‘Never let facts get in the way of a good story……’

AFrank-WIRRAL-LEAKS

We’ve just clocked that on the day that we reported on Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s toerag tirade against Anti-Social Behaviour All That Glitters  

that Wirral Council announced the creation (inevitably) of the The Safer Wirral Hub

So can we all now rest easily in our beds ? Facts ,conveniently omitted from the business case for Frankenfield’s monster would suggest not – and although his agent , Cllr George Davies fronts it , it is undoubtedly Field’s creation.

But as the saying goes, never let facts get in the way of a long running story about the appalling behaviour of ‘toe -rags’ . Indeed we were dismayed to discover that a letter written by one of our Wirral Leaks regulars , who we know affectionately as ‘The Prof’, was deemed to be not fit for publication in response .

Whilst we publish the response below it appears there is an alarming and increasing tendency to control the ‘narrative’ , which admittedly is a hateful word  but it seems most apt.

With the continuing publication of Wirral View  , the prospect of Wirral Council filming their own meetings and sidelining our beloved Mr Brace , councillors receiving media training  to support them with party political broadcasts to a captive audience on social media , it seems to us it is becoming more and more difficult to counter the dominant local political narrative with either facts or opinions.

 Frank Field has called for an explanation of why why the Wirral Council Antisocial Behaviour Unit has not clamped down on the ‘toe rags’ turning Birkenhead into ‘Beirut’. He seems to have forgotten that the ASBO Crusade, invented by Tony Blair, was totally discredited several years ago after the courts and senior police accepted its ineffectiveness and governments abandoned it nationally. It missed the ‘toe rags’ but targeted and punished people with mental health and disability problems ncluding attempted suicides, homeless alcoholics and autistic teenagers. Frank seems to be having several memory problems.

In 2015 he congratulated DCLG Minister Eric Pickles in the House of Commons on the fantastic success of the sanctions based, Troubled Families Programme in ‘turning around’ Frank’s antisocial ‘families from hell’. He thanked Pickles  ‘on behalf of my constituents, many of whom now have a more peaceful existence…’ thanks, allegedly to the TFP. Unfortunately the government sponsored National Evaluation of the TFP proved that it had NO impact on criminal and antisocial behaviour in the families …including in Wirral.
The Evaluation also concluded that NO money was saved on the state support costs of these families. Yet remarkably Wirral claimed that 99% of their families were ‘turned around’ successfully! In 2012 Wirral claimed the average ‘troubled family’ cost us £75K per annum. In 2016 they claimed £76K per family had been saved….all of the cost! But the government Evaluation says the TFP had NO impact and saved NO money…anywhere.
Since this project locally, cost and is costing us, several million pounds, perhaps Frank should investigate this? But what about the gang ‘smashing up’ bus stops in the North End? Well, stop calling it antisocial behaviour…it is serious criminal damage…and call the police to account. If they catch the perpetrators throw the book at them.                     
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Wirralgate : 4 x 4

4x4

It was 4 years ago that Wirral Leaks first broke the Wirralgate story.  Read how the story began with the first 3 chapters from September 2013 :

Wirralgate 1

Wirralgate 2

Wirralgate 3

However little did we think that 4 years later we would still be waiting for the biggest scandal ever in Wirral politics to be fully exposed. Call it our spectacular naivety in underestimating the power that 4 politicians hold locally but it is astonishing to us that this particular 4 x 4 is still on the road. So , for those of you unfamiliar with the Wirralgate story , which for a start off means you’re not a regular reader of Wirral Leaks , we’ll break it down for you. It goes a little something like this :

4 Wirral Council complainants have a recorded telephone conversation involving the Deputy Leader of Wirral Council where he uses a racist slur to describe a senior council officer and offers the complainants what they themselves call a ‘ sweetheart deal’ . They are asked to hand over a document smearing Tory leader Jeff Green and their suspect claim for compensation will be sorted without the necessity of all those bothersome legal processes. They hand over the document which was written by one of the complainants (and just for clarity was NEVER in the files of the former head of law Bill Norman, as was claimed by former leader of Wirral Council , Cllr Steve Foulkes.) Foulkesy subsequently hands over the document to Liam Murphy – the political editor of the Liverpool Echo. Murphy later makes a covert recording of the covert recording (!) and when later outed by Emma Degg the former Wirral Council head of communications to whom he played it, suddenly Murphy  is no longer the political editor of the Liverpool Echo ! Go figure!

