The Uncanny and the Corrupt

transparency-014

Lib Dem councillor Stuart Kelly called it correctly last night when he posted the above tweet.

Of course what he didn’t do was go into detail – so as ever it’s up to us to fill in the blanks.

The blank space in this case being the appointment of Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies personal hand-holder Martin Liptrot (aka Liptrotsky) to the post of ‘Investment Development Manager’ on approximately £127K  pa (and not the previously reported £80K) . So the just-so-happens appointment comes just in time for Pip’s cheerleader to accompany him on a jaunt to Cannes – at our expense. Quelle surprise!

An Extraordinary Council

Needless to say (and what Cllr Kelly alludes to) is that we predicted this appointment way back in January when we reported:

Wirral Leaks regulars Wirral Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive  ‘ Princess’ Paula Basnett and Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies clearly see themselves as local power brokers. Unfortunately we’ve been around too long and seen too much that troubles us  and which leads us to conclude they’re more aptly described as power abusers.

This view is reinforced by  a couple of stories that have come our way over the weekend. Firstly the frightening news that Pip ‘urgently’ needs to appoint an ‘Investor Development Manager’ on £80K  – like you do when it appears you can do what the bloody hell you like with public money . Talk about out of the blue and into the red!

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15022687.Wirral_Council_in_rush_to_create_new___80k_management_job___with_no_questions_asked_/

So what’s the problem with this we hear you cry ?  – well , firstly the fact that opposition councillors are being prevented from asking any awkward questions (or in Wirral Council – speak ‘the call in’ procedure should be waived) and more significantly from what we hear that the main name in the frame for this personal appointment is current ‘policy advisor’ Martin Liptrot aka Liptrotsky . This would make sense as Liptrotsky  now needs to supplement his measly £45K for two days ‘work’ at Wirral Council after Mayor Joe Anderson failed to get the Metro Mayor gig . We ‘ll be particularly interested  to see how this ‘politically restricted post’ plays out and whether this insider tip -off actually comes to pass.

The Power Abusers

Inevitably it transpires that once again that what we predicted did come to pass. Now we’ve reported on some appalling Wirral Council machinations over the years but we can’t tell you how much we think this is absolutely disgusting – beyond nepotism and into the realms of corruption . Perhaps Power Boy Pip could explain the recruitment process to the people who fund his personal appointments ? But then we have to accept that this is Wirral – so what do you expect? It’s how things work round here!

PS – Oh by the way Cllr Kelly if we did have the lotto numbers the first thing we’d do is cash the cheque and get out of Wirral as fast as we could and we’d advise all decent, honest people to do the same.

LIPROT

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King Midas In Reverse

SOPPIP

So how’s that “Improvement Journey” going for you Supreme Leader Pip ?
It would seem that having hoodwinked Joycie and the Local Government Association lackeys who presided over the toothless Improvement Board with a pie chart,an action plan and a donation to the LGA fighting fund ( fighting for the right to sustain the self serving status quo) it would appear that its very much back to business unusual at Wirral Council.

However it would appear that  Power Boy Pip and Comrade Burgesski , surely the most calamitous double act since Sodom & Gomorrah, carry on oblivious to reality and in today’s Guardian’s “Public Leaders Network” ( a platform whereby Council leaders nominate themselves to talk propagandist bollocks – and not as they’d like it to appear, a news item in the actual newspaper)  they provide a Stalinist rewriting of history that is a masterclass in revisionist bullshit. The deeply troubling events which led to their respective appointments fails to get a mention. As her Ladyship said : ” I suspect that only the Dulux sheepdog has witnessed more gloss” – SEE HERE

Meanwhile back in the real world the “excessive secrecy” ,”corrosive culture” and “bureaucratic machinations” appear to be back with a vengeance. Below are a selection of quotes from ongoing cases which make it seem like the optimistically titled “Independent Review – Refresh & Renew” never happened (which of course if you listen to Pip & Burgesski  it never did).
 
Forked Tongues & Fernbank Farm

Carolyn Thomson a member of the Fernbank Farm campaign group contacted Wirral Leaks to ask: “Speaking as a member of fernbank farm, we have had no word from the council about their proposed site of where they will re home us, they have gone quiet again , are they ignoring us yet again. Although they have said that they will find us somewhere the equivalent or better I suspect that they won’t find us anywhere at all and we shall be stableless, after our dealings with them I find it hard to trust anything they say, we have heard nothing from them since the court case in February. Does anyone know what’s going on?”

