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!

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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 .

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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 ‘

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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 .

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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.

 

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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.

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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?

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 #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.  

 

 

 

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #9

Javid letter 354

Mail on Sunday 25/3/18

LOCAL PLANS,WEDDING PLANS – IT’S ALL THE SAME TO THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT (NO F*CKS ARE GIVEN)  

We think it’s fair to say it’s been a bad week for Wirral Council’s planning department. Just to cap it off there was a High Court ruling on the long running Thornton Manor story  A Thornton Huff : Where once again ‘ignorance is bliss’ when it comes to the Green Belt . You won’t be surprised to hear that Mr Justice Kerr ruled that Wirral Council had allowed Thornton Manor to flout planning laws and erect three marquees on the Green Belt by mistakenly making the permission to do so ‘unconditional’. The council only spotted the blunder in March 2017  – SIX YEARS  after permission was granted – like you do. In an unprecedented move Wirral Council apparently “confessed to its error “(!) which prompted the owners of  nearby rival and Mayor’s Ball venue , Thornton Hall Hotel, to make a legal challenge. Press reports say that as Thornton Manor has made wedding bookings up until 2020 that up to 50,000 guests could be affected by the ruling. Mr Justice Kerr stated ” I do not think that the existence of these bookings should override the public interest in the integrity of the planning process”. Little does he know that the public interest and integrity of the planning process seem to be alien concepts to Wirral Council!

We have to say the story reduced Her Ladyship to tears……..tears of laughter that is – as she read that blushing brides had been tempted to hire one of the marquees for their big day with a ‘Say I Do In Choo’ promo, where if they spent £3,950 – which struck us as a bit of a random figure – they would be entitled to a £500 voucher for Jimmy Choo shoes.  Her Ladyship composed herself after her bout of schadenfreude and rather pointedly sniffed : ” I think that prospective brides will find that being Choo-less is the first of many disappointments when it comes to married life “

“DON’T LET THE S*N GO DOWN ON FRANK” PLEADS MATRON

Oo-er Matron! Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin tries to come to the rescue of her adored Frank Field as he came under fire at Friday night’s Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting for continuing to write for The S*n .

The Skwawkbox blog reports that a strongly-worded motion of censure was proposed by Birkenhead CLP’s Prenton branch which stated as follows :

Prenton Branch condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the decision of Frank Field to write for Murdoch’s S*n. This not only flies in the face of Birkenhead public opinion and a Wirral Labour Council boycott, it rides roughshod over the memory of those who died or survived the Hillsborough tragedy and were smeared by that rag. It also causes upset to friends and family of victims and survivors.

One Prenton member has cancelled his membership due to Frank’s involvement in the gutter press. The branch feels that this is a clear case of bringing our Party into disrepute.

We call on Frank, to give a clear, unambiguous, public apology, for the hurt caused and to provide an undertaking not to contribute in any way, in future.

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“The writing was almost literally on the wall beyond him” –  pic and caption courtesy The Skwawkbox

A Labour Party member who was present at the meeting told Skwawkbox :

Frank said that he would not be muzzled. He refused to give the requested commitment not to repeat the offence caused and stated that if members didn’t like it, they could deselect him.

He flounced out of the meeting, claiming that he was continuing his surgery at nearby Birkenhead Town Hall. Nobody believed that, as it was nearly 8 pm and his surgery started at 5 pm!

His parting shot was some snide comment about Jeremy Corbyn, but members shouted back at him “thanks for nominating him”, as Field provided the deciding vote, which secured JC’s place on the original ballot!

We remind him of that frequently. If he thought he was being clever at the time, and JC had no chance of winning, look how that turned out.

Read full story here : Labour MP Field censured by Birkenhead CLP for S*n columns

The flouncing , arrogance and snide comments of Frankenfield will be familiar to those who happen to get on the wrong side of the Birkenhead MP . All you have to do is simply not to agree that he is 100% right on EVERYTHING and fail to prostrate yourself in adoration before him and you’re a wild-eyed Trotskyite and/or a mad malcontent. Which brings us round to Matron who gallantly (and unusually) writes in support of her hero in the comments section (Frankenfield had himself had declined to comment to The Skwawkbox) . There’s an interesting spat with local blogger Wirral In It Together. Matron loses – badly (and inevitably). One comment that particularly caught our eye was from Ian Campbell who wrote : “1984 N Wales Euro election Frank FIELDS (sic)  signed a half page in all the 10 constituency newspapers to warn against Ian Campbell the official Labour Candidate LP general Secretary wrote to me to apologise adding Fields has the backing of the Catholic Church and is untouchable.”

