Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch # 14

Dispatch 14 029

We’re sorry to have to do this to you folks but it’s you lot who suddenly started sending us election stuff and which included the above picture from a clearly disillusioned potential voter. Therefore this week’s dispatch will mainly be an election special . However we’ll start off first with a follow up to last week’s Wallasey Town Hall carpet story ¬†:

BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK

A Wirral Leaks reader writes :

A shiny new black BMW Mayoral car floating about the Borough….is there no shame this local Labour council will stoop too? Had to do a double take in New Brighton tonight and yep it’s a new GERMAN BMW …..no chance of this upstanding gobshite of a council supporting struggling Vauxhall whose livelihood of about 1/4 of Wirral residents are hanging in the balance.

Am sure someone will supply pics of the car and the carpet! ūüėÉ

POACHERS TURNED GAMEKEEPERS

Meanwhile we’ve been receiving news of former Wirral Council staff who fancy their chances when it comes to being councillors. Presumably on the grounds that they couldn’t be any worse than their former political paymasters!

One such candidate is this handsome chappy who is standing for the Conservatives in Pensby, Thingwall and Barnston :

Mike Collins

Not sure it will go down too well with ex-Wirral Council staff who he screwed over. But it will certainly explain the hasty retreat by former and current Conservative councillors who feigned support for the ‘Control and Patrol’ staff who were shamefully made redundant.

However in the interest of political balance we’ve also been made aware of a Labour candidate who was previously an employee of the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) . This fact alone sets alarm bells ringing for us. However we’re reliably informed that this candidate is being cruelly indulged for their loyalty to the party than for any real prospect of victory. This would seem to be the case as they are contesting the Heswall ward which as we all know is a ‘Momentum’ hotbed. However our informant tells us that in the highly unlikely event that they succeed in getting elected then we all need to order the cyanide capsules (well you lot do anyway).

DOWNWARD MOBILITY

Shocking news arrives that current Pensby , Thingwall and Barnston councillor Louise Reecejones (LRJ) could be losing her mobility vehicle! #sadface

Screenshot_20180426-121115

Fear not LRJ. ¬†Labour MP Frank Field loves to challenge this kind of injustice. Perhaps you can give him a tinkle (not a euphemism, obvs). Or perhaps not – you’re not part of the ‘Inner Ring’ are you? Have you got any compromising and incriminating recordings handy? That might help! Just sayin’!

COUNCILLOR.NET RESULT

We’ve been asked about our ¬†Wirral Leaks Election Selection ‚Äď 1 week to go¬†story and to justify the fact that Green Party councillor Pat Cleary appears to give an actual shit. The first thing we have to say is that we don’t have to justify anything we write. We just have to evidence it. Much as Cllr Cleary appears to have done. ¬†From what we can gather all councillors were required years ago to report problems in their own wards and submit all cases through Councillor.Net which is¬†an internal Web portal for use only by councillors. What’s more any councillor who claims to be reporting stuff in other ways is ignoring official advice and increasing costs to the council because it is alleged that Councillor.Net is apparently very efficient – which let’s face it is a first for Wirral Council!
AND FINALLY …… WORD OF THE WEEK
Dispatch 14 032
Take your pick as to which Wirral councillor this quote applies to. All we will say for now is that the facinorous nature of some local election candidates (and their agents) will be revealed tomorrow in all its sordid glory on Wirral Leaks¬†………

 

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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 ‚ÄėSET FOR ¬£1BN INVESTMENT BOOST‚Äô

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 Р 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 ‚Äėpledge‚Äô about ‚Äėprotecting the most vulnerable‚Äô 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

Children’s Services : The ‘Real’ Reality Check

In the light of information we had received about Wirral Council’s Children’s Services we thought we’d do a bit of further research which included reluctantly checking out the John Brace footage of Children’s and Families Overview Committee held on January 25th .

We admit we couldn’t get past ‘Part One’ ¬†– but it was enough to introduce us to the new Director of Children Paul Boyce (forgive us but his title is giving us flashbacks to ‘The Childcatcher ‘ character in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’). Wirral Leaks¬†readers will remember that Boyce was appointed back in October 2017 following the long overdue departure of the previous Director Julia Hassall.¬†For further information read here : ¬†Old Boyce Network

So what was our first impression of Boycie? Well, put it this way – as far as we’re concerned it’s never good when you can’t remember the original question asked by a councillor after Boyce has answered it .The repeated use of the terms ‘ improvement journey ‘ and ‘narrative’ didn’t help. So in answer to your question we thought the BS quotient was particularly high , even for a Director of Wirral Council .

