Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #16

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS 

PuppetMaster

Desperate stuff from beleaguered Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the announcement that those French puppets on steroids will be visiting your shores in the autumn .

Wirral Council leader Phil Davies said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Giants across the Mersey for the first time.Wirral is thriving – we have huge regeneration schemes coming to fruition, thousands of jobs being created through our Wirral Growth Company, and a programme of incredibly exciting events taking place throughout the year as part of Imagine Wirral. Working with our colleagues in the Liverpool City Region to bring huge events like the Giants to our shores is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing.These events attract thousands of visitors to our region, boosting local businesses and helping local people and families create memories which will stay with them forever.”

Read full story here : Giants

Is anyone taken in by this ocean-going, international bullshit? Just you watch Power Boy Pip will be gegging in on the Tranmere Rovers ascendancy to the Football League next. However can we just remind everyone he’s talking about puppets.  They maybe bloody big puppets but the expression ‘Bread & Circuses’ comes to mind. We can admire the artistry and the technical skill involved but at the end of the day they’re just bloody big puppets.

And Lord knows Pip must know what that feels like! Let’s face it he (and others) have been Frank Field’s puppets for years!

BIRKENHEAD BID – DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO

IMG_1439

You may remember we’ve previously covered the hyperbole surrounding award-winning  Wirral Chamber of Commerce offshoot Birkenhead Business Improvement District (BID) who made a big deal about cleaning  up the town like Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’  Read more here : Chamber of Horrors

So imagine our surprise ( not!) to receive this message and the accompanying  photo above:

Good to see the Birkenhead BID outfit who take money of businesses in Birkenhead to tidy the town up.Maybe they should sort their own shop out!

 

KINGDOM COME LATELY

We note with a certain amount of cynicism how suddenly everyone seems to be gegging in on the litter Hitlers known as Kingdom Security and how they are simply aghast at their practices.  The newest guest late to the party is ‘Local Democracy Reporter’ Tom  ‘Media’ Houghton . We’ll be returning to the matter of ‘Local Democracy Reporters’ at a later date but meanwhile here’s his Eye Watering Sums story which notes that  Kingdom began issuing fixed penalty notices on behalf of Wirral Council back in July 2015. Shame we started raising concerns about Kingdom within months of their appointment : Cash for Trash

As we said way back then ‘Fixed Penalty Notices’ are not about caring about the environment but about cold hard cash for a wasteful council.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

Another story covered by Young Tom was the announcement that a couple of Wirral pubs would be turned into a) flats and b) a restaurant and which informed us :

Paul Doughty, who is the agent involved in the proposals, said: “It’s a well-located building in a prominent position and we are hoping these plans will be approved.There’s been no objections to date. The client already has a successful restaurant in Prenton. There’s a shortage of good quality places to go and have a meal in Birkenhead generally, so we are hoping it will be a good addition to the local economy – creating jobs and providing a place for people to eat and socialise.”

Full story here : Changes

Could this be COUNCILLOR Paul ‘Danceaway’ Doughty we ask ourselves? If so Doughty seems to have become involved with a ‘colourful character’  by the name of ‘Michael’ Read more here : Wirral Life -But Not As We Know It!

It would certainly explain as to why a member of the public questioned the number of Labour election posters that were recently on display above the restaurant where ‘Michael’ is the manager.

Of course Doughty is not a stranger to such hook ups having previously been involved with another ‘colourful character ‘ – notorious flytipper Arthur Morgan. Read more here :  Architecture and Morality

Might we suggest that Mr Houghton would unearth a particularly rich seam if he cared to investigate these connections further.

POTHOLE OF THE WEEK 

King Street, Wallasey. Not so much a pothole as a ravine.

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AND FINALLY 

An outfit by the name of Angelfish Opinions are actually willing to pay you money to tell them what you think of Wirral Council. So are they paying you your own money back to tell them how Wirral Council waste your money in the first place? If so claim your rebate now! This is from their Facebook page : Angelfish Opinions Facebook

CALLING LOVELY PEOPLE FROM THE WIRRAL – WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are looking for people who live in Wirral aged 20+ to attend an interactive 90 minute group workshop to share your ideas and views on the councils public services.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 24th May at either 6pm – 7:30pm or 8pm – 9:30pm and as a thank you for your time you will recieve £30 in cash at the venue.

