is that it’s a failing institution. I don’t believe there is any intention or ulterior motive – certainly not on a regional or national level, it is simply managed by an incompetent team of senior managers, deeply worried by their failings, and consequently under-reporting, buck-passing, and blaming others in a desperate attempt to protect their own positions.
With Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Wirral Council being run in such a similar way are you still surprised that we scarpered? Especially , when coincidentally , we received this ‘ Where Are They Now’ update featuring failed WUTH CEO Len Richards :

Your old mate who I think last featured in your organ in 2012 has rocked up here in deepest darkest Wales as CEO of Cardiff and Vale UHB.

He’s already embarked on a fact finding trip to Canterbury with a small team. (No not Chaucer’s Canterbury, the other one in New Zealand) on behalf of his cash-strapped employer.Thought you might like to be kept informed of how one of your old boys is progressing
This is the problem – bullshitters everywhere. Surely there must be a meme for that somewhere?
Billionaire’s Breakfast Club

WIRRAL ‘SET FOR £1BN INVESTMENT BOOST’

That was the headline in this PR job published this week on the Insider Media Ltd blog  – which was no doubt set up by Wirral Council leader Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies right hand/left wing man Martin Liptrot. The plans were apparently detailed at Insider‘s ‘Invest in Wirral’ breakfast event held on Tuesday, 6 February 2018. No doubt this was followed by a ‘powerlunch’. Unfortunately the headline was far removed from the reality of the situation as what Pip actually said was :

“We are looking at £1bn development opportunities across five areas in Wirral from Birkenhead town centre right through to Bromborough. We’ve never done anything of this scale and it’s a new way of working.The attraction of this model is that we share in profits going forward. It’s important, not only for new jobs and investment, but in bringing in an ongoing revenue scheme for the council….” Full story here :  £Billion Investment Boost

Forgive us but Pip’s ‘Wirral Growth Company’ comes across as a kind of malignant local authority tumour spreading across the peninsula as Wirral Council hawks its tawdry wares dressed up as ‘development opportunities ‘ for  private investors – and all for the sake of a good news story.
Wirral’s disabled : A thorn in the side?

Meanwhile under yet another misleading headline:

Staffing issues force temporary closure of Wirral care home

We have the news that NHS respite service for people with learning disabilities at Thorn Heys  in Oxton is to close temporarily because of difficulties over staffing levels. Yeah right –  as Wirral Leaks readers will know this has been on the cards for some time.

The decision was made by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group so this is something more than just a ‘Wirral care home’. In fact it is another slap in the face to Wirral Council’s pledge to protect vulnerable people following on the closure of respite services at Girtrell Court.

As we reported in our Good Health In Bad Hands post from September 2017 :

However more concerning for us was an issue that received  zero press coverage and caused considerably less outrage among councillors and that was the closure of  Thorn Heys, an NHS respite service for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.  Somebody remind us what was that Wirral Plan ‘pledge’ about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ again?

 And finally ……as a follow up to this week’s pothole story The Hole Truth we’d like to leave you with this from The Daily Mash which proves the Freudian dictum that there is no such thing as ‘just a joke’ and some things are just beyond parody :  Pothole confident it will survive latest council tax increase
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Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #2

Spot the deliberate mistake ! After this week’s prolific output a further Wirral Leaks post may seem like too much of a bad thing . It’s barely a month into 2018 and we’ve already had to concede that the announcement of our retirement was somewhat premature. But then as Wilde said : “To be premature is to be perfect” !

The thought of our departure to foreign shores has obviously stirred many Wirralians into action as we’ve been sent stories simply too good to pass up on (and what’s even better – where much of the work has already been done) .What’s more we have already noticed that campaigning for the May 2018 local elections has already started in earnest. But perhaps more than anything that explains our renewed impetus is further shocking information which has come our way and which needs exposing . Furthermore we guarantee the mainstream media will not touch it – but we’re keeping our powder dry on that one for now. However we’re left shaking our head in disbelief at the claims that are being made (and more importantly the damning evidence to back it up) . Meanwhile with the agreement with Her Ladyship  and support from Eldritch and Verity let’s all together plough on into oblivion ……….

Holiday Hypocrisy

Whilst we’re grateful that someone sent us the John Brace video posting of this week’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee meeting we faced a dilemma as we didn’t know who’s face deserved a slap more as they gazed over to Brace to make sure he captured their reactions to Cllr Steve Foulkes’ contribution to the Mersey tunnel toll debate – Cllr Jerry ‘The Mouse’ Williams , Cllr Ron ‘ Rude’ Abbey or Foulkesy himself . Truth be told (an alien concept for some of the parties concerned) but it was no contest really – Foulkesy every time .