Led Up Hill and Down Lyndale

Parent Governor Emma Leadbetter commenting on the consultation process about Wirral Council being “minded” to close Lyndale School :
“We have sat and read the consultation document – it’s all about funding and capital.We think it’s quite misleading.The openness and transparency we were promised has been taken away from the parents…”  See HERE

Field of “In Your Dreams”

Ingleborough Road memorial field campaigners complain about the failure of the Council to publish a secret report despite a tribunal ruling telling them they should do so in accordance with Freedom Of Information Act. A spokesman for the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys’ group said :“There is no justification for the council to drag its heels, especially when it has given previous assurances to the Information Commissioner that it will improve its performance in dealing with Freedom of Information inquiries.SEE HERE

James Of A Thousand Days (& Counting)

James Griffiths reminds us that it is over a thousand days since he and Nigel Hobro whistleblew to the Council about exactly what we may never know – as we are still awaiting the publication of the reports investigating their myriad concerns about the Council’s financial arrangements with outside bodies staffed with insiders:

“Is that the DCLG Report into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods Reports that Phil the Dill is sitting on?.No it is the Grant Thornton Report they are still grovelling to the DCLG (Department of Communities & Local Government).We know we have lessons to learn blah! blah! blah! to quote the next Mayor. I’d like a dollar for every time he has said that at the Fudgit and Risk It Committee Meetings….”

On a lighter note Mr.Hobro informs us that some of the funny money involved was spent on “Parrot Studies & Behaviour” (no you really couldn’t make this shit up). Could this be for the Council power elite to learn how to “parrot” the well known phrases – “No case to answer” , ” Moving Forward” and “Lessons Have Been Learned” ?

In consideration of all the above might we suggest that if Power Boy Pip truly wants to improve Wirral Council he needs to take a leaf out of Tranmere Rovers book and act swiftly and decisively at the first suggestion of misconduct and if proven start sacking some people.

Readers will recall our Curse of Pip article where Pip and Ronnie Moore met up at a PR event at Wallasey Town Hall  – SEE HERE   where we reported on Rover’s boss’s suspension.

Now considering some of the shady shenanigans that have gone on with Wirral Council staff and Councillors Moore must feel hard done by that he’s lost the managers job at Prenton Park for admitting to betting irregularities .

If he worked for the Council no doubt it would have been no case to answer ,a biq cheque and an untarnished reputation. Of course the ultimate test of Pip’s glorious new regime is how he intends to handle the Wirralgate affair before the shit really hits the fan.

Having already not acted swiftly and decisively when he first heard the tapes we presume it will be a case of back to what Wirral Council knows best – cover up,delay and,denial (see above)…….

And so in Honour of Power Boy Pip, and to herald a new dawn we give you a possible suggestion for the  “Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Chairpersons Theme Song”

“He’s not the man to hold your trust
Everything he touches turns to dust
In his hands
Nothing he can do is right
He’d even like to sleep at night
But he can’t …..”

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Whilst Council CX,  Goofy “Kubla Khan” Burgess relaxes in the newly refurbished extension of his ego (yes it’s HUGE) over at Clown Hall, Council Staff are not happy.  It appears many may be getting “the bullet, or “F**ked up the arse with rusty spike after being made to eat shit for years” as Eldritch so colourfully puts it.  Even today, despite the spin, we hear tales of the sort of bullying that makes water boarding at Guantanamo Bay seem like a fun filled trip to “Splash Mountain.”

One time Communist Party* member (*citation) Goofy hasn’t exactly had a tricky time with the local media, given the horrendous mess WBC  are still in.  An example of this kind of powder puff, kid gloves treatment revealed itself in all its  ghastly glory when GB appeared on BBC Radio  Merseyside,  and was given the soft focus treatment by Roger Philips…”So Graham, how do you cope with being so f**king awesome, day in day out”

Our rotund and sweet-toothed cook Mrs. Doughball was not happy with this interview AT ALL and got in a terrible lather whilst kneading her large sweet dumplings.  Thankfully, with Verity’s help she took some solace by sending a rather sharp missive to the BEEB.  In short her complaint begged the question why was a public service broadcaster affording dear old Goofy a licence fee funded soapbox to sell his cuddly, cosy ‘vision ?’

Below you’ll find  the BBCs official response.  Maybe staff and soon to be ex-staff  can email Mr Phillips with some suggestions of possible questions to put to good ole Goofy Burgess ?  The BBC Website states ” Whatever your views on the topics of the day, Roger Phillips on BBC Radio Merseyside is the person to call on 0151 709 9333.”

