So farewell then to the ‘Giants’ and despite the fact that Andy Pandy put us off puppets for life we get the awe and wonder, we get the fact that Wirral Council  desperately wanted the presence of the puppets on Wirral shores and did everything to ensure that the ‘Giants spectacular’ was a success by allowing some schools to shut and council staff to’ work from home’ (see below) , we even get why Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was on the telly trying to flog Wirral for all it’s worth.

However,as ever ,we are with ‘the Lilliputians’ on this one – the little people who keep the show on the road –  and we just hope the costs for this ‘free event’ were worth it for all those who went to New Brighton for the Wirral leg of the ‘Giant’ story and not just for our local political puppeteering elite .  Echoing our thoughts ,a Wirral Council insider sent us this message on Friday following our Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants story which makes some interesting observations on the matter. :

Now all 66 councillors were invited to the Floral Pavilion today to watch the Giants …and get a ‘birds eye view’ I assume there would have been food available.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had given this invitation to the ‘ needy’ in the Borough and God knows there are plenty of them!
Oh no Foulkes had his TRFC (Tranmere Rovers Football Club) buddies there as guests!
Did you know ALL staff at Wirral Town Hall were told they ‘could work from home today’ because there ‘maybe’ problems parking! Needless to say many had a lovely day off!
How much did that cost?
How much did Wirral Council  pay to Liverpool City Council for the Giants to ‘cross the water’?
Who paid for the stewards, policing, PA etc…road closures, staffing the list goes on….

A Re-Imagining of Wirral Council


Set out below is a tender recently issued by Wirral Council looking for yet another consultant to ” Reimagine  Leisure, Cultural and other Selected Services”.

We don’t know whether 150000 refers to the contract value. However we have a few observations to make from Leaky Towers and it appears to us that after Anna Klonowski’s monumental failure to “Refresh & Renew” the organisational culture of Wirral Council with her highly renumerated and totally ineffectual reports it seems they’re throwing good money after bad by employing another fly by night and moneygrabbing consultant to “Reimagine” Wirral Council instead.

Needless to say Wirral Plan, 20 Pledges and  2020 vision all get a mandatory mention in the tender blurb. Whilst the paragraph which reads “We have already undertaken significant work to develop our programme; we are implementing a new operating model which sets out the future operating principles of the organisation which includes a strategic hub, business management function and service delivery through a mixed economy of direct provision, shared service and Commissioned outcomes” makes us want to bang our head against the wall or better still bang the head of the person who wrote this BS against the wall – repeatedly and with great force.

No wonder Wirral Council are having to – yet again- pay through the nose for  “external expertise” if this cut and paste  council-speak job is all their own staff can come up with . Although of course we all know that ” Reimagine” is just a manipulative weasel word which really means ” Privatise” and “Outsource” . There’s obviously a good living to be made by some staff selling their colleagues livelihoods and careers down the River Mersey.

We’re left wondering here as to what is the consultant going to ” Reimagine” Williamson Art Gallery as  ? – The Louvre ?. ….and the Floral Pavilion as the Eiffel Tower maybe?.

Meanwhile we’d like to “Reimagine”  Wirral Council as a fully functioning, open and transparent ethical organisation that understood it was a public service employing public servants to serve the public but we understand we’d have to do a shedload of heavy duty mindbending drugs to achieve that particular vision.   

Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three……….

Professional Services to Reimagine Leisure, Cultural and other Selected Services

150000 – Consultancy

The Wirral Plan sets out a vision for Wirral: a set of 20 Pledges which will be achieved over the next five years to improve the lives of Wirral residents. In order to achieve these ambitions, the Council needs to modernise and work in a completely different way, and ensure it has the right culture, abilities, skills and approach to deliver the 2020 vision for Wirral. In order to deliver this plan we committed to delivering a modern public service and are developing a transformation programme to take this forward. It is vital the Council is able to deliver change at pace whilst continuing to deliver positive outcomes to improve the quality of life for Wirral residents. We have already undertaken significant work to develop our programme; we are implementing a new operating model which sets out the future operating principles of the organisation which includes a strategic hub, business management function and service delivery through a mixed economy of direct provision, shared service and Commissioned outcomes. The Council has also set out a Commitment to take a commercial approach to service design, management and decisions, encouraging innovation whilst optimising assets and services to exploit opportunities to generate income surplus for reinvestment and reduce costs. Wirral Council is now looking to make fundamental changes to the way in which it currently provides Selected Services such as Leisure facilities, Parks & Gardens; Arts and Culture (including the Williamson and the Floral Pavilion) and Libraries. We are seeking external expertise to establish how these assets and the businesses within them can be re-imagined to make them more effective and carry a lower cost burden for the council, whilst maintaining their focus on public needs and outcomes.


Easy As ABCD

A Leaker Writes :

 “Wirral Council is paying for external consultants to push the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) model. Already had at least 2 days – Floral Pavilion and Acre Lane and now I think there are plans to work with the new constituency managers.

The way they are going there will be no assets left! It’s all a bit ’emperors new clothes’ for me. I think the council are on a scammers list somewhere….a bit like those poor old dears who reply to junk mail letters and lose their life’s savings. They throw good money after bad and can’t help themselves. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so galling…..”

We always find it so dispiriting to hear that Wirral Council have called in external consultants yet again. Firstly because it brings into question what the blazes are the highly paid council officers actually being paid to do and secondly we have a grave concerns about accountability,transparency, value for money and , as our graphic shows , grasping hands wanting a piece of the action when it comes to the dismantling of public services.

Furthermore we are minded to recall the words of Demetrious Panton, an employment law advisor who has worked as an equalities consultant for many local authorities :

“What is interesting is that the same people appear in the same jobs, in different places, as if through a revolving door. They work for local authorities, leave, then come back as freelance “consultants” with huge, inflated fees.

They are often mediocre and there is no evidence of how or why they were chosen.They can leave a council with a terrible reputation yet pop up next minute as head of a regulatory body and as a trustee of numerous bodies. It is a real money-spinner. We need transparency in local government, not this modern version of the freemasons’ handshake.”

Sounds horribly familiar to us at Leaky Towers as we’ve witnessed an endless parade of has-beens and no-marks arrive with empty words and leave with full pockets.

This ABCD Model sounds as though it’s the usual snake-oil salesman pitch – the  abdication of responsibility dressed up as community empowerment.

It’s the same rigmarole with “Vision 2018” – yes it’s “that vision thing” again.This time it’s  a survey about the future of health and social care . If you’re interested click HERE

It’s the age-old call for greater integration and co-ordination of health and social care. Which would be marvellous if only the powerbrokers in Wirral Council and Wirral University Teaching Hospital were not quite so concerned with protecting their egos ,empires and budgets.

Clare Fish, Strategic Director of Families and Wellbeing, and Wirral Council Deputy Chair Vision Thing 2018 Programme Board says: “There is also a big challenge to encouraging individuals to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and the lifestyle choices they make which could have negative impacts on their health and create a significant burden on an already pressured service. Vision 2018 is Wirral’s response to this challenge and we would very much welcome contribution from the public to help us shape the new approach for Wirral.”

Here we go again with the call for individuals to take greater responsibility before they become a “burden”.Which is such a lovely expression to describe the people who pay your salary.

It’s also hugely ironic as Wirral Council never take responsibility for anything  – EVER!