Watch in disgust from 12 :00 as Foulkesy turns to our beloved Mr Brace , tries to take the moral high ground and resorts to his non existent ‘conscience’ .Whilst professing to respect Tory Cllr Les Rowlands he then proceeds to slag him off for planning a holiday to coincide with this particular meeting. Now we might know his political allegiances but we don’t profess to know Cllr Rowland’s personal proclivities but we’d like to think his holiday won’t result in allegations of  racist abuse.Just sayin’

Sorrento Shame : Holidaymakers claim they faced ‘racist abuse’ from ex – Wirral Mayoress

Self Serve 

We understand that internal vacancies at Wirral Council are accessed by ‘Self Serve’. You really couldn’t make this shit up! Why do they bother with such bureaucratic machinations when it would appear that cronyism/nepotism/favouritism is still the main route to promotion we can only hazard a guess. Unfortunately we can’t report on this particular aspect further as it would appear that another feature of Wirral Council’s modus operandi – the culture of fear – is still very much in operation.

Road to Hell

If the Merseytravel Committee video was infuriating the John Brace footage of the Audit and Risk Management Committee sent us into paroxysms of rage and fury. Witness how the utterly pathetic ex- Tory leader and Foulkesy’s ‘kindred’ Cllr Jeff Green meekly raises the issue of bringing the £multi-million highways contract back in house like Uriah Heep with a serious Woodbines habit. The Nigel Farage sound-a-like says something along the lines of : ” Bein’ ever so ‘umble . Can we have a bit of case study. I’m not ‘solutioneering’ (!) I just want to know that the decision to bring the highways contract back in house wasn’t written on the ‘back of  a fagpacket’, if you would so please, kind sir”.

Observe and despair from 8:25

Why so coy Cllr Green ? You know that the decision was made behind closed doors using Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ special ‘delegated powers’ and with Frank Field’s personal approval. They obviously want to minimise suspicion about unlawful compensation pay-offs to the Wirralgate complainants – so what’s the next best thing ? A token bung and then a cosy job for life for keeping their gobs shut.  But then you knew that didn’t you Cllr Green ?- shame you didn’t have the balls to say it. Incidental dark comedic value is to be had from the ever oleaginous senior officer David Armstrong who promises a short report and ingratiating interim Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt who says that the commissioning of highways contract is a ‘live project’ and that report would be a ‘ partial measure’ – ain’t that the truth ! Then suddenly  Cllr Ron ‘Rude’ Abbey has a “Don’t Mention The War” moment and can’t help himself saying something completely bogus about discussing TUPE ( Transfer of Undertakings – Protection of Employment) regulations . Which ,is of course, as ARMC and us know is what this is all about : ” Listen guys, we can’t give you a massive pay out you wanted without raising serious questions so we’ll give you the next best thing and you can be responsible for Wirral’s highways . Let’s face it you can’t do a worse job than Colas / BAM Nuttall ” 

As this image and comment proves :

image1 (4)

Dear Wirraleaks,

The attached photo shows a stretch of Mere Farm Road which was “repaired” by the Wirral Council contractors 6 months ago.

They clearly did such a magnificent and cost effective job that it needs much more repairing now.

When will they learn that doing a decent job first time round is more cost effective or do they just love throwing public money away to private sector mates ????

In response all we can say is  – buy cheap, pay twice!

All Wrapped Up

In the case of this particular Freedom of Information request all we can say is have Wirralgate tape, pay through the nose.

Full details :Wrap around FOI

Screenshot_20180130-101108

All wrapped in cosily in a symbiotic security blanket. Snug as a mug with a bug (that’s a reference to the Wirralgate recording obvs)

Patience is a Virtue 

Dear Mr Robinson

I received this assurance from you on 19th December 2016

On 19 December 2016 at 11:42, Robinson, Eric <ericrobinson@wirral.gov.uk> wrote:

Dear Dr Smith

Thank you for your email below.Officers are considering the matters you have raised in your emails and I will respond to you fully in January.

Regards

Eric Robinson

Chief Executive

Wirral Council

Tel : 0151 691 8589

Email : ericrobinson@wirral.gov.uk

You did not specify ‘responding to me fully’, by January 2017. 

However January 2018 has now passed, and I can only surmise that your ‘Officers’ have been completely occupied with Wirral Council’s 2016/2017 ongoing catalogue of disasters.

For your convenience, I attach a reply I sent to Cllr Walter Smith, who contacted me in May 2017 as you hadn’t, with his view of the ‘Most Improved Wirral Council’ (the absolute definition of an oxymoron given the events of 2016/2017)

Patience is a virtue. I look forward to receiving your ‘full response’ as assured.

Yours sincerely

Dr Robert B Smith FCMI

Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson is increasingly making Howard Hughes seem outgoing and gregarious. A local government patsy drowning in a mire of his own incompetence and other people’s corruption.  Hey, Stressed Eric! – you really should have spoken to your predecessor before you took up post. Oh – but wait a minute your political paymasters didn’t allow it did they? Protecting themselves and setting you up to fail as you didn’t know what you were letting yourself in for. Oh but you know now don’t you? And you chose the side of the people who pay your obscene salary. We sincerely hope and pray that one day you will regret that choice. In fact we’re working on it day and night – you may have noticed.

Meet the Talent

Without any fanfare – we wonder why? – Dave Fergus is the man who has taken over running Wirral Evolutions from Chris Beyga the disgraced former Managing Director of this arms-length Wirral Council experiment that went horribly wrong mainly because Beyga (aka Rosa Klebb) thought she was running her own personal fiefdom.