To register your interest, please apply using the link below:
https://hubs.ly/H0c081-0

Don’t forget to refer friends and family for the chance to receive £10 Love2Shop per successful referral that takes part!

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Wirral – Where Public Service Went To Die …

Human Nature

This week we were quite happy taking a sentimental journey round the septic isle until Dr Robert diagnosed us with ‘Sandie Shaw Syndrome’ . No , we’re not in the words of the barefoot singer’s Eurovision winner ‘Puppets On A String’ (we leave that to others). As fellow sufferers of the syndrome know  : “There’s Always Something There To Remind Me” and it messes with your head.

So whilst it’s vaguely concerning/amusing/appalling that other local authorities are equally inept and corrupt, let’s be reminded of Wirral Council’s rap sheet courtesy of ‘The Good Doctor’. Although as we replied to our esteemed commentator the sleaze (there is no other word) that lies behind the bare reported facts doesn’t bear thinking about!

WIRRAL COUNCIL… WHERE PUBLIC SERVICE WENT TO DIE…

It is 2011, and Wirral Council is in serious trouble. It is on the brink of Government intervention and has received a damning report1 from consultant Anna Klonowski (AKA Associates). The report paints a graphic picture of Wirral Council’s corrosive and bullying corporate culture, failures in corporate governance, and of Wirral as ‘the insular peninsula’. The Council is vividly described as an inward-looking organisation where the abnormal had become normal. The Council Leader and Chief Executive unreservedly accept the devastating assessment, and all the consultant’s findings.

In April 2012 the ‘window dressing’ started. A politically-expedient decision reportedly taken by Frank Field MP and Eric Pickles (then-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government), established a Local Government Association (LGA) Wirral Council ‘Improvement Board’. Called ‘sector-led improvement’ by the LGA, a review of Wirral Council’s corporate governance was undertaken by an ‘expert’ (peer review) panel. Its role was to identify the embedded detrimental issues and agree a corporate improvement programme.

In November 2013 the ‘Improvement Board’ produced a 63-page draft report congratulating themselves for enabling ‘the fastest turnaround2 in local government history’. Its job deemed complete, Wirral Council was unleashed from supervision.

Once unleashed, Council Leader Phil Davies guaranteed the casting vote on all Council committees. Replacing all opposition-councillor committee Chairs with ruling group councillors was in direct contravention of the Improvement Board agreement. The Council and Cabinet has had no effective political opposition since.

November 2014 saw a presentation given by Cllr Phil Davies and Graham Burgess, who appeared to have moved seamlessly3 in 2013 from Improvement Board member to Wirral Council CEO. The judging panel for this presentation, comprising primarily LGA members, judged for the first and only time, the Local Government Chronicle’s (LGC) ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain’ award. Never awarded before, never awarded since. Without warning, Mr Burgess, described as a ‘leading light’ of the LGA, ‘retired’ from Wirral Council at the end of 2014.

It was March 2015 when Wirral residents awoke to media headlines announcing “From ‘abnormal to inspirational’ – Wirral wins ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain’ award4.” In Wirral the question on everyone’s lips… is it April 1st?

A new Wirral CEO5, Eric Robinson, a former social worker from Staffordshire CC, was appointed in April 2015. Cllr Phil Davies stated… “Eric is the ideal appointment to take us forward towards my ambition for Wirral to become an outstanding council.”

In 2012 Wirral Council had agreed with findings that it was an ‘inward-looking organisation’ where ‘the abnormal had become accepted as normal’. In November 2015 it still was, as a very low-key peer review revealed. That was, if you could find it.

Also in November 2015, almost absolute power lay in the hands of the Council Leader when Wirral Council Cabinet agreed constitutional changes6. Coupled with the ruling group en-bloc voting7 and abstention regime, any decision could be bulldozed through. This change effectively negated any political opposition and scrutiny, Ward, community8, or resident9 representation.