After all he really does want you to have your say over “What Really Matters .” So much so in fact, he commissioned a video

 http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/marketing_advertising_agency_wor

Now, here’s that Email

***********************************

Subject: BBC Complaints –

Dear Mrs Doughballe [sic]

Reference CAS- Doughballe 417000

Thanks for contacting us regarding Radio Merseyside.
We’re sorry to note you were unhappy with Roger Phillips interview with Graham Burgess.

The programme was a half hour conversation between Roger Phillips and Graham Burgess in the programme “The Phillips Hour”. The focus of the programme is to discover the person behind the title, their career history, and aspects about their personal life. The programme doesn’t set out to examine the current roles of interviewees per se, but instead looks at how they arrived at this juncture of their life.

As you may be aware, Mr Burgess took up his role as Chief Executive of Wirrall [sic] Borough Council on Sept 3rd 2012. Accordingly, Radio Merseyside are planning to have Mr Burgess as a Hot Seat guest early next year, when Roger will challenge him thoroughly on his new role. We believe this will be an appropriate and established platform to conduct the type of interview you suggest.

Nevertheless, we’ve also registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback we compile daily for the programme makers and senior management within the BBC. The audience logs are important documents that can help shape future decisions and they ensure that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available to BBC staff across the Corporation.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Kind Regards

Stuart Webb
BBC Complaints
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

 

Quantum of SOLACE

Last night I was rudely awoken from a postprandial snooze by some startling knockers.

Eldritch ran immediately to the Leaky Towers entrance where he saw a couple of figures running away into the distance. ” Fucking trick or treaters!  -should I get the 12 bore M’lud. I understand that nice Mr.Cameron chap is all in favour of blasting the head off bloody burglars……”

 Lady W, exasperated by the fact that her viewing of the documentary “Downton Abbey” had been interrupted, sternly interjected:

 ”Oh really Earnest, must we have such a commotion!  I think Dear David may have had hardened criminals in mind rather than kiddies asking for sweeties……  “

 “It’s a slippery slope M’am…and I should know.  I started off begging for money outside Leaky Square Station with a tatty Guy Fawkes .Next thing you know I’m in a branch of NatWest wearing a balaclava and brandishing a sawn -off shotgun ….”

 

It was at this point that Miss Snoop espied a mysterious note lying on the parquet.Ever the one for proper decorum Lady W declared: “Eldritch – the silver salver and the tortoiseshell letter opener, if you would be so kind.”

 And so with due ceremony I slipped the note from the envelope and this is what it said:

  Statement from the HESPE Whistleblowers

 The HESPE Whistleblowers have met with Wirral Council to express their serious concerns regarding the investigation procedure.

 Mainly that the independent investigator Mr Richard Penn did not interview them or request any evidence from the Whistleblowers.

 Mr Penn did state that he would need to interview the group regarding the statutory officer involvement etc. However, the Council then decided not to involve the investigator any further with the group.

 We are perplexed how the Council has stated (No case to answer) we have informed Wirral Council that this cherry picking manoeuvre will be exposed.

 

And so it would appear another character is added to the cast of Wirral Council Cluedo.Who could be this mysterious Mr. Penn?

 Quick as a flash Verity is fiddling with her i-thingy and it would appear that Richard Penn works for the organisation SOLACE Enterprises.  Which, to be frank, we all thought sounded like an organisation run by a Bond villain.  However according to their website:

 SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) is the representative body for senior strategic managers working in the public sector.  The Society promotes public sector management excellence and provides professional development for its Members who come from all areas of the public sector.  Whilst the vast majority of its members work in local government it also has members operating in senior positions in health authorities, police and fire authorities and central government.  SOLACE spans all of the UK, having membership in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England.

   SOLACE Enterprises is wholly owned by the Society and operates, in effect, as a “not for profit” public sector company.  It provides high quality, customer-focused and practical support to local government, the public sector, and the voluntary sector, both in the UK and internationally.

 Which rather makes SOLACE sound like a Corporate Old Boys Network if you ask us.

At which point it might be useful to remind everyone that Michael Frater is also a member of SOLACE.

 We can only assume that Mr.Penn has been attracting the same kind of financial remuneration from Wirral Council, as did Mr.Frater…………. a quantum of SOLACE indeed.

