Room at the Top

Comrade Burgesski laughs in the face of austerity…..

Following on from our report about the further adventures of ex-Council legal boss Bill Norman we bring you news of another prominent former Wirral Council officer doing rather well for himself hitching a ride aboard the public service gravy train.

We’re talking about none other than the former head honcho himself ex-Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess (aka Comrade Burgesski) as it would seem that the sly old silver fox has gone back to Blackburn. A place he describes as being “close to his heart” – somewhat like his bulging wallet.

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/13754337.Ex_council_boss_to_take_on_leading_health_role_in_Blackburn/?ref=twtrec

We were surprised to see no mention of his appointment that followed directly on from his so called “retirement” from Wirral Council . As we reported in November 2014 :

“And so to the surprise of absolutely nobody we hear that outgoing  Wirral Council chief executive G-man Burgesski – has with indecent haste after announcing his alleged “retirement” – revealed he’s got a lucrative new gig as chairman of a newly-formed Northwest housing group called Torus. SEE HERE  

Burgesski cheekily says :“The size, scale and vision of what I have seen so far are really impressive.”

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/sindy-says/

Was this a case of Torus – the bullshit ? – or is greedy serial retiree Burgess job sharing?

However Burgess was and remains a puzzle to us at Leaky Towers. Sources have always insisted that his tenure as Wirral council’s CEO was a put up job by central government via the Local Government Association (with the initial approval of Birkenhead MP Frank Field) .This is supported by the fact that in quick succession Burgess went from being a specially invited guest from Blackburn on the Wirral Council/LGA Improvement Board which was set up the circumvent local government commissioners being sent in to run the show to acting CEO and within the blink of an eye to permanent CEO of Wirral Council.And just to square the circle he ends up back at Blackburn !.

For the life of us we can’t identify what Burgess brought to the party other than some useful contacts and his only lasting legacy will surely be the tarting up of Wallasey Town Hall.

Of course his days were numbered when ,how can we put this delicately? , certain  “distractions” got in the way and he was also proving to be an obstacle to Frankenfield’s plans to box off the Wirralgate scandal.

However if nothing else old Comrade Burgesski proves once again that there is always room at the top for those with the right connections.

Mob Rule

WIRRALYOBBOS

‘If they are Caesars or Cromwells, they seize power for themselves. If they are spineless courtiers, uninterested in doing good yet dangerous when they seek to do harm, they go back to lay their power at their master’s feet, and help him to resume arbitrary power on condition they become his chief servants ‘– Maximilien Robespierre, 1791

Is it us or does it suddenly seem as though Wirral Council is gripped with turmoil akin to pre-revolutionary France?

Consider if you will the “Golden Shower” – the gilded elite sustained by Comrade Burgesski which has come to symbolise the excess and decadence of Wirral Council – holding court at top-notch tucked-away hostelries and pissing on the proles.

No jobs? no prospects ? no hope ? – “Let them play golf” drawls Burgesski and his courtiers and then signs another cheque of public money to get him out of a bunker dug for him by careless, feckless and clueless local politicians.

Of course we were soon onto the man once described as “the fourth most influential man in local government” ( that’s one hell of a chat up line I’m sure you agree) and identified that he was really the Emperor With No Clothes ………

However we do admit Burgesski proved to be a rich source (no pun intended) of satire – from lampooning his preening vanity in the “What Really Matters” video to his St.Vitus Dance routine at last years Improvement Board Royal Variety Show.

The man who arrived on Wirral thinking he was a shoe-in for an OBE and a nice little pension pot top up – who soon followed the path of least resistance and threw his hand in with the people who had brought Wirral Council so low in exchange for a permanent contract – only to find they were to later to turn on him when he made the suggestion that the future assistant Chief Executive should be a particularly favoured courtier.

Fear not dear readers the revolutionary spirit lives on at Leaky Towers – even in the face of the relentless photo-op phonies.We all know who they are – the ones with seemingly endless access to local media. Note how the press statements and PR stunts from certain local politicians rise exponentially with the effluence emanating from Wallasey Town Hall. The latest manifestation of this loathing by politicians for the people they are meant to serve comes in the form of the desperate and manipulative “yob culture” rhetoric we have witnessed this past week.

We can only long for the day when the so called “yobs” rise from their false consciousness and instead of terrorizing their own neighbourhoods they begin to direct their anger and frustration toward the false messiahs who fail to consider their own manifest failings when it comes to a situation where disaffected,disenfranchised and dysfunctional young people on Wirral feel they have no option but to make other people’s lives as miserable as their own.