Meet the Talent

You will note from his profile above (can somebody please provide a translation of local government BS? ) that there is absolutely no mention of disability rights. Just the person you want running a service where apparently the thick as mince managers think that somehow they’re doing a favour to the people who actually pay their wages. We’re wondering whether we’ll  get a comment on this latest appointment from Wirral Evolutions ‘ Independent’ Chair and professional disability rights ‘champion’ Carey Bamber or ‘Non -Executive Director’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy’ Pip’ Davies? We’re not holding our breath.

Crime Report

We note that this week Mayor Joe Anderson was taken in for questioning ‘under caution’ by Merseyside Police in relation to the fraud probe concerning Liverpool City Council CEO Ged Fitzgerald and others . Power Boy Pip, Stressed Eric and others will no doubt be observing developments with interest – as will we !

Proceed with caution

Holiday Hypocrisy Part 2

And finally we understand that someone is taking a particular interest in Wirral Leaks from their undeserved winter break in the Dominican Republic. Answers on a postcard please…….

 

Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead

M &amp;S

The future of retail in Birkenhead. Harsh maybe – but we guarantee more accurate than any Wirral Council approved artist’s impression.  

So farewell then to the Marks & Spencer store in Birkenhead after a long and continuous presence in the town.  It may be only one store – but it is hugely symbolic of the state of Birkenhead town centre – and do we mean state !

It’s certainly a fist in the face to Birkenhead First isn’t it? Proving to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce backed initiative ,which aims to make Birkenhead an attractive and vibrant retail and leisure destination, that there’s more needed than litter picks and pop-ups when it comes to the cut-throat world of commerce.

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.

As for Birkenhead MP Frank Field “demanding” a meeting with M&S chiefs – that’s the trouble with him , he’s so used to “demanding” and getting his own way with Wirral councillors that when the harsh reality of the business world hits he’s suddenly out of his depth and left wallowing in the poverty of his constituents , all prissy pursed lips and a put upon expression.

Council leader Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is even more delusional and in peak Pollyanna mode is quoted in the Liverpool Echo as saying :

Good public transport links , £2 all-day parking and plans to re-invigorate the market are positive signs , and the business community ,residents and shoppers are keen to see to see Birkenhead invested in and improved”

But even Pip must know that a headline such as ” Make no mistake … M&S Birkenhead closure is a disaster”  in the usually compliant Liverpool Echo means that this is not a good news story.

It’s not a question of running down Birkenhead – it’s already run down or to use Presidential language  – it’s a shithole! Time for Pip, Frankenfield and co to wake up and smell the weed wafting down Grange Road.

So spare us the artists’ impressions for fantasy schemes that will never happen , the deceptive , expensive and manipulative wraparound advertising features in Wirral Globe, the press releases about the billions of pounds about to come Birkenhead’s way soon, honest, the cheque’s in the post etc; etc;

If all Wirral Council’s ‘transformers’ can come up with is plans for more car parking charges and a drive-in Maccy D’s whilst transforming their bank balance at our expense and jetting off to Cannes to hawk the tawdry wares that Birkenhead has to ‘offer’ then surely Marksy’s departure is the beginning of the end for the town.

And so we say to the young people of Birkenhead – get an education and GET OUT OF TOWN! Leave the dereliction to the derelicts and those who have been derelict in their duty for decades.

 

    

 

 

Rich Pickings On Animal Farm

Animal Farm House

As a companion piece to yesterday’s story we have been sent a link to a story on the Guido Fawkes website by a gobsmacked Wirralian. And yes we know Guido Fawkes has an agenda, so does The Canary and so do we. Deal with it! For avoidance of doubt our agenda is to highlight that modern (and particularly local) politics is complete self serving bollocks.

However for your delectation here is the story that was brought to our attention:

Back in October Guido ran one of our “through the keyhole” looks at Esther McVey’s Wirral home, the four bedroom house was on the market for £615,000. With our help promoting the property it sold the very next month in November for just below the asking price at £605,000.

In a strange twist, the buyer of this suburban dream home was Catriona Davies, the daughter of the leader of Wirral’s Labour Council – Philip Davies* – who, in the 2010 General Election, lost out against the now-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for the Wirral West seat. She bought it for cash, no mortgage needed…

*not her boyfriend Philip Davies, the Tory MP.

Link to Guido Fawkes story : here

So much we’d like to say – much (if not all) are contained in the comments below the Guido Fawkes article.  However the story strikes us as very Orwellian. ‘Animal Farm’ made flesh with the extra frisson that Birkenhead councillor Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ daughter allegedly now lives in the house that was once occupied by the woman who thwarted his political ambitions. As we know at the subsequent General Election McVey was ousted after what was a particularly hostile campaign co-ordinated by Pip’s West Kirby neighbour , Martin Liptrot – the man who first became Pip’s personal PR guru before being appointed to a ‘transformation’ policy wonk role at Wirral Council after a couple of ‘grace and favour’ appointments.