Needless to say the councillors present appeared to be soothed and reassured . Laughably (and tragically) Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin thanked Boycie for his ‘realistic’ presentation. Because as we know Matron spent many years being duped by incompetent,dishonest Directors in the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) and thus allowed vulnerable people to be abused over a prolonged period of time .

In the understatement of the year so far Boycie admitted there was ” a bit of work to do” and ” we’ve got a way to go” in Children’s Services . There was some ‘tough talk’ about not wanting social workers who don’t know what good practice looks like to work for Wirral Council anymore .

Whilst Boycie reminded councillors of the reality visits they would be undertaking to check the claims that Children’s Services was heading in the right direction on their ‘improvement journey’ and that there was ‘depth to the rhetoric’ ( see what we mean about the BS quotient?) can we ask him whether Sandra Dykstra is what ‘good social work looks like’ ? ¬†(see below)

Misconduct

Therefore we challenge Wirral councillors to consider the ultimate Children’s Services reality check. In answer to the simple question “Why are there so many looked after children in Wirral”¬† this is the response they won’t get on their carefully managed visits. Simply because the quality of management in Children’s Services is – and always has been – appalling and your much lauded new agency recruits are motivated simply by money and we guarantee will be out the door when it all gets a bit messy. And believe us – it will.

Reality Check 1

Reality Check 2

Advent Farewell 9 – Out of Sight , Out of Mind

Maddox & Morton 2

Two Deputy Lieutenants of Merseyside are of one mind.

From time to time we like to check up on the progress on some of the Wirral Council charlatans and chancers that have (dis)graced our pages over the years in our special ‘ Where Are They Now?’ feature.

Whilst we readily acknowledge that we featured former Wirral Council CEO ¬†Steve ‘ Mad Dog’ Maddox in such a post earlier this year we feel the original post needs enhancing mainly because we believe that in many ways it is most instructive on the ways of Wirral.

If ever there was an example of how to evade accountability and manage your reputation then Maddox is the ultimate case study. He saw the writing was on the wall when so called independent investigator Anna Klonowski was brought in by the Tories to find out what whistleblower Martin Morton was blathering on about . On the very day Maddox was due to meet with Klonowski ¬†, Maddox took the coward’s way out and suddenly announced he was going to spend more time with his long suffering family. This followed over two years of Wirral Council senior management covering his expansive arse . Of course Maddox didn’t even need to work his 3 month notice period and swiftly pissed off to the golf course with additional pension payments made up to when he would have retired – about which we can only ask – why?

The panicked leader of Wirral Council at the time Cllr Steve Foulkes provided this farewell quote :

“Steve is essentially a self effacing and modest man who probably has no idea of the very real and extensive legacy he will be leaving behind.We know, and are grateful for it. I wish him all the best for the future and hope that he will continue to be involved with the people of Wirral, for whom he has always been an eloquent and passionate advocate.”¬†Steve 2 Steve

This translates as Maddox did as he was told and his greatest quality is that he could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on . ¬†But oh what a legacy he left behind! ¬†Whilst¬†Maddox secured himself a tidy six figure bung , collected the Freedom of the Borough of Wirral to add to his OBE and was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside to stand alongside Birkenhead MP Frank Field, his¬†swift departure meant his hapless and hopeless sidekick Jim ‘Wee Willie’ Wilkie was to reap the wild wind of what his former boss had created – a toxic,corrosive culture of bullying,incompetence and deceit which was soon to be (partly) revealed in the Independent Review in ¬†January 2012 .¬†Needless to say shortly after Wilkie ended up being escorted from Wallasey Town Hall premises a broken man.

What’s more when the furore over the Independent Review had died down Maddox reappeared on the local scene and within the year was¬†appointed as a Director of ¬†mental health organisation Wirral Mind in December 2012 .

This appointment has always intrigued us , ¬†primarily because it is with some irony that Wirral Mind were seemingly gifted the management of the learning disability service that was a significant feature of Morton whistleblowing case that led to the Independent Review that in turn was the impetus for ¬†Maddox’s ‘retirement’ !