Not so much “Yob Culture is Ruining Town” as “Mob Culture is Running Town”

Vive le revolution!

Frankie Says ..WIRRAL LEAKS…

FRANKLYSAYS

When the latest cinematic masterpiece from John Brace was forwarded to us for our perusal we were very reluctant to view what on previous experience has to be the most tedious meeting on God’s earth (or whatever deity that does it for you) – The Birkenhead Constituency Committee. SEE HERE

However we were helpfully tipped the wink as to what section of the six part magnum opus would be of particular interest to us. Initially we were disappointed to see that Director of Law  Sirgit Tool was missing from his usual place as the meat in the Davies sandwich ( that’s George and Pip) and was replaced by an anonymous person who seemed to be mid-nervous breakdown.

So we then fast forwarded to the bit were Frankenfield was tittering like a naughty schoolgirl at his Freudian slip as he introduced  council officer David ” super -sub” Armstrong  – the David Fairclough of Wirral Council -as the Acting Chief Executive of Wirral Council! Oops! ….seems to us as though someone can’t shove Comrade Burgesski down the Downton Abbey fire escape quick enough! But at least we now know who takes over when Burgesski buzzes off in his beamer!

However nothing but nothing could have prepared us for the final reel when Frankenfield  grabbed a Houses of Parliament bag ( just to remind us he’s an MP and very,very important) to hand over to departing Committee Co-ordinator the beloved Dawnie whilst saying that he hoped that she’d be back after her stint with Sport England.The look in poor Dawnie’s eyes suggests she’d give Usain Bolt a run for his money when it came to running for the hills! He then uttered those immortal words : ” In case Wirral Leaks is actually recording us or anything it’s not cost a penny of public money…..”

An endorsement from Frankenfield – what more could we ask for?
However we can’t help feeling he’s made a schoolboy error by not heeding the words of his heroine Maggie Thatcher and that he should never have  given us “the oxygen of publicity”……..

Halloween Special – House of Horrors – Keeping It Clean

GOOLIES

Despite Her Ladyship’s suggestion that we need to widen our target audience to include the lowest common denominator , we would never stoop so low as to publish the torrent of scurrilous gossip and rumour currently pounding our inbox. But dearie,dearie me what a hotbed (ahem) of intrigue Wallasey Town Hall is turning out to be…..

For example we understand that the letter of resignation sent to Power Boy Pip from another Director running for the hills before they are forced to compromise their integrity is an eye-opener and lays bare the fact that Comrade Burgesski’s tenure as Chief Executive of Wirral Council has been one of IGNOMINIOUS FAILURE.

Remember Burgesski’s rebutting justified and ancient whistleblower Martin “Mad” Morton’s claim that the culture of Wirral Council hadn’t changed and that’s why he wouldn’t go back to work for them ? – and we understand the specifics of why he wouldn’t go back promises more gobsmacking revelations .However Burgesski bleated back that the Council had changed because the LGA (Lapdog Government Association) had said so – so there ner ner ne ner ner! …..

We think that all Burgesski achieved was to lay a thin veneer of gloss over a stinking cesspit.If only he was prepared to strip the varnish back as he had done with his office doors –  which sources now describe as washed out and characterless (which seems most appropriate).  However this superficial  makeover was clearly enough to dupe the LGA who seem ever reluctant to lift the carpet and to see the mound of detritus that Burgesski has shovelled there or in the darkest corners where the dirt and the filth festers away.

And to think that the LGA will be advising yet another set of consultants about the appointment of a new Chief Executive!
Er …. thanks but no thanks! SEE HERE

It seems to us that Wallasey Town Hall doesn’t need any more consultants it needs steam cleaning. Indeed ,we hate to blow our own trumpet , but we now realise just how prescient last years Wirral Leaks Halloween Special was:

SEE HERE

“We began to wonder on this All Hallows Eve just how much has the Wirral Council horror-show been transformed since the arrival of Comrade Burgesski and the expensive window dressing that is the Improvement Board ? – A bit of expensive window dressing that calls itself voile but its basically a net(work) curtain to stop people knowing what’s really going on. By the way we’d leave this particular gig off your CV if we were you Ms.Redfearn and don’t worry we’re not going to ask for a big fat  LGA-sized consultancy fee for telling you that.