Council Leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies later claims that the 4 complainants were using the recorded conversation to settle their compensation claim . The complainants record a meeting they had with Pip listening to the Cllr George Davies telephone conversation. Pip asks of one of the complainants whether he is recording the meeting. He wasn’t – but another of the complainants was. So now they have a recording of Cllr Phil Davies, the leader of Wirral Council listening to a highly incriminating recording his deputy! BINGO! Pip is heard to say on the recording :

” I can’t defend this” 

But of course he has to –   George Davies is not only his deputy but Frank Field’s electoral agent and confidante. No wonder Pip agrees to a bogus ‘inquiry’ by long time Field associate Nick Warren which was nothing more than a means of securing the complainants more than the £3,000 they’d been offered for their ‘time and trouble’ and a sum of public money much more in line with what the incriminating recordings are worth to the big 4 – if not to Wirral council taxpayers.

 

Of course Frankenfield, Power Boy Pip, Foulkesy and Gorgeous George wouldn’t have got away with the cover up for so quite long without the passive local political ‘opposition’, the complicity of the local press , Merseyside Police and senior council officers past and present,  the compromising of other investigations where Cllr George Davies and Cllr Foulkes were allowed to get away with persistently lying and where the complainants refused to take part ( hey, wasn’t there a cheque in it for you guys or something?) and, most pertinently,  the failure of the complainants themselves to ‘go public’ with the recordings despite the fact they’ve played fast and loose with local media for 4 years  – and  it must be said , even us , but you may have noticed we gave up on them doing the right thing a long time ago. Wirral Leaks is NOT and never will be a bargaining tool. The irony being that whilst the complainants were more than willing to go public with allegations that they could never properly evidence they have withheld incontrovertible evidence proving that the big 4 are utterly corrupt. Draw your own conclusions ££££££££.

Ultimately to us this is just an example of Frankenfield’s feudalism – getting his own way and doing exactly what he wants and knowing he’ll never be challenged. Another example was his backing of last night’s EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons , thereby defying Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who asked Labour MPs to vote it down. Could this be the same Frank Field who voted for EU enlargement and the accession of Eastern European countries in 2003?

Frank also seems to be labouring (!) under the misconception that people in his Birkenhead constituency voted to leave. We’ve got news for you Frank  – 51.7% voted to remain. But then Frank’s not one to let facts or truth get in the way of his one man mission which is the greater glory of HIMSELF – and it seems Wirralgate musn’t be allowed to get in the way of that amoral juggernaut.

All That Glitters

All that glitters

On returning from nos vacances en France we wanted to burst into a heart-warming rendition of  ” Hello, hello

It’s good to be back, it’s good to be back, Hello, hello, hello……”

But then we remembered the associations and connotations and thought better of it. Lord knows Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris , Stuart Hall , Jonathan King and Jimmy Savile have sullied our childhood memories enough .  Abusers of power protected by their status and/or powerful institutions allowing abuse to continue for far longer than it should have. And despite the eternal cry of ‘lessons have been learned’ we fear that it is a scenario that remains prevalent throughout many of our institutions.

However talking of the ‘Leader of the Gang’ we note that on our return our inbox was stuffed with comments about local MP  Frank Field playing the first two hands of his tried and tested three card trick. Firstly we have his anti-social behaviour schtick (see below).  Initially, when we read Frankenfield was complaining about “toe-rags dragging our town through the gutter” ,   we thought he was finally calling out certain corrupt councillors but then realised he has a twisted symbiotic relationship with those very same councillors and so it soon became clear to us he was back to bashing Birkenhead’s bad boys . The line that really got us though was  : “The thugs act as though they can get away with whatever they want, knowing they will face no consequences…..” . Those of us who know better clearly think Field has had an irony by-pass.  The expression those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (at bus shelters) comes to mind. Whilst there is no excuse for anti-social and criminal behaviour why should Frankenfield expect any better from the poor and the powerless when some of the most powerful politicians on Wirral appear to get away with whatever they want ,knowing they too will face no consequences – mainly because they are protected by him!