Political, individual and council organisational survival were now the priorities. Residents were paid lip-service with endless ‘consultations’, as infrastructure deteriorated10, and public services reduced dramatically.

As local criticism grew, Wirral Council Leader took to ‘reputation management’. Described in the media as ‘cronyism’, in February 2016 Martin Liptrot, a self-proclaimed ‘reputation manager’, was appointed. This elicited headlines such as “Emails give extraordinary insight into Wirral Council’s controversial hiring11 of former Labour spin doctor”.

In September 2016, CEO Eric Robinson described Wirral Council’s ‘improvement journey’ as moving from “from the brink of intervention to the pinnacle12 of local government”. With his background in Children’s Services, was all well at the pinnacle of all pinnacles?

‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council’s Children’s Services were rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in September 2016. Hidden away was a Serious Case Review into the grooming of teenage girls13 in Wirral Council care over a 5-year period. In a desperate attempt to deflect criticism and accountability, the oft-quoted ‘austerity-hit, cash-strapped’ Leader initially promised £2m additional funding. Then a promise of £10m. Then a promise of £20m, to ‘demonstrate Council commitment’.

With ‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council’s reputation in tatters, Martin Liptrot was then fast-tracked to ‘Investor Development Manager’ with ‘no questions asked’14, and immediately sent to Cannes to attend MIPIM, a ‘property market’, with the Council Leader, Council CEO and others.

…and it goes on…in November 2017 following the 2016 Serious Case Review, two brothers were jailed for a combined 40 years after being convicted of 27 sexual offences against girls as young as 14. The Children’s Services Improvement Board Chair, Eleanor Brazil, resigned15 citing Wirral Council’s “shoddy treatment” of Julia Hassall, the then Director of Children’s Services, and “…some significant corporate issues…”

… and on…Jim Crabtree, a (now ex-) Councillor and Chair of Audit & Risk committee was convicted in January 2017 of making death threats16 towards fellow Councillor Louise Reecejones, regarding an unidentified sum of £19,000. In March 2018 the threatened Councillor resigned to free herself from “the noose”17.

Without Local Government Commissioners’ intervention, ‘Most Improved’ Wirral Council is the graveyard of the 7 ‘Nolan Principles’18 of public life, viz.  Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty & Leadership.

In Wirral you won’t hear the ghosts of the Nolan Principles wailing and roaming the streets at night. They left long ago.

 

Weblinks 1-18

 

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/9263981.Chief_executive_and_political_leader_accept_responsibility_for_council_failures/

https://www.lgcplus.com/home/lgc-awards-2017-the-shortlist/lgc-awards-2016/lgc-awards/lgc-awards-2015/most-improved-council/5083096.article

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/chief-executive-graham-burgess-wirral-3325136

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/11851526.UPDATED__From__abnormal_to_inspirational____Wirral_wins_Most_Improved_Council_award/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/former-social-worker-appointed-wirral-8595400

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/13944494.Sweeping_changes_will_see_Wirral_s_cabinet_councillors_given_extensive_new_powers/

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/time-for-an-intervention/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/wirral-school-parents-fought-tooth-14516957 

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14601265.Girtrell_Court_closure_row_reignites_with_claims_council__misrepresented__carers/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15179685.Who_put_the_lights_out__Call_for_urgent_action_to_repair_Wirral_s_2_200_broken_street_lamps/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14306240.Emails_give_extraordinary_insight_into_Wirral_Council_s_controversial_hiring_of_former_Labour_spin_doctor/

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/the-big-lie-gets-even-bigger/

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/five-years-shame-how-wirral-13045435

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15022687.UPDATED__Wirral_Council_agrees_to_create_new___80k_management_job___with_no_questions_asked_/

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15325055.Leaked_resignation_letter_shows_Wirral_s_child_safeguarding_improvement_board_boss_was__shocked_and_appalled__by_director_s__shoddy__treatment/ 

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ex-councillor-sent-drunken-death-9612068

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2018/03/10/lrj-an-unofficial-announcement/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life–2

 

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – The Results

 

Local elections 024

Phew! we bet you’re all glad that’s it’s over and you can all get back to what passes for normal on Wirral.