After considering a series of calamitous headlines, damning reports,botched investigations and the departure of various Chief Officers and senior staff we are minded to recall a scene from the classic spooky movie “Poltergeist.”The clip belwo especially resonates with us at Leaky Towers because we all agree that it’s no use moving the headstones from the cemetery when the bodies remain buried. If they’re not put to rest the skeletons will simply keep on rising up until they bring the house tumbling down.

We suspect that until there’s a decent burial it’ll be some time before get anyone declares that  “This house is clean…” especially when burial is confused with denial…..”

So Happy Halloween leakers …. and here’s a somewhat salient tune, if you’ve heard some of the toe curling stories we’ve been privy to of late. Watch this space

 

 

A V- sign 4 V4

eV4-VICTORY

Following on from our latest story about Wirral Council’s profligate spending on consultants darling Verity has been undertaking further research into the consultancy firm V4……….

SEE HERE

Readers will remember that  Cllr Chris “Cross” Meaden authorised  that V4 undertake a 50 grand job that eventually ended up costing Wirral council tax payers a whopping £260,000.

We can only ask ourselves whether you can get an internet connection in Meaden’s Rock Ferry ward as even the most basic search  would have set the alarm bells ringing like Quasimodo on Christmas Day.

Perhaps  “Cross” Chris just relied on the tried and tested “word of mouth” method which as we know is always a winner when it comes to public accountability!  Did she put her faith in elusive Super-Duper Director  Clare “Wet” Fish who we’ve been told used V4 when she was at Oldham Council or did she ask Comrade Burgesski’s fandango dancing wife as to whether V4 helped to put Warrington’s leisure services into a trust whilst slashing wages and staff?

However we have  been asked to focus our attention on a V4 consultant by the name of Peter Kilkenny who we understand was linked to the bumper pay-day consultancy work in Wirral.

SEE HERE

And it would appear from Verity’s research that Kilkenny has a bit of previous ……

Apparently he left his job with Rochdale Link4Life , the arms length organisation that runs council services last year , after allegations of credit card misuse.This included his boss Craig McAteer spending fourteen and a half grand in 12 months on his card including a holiday to Florida (all of the money was apparently paid back). Between the 2 of them they made 65 staff redundant whilst giving themselves massive pay rises.

SEE HERE

It is particularly noteworthy that Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk has been extremely scathing of their work in his constituency :

“I am very much of the view that the bosses of this outfit, Craig McAteer and Peter Kilkenny, have been taking the taxpayer for a ride, and I publicly challenged their huge, unjustifiable salaries over a year ago.

So the story that appeared on the front page of the Observer last week, detailing how they had been inappropriately using company credit cards to buy, among other things, a holiday, came as no surprise to me.

This company seems happy to spend taxpayers’ money, yet does not want its spending scrutinised and deliberately avoids transparency. At a time when public spending is being seriously reined in, this culture cannot continue. Quite simply, McAteer and Kilkenny are making a mockery of public services. ..”

SEE HERE

Good call Cllr Meaden!…..a match made in Local Government Hell. Cash strapped and scandal ridden councils are clearly proving to be happy hunting grounds for some.

Coincidentally it should be noted that poor beleaguered Rochdale also deployed the services of Anna Klonowski of Independent Review infamy after North West Employers Organisation recommended her to undertake investigative work in relation to sexual exploitation in the borough – after they in turn had also undertaken work for Wirral Council!

Are people beginning to realise how this self-perpetuating money -making merry go round works yet ?!!

However although Rock Ferry may seem to be an internet dead zone other parts of Wirral have been able to access the above information. Particularly interested have been Wirral Council staff facing redundancy, some of whom, after decades of loyal service, now find their entire futures in the hands of cash-crazed consultants !

Way to go Wirral Council !…..

Brain Drain

brain

We’ve been reflecting here at Leaky Towers on the departure of Wirral Council Chief Executive Comrade Burgesski. We understand that ” sparks flew” prior to him announcing this departure (the title of the song below says it all ) .And it would seem that even the pleasant times to be had in an exclusive hostelry in Wirral  – which served as the local equivalent to The Clog and Billycock in his previous haunt in Blackburn  – have suddenly lost their appeal.

We were willing to give Burgesski a chance at Wirral Leaks somewhat as you would with the new kid who joins the school that has been put in special measures by Ofsted. However halfway through his first term he threw his old school cap in with the playground bullies ,secured his “permanent” contract and did nothing to address the heart of darkness that still dominates the culture of Wirral Council.