Secondly we were asked to catch up on  the equally familiar but slightly more entertaining story of Frankenfield continuing  to play handbags with  “Sir” Philip Green  Empty Threats   

“Sir” Philip would be well advised not to hold his breath waiting for an apology from Frankenfield as the latter is used to saying what he likes about people he doesn’t like.

Now all we need  is a news story about how many ‘starving mites’ he’s personally saved from malnutrition during the school holidays with ringfenced Wirral Council money and we’ll have a Frankenfield full house.

However we have to say we particularly interested in his Toe Rags  article  for the Wirral Globe as Field describing some parts of his constituency as being in the ‘gutter’ would appear to  to undermine the gallant attempt of Wirral Council’s chief shit-glitterer Martin Liptrot (sky) to sell the peninsula under the banner of Wirral Well Made

This picture postcard PR job shrieks ‘amateur hour’ especially when the website heralding  ‘A new vision for Wirral’  ( yes folks, yet another ‘vision’) originally included a text box with Latin – the standard filling used by printers to work spaces out. Although this has since been corrected it would seem to be the usual story from our well paid public servants . Not so much ‘Wirral Well Made’ as ‘Wirral Cobbled Together’ .

Indeed with the Council giving the green light to build on the green belt, continuing recycle bin and flytipping fury and further news of Asif Hamid’s massive empire building ( more of which later) it seems to us that having returned to Leaky Towers it’s a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose……..

 

Anti-Corruption Champion

Corruption

One of the useful websites we recommend our readers to check out if they’re interested to find out what their local MP is up to in Parliament is the appropriately titled TheyWorkForYou. This ranks alongside the Freedom of Information  (FOI) website WhatDoTheyKnow as one of our go-to sources.

TheyWorkForYou tells us that Birkenhead MP  Frank Field in particular is rather prolific when it comes to asking questions of government ministers. Which we can all agree is a good thing! However we can recall that it was Frankenfield who once went on Radio Merseyside to make ridiculous claims that certain sections of the Wirral public were inundating Wirral Council with FOI requests in an attempt to bring certain parts of the council to a standstill . This was proven to be statistically and factually incorrect as even Wirral Council admits it does not receive significantly more FOI requests than comparator local authorities . Accordingly it seems to us that Frankenfield thinks that public accountability is not a pursuit to be encouraged in the hoi polloi !

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/frankly-mr-frankie/

However we did raise an eyebrow at a question Field put to Chris Skidmore Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Cabinet Office as to when he plans to appoint an anti-corruption champion.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2017-06-21.150.h&s=speaker%3A10197#g150.q0

What’s Frankenfield up to? getting the heads up for local council reprobates, sorry ,representatives?  They’d  better get shredding those documents, erasing those tapes and making those pay-offs before the anti-corruption champion comes a callin’ !

 

 

Architecture and Morality

SDA 012

Verity  has been doing a bit research following the viewing of John Brace’s coverage of last week’s Planning Committee meeting. The poor saps who turned up expecting a debate about proposals about Saughall Massie fire station were blindsided by bureaucracy and politely asked to leave by committee chair Cllr Anita Leech (and if ever there was an archetypal Wirral councillor name Anita has got it!)

 

Forgive us for ignoring (for now) the plans to build a fire station on the green belt. We’re more interested in plans to turn Birkenhead ‘s Charing Cross into even more of a vagrant destination than it already is.

The architects behind the latest plan to degrade Birkenhead town centre even further (if that were possible) is SDA Architecture on behalf of their client Dr Ahmed. SDA Architecture have an ignoble history of making such applications. This is even more surprising when you consider that one of their former directors is Cllr Paul ‘ Danceaway’ Doughty.

However Cllr Doughty appears to have to have passed the baton on his son as a conduit  for  landlords who want to turn properties into houses of multiple occupation and maximum profit . These are the current directors of SDA Architecture ( Doughty Jnr  is the one on the left ).
SDA davidsda-barrie-300x300alex-300x300

It comes to something when even Birkenhead MP Frank Field rocks up to object about plans to turn a building on Charing Cross into a ‘dosshouse’. But then Frankenfield and his long -standing acolyte Cllr Jean Stapleton were only gegging in on Birkenhead & Tranmere councillor Pat Cleary’s call in on this particular planning application. It is frightening to think that if he hadn’t council officers under their delegated powers would have approved a 12 bedded hellhole ( but then they don’t have to live there – so why should they care?)