Tricked or Treat ? Where the Abnorman is Normal

DIRTY TRICKS AND TASTY TREATS
 
Lord and Lady Wirralleaks and all at Leaky Towers have been casting an increasingly jaundiced eye over recent comings and goings at Wirral Council.However if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor we have been keeping our powder dry and waiting for the dust to settle before we decided to put in our twopenneth worth with regard to the recent departure of Bill Norman Esq – ex Director of Law & Whatnot at the aforementioned esteemed institution (and we use the term advisedly).
 
New Chief Exec Graham Burgess seemed awfully keen to state that following the fallout from a recent investigation concerned with some decidedly dodgy dealings that there was “no case to answer” after all –  and so with a cry of “William ,it was really nothing”  Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer was bade a fond farewell with a big wodge of Council Tax payers cash.
 
This apparently was agreed after the former Director of Law said he wanted to leave the Council and hired some lawyers to fight his corner ( we know! – there was many a chuckle at the Towers when we realised the irony of that one) We can only conjecture that these fearless legal eagles must have mounted a robust and complex legal challenge which went something like: ” Sweet William has been terribly upset by all this unpleasantness so can you be awfully good chaps and pay our legal bills and give him a nice fat cheque to add to his collection and he’ll go quietly .Please?.Pretty please?” .
 
Because as we know that “Torbay Bill” has a bit of  a track record in not only ”dealing” with whistleblowers but also for “trousering the cheque” courtesy of a troubled Council .
 
 
 
However we couldn’t help feeling that there was something decidedly amiss about this arrangement. As I reminded Lady W when I had that unfortunate misunderstanding over my expenses (some pesky penpusher asking awkward questions about claims for dredging the moat at Leaky Towers, the ornamental duckhouse and the business trip with Miss Snoop to Paris) –  I soon came to realise that perhaps it might be expeditious to “spend more time with my long suffering family ” which I believe is correct expression used these days – although Eldritch puts it rather more prosaically as : ” Leg it quick- we’ve been fucking rumbled” .
 
This ”accounting error” ultimately meant I had to leave my office with a shoebox  full of the loose change out of my desk drawer,some snaps of Verity under the Eiffel Tower and half a box of Earl Grey teabags.However as far as I can remember I did not depart with £150k of public money tucked cosily into my handkerchief pocket.
 
Therefore ,especially as the nights have been drawing in, the Leaky Towers household have been entertaining themselves in front of the log fire with games of Wirral Council Cluedo .
 
After a hearty,warming supper prepared by cook Miss Knowall – believe me there are times when I simply can’t wait to get my teeth into Nigella’s dumplings-  we all hunker down and lay the suspects on the floor, trying to identify what was behind this seemingly “irrational generosity” towards Mr.Norman. 
 
Now the first thing that perceptive Miss Snoop suggested was that we needed to identify was who sent Mr.Norman off site in the first place?.
However matters were confused by the fact that over the past couple of years there had been so many Chief Execs or Acting Chief Execs ( or “Acting the fucking goat” as Eldritch would have it)  – that it was difficult to identify who might have done the dirty deed just as Billyboy was due to go his well-earned summer jollies.
 
Lady W peeked out from behind her  Sudoku puzzle to suggest that perhaps it was Mr.C in the Finance Department as he was Acting Chief Exec at some point. “ No couldn’t be him “ prompted Miss Knowall   “because he was sent off site at the same time”.
And  what’s more I added Mr.Coleman must be a bit miffed that he bagged just over half of what Bill Norman got especially since Norman has been at the Council for 4 years and Coleman had been there for as long as any of us could remember.  
 
It was at this point that Eldritch blurted out “MF”!. Lady W  was rather taken aback by this outburst : “ Really Ernest, must we?, I know you’re frustrated about this situation but the Oedipal expletive is not an acceptable term to be used in a respectable household”  
 
 ” No Ma’m. I meant MF for Michael Frater”.
 
We all scratched our heads and looked at each other quizzically until Miss Snoop helpfully opened the press cuttings file and yes, indeed there he was!  – he was the high flyer who flew in like a particularly opinionated canary saying that “weird” things were going on in Wirral and that the AKA report was “understated” and he was going to chuck out those birds of a feather who had flocked together to feather their own nests or some such birdshit.
 
However it would appear that before anyone noticed that he’d made not a blind bit of difference, he too flew south (while the Council went west) – clutching a big bag of swag in his beak ( £75K for 6 months work – nice work if you can get it).
 
So forthwith off went Miss Snoop to make some enquiries of trusted sources about the mysterious Master Frater and well,well,well it would seem that he may well have been involved in the suspension of Norman,Coleman ,Green and the other one who’s name escapes us – Lady W keeps referring to him as Mr.Taylor -Dane- but I’m sure that can’t be right.   
 