It has long been thought that Wirral Mind, with no significant track record of supporting people with learning disabilities, were rewarded ¬†the contract for keeping a lid on the unlawful charging scandal when they were appointed as advocates on behalf of those who couldn’t speak up for themselves when the scandal blew up . Unfortunately this ‘advocacy’ service didn’t actually extend to advocating on behalf of those who had been financially abused. ¬†An appalled Wirral Leaks reader once recalled attending a ¬†Wirral Council meeting ¬†where Sandra Gilbert Wirral Mind CEO , said that the tenants who had been financially abused ‘lived in the lap of luxury’ . Perhaps if ¬†we put aside the issue of illegality and equality Ms Gilbert might appreciate that if she had ¬£100 + a WEEK taken out of her salary over a number of years she might have fought a bit harder on behalf of disabled people instead of leaving it to Morton and others.

All the Independent Review report had to say on the matter was that there was

” a need for the Council to refresh its contractual arrangements with (Wirral Mind) in the context of EU procurement requirements.”

Funny how Frank Field wasn’t jumping up and down about this proven¬†case of Wirral Council flouting EU procurement regulations isn’t it ? Or getting Merseyside Police and the Serious Fraud Office involved as he did with the Highways contract complainants that apparently he is still ‘gallantly’ supporting 9 years after their alleged whistleblowing exploits !

Since our report we note that in August 2017 there was a ¬†cessation¬†of Maddox ¬†being ‘a person with significant control’ of Wirral Mind ¬†August 2017. ¬† However he still remains a Director – presumably because of the lustre and prestige that someone with his impeccable track record brings to an organisation.

 

Advent Farewell 5 – Wirral Leaks Goes To The Movies

This is the time of the year for endless repeats of heartwarming movie classics. The only difference is that our video excerpts below come with the Parental Advisory label. So those of a nervous disposition – you have been warned (though if you are of a nervous disposition we do have to wonder what you’re doing here) .

Movie buffs will recall the infamous ¬†“Downfall trilogy” ¬†classics were the work of Wirral Leaks¬†collaborator Cecil B. De Mented and featured scripts penned by our own pottymouthed butler Eldritch.

DASS Bunker¬†is concerned with the aftermath of the publication of the “Independent Review of Allegations Made by Martin Morton ( and Others)” aka the ‘Klonowski Report’ which did indeed lead to the then Wirral Council leader Cllr Steve ¬†Foulkes’ very own downfall when he was later ousted in a vote of no confidence.

The sequel Destination Effluence¬†chronicles¬†the short-lived hapless attempts of a ‘Turnaround Team’ to help Wirral Council on its ‘improvement journey’¬†under the title ‘Destination Excellence”. This was a classic case of ¬†Wirral Council being beyond satire and of the script writing itself.

All In It Together¬†is the final instalment of the trilogy and covers a prominent episode that took place during Graham Burgess’s tenure as CEO of Wirral Council and is concerned with his Wallasey Town Hall bathing arrangements. Once again – you couldn’t make it up , although we did give an involuntary shudder at the thought.

Finally to end on a festive note , there is a Christmas special which celebrates Burgess’ s achievements during his tenure as CEO . It’s a very,very short film as he finds himself becoming not so much part of the solution but part of the Wirral Council problem.

Pass the popcorn and the port and join in with your favourite lines. But only when your elderly relatives are safely snoozing on the couch after their sherry and mince pie binge.

 

 

 

Standards and Measures

We promised to revisit the Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) ¬†‚ÄėIt Has To Stop‚Äô¬† story with our considered views on the role of Wirral Council’s Standards Panel/ Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee and the measures they have taken to sanction LRJ. As we said :

We are not giving LRJ an out here ‚Äď she deserves everything she gets but it is a matter of proven fact that she has been treated markedly differently than her Labour colleague Cllr Steve Foulkes by the Standards Panel. As far as we‚Äôre concerned councillors McLaughlin, Gilchrist and Blakeley have some explaining to do. This is something we will be analysing in a later post.