Doughty trio

Happier days when Jean and Frank didn’t have to ask awkward questions about yet another  lamentable Labour councillor who they’ve repeatedly turned a blind eye to.

Criticism was made during the Planning Committee meeting of a previous SDA Architecture application on behalf of Dr Ahmed to convert a former police station on Laird Street

Laird St - 12 bedsits

12 bedsits in this space? – would Cllr Doughty live in one of them? Just sayin’

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/laird-street-police-station-birkenhead-12113869

Frankenfield’s intervention in his lightweight seersucker (not a euphemism) is even more surprising when you consider that Cllr Paul Doughty tried to ingratiate himself with the local political powerbroker by nominating him for an award from the Mormons for upholding ‘family values’ . Once again, you really couldn’t make this shit up!

However what we’d really like to know is exactly what is Cllr Paul ‘Danceaway’ Doughty’s relationship with notorious flytipping facilitator Arthur Morgan?

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11862308.INTOLERABLE__Businessman_who_helped_create____plague_of_flies____admits_letting_illegal_waste_be_dumped_on_his_land/

Surely it can’t be the same Arthur Morgan who has business interests with Pensions Committee chair Cllr Doughty ?

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09898216/officers

We think we should be told!

Archiecture and Morality

 

 

 

 

Men of Mystery : The Big Reveal Part 2

Speak-NO

Apologies for the delay on this one but there’s been a few glitches on the website this week . As it’s fashionable to do so we blame those pesky Russkies !

All we can say it’s a case of delayed gratification for our readers as we optimistically declare  : So, farewell then, Surjit Tour .

As yes indeed , we’re hoping that it’s the case that Wirral Council’s Head of Law is going back to where he came from. And we don’t mean that in a casual racist way a la  Cllr George Davies.  We mean that we understand that Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer (no laughing at the back) could be returning to Sandwell Council.  Could it be that Tour goes back to Sandwell and leaves the people of Wirral to go to hell in a handcart?

So what positive things can we say about Surjit as a future send off?

Er, not a lot.

Whilst we acknowledge that being Wirral Council’s legal guru is a tough gig we couldn’t imagine anyone less equipped to fulfil the role. Apologies, no actually we can – his chinless predecessor, Bill Norman!

As far as we’re concerned , during his inglorious tenure Tour steered the difficult terrain that being the pinnacle of local government legal probity involves by prioritising political and personal interests over the public interest.

This was a so called public servant who it seemed to us (and to many of our readers and contributors ) to continually thwart Freedom of Information requests,  somehow didn’t know how electoral expenses worked , circumvented due legal process and natural justice at every turn and yet who prostrated himself before people who held him in complete contempt . He was ‘ bloody useless’ according to Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Cllr George Davies (once again – no laughing at the back) . And yet he was prepared to accept a handshake,a feigned apology,  a promotion (and a cheque for hurt feelings?) to carry on as abnormal .

As for Surjit himself  – he must be counting the days before he finally drives his thoroughly vulgar personalised numberplates out of Wirral and back to the West Midlands for the last time.

But not as much as us.

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 .

‘Ask not what the whistleblowers have done for themselves – ask what they have done for Wirral ….’

Nick Warren 017

The ‘whistleblowers’ in this particular case being those curious specimens who seem to be ‘courted and feted’ by the most powerful political figures on Wirral and still don’t seem to be able to cut themselves a lucrative deal . What’s that about?

Nick Warren 017

We say this as an even more curious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been brought to or attention.

We note that Wirral Council’s nemesis Martin Morton is still – after all these years – on their case. We also note that Wirral Council have been forced to release parts of what seems to us to be the flimsiest report of all time.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/nick_warren_investigation_report#incoming-985784

Nick Warren 017

Regular readers will know that the Nick Warren report is the means by which Wirral Council (or more specifically the Labour administration) hope to extricate themselves from the most damning scandal in Wirral Council’s history.

Yes, just think about that for a moment.