Anyway I digress –  as the crux of the matter lies in the fact that according to official Council sources “there was no case to answer”.However what seems not to have been considered in all this is an obscure Council ruling that Miss Snoop has uncovered in Chief Officers contracts of employment.And it would appear that Wirral Council Chief Officers, as befitting their Godlike status, cannot be suspended until it is first established that : “THERE IS A CASE TO ANSWER”!.
 
This privilege of course does not extend to the rest of the hoi polloi who work for the Council – but of course what it affords is the opportunity for Chief Officers to head for the shredder ,lean on the underlings to keep schtum and generally get their friends in high places to close ranks, all accompanied by the discordant clamour of the armour plating of backsides.
 
Of course if  Master Frater did indeed send  Bill Norman packing before it was proven “there was a case to answer” then dare we suggest this would have “compromised” Wirral Council somewhat and smoothed legal negotiations towards an amicable settlement on behalf of Mr.Norman?.
 
Of course as we understand that Bill Norman was not subject to a confidentiality clause within his Compromise Contract perhaps he’d like to resolve the mystery and share with the long suffering Wirral public what actually happened.
 
However the reality will be that with Norman,Wilkie and Coleman gone that some very senior Councillors will be resting easier in their beds -seemingly safe in the knowledge that the REALLY BIG DIRTY SECRET will remain forever hidden.
 
Fear not Leakers Miss Snoop has the key to that secret on a chain which she wears round her neck and which nestles ,rather pleasingly and reassuringly on her decolletage.
 
Toodle pip……… for now!……………

Wirral Councils Ex-Files

Apologies Leakers – I’ve been to “Hoity-Toity House” – an exclusive country house spa for the treatment of my insufferable gout .Lady Justine Wirral -Leaks keeps telling me to lay off the port and cigars and is insisting I sign a Gifts & Hospitality register each and every time a mysterious crate of expensive comestibles arrives at Leaky Towers.To which I say: “Oh don’t be a silly moo Justine, if Wirral Council’s new Chief Exec ,Graham “Bon Viveur” Burgess, doesn’t seem overly concerned about such matters, then why should I”?.
 
I mean the Department of Adult Social Services apparently didn’t even have a register – which is rather odd as I’ve returned to a mound of missives from disgruntled DASS staff who not only had to sign the requisite forms but were forced to hand over boxes of chocs and booze – usually only to see it disappear into their Managers handbag .
I also missed out on the startling revelation that Council Education Chiefs couldn’t do their sums which resulted in the £1.4 million loss of Government grants………..like you do – if you work for the Council anyway- safe in the knowledge that there will be no consequences for blithering incompetence.
 
 
So praise the Lord that I’m surrounded by faithful retainers who are able to keep me updated on the fast moving train crash that is Wirral Council. And -strange as it may seem – I find it very reassuring that, in these turbulent times,  some things just don’t change. Or as the delightful Miss Verity put it to me : “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose……”
“I beg your pardon,my dear …….” I asked, adjusting my hearing aid.
” Oh its French for “same old ,same old…..” she replied – adding by way of explanation – ” I forgot to mention I’m bilingual”. Well, I thought to myself, I had my suspicions but I just thought that was “downstairs ” gossip mongering.
 
Anyhoo – what apparently has transpired in my absence is that, to the amazement of absolutely no-one, another Wirral Council Senior Officer ( Ian Coleman, no less- one time Acting Chief Executive and Director of Finance) has flown the coop with a nice big cheque firmly clasped in his beak like a particularly voracious carrion bird
 
News has already reached us that there’s much more to this than meets the eye and what’s more tales of £1 million legal challenges intended to justify the payment are entirely bogus and intended to convince the long suffering people of Wirral that the Council are being careful with our money, whilst at the same time, they hand over another bung to someone to go away and keep quiet.
 
What’s more it would appear we can expect much more of this palaver as there has been a Committee set up especially to look at these arrangements:
 
 
This Committee would appear to be a response to a recent recommendation by David Garry – Chief Internal Auditor from the much maligned and discredited Internal Audit from within the Department of Finance which states :” The system, process and procedure for all Compromise Agreements (whether above or below the threshold for referral to the Sub-Committee of the Employment & Appointments
Committee), should be documented”.
 
Which rather suggests a) Compromise Agreements have been thrown around like confetti made of money and b) Mr.Garry has only just realised it might be a good idea for someone to actually keep a note of where all the Council’s money was disappearing to…….
 