So let’s briefly recap what sanctions that LRJ faced for being a bad – but by means the worst – councillor at Wirral Council

  • ¬†suspension from the local Labour Group

The Labour Group ‘leader’ , Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies in a rare show of authority recommended permanent expulsion¬†

  • ¬†referral to the Labour Party regional body ( Labour Northwest)¬†

Labour Northwest ,who must be heartily sick to the back teeth of Wirral Labour Party careerists, sorry members, commuted the suspension to 6 months 

  • removal of the Labour Party whip¬†

Thus isolating LRJ from the ‘support’ of the local Labour Party machine. Although we have to say the Labour Party whip would have to have the skills of an ex-lion tamer with a whip and a chair to keep local Labour members under control

  • removal of LRJ representing Wirral Council on outside bodies

Although we’re not sure whether this involved any loss of remuneration (our money)

  • ¬†asked to make full apology to whistleblowers¬†

And look how that went! LRJ came across as an obstreberous 6 year old stamping her feet and crossing her arms in protest at being found with her hands in the cookie jar

  • asked to make a full apology to all elected members at next full Wirral Council meeting

We won’t hold our breath waiting for LRJ to humbly apologise for her misdemeanours¬†

As we all know the last councillor to face the Standards Panel prior to LRJ was ex- Wirral council leader and mayor Cllr Steve ‘ Don’t Mention Sorrento’ Foulkes. And what sanctions were imposed on him for being a serial liar?

  • asked to make an apology ¬†to the then Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green

Even though by his own admission Cllr Green WAS NOT THE COMPLAINANT!

  • Er, that’s it ¬†

Bit of a discrepancy don’t you think?, especially when¬†the reason given by clapped out Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin for the local Labour group going after LRJ was her lack of ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness. We’re left wondering whether Matron should have been on the Standards Panel in the first place . She nearly came a cropper for declaring she put her personal friendship with Kevin Miller ,the former monumental failure of a Director of Adult Social Services, above her civic duties.

But then Matron isn’t the only errant councillor in this farrago. Where were the rest of the councillors of all parties when the first Patricia Thynne report was published and where Foulkesy said he couldn’t possibly have handed over a document attempting ¬†to smear Cllr Jeff Green to duplicitous journalist Liam Murphy because there would have to have been an adjournment of the Council meeting when it was alleged he had done so.

Apparently neither ‘investigator’ Thynne or any Wirral councillor bothered to check the minutes because they would have found out that there had indeed been an adjournment. This was one of the reasons that a second (costly) investigation took place and enabled several witnesses to later testify that they saw Foulkesy hand over the incriminating document to Murphy. Something which he had denied in the first investigation. The only explanation we think of for this particular lack of scrutiny is that councillors must have all just sat there and said ¬†: ” ¬†Well, it’s Foulkesy, innit, what do you expect?”

Clearly our expectations are out of step with our local elected members and until they realise they are accountable to us we’re afraid it will remain forever thus.

So when it comes to ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness we’re left thinking that Foulkesy is even more lacking than LRJ – and that’s really sayin’ somethin’ ! What it doesn’t do is explain the difference in the measures made against each respective councillor.

But then those who regularly read¬†Wirral Leaks will know exactly what the explanation is…..

Meanwhile compare and contrast these respective investigators comments :

LRJ v Foulkesy 017

LRJ v Foulkesy 019

 

 

 

Men of Mystery : The Big Reveal Part 1

The answer to the first part of our ‘ Men of Mystery’ quiz is that it is indeed the most powerful politician on Wirral who uttered those very words to one of his constituents who he was trying to fob off! Fortunately that constituent had the foresight to realise that Frankenfield was bullshitting him and recorded him doing so !

Who’d a thunk it ?

 

Although we need to say for clarification that Frankenfield didn’t initiate criminal proceedings against the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) as is alleged , as that would have implicated his hapless groupie Matron McLaughlin in a series of desperate cover-ups.

What he did do is pursue bogus allegations of Wirral Council misconduct with Merseyside Police and the Serious Fraud Office (for his own ends) – and even they couldn’t oblige as there was no misconduct to report. Nevertheless he has relentlessly pursued this matter – once again for his own ends and at our expense #Wirralgate.

The rest of the recording is most revealing when it comes to to considerations of public interest. We believe it demonstrates yet again that the MP for Birkenhead will only support his constituents if it is politically opportune.

Stay tuned for further extracts from ‘Frankgate’. A bit like ¬†‘Wirralgate’ but without the attempted bung!

And finally a message to Frankenfield – we are not seeking favours from you and never will. You’re here to serve us – not the other way round. Just sayin’ !

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO JEANETTE STEWART .