It seems to be very much a case of ‘as you were’ with no gains or losses for any political party in the local elections . However considering the effort that Labour put into trying to topple lone Green councillor Pat Cleary in Birkenhead & Tranmere this has to be considered a huge moral and political victory for the popular and hardworking councillor deep in hardcore Labour territory . Although superannuated  Birkenhead MP  Frank Field was in attendance at the count and said he hoped for Labour success in his constituency even ‘The Field Effect’ couldn’t save them. This must come as a bitter blow to someone who is used to getting his own way in what he regards as his own personal and political fiefdom.

WirralElections2018-27

Everything’s Gone Green : Green in the background and Green to the fore makes reds go green with envy !Pic courtesy : Wirral Globe

Cleary thanked the people of Birkenhead and Tranmere for re-electing him “in the face of a horrible,negative campaign by the Labour party” . Meanwhile Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies stood by with a face like a smacked arse as Wirral CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson read out the result .

We were left wondering which one of the following options that Stressed Eric will choose to do with his mega electoral expenses :

a) deposit in an offshore bank account

b) donate to a local charity

c) prop up the bar and order trebles all round in ‘Brew Dog’

The closest result of the night was in the Pensby and Thingwall ward where Labour candidate Kate Cannon held off the challenge of Conservative candidate Michael Collins by a mere 23 votes. Close but no cigar for the poacher turned gamekeeper . Suffice to say that some of our most devoted readers were very pleased indeed that their former colleague experienced the bitter taste of disappointment.  Schadenfreude can be such an unseemly emotion but can be so,so satisfying.

Meanwhile ambitious Labour councillor Gillian ‘Gilly’ Wood came over all stateswomanlike as she was (inevitably) announced the victor in the Claughton ward and starting channelling the Pankhursts. Unfortunately the gravitas was somewhat undermined by the reporting of her profound words as follows (full report read here ) :

Local elections 033

Suffragits ? Faught?  Listen guys and guyesses from the Globe we know it was a late night – but really?  As Her Ladyship said : ” The rousing speech ended up not so much Emmeline or Christabel but more Emily Davison .” Perhaps suffragits was a subliminal message about the gits that Gilly has to suffer .  Those gits being Gilly’s her fellow ward councillors – Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr George Davies.

As you know a couple of the reasons that we continued Wirral Leaks whilst in self imposed exile is that we wanted to cover the local elections and reach a million hits . It looks like that serendipitously that both events will coincide within a few hours. So it will be just a case of tying up a few loose ends and we can finally enjoy our day in the sun.

 

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! 😃

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 – 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 ………

 

Sir Slippery v St Slimy

Sir Slippery 023

We’ve been sent a series of press clippings which demonstrate that the unseemly row between former BHS boss and yacht -loving Sir Philip Green ( ‘Sir Slippery’) and Birkenhead MP and ocean-going hypocrite Frank Field ( ‘St Slimy’) continues unabated.

Let’s get one thing clear –  no-one’s hands are clean in this long running  debacle even though Sir Slippery may have acted within the law his conduct remains highly questionable. However our issue is mainly with Frankenfield who , as is his wont, is wanting to take the moral high ground in a sleazy tabloid tit-for-tat between the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.

The  long running feud was re-ignited in recent Daily Mirror front page where they christened the tawdry tycoon as ‘Sir Slippery’ and continued over the weekend in the Mail on Sunday and again in Monday’s Daily Mirror which picked up on the exclusive Mail interview. Mail readers must’ve been torn as S*n columnist Field is unsurprisngly their pet Labour MP!

Sir Slippery 032

What’s more it all seems very reminiscent of a case closer to home where again the ‘saintly’ Field took issue issue with another man called Green and used the same tactics and with the same result!

So let’s take a look at some selective quotes from the stories and comment on he worrying similarities .