Indeed we at Leaky Towers are led to believe that Mr.Garry has been well aware that the situation with Compromise Agreements (or contracts as they have been re-badged) was a matter which Eldritch (our gardener) has always suggested was going to “come back and bite them on their fat fucking arses”. Therefore we would suggest that the motive behind the belated “armourplating” of said “arse” (if you’ll pardon the vulgar pun) is that chickens are coming home to roost and there is a distinct whiff of rotten eggs in the air!. 
 
I use the term ”belated” because Miss Snoop has been laboriously poring over old Audit and Risk Management Committee reports and after making further enquiries on a seemingly defunct blog called A Really Rotten Borough by the mysterious “Veridici”  it would appear that Mr.Garry may have been involved in the cover up of , ahem,  a particularly “compromising” Compromise Agreement from as far back as 2008.
 
Which rather calls into question why he took 4 years to raise the issue especially when he did so just 2 weeks before his Director, Ian Coleman, was no doubt asked to sign one in exchange for £82K!.
 
Although the saying goes ”the truth is out there” this doesn’t seem to apply to Wirral Council’s Ex-Files.
This is because ,according to Eldritch : “Wirral Council seem to have more gags than fucking Ken Dodd”.
 
The funny thing is………nobody seems to be laughing as the joke’s on us.
Best,
Lord Wirral-Leaks.

Snouts In The Trough – Wirral Council officers slammed over freebies

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear  it just gets worse and worse at Wirral Council. When oh when will these people learn ? Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks find themselves aghast yet again at the behaviour of senior officers at a local authority that’s still being run like some sort of private members club. Are they arrogant or stupid, we think possibly both as this shameful behaviour seems to trundle along unabated, no matter who is in charge.

As our gardener Eldritch said, with his usual earthy vigour “Why not name and shame the f**king greedy f**king bast**rds – Indeed!

Observe this report in the Liverpool Echo

“SENIOR officers from Wirral Council accepted “freebies” worth thousands of pounds without properly declaring them, a damning new report has revealed.”

Here’s the rather shocking details from the Audit report

Nine out of thirteen personal files did not comply with procedures and there was generally insufficient information to assess whether gifts and hospitality had been considered in line with guidance. The key issues are noted below.
■ A senior officer accepted hospitality to Chester races and noted this in the register; this had not been signed by the chief officer on the register; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There were a number of other M17 declarations on the personal file that were not entered in the register and had been self approved by the officer. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ An officer accepted a lottery ticket and noted this in the register; there was a supporting M17 declaration. Procedures were complied with but there is no evidence that this was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted honorary membership for West Kirby Sailing Club; this was signed on the register by his deputy; no value was noted although annual membership is currently £226 per annum; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There was a M17 declaration on the file for a golf event that had not been entered on the register. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ An officer accepted tickets to Liverpool Philharmonic; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted a European Cup match ticket at Old Trafford; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There were further entries on the register that were not supported by a declaration form. The same senior officer also accepted a ticket for a rugby match at Twickenham; this was noted on a M17 declaration but the form was not approved by the officer’s line manager. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted a number of instances of hospitality including golf and also a flight, accommodation and meals amounting to £2,000; there were no M17 declarations to support these items. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

And what of Social Services ? We’ll let Eldritch tell you

“Still fooking shite”

http://www.wirralnews.co.uk/wirral-news/local-wirral-news/west-wirral-news/tm_headline=social-services-move-to-combat-8216-failings-8217%26method=full%26objectid=31859009%26siteid=80491-name_page.html

Wirral Council – Drowning In The Mire

Hello Verity here, I’m afraid today’s story has left Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks’ gaster truly flabbered.  Yes Wirral Council have admitted FINALLY that actually vulnerable people to whom Wirral Council had a duty of care where systematically overcharged to a much greater degree than they had originally admitted.  

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9887344.More_cash_for_vulnerable_adults_overcharged_by_council/

 It seems whistle-blower Marty M wasn’t just “a bit mad” or a conspiracy theorist to rival David Icke, but a man of integrity who spoke the truth, despite the deep personal cost. We at Leaky Towers have long suspected a cover up, yet we wonder why now they have suddenly come clean.  Damage limitation?  (It’s rather late for that dears, the Councils PR team has to be one of the most inept in the country, as disaster follows disaster, follows failure, follows scandal)  Perhaps there is discovery of yet another smoking gun?  😉  Perhaps, indeed!