And so it all worked out well in the end for everyone (including McVey) didn’t it ?  – as it always does with those with the ‘right’ connections , who live in the ‘right’ areas and say – but don’t necessarily mean – the ‘right’ words. For those who don’t – and who won’t play the modern political game – not so much……….

Halting the Momentum

Momentum 007

One of the few advantages of the modern age is that you can get the Sunday papers on the continent on the same day of publication. OK – we might not get the supplements , but really, who needs know about Dry January diet and exercise tips and what our astrological signs have in store for us in 2018?

The only downside is that it does nothing for our blood pressure especially when Her Ladyship has a habit of lovingly ringing articles that I may find interesting/infuriating. One such ring of ire was reserved for a letter published in The Sunday Times titled  ‘Labour executive wrong to meddle’.

“Did you have to?…..” I harrumphed ” you know it bring on my Sandie Shaw Syndrome – there’s always something there to remind me “

“Oh dearest do stop griping – take two aspirin and tell me how you feel in the morning ………”  chirruped Her Ladyship .

So here goes.

It comes to something when leaders of Labour councils write to the establishment’s favourite mouthpiece ‘a-whingin’ and a-whinin’ about their own party’s National Executive Committee (and more particularly the Momentum element – although the dreaded ‘M ‘ word is studiously not used). You won’t be surprised to read that among the signatories were Mayor Joe Anderson  ( how many Mayors does Liverpool need f’chrissakes?) and your very own ‘leader’ (ha!ha!ha!) on Wirral – Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies.  The full letter is re-printed below . The list of signatories can be found here : Sunday Times letter and signatories

This internal clash of ideologies and political approaches comes as a result of the Labour NEC calling a halt on the Labour administration at Haringey Council wanting to get involved with Lendlease and develop a controversial housing scheme. The signatories consider that the Labour Party owe the leader of Haringey Ccouncil , Claire Kober  ,’a huge debt of gratitude’ :

LABOUR EXECUTIVE WRONG TO MEDDLE
It is a vital and long-standing rule of the Labour Party that individual Labour Groups, consisting of democratically elected Labour councillors, are sovereign bodies. As such, they have the ability, within available resources, party rules, and the law, to determine the most appropriate policies to serve their local communities.

Labour Local Government wishes to make it clear to all members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that they have no right or justification to interfere in or influence the legitimate actions of locally elected representatives. Such actions are not just outside of the party’s rules, but an affront to the basic principles of democracy.

We are extremely disappointed at the circumstances in which an issue in Haringey was brought forward and discussed by the NEC. Haringey Labour Group was not informed that such a discussion would take place, no advance notice was given, and no papers were produced, meaning the NEC discussion took place based on opinion and speculation rather than facts.

This sets a dangerous and alarming precedent and we ask the NEC for categorical assurances that such circumstances will not arise again in relation to this or any other Labour Group.

Labour councillors around the country are deeply concerned that, in seeking to mitigate Tory austerity by proposing radical new solutions, we face calls for disciplinary action against us. Such calls are uncomradely, disrespectful, and wilfully ignore the difficult and challenging role that we play in doing our best to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

Councillor Claire Kober has an outstanding record of improving the lives of residents in Haringey. Claire became the leader of Haringey Council in 2008 at the age of thirty, assuming the immense personal responsibility of leading a council in crisis following the appalling public service failures that led to the death of Peter Connelly (‘Baby P’).

Under her inspirational leadership, and despite suffering funding cuts of over 40% since 2010, the Haringey Labour Group has delivered the fastest improving schools in the country and generated billions of pounds of investment in the borough, and in 2017 the council won the Children’s Services of the Year award. We believe the Labour Party owes her a huge debt of gratitude for turning around a failing authority and as a result protecting thousands of the most vulnerable children and adults.”

However we feel we get a better insight into why certain Labour Council leaders such as Mayor Joe and Power Boy Pip would hold Cllr Kober in such high regard from a bravura (and brave) letter of resignation from one of her own Haringey councillors ,Cllr Stuart McNamara,which was written last November. The damning indictment of Kober’s leadership (which can be read in full here) includes the following claims:

Somebody has to call you out on your wrecking ball tactics and horrific wasting of public money on nonsense vanity projects whilst council services are starved of cash or sold off to the lowest bidder, making horrendous Tory government cuts even worse. This government and its behaviour towards the most vulnerable in our society is an absolute scandal; I am not suggesting they are not the core cause of the council’s financial predicament, rather that your ideological determination to pursue out-dated and maverick policies, whilst losing sight completely of the Labour values we are supposed to stand for, has made a very bad situation immeasurably worse.

The council’s reputation and recent history had warranted change and you came to us at a time of crisis at Haringey Council when a fresh direction was urgently needed. Like many people, I initially supported your leadership. You had, and still have, a right to be objectively and fairly judged on the merits of your leadership. Sadly, and on that basis, your leadership has been largely focused on the ideological pursuit of a poorly thought-through version of a commissioning and out-sourcing council.

You have projected a falsely positive view of Haringey to other local authorities and people of influence elsewhere in local and central government that is increasingly divorced from the reality on the ground. You have also placed a far higher importance on having good relations with private developers than with others in the Labour Party in Haringey and with residents, the very people we were elected to support and represent.