Election Selection : Week 7

As we enter the final week of what has been an interminable general election campaign in the interest of political balance we’ve made some changes and additions to our original post.

Gone West

caldeira facebook.jpg

One of our readers has heeded our word and undertaken some research on local candidates before they cast their vote.¬†As they themselves say it’s not exactly a ‘leak’ (as it’s all in the public domain if you know what to look for). The candidate in question is Tony Caldeira the prospective parliamentary candidate for Wirral West .

Our source writes :

Tony Caldeira over in Wirral West runs on the ticket of being a successful businessman¬†¬†https://www.tonycaldeira.org.uk/about-tony. His Facebook page (1) states that he “will always be a champion for local business.”¬† (see pic)¬†

Looking at his business accounts, it seems that his principal business is Caldeira Holdings with, until last year, 5 subsidiary companies.

Picture 2 is from Caldeira Holdings most recent accounts (2). ¬†Now I’m not experienced at looking at these things, but it seems to me that:

 Рhis main business (Caldeira Ltd) is losing a lot of money

 Рhis overseas subsidiaries seem to have accrued big debts,

 Рone of his businesses (Caldeira Retail) went into voluntary liquidation

Caldeira Retail appears to have gone into liquidation owing £6.7m to employees, and small businesses, etc (3).

I just think that if being a great businessman is his ticket, he should be transparent about his own struggling business. And if he says he “will always be a champion for local business”, then people should know that he liquidated his multimillion pound debt to dozens of small businesses last year – not much of a champion for them, then?

Links are:-

(1) https://www.facebook.com/TonyCaldeiraWW

(2) https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/07102829/filing-history/MzE3Mjk3Mzg0MWFkaXF6a2N4 , taken from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/07102829

(3) https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/06576230/filing-history/MzE0MzUxOTgzOWFkaXF6a2N4 , taken from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/company/06576230

Perhaps Mr Caldeira could comment as to whether our source has given a fair reflection of his current business interests?

Mass Debate

Before the rains came 023

We don‚Äôt know about you but we feel this general election campaign has been going on for most of our lives. Debate after debate after debate. And all of them signifying nothing. But at least we should be grateful that Wirral had a prominent audience member at last week’s televised debate.

A few people contacted us to say they recognised DASS manager Peter Ferguson – particularly someone ¬†who had dealings with him during the infamous ‘4 week delay ‘scandal. They weren’t impressed. However with the news that 220 DASS social care assessment staff are being ‘integrated’ with¬†Wirral Community NHS Trust we can only hope that¬†Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust CEO ¬†Karen¬†Howell¬† delivers on her promise that ‘As one¬†organisation, we will deliver a fully integrated social care assessment and health service to local residents ‚Äď helping to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time.’

One thing that has occurred to us as Wirral Council slough off yet more staff that we can’t understand that with less and less services and fewer staff to manage as to why there isn’t a corresponding cut in pay for Wirral Council’s most senior managers?

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15324643.Dawn_of_a_new_era_for_social_care_in_Wirral/

Finally we’d just like to comment that judging by recent events and the divisive nature of general election campaigns that whichever way you cast your vote (or not as the case may be) that political debate and dissent is set to continue long after Thursday’s election result……..

 

The Inadequates

Inadequate 012

So it would appear like many before her ¬†, Wirral Council has driven top notch Children’s Services troubleshooter Eleanor Brazil , nuts .

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15319099.Now_top_Government_troubleshooter_quits_Wirral_child_safeguarding_board/

As we know Ms Brazil was brought in to share her considerable expertise in an attempt to turn round the deeply troubled council department. ¬†We understand that Ms Brazil was fully prepared to challenge the powers that be. ¬†As we know the powers that be don’t like that. They much prefer to be in denial. We can remember Michael Frater, the last straight talking troubleshooter Wirral Council had to call in when their Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) had brought them in into disrepute through a multitude of failings . He didn’t last long either.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/more-allegations-from-the-boiled-frog-council/

It’s such a great shame government commissioners weren’t called in then, but as we know, Frank Field did his string pulling thing to spare the blushes of bent,incompetent councillors and the rest is history. And of course, as we all know, if people don’t learn from history – they are bound to repeat it. And so here we are again – not only in Childrens Services, but also it would appear in DASS.