 We predict in the coming weeks there will be the usual talk of lessons learnt, of moving on, a clean slate, of improved PI’s and of the great strides the department has made.  Elected members will be confused and befuddled by pie charts and graphs and by the magical wonder that is the point and click power point presentations (that any reasonably IT literate 12 year old could produce.) And for fear of looking like the oak headed Luddites they are Councillors will pretend to understand this tomfoolery and nod sagely. (A word of advice from Eldritch, our plain speaking Head Gardner : “Ask this – Erm excuse me but what the actual fuck do these charts mean, in like, the real world?” )

However, have lessons really been learnt?  Because sadly even the briefest of glances at the CQC website would show that some things never change, and that people are STILL at risk.  (See below)…  Has anything really changed at Wirral Council DASS?  Feel free to let us know, because we really are all ears (and eyes)

 

***********************************************

 Richmond Residential Home 


http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-114613057

 

The assessment and care planning processes did not protect people from receiving unsafe or inappropriate care.

  People may not be protected from abuse because adequate arrangements have not been put in place.

 Systems for assessing and monitoring the quality of the service were not sufficiently robust to ensure that people were protected from unsafe care.

 Records were not held securely to ensure that confidentiality was maintained.

 ***************************

 Edgeworth House

http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-311018750

People who use the service were not protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had not taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening.”

**************************************

Mersey view Residential Home

 http://www.cqc.org.uk/directory/1-150080270

 Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills – The provider was not meeting this essential standard. Staff had not received appropriate levels of training, development, supervision and appraisal.

Wirral Council Goes Back To School


As I take a break from watching the Beach Volleyball and as my good Lady was showing  a particularly avid interest in the swimming at the Olympics ,my wonderful personal assistant Miss Snoop (herself a fine Lacrosse player in her day) has just brought to my attention that Wirral Councillors and their Officers are “being sent back to school”.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9845875.It_s_back_to_school_for_Wirral_councillors_and_officers/?ref=mc


Yes seriously !  Yet again Wirral Council projects itself beyond satire and in doing so demonstrates the normal isn’t just abnormal, it’s bat shit, eye rolling, tongue lolling, spittle flecked nuts!  One can only conjecture what might be on the curriculum at this school for incompetents  although I suspect that Reputation Management, The Art of Spin and How to Manage a Cover Up will feature prominently.

And I’m sure that “Games” would be well attended, although sadly it appears there will be no sack race!

 It does make me wonder what the Council Officers who have attended Masters in Business Administration courses (which we the public have paid for) have been doing with their qualifications. One suspects they’re merely adornments on some glittering CV’s as any “learning” has clearly not been brought back to the workplace. How much do these people get paid ?  Our coachman Vainian has been heard calling these officers “self-serving fuckwits” and although we do not approve of such colourful industrial language (unlike Brain Moore domed  Councillor Harry “Fuck you! ” Smith) we believe he may have adroitly summed up the problem.

 

We understand that a spokesperson for the Council has issued the following statement: “

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“Lessons have been learned so ,er, lessons must be learned………will that do as an empty soundbite for now?”.

***********************

We also note that the  Council safeguarding improvement plan  [ Council Report on Adult Protection or C.R.A.P.) is amazingly still some way off being acceptable!!!!

SEE HERE 

Now even a cursory glance would suggest that surely the advice within is obvious stuff, and something we would have expected them to be doing as the NORM!! And therefore begs the question what the hell were they doing before now ??

Adieu,

Lord Wirral-Leaks

The Wirral Way – How Things Work Part 189.

Leaky- Towers seems to be getting positively inundated with anonymous missives from disgruntled and brow-beaten Wirral Council employees these days. Each new missive seems to reveal yet another fresh layer of Hell and makes Dante’s Inferno resemble something akin to a jaunty stroll through an enchanted forest.  It also appears that the endemic culture of bullying and intimidation is alive and quite literally kicking!

 One item which keeps popping up is the invasion of a so called “Liverpool Mafia.” It appears the infamous “Halton Mafia” that once ruled the roost in WBC’s Social Services with ham-fisted but ruthless impunity has slowly seen its influence crumble, like some sort of mushy, malignant, foetid “Farley’s Rusk.” This has been due in the main down to the simple fact that the officers involved were so very,very completely and utterly SHITE at their jobs and were universally despised by all right thinking staff.   However Wirral Council came up with another innovative idea from their book of  great ideas, one which sought to cure all of it’s Social Services Departments well documented ills. Why not  employ some of those nice folk  who worked across the water in Liverpool City Council, another local authority who do a rather natty line in bullying and inefficiency.  It is rumoured  that some may even have taken advantage of the recession and taken Voluntary Severance from Liverpool City Council in order to join the publicly funded Wirral Council gravy train – Well why not ? After all, it appears everybody is at it these days and after all, it’s only public money.