You are generous with council resources, waiving rents and large payments from powerful organisations when it suits you and you condone councillors dining out and enjoying corporate hospitality when the meals on wheels service has been cut. All too often, Labour councillors and residents find out about these things after the event, through member enquiries or FOI requests.

All you would need to do would be insert Wirral for Haringey and you’d  have a pin -point accurate description of Power Boy Pip’s administration except you wouldn’t get anyone brave enough within his cabal of careerist and complacent councillors to tell it like it is.  And as for the telling the Labour NEC ‘it has no right or justification to interfere in or influence the legitimate actions of locally elected representatives ‘,  perhaps Pip needs to think about matters closer to home and remind Birkenhead MP Frank Field about Wirral Council’s ‘sovereignty’ and ‘party rules and the law to determine the most appropriate policies to serve our communities’ and then ponder as to why Momentum is gaining,er , momentum and scaring the Blairites. We’ve long said that with feeble local political opposition the only thing that would sort the local Labour group out would be their own members – pass the hors d’oeuvres things could get really interesting in the run up to the local elections in May.

The Leaky Awards – All Time Best Quotes

One of the most satisfying aspects of reviewing our past body of work is identifying the consistent thread of delusion and deceit associated with those from Wirral Council that weaves its way through our posts like words through a stick of rock

Wanker rock

To highlight this  we present the past winners of ‘Quote of the Year’ 2013-16

 2013 – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” – Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies

Full story here: THE LEAKYS – WIRRAL LEAKS AWARDS 2013

2014 – ” (I was) played an excerpt of the recording (and) an adverse comment (was) made by a senior member (of the Labour group)” 

Powerboytrumpet

Power Boy Pip – a hearing impairment or a truth allergy? 

We’ve added some annotations (in bold) to the comments on our original post just to highlight the extent of the denial and deceit that’s going on here :

Wirral Leaks followers will recall that the Quote of the Year in the 2013 Leaky Awards came from Power Boy Pip and was in reference to the Wirralgate tape – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” (This investigation will be the unheralded Peter Mackay investigation from October 2013 – about which much more in our upcoming Wirralgate For Dummies guide). Then having thought he’d cleverly boxed off that little local difficulty Pip’s plans were dashed after someone (that someone tipped off Tory leader Jefferson Green about the Wirralgate tape just before last Christmas and by the new year it suddenly appeared that Power Boy Pip had recovered from a bout of amnesia and suddenly recalled being “played an excerpt of the recording” and that “an adverse comment (was) made by the senior member” of the Labour group” !!!

We were more coy in those days. The ‘someone’ who tipped off Green was none other than Liam Murphy who at the time was working for the Liverpool Echo but as you all now know works for the local Labour group!

Oops! the “adverse comment” must’ve slipped Pip’s tiny mind during the Mackay investigation in October 2013.

So having been rumbled Pip was forced to concede that the Wirralgate tapes went from an “unsubstantiated rumour” to “inaudible” to him admitting that he was indeed “played an excerpt.”

What we find frustrating is that the then Tory leader Green or indeed any other councillor didn’t think to refer the matter to the Standards Panel as Pip had clearly lied to investigator and to elected members. But then they didn’t when Cllr Steve Foulkes had evidentially done the same during the first Thynne investigation and they were ALL witnesses!  

Is it any wonder that the runner up for Quote of the Year 2014 was this :

“We wanted justice but you wouldn’t give it to us”Whistleblower Nigel ‘Highbrow’ Hobro speaking at Audit & Risk Management Committee in October whilst exposing Wirral Council’s inglorious record of thwarting whistleblowers by means of delay, obfuscation ,denial , minimisation and total lack of scrutiny or challenge from opposition councillors (see above).

Full story here : THE LEAKYS 2014

2015  – “You really don’t expect this sort of thing from a Labour Council.” –  Paddy Cleary ,Unison Branch Secretary commenting on proposals to close disabilities respite unit Girtrell Court , which we all know subsequently closed. Last time we heard carers weren’t happy with replacement services. 

As we said with such prescience at the time :  Is this what passes for “slamming” round here?.Seriously Paddy – where have you bloody been?. Oh !-  sitting in Wallasey Town Hall on the Council payroll !Memo to Paddy : This a Labour Council in name only and it is exactly the type of “thing” they’ve been doing for years. We deserve so much better and so do your members and until you all realise this your membership and influence will continue to dwindle. # UNISON #USELESS #FACEPALM 

Full story here : THE LEAKY AWARDS 2015

2016  From the brink of intervention, to the pinnacle of local government”  – Eric Robinson CEO Wirral Council. 

As we said at the time : Now we don’t know whether Stressed Eric has been buying some powerful hallucinogenics with his megabucks salary but this can surely be the only explanation for this ludicrous claim that Wirral Council is the pinnacle of local government. When it comes to public service peak performance we’re talking more Moel Famau than Mount Everest!