We’ve previously chronicled ¬†that the parlous state of safeguarding of the vulnerable is not confined to children:

Carry On Matron

Indeed it is astonishing to think that whilst Children’s Services is subject to inspection of their safeguarding arrangements by Ofsted there is no equivalent for DASS. ¬†The Care Quality Commission (CQC) ¬†are now just responsible for inspecting individual services. Of course the last time CQC did check on Wirral Council’s safeguarding arrangements for adults – they were found to be ,yes you guessed it, inadequate!

Following an inspection by CQC the latest addition to the long list of inadequates goes to Acrefield House,  a care home for people with learning disabilities run by Mental Health Care (MHC) Ltd.

After reading CQC Inspection report which records that :

‚ÄúThere were repeated and targeted physical altercations between people living at the home.¬†Many of these had been documented and there was a clear and recognised pattern that had not been investigated, or resulted in any safeguarding referrals being made. This meant that people were not safe living at the home.”

http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/INS2-3237079974.pdf

Reference is also made to staff inappropriately restraining residents and that there was in -fighting between the staff team. Overall the report is a horrorshow and once again we have to ask whether DASS actually monitor the services we pay for and why does it take a CQC inspection to discover that vulnerable people are not safe?

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/constant-fights-unsafe-uncaring-ineffective-13113852

Could it be because they’ve previously ignored concerns ¬†raised about Acrefield House. We’ve been informed that a member of the public did just that and nothing was done about their safeguarding concerns. And¬†please,please ,please don’t tell us it’s about ‘cuts’ . Time to wake up to the fact that the calibre of people who are supposed to safeguarding the vulnerable either directly or indirectly on Wirral ¬†– is INADEQUATE. We’re convinced that Eleanor Brazil recognised this. Therefore we’d invite her to comment on why she has quit and whether she endorses our view that Wirral is ‘ No Country For Old Men/Women/ Children & the Vulnerable. ‘ ¬†¬†

Inadequate 010

Acrefield House : No -one knows what goes

Bernie The Bruiser Plays The Blame Game

Bernie in White

Bernie’s glare makes grown men weep.

The latest instalment in the scandalous Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) case which is mainly being played out by press release to the Liverpool Echo involves the new Cabinet lead for Children’ Services and also the new- frighteningly – Deputy Leader of the Council, Bernie Mooney.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/warning-more-heads-roll-wirral-13054956

Anyway Bernie the Bruiser has gone all gung ho on us and told us that she ” will leave no stone unturned” in finding out how opportunities were missed to protect young girls from abuse and “if that means heads will roll ,so be it”

Oh give over,love, we all know that’s never going to happen with Wirral Council’s senior managers . As we can see from the ‘resignation’ of ¬†Director of Children’s Services, Julia Hassall . Now in the real world ,if someone resigns , they resign and go on to ‘greater challenges’, ‘spend time with their long suffering family’ or take up gardening/golf/alcoholism ¬†and that’s the end of it. Not with Wirral ¬†Council . Oh no – ‘resignees’ ¬†get a pay off to make sure that none of the culpability for myriad failures can lead back to the self serving power elite. Somewhat like a slug trail. Yes, best put the stone back in place and keep the slugs out of the glare of the sun. Has anyone noticed that after all the high profile departures in the officer ranks these past few years (and at our expense) that the same old incompetent,dishonest and corrupt councillors are still running the show?

And as for the claim that¬†‘heads will roll’ ¬†– that caused our eyes to roll. ¬†Because if Bernie the Bruiser was true to her word she’d have her Labour colleague Cllr Moira McLaughlin’s head on the chopping block for starters. We have to await the publication of the forthcoming Serious Case Review into the CSE horror story to find out where agencies and which particular personnel let abused girls down.

However we know already that there has undoubtedly been a failure of scrutiny by Wirral Council. We also know that the Serious Case Review goes back to a time when their governance arrangements were found to be wanting ¬†and which contributed to a series of damning reports involving Adult Social Services. So what did subsequent administrations decide? – give the scrutiny of BOTH Adult Social Services and Children’s Social Services to the political lead previously responsible for failing vulnerable adults. Step forward Matron McLaughlin! You really couldn’t make this shit up!

Told You So

Accordingly might we suggest that Bernie the Bruiser needs to go easy with the threats for now because if she’s ¬†prepared to ¬†batter already battered staff into submission and play the blame game she needs to ensure that the stone she’s unturning doesn’t get chucked back at her.