And so it came to pass that the Department Of Adult Social Services now have a new “Head of Personalisation,” one Christine Beyga, who formerly worked as the ludicrously, pompously titled ” Head Of Transformation” within Liverpool Council ( yes I know, it does sound rather like a Harry Potter job title doesn’t  it? Apt perhaps as  WBC has been practising the Dark Arts for many years.)  It appears this may well have been the start of the “Ferry ‘cross da Merzeee” and one can only hope that all these good folks who came on over were interviewed properly in fair, transparent ,open, competitive interviews.    

As the Liverpool crew made themselves at home, things did indeed transform…for the worse.  Sources  told us “safeguarding is becoming a joke,” that “they are getting jobs for their mates”  Another source tells us tales of tenders going out for “support planning” contracts, all part of the Personalisation Agenda (ie/ Cuts dressed up as empowerment) at the end of 2011 which caused them some concern. For example they suggest that a company called IPDF won the contract but it was decided to go through the process again.  It is furthermore alleged by our sources that a company called Self Direction was engaged by a senior manger to provide a support planning service for very vulnerable adults initially without approval of  the SLT /Council Members? And that anybody who raised questions around this matter suffered being bullied to the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Part of this does indeed seem to be true, as borne out by this Freedom Of Information request HERE .

  We of course, being old, infirm,  and quite frankly 4 weeks short of care package, have no knowledge as to whether all we have been told is factually correct but our faithful retainer and PA Verity Snoop did some more digging and unearthed some rather interesting information using something she called “Google”

This is Self Direction  

http://companycheck.co.uk/company/07993770

Strangely it’s also listed here

http://companycheck.co.uk/company/07545704 as ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES & CONSULTANCY ????

Their Director listed   HERE  (make a note, you may need this later) and also ran a company called “Lifestyle and Dreams” which is listed as  SUPPORTING SERVICE ACTIVITIES FOR GOVERNMENT (now dissolved)

A further search reveals a Personalisation talk given by (Scroll to page 2 Item 2 ) ……, check those names  yes it’s two former Liverpool Council colleagues now ensconced in Wirral Social Care, one for WBC and one for Self Directions. What a coincidence!

http://www.lldpartnership.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/LLDMIHP-Meeting-4th-March-2010.pdf

other meetings here, again look for familiar names….

http://www.lldpartnership.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Personalisation-Notes-09.12-01.12.09.pdf

OH ! Why here they are again working as part of the LCC Personalisation Team

( see Page 153 of this http://bit.ly/MRc7a0

We of course are not alleging any impropriety, that would be outrageous. We are simply highlighting information that is already out there on this new fangled internet thingy-ma-bob !

Ok so how does Wirral Council monitor such companies to ensure they are delivering these services safely and efficiently ? After all its a lot of money and these are some of the most vulnerable people in society. Ones whose interests  Social Services are charged with safeguarding. I mean surely they’d check against their own robust criteria, have a check list, some sort of performance indicators ( because, after all PI’s are, according to one former DASS manager,  “sexy”)   ? No?

Well observe this FOI – http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wbc_dass_contracts_monitoring_te_2#incoming-293046

After months waiting for the disclosure of Wirral’s contract monitoring policy the person making the submission is told  

“Errr.. actually we don’t have one..” The reasoning ?  “Well we use the CQC essential standards and outcomes. (Phew.. he almost had us there!! Aren’t we ever so clever, wriggling out of that one – *High fives*- these MBA’s are REALLY paying off now!)

Next question –  Ok, so how do you train staff to understand the application, implementation etc  of said standards  ?  I assume all staff are required to undertake rigorous training when working in such an important area ?

Er… Pause.. Er… Delay… Cue Internal review – Cue more delays..(*if we ignore him he might get fed up- shhhhh*)

Eventually, and with Wirral Councils track record, somewhat inevitably,  the person making the request has no other recourse but to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office over Wirral’s abject failure to comply with a perfectly reasonable  Freedom Of Information request.

THEN – *fanfare* ….

FINALLY-

THE ANSWER –

Well actually we don’t train our staff… We just give them the book and tell them to get on with it.


Good luck to the vulnerable people of the Wirral!

DASS at its finest! Promoting best practice at every opportunity.