This reminded us that we really must get round to that story about Anglican Field’s extensive local connections with the Catholic Church………

ALL WRAPPED UP

You’re telling us that the Wirral Growth Company news emanating from its PR arm Wirral Well Made is absolutely relentless. We understand that this week’s Wirral Globe featured yet another 4 page  wrap around ‘advertising feature’ (costing  £4K +). Why Wirral Council’s ruling Labour administration continues to publish their Wirral View and duplicate spending on exactly the same content in a local newspaper we can only assume is down to arrogance and contempt for council tax payers. Wirral Well Made ‘s Martin Liptrot must be Wirral well made up that having wanting to put the Wirral Globe out of business he now has the financial means to use it as just another Wirral Council media outlet  Indeed Wirral Council now appear to have the local mainstream media all wrapped up. Indeed one reader has kindly sent us an artful representation of what it feels like to be subject to the ongoing media bombardment :

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And what’s more it would appear that local opposition parties are not able to do anything about it. Whilst we understand the local Conservatives took out their own pre-purdah page in this week’s Wirral Globe (presumably paid for by local Tories and not by local council tax payers) to rerun the usual fare of complaints about consultants, Wirral View , Hoylake Golf Resort , bins and loans it seems to us that despite the high costs these are , politically-speaking , low ticket items :

Javid letter 360

The problem that opposition parties on Wirral now have (and particularly the Tories) is that as a result of their misplaced politesse the big ticket item of institutional corruption involving a small cabal of  Labour councillors has allowed the latter to act with impunity . Consequently this cabal have grown in strength, increased their power and are now acting, somewhat like their mentor and spiritual leader Frankenfield , as though they are “untouchable” . And with a perpetually impotent opposition with few new ideas things can only get worse.

AND FINALLY….

There were a few notable absentees ( including Cllr Louise Reecejones) and the announcement of a couple of retirements at this week’s full Wirral Council meeting. The latter included Cllr John Hale , a former Wirral Council leader from the last century (or was it the century before that?) and outgoing Mayor and former Deputy Leader of  Wirral Council  Cllr Ann ‘Moving Forward’ McLachlan.  Cllr McLachlan always appeared to us to be in a permanent state of denial about the appalling conduct of some of her contemporaries be they Wirral councillors or council officers . Her mantra was always about ‘moving forward’ as if it made all that ‘unpleasantness’ suddenly disappear. Now that Cllr McLachlan is ‘moving forward’ into retirement from politics perhaps she will take time to reflect that sometimes silence is compliance.

 

 

 

 

Marmalizing the Bullies : St Frank or Sir Diddy ?

Diddymen

Let the marmalization commence.

The previously leaked report written by ‘experienced independent investigator’ Carole Taylor Browne that prompted the departure of Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) chair Michael Carr was officially published today. Read full report here : NHSI WUTH Final report

Ms Taylor-Brown has her own consultancy specialising in ‘Executive and Group coaching, Workplace Investigation and Mediation’ called Tamarix People which sounds like a John Wyndham novel or interplanetary baddies in an episode of Dr Who. Read more here: Tamarix People

However it would appear that essentially Taylor-Brown is your classic ex-NHS poacher turned gamekeeper.  We’re not sure her report tells us anything we didn’t already know about the bullying culture (particularly at Arrowe Park Hospital). Read more here : WUTH – Carr Crash OUT, Sir Diddy IN

However our interest in the story was reignited with the inevitable sneering soundbites from Birkenhead MP Frank Field on the appointment by NHS Improvement of new troubleshooting chair Sir ‘Diddy’ David Henshaw.

“At last we have a proper soul-searching report on Arrowe Park which has been many a year coming. I’ve been campaigning for years for root and branch reform at Arrowe Park. Had MPs been consulted on a new interim Chair, we would not have advised in favour of Sir David Henshaw. We badly need an interim Chair who has a track record of opposing and dealing effectively with bullying and poor behaviour.I will be asking the Secretary of State to appoint such a Chair. How will the hospital now deal with the bullies? I have been given a list of names, who maybe account for only some of the bullies, but we need a Chair in whom those members of staff who have been bullied can trust. I call again for one of the companies dealing with this all the time to come in as an independent body to kick-start a recovery in standards”.