Sir Slippery 012

Sir Slippery maintains that St Slimy is a man who has a personal vendetta against him. However based on what we know we are more inclined to believe Green ‘s claim that Frankenfield is  mainly ‘interested in publicity for himself ‘

Sir Slippery 046

 

Significantly  ‘Sir’ Philip Green was cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by the Insolvency Service  and therefore can continue as a company director and yet Frankenfield continues to pursue and publicly condemn the tycoon. All very similar to his pursuit of former Wirral Council director Dave Green .

Sir Slippery 022

There were inquiries undertaken by the Audit Commission , Wirral Council and investigations instigated by Field undertaken by Serious Fraud Office and Merseyside Police into allegations that EU procurement rules were broken by Dave Green and ‘whistleblowers’ supported by Field suffered detriment as a result of reporting the alleged breach.

 

Sir Slippery 026

This is countered by Sir Slippery’s claim that Field also intimidated/frightened the Pensions Regulator . This must be very familiar to Wirral Council officers at all levels of seniority who have faced the same tactics from the saintly people’s champion. This includes the former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess who would not bend to Field’s will when it came to paying off the whistleblowers who he ‘championed’ – mainly because they had the means to incriminate his electoral agent , Cllr George Davies and other political allies , in serious  misconduct . Therefore Burgess had to go – and go he did.

Sir Slippery 027

And yet still Field implores PM Theresa May to strip Sir Slippery of his knighthood much in the same way he wanted Dave Green stripped of his livelihood.  As a fully paid up member of ‘the Establishment’  who never fails to use his contacts  and connections to get what he wants and to crush any opposition to his carefully constructed public persona and to counter criticism of his cronies  Field’s statements below are early contenders for ‘Quote of the Year’ . As ever the hypocrisy is simply breathtaking.  And as for asking the question as to whether May is with ‘the big guy or the little guy’ we think that after this week’s events we all know the answer to that question don’t we?

Sir Slippery 033

For a change we’ll leave the last word to ‘Sir’ Philip Green rather than ‘St’ Frank. Whilst Green keeps it as classy as his ‘hot-felon’ dating daughter we find it hard to disagree with his description of the current incumbents (of all parties) in the House of Commons .Sir Slippery 041

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audit Trail of Destruction

Frank meat cleaver

The latest Private Eye reports that our very own local MP Frank Field has (quite rightly) been tearing strips off auditors/accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers  (doing business as PwC) in the House of Commons.

Their summary is:

Field Day 005

As you can read for yourselves we once again witness Frankenfield’s flair for Gothic melodrama. “Waving his cleaver'” (oo-er missus!) as if he’s auditioning for the lead role in a remake of ” Mommie Dearest” ( “bring me the axe!)  – but then as we’ve said before he’s always been a Freudian case study waiting to happen.

Wirral Leaks readers will know that PwC are internationally renowned as the favoured go-to accountants of the tax avoider[i] and money launderer[ii].

So who does Wirral Council (with their chums in the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group ) choose to undertake ‘due diligence’ (cue hysterical laughter) as they help to dismantle the NHS locally?

We really don’t need to give you the answer do we?  But we’ll give you a clue – can you spot the business acronym below?

PwC CCG

How much did that ‘due diligence’ work cost us ? And have we heard a peep out of our local hero about PwC’s involvement in it?

Once again we don’t need to give you the answer do we?

Under the circumstances all we can say to Frankenfield is this :  If you’re going to play the people’s champion and defender of the NHS you have to be true to yourself and true to us. If not – what are you? That’s right – it makes you a duplicitous politician! But then we’ve long known that at Wirral Leaks!

[i] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31147276

[ii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/08/18/pwc-to-pay-25-million-to-settle-money-laundering-report-allegations/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03f32dddcd

 

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #11

Apologies for the late edition of our weekly dispatch. A bit too much pastis over le weekend – that’s the French spirit and not the Gregg’s delicacy obvs !

MARKS OF EXTINCTION

Marks 004

So farewell then to Birkenhead’s Marks and Spencer. And what a sorry sight you leave behind. No more sourdough bread and sturdy gussets. Even the intervention of Birkenhead MP Frank Field couldn’t save it from extinction. Is Frankenfield losing his touch ? After failing to get ‘Sir’ Philip Green stripped of his knighthood  and as yet not succeeding in getting car parking for nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital scrapped he’ll have to go back to getting his own way with Wirral Council and DWP .