And what a shameful legacy he leaves in his wake – his commentary on the wickedness of central government policy is sickening hypocrisy when compared with Wirral Council’s adherence to these self same policies – the Council’s stance on the Bedroom Tax and Council Tax for the unemployed is absolutely shameful.

In this context it is completely legitimate to compare and contrast the Council’s callous policies impacting on the poor and disabled with the lavish refurbishment of Burgesski’s stately pleasure-dome. His tenure as Chief Executive is characterised as : “Austerity as a means to an end” – in this case the dismantling of public services and punishing the poor and the powerless. Remind us again – is this really a Labour led Council ?

The consensus seems to be that Burgesski won’t be missed. Indeed even Frankenfield made the terse remark about the appointment of a new Chief Executive that  Wirral Council should : ” seize the opportunity and appoint a candidate that would be the “envy of other authorities” As her Ladyship said (brandishing her beautifully manicured talons) : “Meow!!….”

However don’t flatter yourself that the title of this blog refers to you Burgesski. It’s a reference to the fact that Wirral’s brightest and best don’t end up in Brighton Street. Instead we have the zombie-like ” Scouse Contingent” and ” Cheshire Set” who gorge themselves on the cadaver of Wirral Council before driving off in their top of the range cars to the bright lights of Liverpool or the bucolic delights of the Cheshire countryside.
Why should those who have been running/ruining Wirral Council care if Wirral is covered in dog crap and feral gangs roam the streets and special schools are closed and if Wirral Council has an appalling record when it comes to the vulnerable and disabled ?.They simply don’t live here and their decisions don’t impact on their well padded existences “out of borough”

Talking of well padded – remember Foulksey’s infamous quote that Wirral having a declining population was a good thing? ( there’s plenty more memorable quotes from Foulksey coming up very soon in a Wirral Leaks Special Report ……). Somebody needs to tell him that any young Wirralian with any foresight or potential or integrity will get themselves as far away from Wallasey Town Hall as they can.

Memo to the Mayor: This is NOT a good thing.

By the way before you go Burgesski – any news on the Golf Resort or Wirral Waters ? (no thought not). Which reminds us will Burgesski be taking the picture of Stella Shiu that adorns his ante-room and other useless items with him ? – no sorry Comrade , you can’t take the Super-Duper Directors with you!…..

Bye Bye Burgesski !

GOOFY-ESCAPES

 

And so with tedious inevitably comes the announcement that another Wirral Council Chief Executive bites the dust.

SEE HERE

Of course knowing what we know it comes as no surprise to us here at Leaky Towers that Comrade Burgesski will be heading for the beautifully appointed fire escape just before the great political conflagration engulfs Wallasey Town Hall once and for all.

Somehow we suspect that despite the praise emanating from Power Boy Pip and co that Burgesski will not be eulogised in quite the same way that former Chief Executive Steve “Mad Dog” Maddox was on the announcement of his sudden departure to spend more time with his long suffering golf clubs.

Will it be an OBE and Freedom of the Borough of Wirral for the man who allegedly turned Wirral Council around into the model of efficiency it now so clearly is ( honest guv) after a series of scandals?………..

We humbly suggest that a fitting tribute in honour of Burgesski’s tenure would be a revolving door fitted to the Chief Executive’s office !

Protection Racket

80574135

We warned you in this post – HERE  written before the Open golf championships to keep a look-out for this FOI request : HERE

We anticipated it would be the usual obfuscation and delay and sure enough true to form the requester had to wrestle some of the information out of Wirral Council before they started invoking the usual legal KO and invoke exemptions to deny full access to the information requested.

The exemptions mean that although we find out exactly who were the 43 Councillors who availed themselves of Wirral Council’s generous hospitality we do not get a “definitive” list of guests enjoying a pleasant day out on the public purse.

However there are some interesting revelations – the first of course being the fact that 43 Councillors had their entry to the Open paid for by the Council and not the 2 that Comrade Burgesski originally claimed (no wonder there’s  financial problems at Wirral Council when the Chief Executive seems to have trouble with figures).

Secondly we note the presence of “Weightmans Lawyers” on the Thursday and Friday sessions – would that be ex- Wirral Council employees Morris Hill and Simon Goacher perchance?

Although this information is somehow allowed to leak out we don’t get a full list of business associates who were the beneficiaries of Council freebies “due to on-going commercial negotiations between the Council and the organisations in question”
Which begs the question that if there are “ongoing commercial negotiations” with certain organisations should Wirral Council be offering what might be seen as inducements or favours?