Whilst we agree with Frankenfield on one thing ( that’s a first !) – and that is Sir Diddy is definitely not the man for this particular job – we had to laugh at his whining that if he (and presumably other Wirral MPs ) had been ‘consulted’ on the Sir Diddy appointment that it would not have got their seal of approval. Sorry to have to tell you sweetheart this ain’t Wirral Council – not everything gets run past you first!

As for Field’s ‘Bully List’ – perhaps we should start one up with names of bullies ,both officers and councillors , past and present  ,  who have  been responsible for destroying people’s lives and careers at Wirral Council.  Then we can send it to him and wait for him to tell us with an innocent face that he doesn’t interfere in Wirral Council business!

WUTH – Carr Crash OUT, Sir Diddy IN

Here follows a further couple of more usual leaks from Wirral University Teaching Hospital (aka Arrowe Park & Clatterbridge hospitals) following yesterday’s report of the big water leak at APH:

I thought you would be interested in the fact that Michael Carr has resigned this week as Chairman of Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.It is likely that NHS Improvement advised him to stand down, following the resignation of David Allison, CEO.The Trust can only benefit from the replacement of both.

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It comes as no surprise that Michael Carr the chair of WUTH hospital has ‘quit’ after a leaked report exposed widespread bullying at APH.

Carr Quits

This leaked report highlighted claims of “totally unacceptable” behaviour, evidence of “tribal divisions” and junior staff “set up to fail”. As we’ve previously reported regulator NHS Improvement is investigating “cultural, behavioural and governance issues” at WUTH .Of course this is all very familiar to Wirral Leaks readers as another source tells us :

It’s hellish in Arrowe (Park Hospital) , same problem as the Council, drone management and bullying….

Read more here :

WUTH : Leaks to Cascade

Advent Farewell 22 : WUTH – less this Christmas

So what does come as a surprise is that the appalling NHS Improvement – the expression ‘physician heal thyself’ comes to mind – has appointed another notorious bully ‘Sir’ Diddy David Henshaw as the interim chair!

Or perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise – have you noticed how the likes of Sir Diddy always find another  highly remunerated ride on the public sector merry go round after they’ve ‘retired’ with a bumper cheque ? Sir Diddy has previously ‘served’ as CEO of Liverpool and Knowsley Councils and left a trail of controversy in his wake.

You can do you own internet searches on this piece of work – but try this for starters : Henshaw’s Evil Cabal

One of the glowing eulogies comes from current Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy : “A man in whom I have no confidence and for whom I have no respect” – and that’s one of the kinder comments.

Inevitably late to the part comes along Frank Field ,wading in where he’s not wanted. Frankenfield wants to “ensure commissioners are sent in both to protect those staff providing an excellent service and with the instructions to root out the thugs and the bullies” : NHS Thugs

The hypocrisy on display here – even for Frankenfield – is absolutely staggering. This is the man who was instrumental in PREVENTING commissioners being sent in to Wirral Council in 2012 when a widespread and corrosive bullying culture was exposed. No consideration of the need to protect council staff or attempts to root out the thugs and bullies then was there ? Could it have been that Frankenfield  knew that some of the most prominent  ‘thugs’ and ‘bullies’ were in the local Labour group -and are still in positions of power?

Is it any wonder the inglorious legacy of this duplicity is that we now discover mental health sick days among Wirral Council staff is at an  eight year high. An ‘Absence Management’ report to be discussed at next weeks Employment and Appointments Committee states:

“A range of initiatives including a focus on mental health support are in place.These activities include targeted approaches for specific areas and universal programmes for all staff with an ethos to support all employees across the organisation.Monitoring and oversight has been further developed to ensure accountability at all organisational levels is in place.”

As you can tell from this anodyne management speak Wirral Council remains in denial it has a bullying culture. Until it does – it will remain a sick organisation.  Wirral University Teaching Hospital bosses and regulators take heed.

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #5

More Money, More Troubles

This week’s Cabinet announcement concerning a council tax of 5.99% came as no surprise to anyone. Nor did Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies inevitably blaming ‘Tory cuts’ for such a hike. However where Pip outdid himself in his budget proposals was suddenly finding £20 million down the back of the metaphorical Town Hall settee  “to prevent Wirral’s young people becoming victims of Tory policies.”