However the good news for the down town trackie-clad denizens of Birkenhead is that they will be well served by JD Sports moving to larger ,refurbished premises.

USING OUR IMAGINATION

Imagine Wirral

Although being a contributor to the cultural life of Wirral (!) we unfortunately couldn’t attend the February launch of the Wirral Council programme Imagine Wirral which apparently is about celebrating culture,creativity and ideas. Other than the re- branding of ‘The Leisure Peninsula’ and the website there hasn’t been an awful lot going on at #ImagineWirral since its launch so we’re left using our imagination as to what it’s all about – other than promoting established events and gegging in with a bit of opportunistic branding. If Wirral Council leisure guru Cllr Christine Spriggs could enlighten us further we’d appreciate it……

POTHOLE OF THE WEEK

So with the news that central government has allocated some money from its £100 million pothole fund to Liverpool City Region out of which Wirral Council gets a whopping £184,000 (which judging by the state of Wirral’s roads we all know won’t go very far), especially when we consider this example sent to us from Tranmere :

Pothole 002

HUB OF THE WEEK

Excellent work here from the Peel Group. There are so many buzzword bingo boxes ticked with our headline of the year so far:

 

Exciting new ‘pop up’ leisure hub for Wirral Waters

 

As an added bonus there’s the obligatory artist’s impression :

 

Float on

Find it in all its glory here

and finally….. HOLE OF THE WEEK

Yes – we’re sure you’ve all seen the guy having sex with a hole on the Brackenwood golf course. As this is a family blog (!) we’ll leave you to find the footage on Youtube for yourself. But when it comes to leisure and celebrating culture,creativity and ideas on Wirral perhaps we can expect find it , er,popping up on the Imagine Wirral website soon!

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #10

The-Esther-Bunny

The Esther Bunny

THE CLASH

This isn’t just an excuse to pull out one of our old Easter pictures featuring former Wirral West – and current  MP for Tatton- Esther McVey . Although we do have to say it is a particular favourite. No ,dear readers it is to draw your attention as to why you should always, always question the facts behind the headlines (and that includes ours). A story which particularly caught our attention appeared in this week’s Wirral Globe and was titled 98 benefits staff face the axe at Birkenhead jobcentre

The story featured McVey and Birkenhead MP Frank Field who appear to be currently competing for column inches (oo-er missus) .  This bogus story was peak Field/McVey  – not so much ‘Clash of the Titans’ as ‘Clash of the Titheads’ . For a start off 98 Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) staff are NOT facing the ‘axe’ . They are on fixed term contracts which end in ONE YEAR’S TIME.  Their contracts may or may not be renewed depending on demand for DWP services in Birkenhead. As Field and McVey both know such arrangements are what keeps the Civil Service going. It’s like suggesting that MPs who are ousted at the General Election should remain in office because the country is in a mess.

Frankenfield does his usual amateur dramatics  describing the situation as ” gutwrenching”  and cites an unverifiable yet exploitative case of a “female constituent (who) has told him she has been reduced to penury and is living on 7p a day” . Lord knows what that has to do with 98 DWP “facing the axe” other than serving Field’s personal and political agenda.

By the way this is the actual Field/McVey exchange in the House of Commons that prompted the story . Does this look like a ‘clash’ to you?

Photo of Frank FieldFrank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

I ask the Secretary of State not to give an immediate reply to this question but to ponder it. The Secretary of State has told me that the 98 members of jobcentre staff on temporary contracts in Birkenhead are going to be laid off because they have come to the end of their contract period. Unlike Gloucester, we are having real problems with the roll-out of universal credit. I had five cases last week, including one involving a woman who had been reduced to living on 7p. Might not some, if not all, of those staff be redeployed to ensure a smooth transition from traditional benefits to the new one?

Photo of Esther McVeyEsther McVey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman saying that I could speak to and work with him to see what is happening in Birkenhead. What I know is that we on this side of the House brought forward up to 100% advances, so that anyone in need of money could have it. We have also stopped the waiting days, and from April we are providing the two-week housing payment. That is what we on this side of the House have done to protect the most vulnerable, but the Opposition voted against it.