Of course this claim has gone from ludicrous to insulting as it was made before the publication of the damning Ofsted report which deemed local Children’s Services to be ‘inadequate’

Stressed Eric was also the runner up last year with this howler :

” It might seem an unusual step to revert to a printed product, and even I queried this at first …….” (Eric Robinson talking about Wirral Council’s decision to publish Wirral View ) “Until I was told to get back under my desk ….”  he might of added to prove once again why he’s the perfect CEO for Wirral Council.

 

EricERic v3

One of these is under the control of unseen hands and speaks other people’s words. The other one is a ventriloquist’s dummy.

THE LEAKY AWARDS 2016

And finally here’s a potential winner for  ‘Quote of the Year 2018’ from someone who doesn’t and has never worked for Wirral Council  but fortunately for her knows somebody who did and which provides further insight into ‘how things work’ these days.

“This year Emma Degg took over as CEO of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Over the years , Emma had offered me various work experience placements to help me advance and develop my network. It’s through NWBLT that I found out about The Juice Academy ….” Emma Green

From Pub to Powerhouse

We ask ourselves could Emma Green be in any way related to former Wirral Council Tory group leader Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green who could often be seen having a fag with Emma Degg round the back of Wallasey Town Hall ? I think we all know the answer to that question don’t we boys and girls? But isn’t it nice to see those who have moved on to pastures new courtesy of nepotism, sorry ,’network’ is able to give the leg up to the daughter of the former leader of Wirral Council?

Leaky Awards 2017 – Quotes of the Year Part One

Leaky awardsLeaky awardsLeaky awards

Apologies for the late arrival of the Leaky Awards 2017 but we’ve been inundated with suggestions for nominations. Furthermore ‘Her Ladyship’ had to arrange to borrow a dress and a pair of sparkly shoes from Wirral Chamber of Commerce CEO , ‘Princess’ Paula Basnett for the occasion. Times are hard (for the less well connected anyway).

However without further ado – let the ceremony commence ! This year we’ve had to divide the awards into sections starting with ‘Quotes of the Year’ . This is because 2017 proved to be a bumper year from beginning to end for foot in mouth, face palm and WTAF memorable quotes that have (dis)graced our pages . We’ll also revisit some past glories and provide details of where you can purchase your very own Wirral Leaks Inspirational Fridge Magnets

JANUARY 

“You need to pay back the £19,000 bitch, or I will do what happened to that MP today” –  Jim Crabtree , ex-Wirral councillor. After the story originally broke on Wirral Leaks it is finally revealed at Wirral Magistrate’s Court what ‘ Crabby’ actually said in the death threat made to former Labour colleague Cllr Louise Reecejones during a drunken late night telephone call. The MP referred to, was of course, murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.

Jumbo

Foulkesy’s idea of strong leadership

CRABBY : GUILTY AS CHARGED

FEBRUARY 

” People are C’s – never ceases to amaze me how horrible people can be to others”Andrew Moore, diminutive solicitor hired by Wirral Council tweets to the world the benefit of his experience. Could C stand for councillor we ask ourselves?

FLOATING IN THE AIR

foulkesy-lrj-008

 ‘I believe the findings of this investigation speak broadly for themselves. To speculate further upon those findings here risks undermining the analytical, data-led approach I and others have been careful to maintain.’  Cllr Philip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore, Labour councillor  shuts down any debate during a Committee meeting about the proposed reduction of Wirral councillors from 66 to 44 with a supremely pompous ‘we know best’ comment.

QUESTION TIME

MARCH  

‘ I only found out (who was on the panel) via Wirral Leaks. Thank goodness for them in some ways, but that’s no way to run an open and transparent Council ‘ Cllr Lesley Rennie , Conservative councillor with the barnet as hard as a bobby’s helmet begrudgingly bemoans the fact that she found out who was on the panel that led to the infamous appointment of Labour spin merchant Martin Liptrot to a ‘transformer’ role at Wirral Council only via this blog.

TRANSFORMERS

APRIL

It’s about cultural potential; reclaiming Wirral’s industrial heritage; pop-ups and meanwhile spaces and enthusiastic people who want to change perceptions, make a difference and try something new.”  Wirral Chamber of Commerce describe their role in Wirral Council sponsored first (and last?)  ‘Festival of Beautiful Ideas’ (!) held in Birkenhead/Woodside. For clarification we think a ‘meanwhile space’ is  more usually known as a ‘shed’ . As for trying something new and considering the location we were thinking did they mean  ‘Spice’ ? ‘Ket’? or ‘Bath Salts’ ?

FANTASTIC FESTIVAL OF BS

Sheds 2

The waste of space in a ‘meanwhile space’

MAY

“I have been imposed by Jeremy . I have the indignity of the leader imposing me on the party” – “I would collapse soon, it would be over. I hope to hit the wall running, that’s the aim.” – Frank Field , Birkenhead MP and droll wag muses on the double threat of Momentum and retirement respectively. We heartily endorse the latter sentiment and the sooner the better. 