Now whilst we readily acknowledge that cutting off funding streams to local authorities is very much part of a shameful central government strategy to dismantle public services – and which the Labour administration at Wirral Council seem more than happy to go along with – we baulked at the rewriting history that was going on here . The playing of party politics with children’s lives and taking no responsibility whatsoever for the dire state of Children’s Services on Wirral was a new low even for Pip . But then it’s so much easier for a Council leader, who is in a permanent state of denial, to lay bad management,  poor decision making , laziness, and incompetence on the part of public servants and poor governance on the part of local councillors at the door of  ‘Tory cuts’. It was all very reminiscent of the first edition of the Town Hall propaganda sheet Wirral View turning the damning Ofsted report into Children’s Services into a good news item. We had the foresight to write : “The article on the damning Ofsted Inspection report is given more spin than Rapunzel on speed and has the title ” Children’s services to get major investment” ! Which we suspect will be the distorted shape of things to come. Full article here : First Glance at Wirral View

The October 2016 announcement of this ‘investment’ to recruit additional social workers ,improve training and management and provide more experienced, long-term leadership for children’s social care amounted to £2 million . Could it be a measure of just how much trouble Children’s Services are really in is that the required investment has increased TENFOLD ? ! 

The Emperor’s New Impose

However we do have a good news item to report and that is the retirement of Birkenhead MP Frank Field.  Well, that got your attention didn’t it! Unfortunately it’s not imminent , which is a shame – as anyone who witnessed his tetchy performance discussing Brexit on today’s Sunday Politics TV programme will testify . There he was all flush-faced and flapping hands as Stella Creasy the Labour MP for Walthamstow accused Frankenfield of “driving the Boris bus” . Which we can only hope wasn’t a lewd euphemism. Stella stood her ground and wasn’t having any of Frank’s passive aggressive nonsense telling him ” You can talk over me all you like Frank” . Full coverage here :  Frank v Stella

During the clash of handbags Frankenfield maintained that the public should have ” the right to every bit of information going”. Which is a change of tune from someone who once objected on Radio Merseyside about the Wirral public making Freedom of Information requests to Wirral Council . We just wonder whether this new found fondness for openness and transparency extends to persuading Wirral Council to finally publish a much heralded report dating back to 2015 which was written by Frank’s mate , Nick Warren. Frankenfield was whining to the local press as far back as July 2015 as to why the report hadn’t yet been published.  Now everyone involved -including Field – apparently wants to bury the report. What’s that all about?

However let’s get back to the matter of who Frankenfield thinks should inherit his kingdom. Apparently Upton councillor Matthew Patrick (aka Matty Patty) is the nice young man that Field would like to succeed him as the MP for one of the safest parliamentary seats in the land. But then we suppose there isn’t a deep pool of talent to draw upon in Birkenhead is there? But what about Foulkesy? Georgie? Crabby?, Doughty? we hear you cry. All we can assume is that Frank would like someone more in keeping with the aspirational artist’s impressions of a future Birkenhead that have been knocking about all over the local press this week.

Matty Patty 002

Artist’s impression of a possible future MP for Birkenhead

Speer’ of Destiny 

Talking of these artist’s impressions …..there were a slew of pretty pictures accompanying such headlines as Stunning new images of how Birkenhead could look in future as billion-pound deal is agreed’  concerning the Wirral Council/Muse Developments Joint Venture which includes potential plans for glossy new Council offices. Somehow a cheeky Wirral Leaks reader was suddenly minded to recall the work of the Third Reich’s architect , Albert Speer. 

We’re sure they’re not making comparisons with a power-crazed, progaganda-obsessed regime but rather just reminding us that the self-aggrandizing plans for a People’s Hall/Great Hall/Hall of Glory were never realized.

 

Frank Field : Fearless or Shameless ?

Now we’ve imagined that we would meet a grisly end courtesy of either a failed brakes incident as Her Ladyship and I cruised La Grande Corniche or a like a deadlier version of the opening scene to the film ‘Sexy Beast’ as we lounged in the Mediterranean sun.