DRUGS ARE BAD – M’KAY?

We received this correspondence from one of our readers who is concerned about Merseyside Police and their approach to drug dealing on Wirral :

I have become more than aware of a number of cases over the years of law abiding members of the general public becoming increasingly frustrated at what they perceive to be the total lack of action by the Police when they are informed of
consistent drug dealing from domestic premises.

There appears to be a pattern of Police response in ALL the cases that I am aware of.

Firstly, after several complaints about lack of action by the Police, individuals find themselves having  to complain higher up the ‘food chain’  ((i.e. to the Chief Constable or to their local member of parliament ) Eventually a ‘community’ Police officer gets in touch and explains that they need more detailed ‘intel’ (Intelligence). They will want car registration numbers, times of callers, reports of ‘incidents’ (such the associated shouting outside of the various properties etc)  In all the cases that I am aware of all this information (and much more) is provided. This usually goes on for a number of months.

Then the question from local residents becomes ‘How much information do the Police actually require before they actually do something?’ This is a question no one actually gets an answer to… because nothing actually happens.

No doors are kicked in, open drug dealing continues. Nothing changes. Local residents give up. This is the pattern on the Wirral.

It seems that there is something structurally wrong with the organisation of the local Police for things like this to continue.

I am not anti Police. I know that the ordinary copper has to go out and fight with knobheads everyday. (And that they do this day in and day out. ) But there is something wrong with the set up as it stands,  concerning the response to reports of drug dealing from domestic premises.

So this is my appeal to Merseyside Police, do something, get a grip   –  or you are going to loose all the good will and respect of a lot of very ordinary Wirral people.

We gave a fulsome response to this but we’ll keep it off these pages for now – but suffice to say Wirral Leaks has a view – a dim view of what’s going on with Merseyside Police (or above a certain seniority anyway). However in the interest of balance we are pleased to bring you this report from Merseyside Police :  Investigation launched following discovery of cannabis farm -Townsend St, Birkenhead

Here we discover that Merseyside Police have a ‘Cannabis Dismantling Team’ .  Just think about that for a moment . A  whole team …… dismantling ……. cannabis. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘high public office’ ! Shame they don’t have a Corruption Dismantling Team – but then there will never be enough resources for tackling that type of crime would there boys and girls?

KINGDOM COMEUPPANCE

We were particularly pleased to be informed about the the formation of the Facebook group Wirral Against the Litter Police. (Kingdom Security) 

We made our position clear on the matter of Kingdom Security way back in 2015 when we said :

There’s been much clamour in the local press concerning the overzealous pursuit of alleged litter louts or more accurately those who happen to be easy targets of litter Hitlers issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) at the drop of a bookmark.

Now as our readers will know we have a particular aversion to filth and detritus at Leaky Towers which may explain why we report so often on the dirty dealings of Wirral Council. Therefore whilst we realise the days of the Litter Defence Volunteers have long gone we would usually wholeheartedly applaud efforts to keep Wirral tidy. However we also realise that standards in local public life have also fallen into the gutter.So when we read that fines from FPNs issued by Kingdom Security Ltd on behalf of Wirral Council had topped well over a quarter of a million pounds in the first three months of their mutually beneficial arrangement we began to question the motivation behind the cash for trash scheme.

Is this more about swelling Council coffers than about environmental concerns ?.

Full story here :  Cash for Trash

and finally….. FUN WITH POTHOLES

We’ll leave you with this video of  Wirral pothole fillers . The original video was brought to our attention on Facebook and has since been adapted into a rather marvellous and amusing Youtube video. We don’t know whether the chaps in the video are sub-contractors or will become Wirral Council employees when BAM Nuttall hit the road in October. However in the meantime let’s enjoy their workmanship.  

 

 

 

Birkenhead CLP leak adds to Labour Party anti-Semitism controversy

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Above is an extraordinary leak from Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP). No,not to us. But to The Times!