ELECTION SELECTION WEEK 3

JUNE

“(The investigator) found the actions of  Cllr Reecejones were designed to threaten,intimidate,undermine and cause difficulties at work “  and her evidence was  ‘inconsistent, vague and misleading’ – Standards Panel Investigation report

SANCTION DISTINCTION

As for Crabby well he is one vile disgusting bully who goes around picking on women. His words to me were, ” your a f@@@ing Deaf, Fat Bitch”.This was I (sic) front of school children at the holocaust memorial service.Crabby refuses to answer to the complaint and will slope off as he has been deselected.There is another one you may be interested in but I will give you her next week after I’ve met with the whip, some interesting times ahead with key people leaving the group at May’s elections, positions are up for grabs and scary times ahead for who will become chair of the group etc. And I haven’t I have had him suspended and took him to task, I’m not an easy push over I just don’t believe this man should be near politics or vulnerable people.

Wirral Leaks : You need to look higher up. Crabtree is a nonentity.

Oh I have stuff from a high up, all in good time xx It’s prob worth noting that if I did as I was told over this case Labour would not of took it any further and I would not of been suspended. I was given an ultimatum and they were willing to brush over the accusation. I knew 100% I had done nothing so refused the offer with no hesitation. 
I had no idea what it was over until October when I went to see the CEO so that’s a lot of time to set me up.
WL : First mistake – you put your trust in (Graham) Burgess.
Oh no I’ve never put my trust in him at all, nor have I in the leadership of the group.

Cllr Louise Reecejones  speaks candidly to Wirral Leaks about life in the local Labour Party

LRJ CONFIDENTIAL

“I’m in favour of Wirral Leaks. If I was the Council I’d pay them money to find out what was going on in my Council” – Frank Field , Birkenhead MP speaks candidly to a local constituent who records him for posterity.

MEN OF MYSTERY – THE BIG REVEAL PART ONE

“However we know that the service faces many challenges and there are also clearly some significant corporate issues hindering the ability of the service to be more efficient.” Eleanor Brazil , Children’s Services troubleshooter fails to speak candidly about why she bailed out on Wirral Council and leaves us all to interpret exactly what she means by ‘significant corporate issues’

PORTRAIT OF A GOBSHITE

 

 

 

Advent Farewell 24 – Feeling the Pinch at Christmas

Pip Grinch

As we await Santa’s arrival at Leaky Towers we have been reflecting on money matters – as most of us do at this time of  the year. But in this instance we’re talking about Wirral Council (just for a change) .

Does anyone think it was a bit Grinch-like of  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies to announce plans at this week’s Labour Cabinet meeting for Wirral’s promenades and coastal walks to be subject to the same parking charges as our parks . This latest plan is projected to raise £245K per annum . Pip seems to be forever deriving pleasure from spoiling other people’s enjoyment of Wirral’s natural assets doesn’t he? Pip + The Grinch = The Pinch.

But does anyone think it is particularly obscene that at the same meeting (and behind closed doors obviously) the Cabinet made the recommendation to bung failed Super Duper Director Joe Blott £390K to get rid once and for all.  Is it just us who’s making the connection that rewards for failure are increasingly paid by us on a daily basis?

Isn’t it sickening to think that the likes of Blott and consultants like incompetent?/negligent?/corrupt? Stewart Halliday never have to feel the real pinch courtesy of  ‘The Pinch’. For when it comes to Wirral Council there’s always money for pay-offs , for consultants, for Frank Field’s pet projects and somehow income generation is not a concern when it comes to Wirral Chamber of Commerce and their peppercorn rents and gifts of public assets.

Meanwhile these are locations where you are going to have to scramble for change :

  • North Parade, Hoylake / Meols
  • South Parade, West Kirby
  • Derby Pool, Wallasey
  • Kings Parade, Wallasey
  • Gunsite, Wallasey
  • Leasowe Lighthouse

Might we suggest the change that really needs to come is at the local elections in May 2018.

Advent Farewell 19 – Girls On Top

Emma Ugg 019

As you know we don’t do Twitter but we do get alerts telling us about ‘our highlights’ . How former Wirral Council Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green pops up on there we don’t know – but he does. And for once we’re grateful for his intervention because we are able to feature his old Wallasey Town Hall smoking companion , Ms Emma Degg, who as we’ve previously reported is now CEO of North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) – you and us both, we’ve never heard of them.

Whilst Nigel Farage sound-a-like Green tells us on Twitter that his ” views are strictly my own” – we don’t convincing Jeff as they’re usually dull. Very Dull. So dull in fact that sometimes he precedes his tweet with the introduction ” Interesting stuff….”

One such tweet was this one :

Emma Ugg 016

Isn’t it wonderful to see a former Leader of Wirral Council  – we know, frightening to think that actually happened- supporting the former doyenne of Wirral Council . We’re just surprised that the current leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and other prominent Labour councillors didn’t want to support their former communications czarina on social media . Oh no sorry we’re not – relations between various parties all got a bit messy in the end didn’t they?