However the exemption which had us blowing our turret off Leaky Towers was the non-disclosure of the Wirral Council staff who were on the golf course rather than sitting behind a desk.

The Council refused this request “due to the seniority of the officers in question and the fact that they do not hold public facing jobs. There is therefore an expectation that their privacy would be upheld.”

“Public facing jobs?” – that’s a new one on us. How about ” Public serving jobs?” Wirral Council – have you ever heard of them? No,thought not!  Especially in the light of the harrowing news coming out of Rotherham  this week we simply cannot fathom the motive behind the obsessive zeal with which PUBLIC bodies consistently seek to protect their staff at the expense of vulnerable people and the public purse.

It’s the same modus operandi which is demonstrated time and time again here on Wirral where readacted reports afford anonymity to abusers and those guilty of malpractice.

It’s a protection racket for the powerful – and it is the public who have to pay.

The Curious Incident of The Dogging in The Night -time

1-BIG-GOOFY

Now we like normally try to avoid the more lurid and distasteful aspects of modern life at Leaky Towers which we consider to be an enclave of civilisation in an increasingly vulgar world (lets leave Eldritch out of it for the moment). However our critical gaze was drawn to a recent article where a “tired and emotional” couple brought a whole new meaning to the phrase ” street entertainment”

SEE HERE

The article coyly referred to lewd acts performed on the prom in New Brighton and quoted that : “Magistrates heard that the CCTV operator phoned Merseyside Police and provided them with a link to the live feed of the incident…..”

This sordid incident happened in June 2014…..three months after 11 people were made redundant and the CCTV control room was to be closed and overall control passed to Merseyside Police.

However we are led to believe that police controllers neither have the time nor the inclination to monitor all of Wirral’s 110 cameras even after reassuring senior council officers that they could. So who is this lone ranger CCTV operator in the council’s control room?

We are eagerly anticipating that we will be able to find out following a curious Freedom Of Information requesting minutes of a meeting with the discarded CCTV staff and Wirral Council Senior Officers

SEE HERE

A source  states: “This request has obviously hit a nerve as they know what was discussed at this meeting and what grievances the staff put forward including public safety issues and their idea of forward planning which absolutely none of it was implemented apart from the disgusting way they forced us out of our positions…….”

Which sounds to us rather like the hurried uncoupling of the sex romp pair on New Brighton prom !

UPDATE!!!!!

A source writes

“This incident was common viewing amongst the Community Patrol and almost all members of staff have been shown the footage. Some have watched it several times. This is a clear breach of the DPA 1998.

At one point there where five members of staff and a manager all around the viewing console enjoying the movie of the day.
Council staff have also allowed the current agency staff to view this evidential footage.

This alleged breach of data protection really needs full investigation and further opportunities removed immediately.But it will probably be covered up as usual after being investigated by the very ex-plods who have allowed it to happen.

http://ico.org.uk/what_we_cover/taking_action/dp_pecr
The ICO can fine organisations severely depending on the seriousness of the breach.”

The Non Return of Martin – Grrrr!

MARTINMORT

And so the ultimate PR prize slips from grasp of Wirral Council as veteran whistle-blower Martin Morton turns down the tempting offer of a return to the house of fun and chooses to take the money and run.

Of course this would of been the ultimate endorsement of the “new” regime if Morton had crawled back with his tail between his legs. A trophy to be cynically displayed at every opportunity like an endangered species bagged by a big game hunter.

So this leaves us with the question of who to believe when it comes to the supposed miraculous transformation of Wirral Council – Morton  (who clearly doesn’t believe a word of it) or Comrade Burgesski/Power Boy Pip and their Local Government  Association lapdogs.

Based on the stories on this blog we know where we’d put our money…….

We must say we find the press reports a tad confusing – for example if there’s a secrecy clause what’s Morton doing blabbing all over the local papers again like someone with a bladder problem?

SEE HERE

AND HERE

Once again we get an unnerving sense that there’s something decidedly unsavoury and unresolved we don’t know about – with Morton mentioning about writing a book and saying : “I know what is going on behind the scenes. It’s not a changed organisation….”

We can only wonder whether he’s heard the Wirralgate tape!

Bizarrely Burgesski  states : “But we are pleased Martin feels the matter has been finalised.”

Really? – it doesn’t sound like it to us!

The King of Wishful Thinking v The Man Who Knew Too Much

Once again we know where our money is going……..