Times journalist Sam Coates posted this extract of the minutes from recent Birkenhead CLP meeting on Twitter @SamCoatesTimes . The journalist was discussing the results of a Times/YouGov poll of Labour members on how leader Jeremy Corbyn was addressing allegations of anti-semitism within the Labour Party and referenced the leaked minutes adding :

Before we reveal the poll results – news of a new upset. In Frank Field’s Birkenhead Consituency Party, The Times has been passed minutes showing why it turned down diversity training. I understand Labour has launched an investigation

This is a most curious ‘controlled’ leak don’t you think?

For starters it is simply astonishing that Birkenhead CLP see fit to reject Diversity and Equality training by the Jewish LABOUR Group on the  grounds of “possible” links with ISIS (!?) and the Israeli government . Apparently Birkenhead CLP are now going to organise their own training. Who’s facilitating that training session we wonder ? – Cllr George  Davies and former Wirral Council Mayoral consort and Birkenhead CLP  ‘Teller Girl’ Elaine Foulkes  – both of whom have had allegations of racism made against them that have never been publicly acknowledged or adequately addressed? Where will that training session be held? – the Wirral Deen centre?

However what we can’t get our heads round is how these minutes ended up in the hands of The Times journalist who just so happens to be preparing an in depth look at allegations of anti-semitism within the Labour Party for this week’s edition of The Sunday Times. Could it be that after Frank Field’s humiliation at the last Birkenhead CLP meeting where he was censured for continuing to write for The S*n , which we reported here : Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #9   , that the  local Labour ‘old guard’ have sought retribution on the Birkenhead CLP Corbynistas? A ‘controlled leak’ to The S*n’s more stateswomanlike elder sister is certainly one way of  rubbing salt in the wound of the current anti-semitism controversy engulfing the Labour Party and which is undermining their glorious leader isn’t it ?  No wonder younger people are put off attending Birkenhead CLP meetings ! Just sayin’!

Dead Wrong

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Cllr George Davies hangs his head in shame. Correction : he has no shame. 

Today’s Wirral Council Cabinet meeting gave the powers that be the opportunity to respond to the criticism levelled at them by central government that they couldn’t organise a bunfight in a bakery when it comes to local planning issues with their failure to produce a ‘Local Plan’.

Unfortunately spineless council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , in his inimitable style, delegated the task of chairing this meeting to his hapless deputy , Cllr George Davies. But where was Pip? – New York? Reno? Cannes? China? Apparently anywhere but his ward in Birkenhead or Wallasey Town Hall! Consequently we’d like to send him an early Easter present – a petri dish. Perhaps he’ll be able to grow a scrotum in it!

petri dish

Inevitably it didn’t work out well as Gorgeous George hid behind his PC screen (which makes a change from hiding behind Frank Field’s skirts) and , as usual, embarassingly read out a pre-prepared empty speech which bore a remarkable similarity to an exclusive statement issued to Wirral Globe by Pip in his belated response to Sajid Javid, the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government,and his letter threatening government intervention which we exclusively revealed to the people of Wirral –  Making Plans For Wirral

The belated Wirral Globe story can be read here

The use of the term ‘dead wrong’ was a dead giveaway that this was a Martin Liptrot-scripted case of talking loud and saying nothing.  Watch in horror from behind the settee from 7.30 minutes in of the John Brace video as Cllr George Davies has the temerity to say that as a  government minister Sajid Javid is “entitled to his opinion” . Whereas the truth of the matter is that Javid is entitled in LAW to insist that Wirral Council abide by their statutory obligations and produce a coherent ‘Local Plan’ .

What we find to be ‘dead wrong’ in the above horrorshow is that someone who has used racist slurs and offered a sweetheart deal to scammers  in return for smearing a political opponent is deemed to have the moral authority and political gravitas to challenge the accusation that he is monumentally incompetent when it comes to fronting Wirral Council’s planning portfolio.

Just watch and tell us whether it makes you feel proud that the people above – and Cllr George Davies in particular  – are responsible for making decisions that affect you and your life.

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Wirral Council ‘leadership’ in action. These are the people who make decisions about our lives whilst avoiding the public gaze from behind their (smoke)screens .