However it would seem our readers have other ideas. Are you really trying to induce a coronary? We say this as we’ve received pictures from a Mail On Sunday reader – we’re a broad church and we don’t judge – yeah right! we hear you cry- but that particular publication isn’t usually part of our reading matter , especially when it regularly features their ‘pet’ Labour politician Frank Field.

Last Sunday’s edition exceeded itself as it features a full page spread of our beloved MP for Birkenhead under the headline – ” Fearless Frank : How I brought TWO Philip Greens down to size” and where we find Frankenfield adopting a macho stance (or as close an approximation as he can manage).

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The TWO Philip Greens involved are the former boss of BHS , ‘Sir’ Philip Green and the Carillion CEO of the same name who isn’t a knight of the realm . Frankenfield is wringing every last ounce of self-aggrandizing publicity out of this isn’t he?  How ‘fearless’ do you have to be when you’re the chair of Work and Pensions Select Committee and what is it with Frankenfield and Greens? – beit Dave, Philip or the Green Party? Perhaps ‘Dear Papa’ forced him to eat his greens and he’s held a grudge ever since. And if there’s one thing we know about Foodbank Frank is that he ‘bears more grudges than lonely high court judges’  .

The hagiographic article written by the clearly impressionable William Turvill is jampacked with early entries for the Leaky Awards ‘ “Quote of the Year”.

Now if questions  A) and B) were posed to Wirral Council, Grant Thornton etc; instead of untouchable ,distant but headline-grabbing multi-millionaires we might have more respect for him*

nb – let’s be honest it’ll be a cold day in hell when we have any respect for Frank Field 

A) 

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B)

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But our absolute favourite quote was this :

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To which we would like to respond and say : Be careful what you wish for Frankie-baby! Although it must be great when Wirral Council (or rather their council taxpayers) are picking up the bill as a result of your scheming ways!

Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead

M &S

The future of retail in Birkenhead. Harsh maybe – but we guarantee more accurate than any Wirral Council approved artist’s impression.  

So farewell then to the Marks & Spencer store in Birkenhead after a long and continuous presence in the town.  It may be only one store – but it is hugely symbolic of the state of Birkenhead town centre – and do we mean state !

It’s certainly a fist in the face to Birkenhead First isn’t it? Proving to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce backed initiative ,which aims to make Birkenhead an attractive and vibrant retail and leisure destination, that there’s more needed than litter picks and pop-ups when it comes to the cut-throat world of commerce.

Whilst there have long been rumours that House of Fraser is on the way out  -and let’s face it since the demise of Beattie’s it has rapidly gone downhill – it staggers on , but for how long?  As far as we’re concerned that would be the final nail in the coffin and then all Birkenhead will be fit for is a set for a remake of  ‘Dawn of the Living Dead’ – the zombie movie set in a shopping mall.

As for Birkenhead MP Frank Field “demanding” a meeting with M&S chiefs – that’s the trouble with him , he’s so used to “demanding” and getting his own way with Wirral councillors that when the harsh reality of the business world hits he’s suddenly out of his depth and left wallowing in the poverty of his constituents , all prissy pursed lips and a put upon expression.

Council leader Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is even more delusional and in peak Pollyanna mode is quoted in the Liverpool Echo as saying :

Good public transport links , £2 all-day parking and plans to re-invigorate the market are positive signs , and the business community ,residents and shoppers are keen to see to see Birkenhead invested in and improved”

But even Pip must know that a headline such as ” Make no mistake … M&S Birkenhead closure is a disaster”  in the usually compliant Liverpool Echo means that this is not a good news story.

It’s not a question of running down Birkenhead – it’s already run down or to use Presidential language  – it’s a shithole! Time for Pip, Frankenfield and co to wake up and smell the weed wafting down Grange Road.

So spare us the artists’ impressions for fantasy schemes that will never happen , the deceptive , expensive and manipulative wraparound advertising features in Wirral Globe, the press releases about the billions of pounds about to come Birkenhead’s way soon, honest, the cheque’s in the post etc; etc;

If all Wirral Council’s ‘transformers’ can come up with is plans for more car parking charges and a drive-in Maccy D’s whilst transforming their bank balance at our expense and jetting off to Cannes to hawk the tawdry wares that Birkenhead has to ‘offer’ then surely Marksy’s departure is the beginning of the end for the town.

And so we say to the young people of Birkenhead – get an education and GET OUT OF TOWN! Leave the dereliction to the derelicts and those who have been derelict in their duty for decades.