However back to Ms Degg’s rad-fem magnum opus. First thing to say – and call us puerile (guilty as charged) – but we lol’d at the headline. Having suppressed the fit of giggles and resisted the temptation to question the stats that suggest women in business can boost the bottom line and whether this should be known as Kardashian economics, we found we could get with the idea that there should be more representation from women and the LGBT+ in positions of power. Although by missing the + Degg scored a –

Read the full ‘opinion piece’ here: Bottom Line

As you know we’ve long questioned the male dominance within the Liverpool City Region and the lack of diversity in political representation generally. What’s more it’s always struck us that whilst Wirral Council has long been renowned for having a macho bullying culture there has never been one of them wielding power who had a scrotum – always hiding behind lawyers,(in) human resources , Frank Field and any number of arselicking lackeys. Forever the little boys lost in a big girl’s blouse.

What would have been instructive if Degg had told us about the techniques and strategies she used to get to the top and how her plans to be Deputy CEO of Wirral Council were thwarted. But this cautionary tale wouldn’t be just about ‘toxic masculinity’ – it would also be about female rivalry. For example the infamous ‘Ladies of Hebden Bridge’  weren’t exactly renowned for their sisterly feelings towards Degg . Which brings to us to one of the strangest episodes we’ve ever covered on Wirral Leaks –  the fact that council leaders were utterly in thrall to these phony soothsayers that they’d decamp – which is unusual for Hebden Bridge – for spiritual, strategic and political guidance . Now if ever there was a case of girls being on top – this was it – but the bottom line is that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing!

Emma Ugg 024

 

Advent Farewell 16 – A View of Christmas

Wendy Clements Wirral View (2)

“OK Wendy love, give us your best angry face…”

The bumper Christmas edition of Wirral View has landed .  A bumper edition consisting of 24 particularly pisspoor pages .

We can’t help feeling that articles titled “ Drink Less, Enjoy More”  and ” Tips To Avoid Scammers” should be directed towards a certain Labour councillor and his spouse and the ‘leader’ of Wirral Council respectively.

We have to say that the Wirral Conservatives picture to accompany the posting on their website decrying the Christmas edition of Wirral View is pure comedy gold

The full article reads :

Residents are now being asked to sign for receipt of Wirral Council’s controversial newspaper, ‘Wirral View’, when it is delivered.

As a further sign of the troubled delivery of the newspaper, the Town Hall has also compiled a list of ‘VIPs’ who must receive it and sign for it, including councilors.

One of the Councillors who was told she is on the ‘VIP List’ is Councillor Wendy Clements, in Greasby.

Councillor Clements said: “Wirral View gets more ridiculous as time goes on. To have a ‘VIP List’ of people who the Town Hall think are important and must receive it, whatever the weather, is a sign of how out of touch they have become.

“The only ‘very important people’ as far as this newspaper is concerned are the people who are paying £270,000 a year for it – the residents and taxpayers. Half the Borough doesn’t receive it and many of the rest don’t want it. The best Christmas present that the Labour Council could give us would be to scrap it.” Wirral View Goes VIP

As you can see from the picture above Cllr Wendy Clements has got her glum face on – and who can blame her ? It’s straight out of popular Facebook page Angry People in Local Newspapers  only in this particular case it’s more People Angry About Local Newspapers.

And finally (as once again they say on the telly) to follow up last week’s Wirral View story here’s a response from our regular commentator ‘ The Prof’ which was not published by the Wirral Globe following the letter from a certain Chris Noble asking for suggestions for alternative uses for the wretched rag.  Deja View

I agree with Mr. Noble in the last Globe: we should find positive usesfor ‘Wirral View’. I have found two. Firstly it is fun to spot and test all the false performance claims made by the council. The October / November issue claimed that ‘closer working [Safer Wirral initiative] has already led to an 11% reduction in anti-social behaviour across Wirral’. Using a Freedom of Information Act request I obtained the ASB incident data from 2012 to 2017.

The improved ‘working together’ period covered 2016 onwards. ASB fell during
this period but it had been falling steadily since 2013.’Working together’ did not
affect the rate of fall. This is not surprising since the list of  12 ‘actions’ provided
is purely administrative not street focused.
Wirral View also claimed a £50,000 saving on emergency services in 2017 from
these anti-ASB actions. Surely a good result? But the savings related to stopping
high numbers of emergency calls from just TWO people. One was demented and
put in a care home! The other was mentally ill and they changed his medicine!
This was about sick, vulnerable, people seeking help, not ASB and crime reduction.
Wirral View is full of such amusing alternative facts …it is surely a treasure.
Secondly Mr. Noble suggests using Wirral View to wrap fish and chips. Here is another thought. When I was a kid in Liverpool we could not afford toilet paper and used the Echo.The paper quality of Wirral View is far superior to the Echo and in these days of austerity it can be pressed into use instead. Thank you Wirral Council and keep up the crap work.
                                                                                    Professor D P Gregg (retired)
P.S. On 04.09.17 the Globe reported a 38% fall in ASB ‘across Wirral’ due to the above  activities. My FOI request answer was that this was ‘incorrect data’ in the press release you quoted. Apparently the note implies, the Globe should have realised this so it was  your fault really for publishing false information! By the way the 38% applied to Frank Field’s (Beirut) Birkenhead but it is also based on flawed statistical data.