Lessons Have Been Adjourned


In what is turning out to be a longer and more complicated story than “War & Peace” the anticipated conclusion of the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods whistleblow came to a shuddering halt at Tuesdays Audit & Risk Management Committee with the (surprise! surprise!) adjournment of another stage managed  meeting.

Consequently we had a pull a story containing a statement from whistle-blower Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro as we didn’t want to steal his thunder for the reconvened meeting next week.

However we thank him for letting us know about the adjournment and the behind the scenes discussions which clearly indicate that certain factions ( Council Officers and certain Councillors of the “nothing to see here/let’s move on” variety) wanted the meeting to go ahead and another faction didn’t (Councillors who complained they hadn’t read the doorstep of a reports pack containing 525 pages – for whom we can only ask if the golf and the sunshine distracted them from their civic duties)

Of course the latter Councillors can rightly claim that receiving such a hefty tome late in the day compromised their ability to ask any pertinent questions whilst Council Officers counter-claimed they complied with Committee requirements because they had previously published a Chief Executive’s report ghost-written for Comrade Burgesski so that should suffice and can we just move on to the bit where we get the trusty “No Case To Answer” stamp out now please and we can all trot off on our summer holidays.Thank you and goodnight.

The point that such short-cuts in scrutiny and lack of attention to detail is exactly what has led to all the whistleblowing cases that have beset Wirral Council in recent years was seemingly lost on everyone.

Meanwhile our faithful factotum Verity Snoop is wading through the reports pack now and judging by the sighs and gasps and snorts of derision it’s a case of yet more damning reports leading to catastrophic results…………..but only for the whistle-blowers !!!!



We’ve let the dust settle (geddit?) before we commented on the story that filters are being used on Councillor’s emails to ensure that members of the public who are perhaps deemed to be vexatious,annoying,persistent or whose spelling is absolutely dreadful are prevented from contacting their democratically elected public servants known as Wirral Councillors. The official version from Comrade Burgesski is that it’s to ensure that the sweet little lambkins are protected from receiving emails that might cause “offence”.


We first got wind of this when we were kindly copied into an email sent from Lib Dem leader Phil Gilchrist to whistleblower Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro which read:

Dear Mr Hobro

It is very useful to have this chronology.I would welcome details of the contact officer in the DCLG.

On 11th April I had sent this note to Mr Burgess…

Members have received an almost daily e mail from Mr Griffiths.

What is the current information on the police’ progress?

What information has been given to the DCLG and who in the DCLG has been looking into the series of assertions?

Have the DCLG come back with any advice on the poor systems, alleged inadequacies of staff, alleged poor quality of advice to customers?

I have not, as far as I know, received the DCLG contact details via Wirral.

Mr Burgess did send a message to Cllr Pat Williams and Party Leaders on 23rd April referring to the police and DCLG matters.

I am continuing to read Mr Griffiths observations but these are now, I understand, only forwarded to Councillors who wish to receive them.

Phil Gilchrist

Now not having seen the email which caused so much offence we can’t comment on the need for such a drastic measure other than to say that if we send an email to a Councillor we expect it to be read by the intended recipient and not some Council Officer control freak whose dead hand grips tightly round the neck of democracy and slowly throttles it to death.

We presume that the person responsible for co-ordinating this subversion of openness and transparency is particularly concerned about “hurt feelings”.

It’s strikes us here at Leaky Towers that they seem to be a bunch of wilting flowers in that there Wallasey Town Hall. They seem quite happy to dish it out but not so keen when it comes flying back! It is for this reason that Wirral Leaks will continue it’s proud tradition of taking a satirical swipe at the vanity, pomposity and hypocrisy of particular Councillors and Council Officers.

A case in point is the publication of an investigation report (costing at least £1,800 of public money ) where Foulksey had complained that his good name had been impugned (stop laughing at the back) when old adversary Cllr.Chris Blakeley had had the temerity to question his fitness to be mayor.


Of course good ole Foulksey is a past master of playing the victim. Firstly when ousted as Leader of the Council in a vote of no confidence and then bemoaning that he was having to step down as Labour group leader because of “poisonous” style of personalised political attacks.


Not that Foulksey would ever indulge in such unbecoming behaviour – well not when he can draw on his faithful followers and a particularly loyal lieutenant to do it for him!………

For example  (and without even bringing up the vexed question of #Wirralgate) one of our correspondents was aghast to witness Cllr.Harry “Crisp Packet” Smith going back to his old ways and haranguing a local journalist prior to a recent Council meeting by calling him by that heinous name: ” Tory” It’s a shame local cinematographer John Brace didn’t catch this exchange with his all-seeing eye. Therefore in consideration of this incident and his past history might we suggest that if Council Officers do insist on installing filters that they attach one to Cllr Smith’s gargantuan gob whilst they’re at it!

Finally we’d like to bring to everyone’s attention that this peaking at emails malarkey is old news to us at Leaky Towers. Indeed we are well aware of a case where a senior Officer made a staff team aware that they read some of their subordinates “interesting” emails as part of their late night recreation.

A case of Big Bad Brother not only watching but bragging about it!