Nick Warren 017

Whilst friend of Frankenfield , Nick Warren, invites us to consider what these particular whistleblowers have done for Wirral , we’re not allowed to find out what their magnificent achievements exactly are because it would appear that Morton ,in particular, and the people of Wirral in general, are not allowed to know. Apparently we’re just expected to shut up and stump up the shush money!

Nick Warren 017

So based on what we know if Warren is posing the question what these particular whistleblowers have done for Wirral we’d have to answer : ‘ FUCK ALL’ because as far as we’re concerned there is ‘FUCK ALL’ available in his report to base our answer on!

And so it would seem we’re a long way from the JFK ideal of selfless idealism. But then again he was a shady character wasn’t he? And let’s face it he was a politician!

All we can say is that it’s a shame there isn’t a grassy knoll available to blow certain local politician’s brains out – now that’s a ‘Warren Commission’ we could support!

Election Selection : Week 8

Red Braces

Labour groupies Cllr Chris Meaden and Cllr Janette Williamson admire Frankenfield’s red braces and his homage to 1980’s wankers, sorry, bankers and the glory days of Thatcherism. Pic courtesy of Wirral Globe 

We don’t know how you feel but this has seemed to be the longest 8 weeks of our lives. At last we can get back to moaning about the weather and Wirral Council.

Our interest in national politics only extends to how it affects the local political landscape. By which we mean Frank Field  – obvs. For as we know Frankenfield is the de facto political leader on Wirral. Let’s face it –  McGovern , Eagle and Greenwood are mere also-rans in Wirral’s political stakes.

With Merseyside totally in the red  when it comes to local politics – from the Metro Mayor and his cabinet to all council leaders and constituency MPs and the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy there is an unprecedented concentration of  power invested in one party. Whilst that is the democratic right of the people, it scares us to death, not only because it suggests there is no effective opposition but primarily that some of the people who wield power are just so bloody awful.

But it’s not all bad news – with a hung parliament and with fox-hunting enthusiast Theresa May now experiencing what it’s like to be hunted by the ruthless and privileged ( i.e her own party) it would appear that there could be another general election on the horizon (*sighs* all round at Leaky Towers).

This of course would mean another bumper pay day for Wirral Council’s Returning Officer Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson who as we know must be struggling on his £180K + salary which is supplemented by the bumper pay outs amounting to tens of thousands of pounds he receives for declaring the seemingly never ending round of elections.

Hey Eric – any more thoughts on donating your bonus to supporting local charities or foodbanks or the New Ferry explosion fundraising efforts like a former Wirral Council Chief Executive used to do?

No – thought not!

 

Election Special: Leading with the Left

FFvsJC

Southpaw v Glass Jaw

Call us the ‘Imp of the Perverse’ if you must but we were delighted that the Labour Party did much better than predicted in the General Election.

Of course this was mainly because that after Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s continual sniping and undermining of Labour leader Jezza Corbyn and Wallasey MP Angela Eagle’s failed leadership coup against him , both of them now look rather foolish, duplicitous and frankly out of touch with their own Labour Party members (no change there then!)

Election Selection : Week 6

Of course we know that Corbyn was assisted by the calamitous campaign of the Conservatives and he’s getting a bit carried away with himself when he says ” It’s pretty clear who won the election”  . Sorry to have to tell you Jezza it wasn’t you or the Labour Party in terms of votes cast ,seats won or percentage of the overall vote (44% – 41%) and let’s not forget the Conservatives – with the dubious assistance of the Democratic Unionist Party – are still in power.

Nevertheless it was a jolly good show – and after Brexit and Trump yet another two finger salute from the public to political pundits.

It must be galling for Frankenfield in particular, to have to say through gritted teeth and prissy pursed lips :  “This is real success for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn”

After all,could it be that only on May 16 Frankenfield became the first Labour politician to call for the party to split after the election following what The S*n  described as an ‘expected election thumping’. Described by this disgraced organ as “the respected Labour grandee” ,they reported that Frankenfield had called for MPs to form the “People’s Labour” bloc in the Commons if Jeremy Corbyn refused to quit in June.

We’ve got news for you Frankenfield, Jezza ain’t goin’ nowhere ( although we can’t say the same about Tory leader Theresa May!)

So tell us Frank – do they serve humble pie in those foodbanks of yours?………..