The Big Lie

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it..”

There will be no wacky pictures, no funny puns and we won’t be referencing the above quote (if you don’t know it – Google it). This post will be fuelled by anger and frustration.

Anger and frustration at the news that there is a yet another damning report about Wirral Council in the pipeline. This time it’s an Ofsted report concerned with Children’s Services.

Eagle -eyed Leaks readers will have noted from previous posts and comments that we knew this was on the horizon. And inevitably what we have witnessed today is the first instalment of an exercise in damage limitation and reputation management for which Wirral Council is so well known  with a carefully controlled ‘leak’ to the Liverpool Echo.

Now if Liverpool Echo want to be Liptrotsky’s lapdog that’s between them , their advertising revenue and their tawdry ‘exclusives’. But it doesn’t mean we’re buying their bullshit and it doesn’t mean that most of us don’t know what Wirral Council are up to.

Sorry – you may have noticed but we can’t get worked up about bins or dog crap at Leaky Towers when we get confirmation that Wirral Council is failing to safeguard children and meet their educational needs.

The most damning indictment of  any  local authority is that the safety and life choices of our most vulnerable are compromised. Of course we’ve been here before with this wretched Council haven’t we?. Just as we’ve heard the platitudes and the promises dribbling out of the mouths of Council Leader and his Chief Executive when they’ve been rumbled.

I think we can all agree that the risible ‘Most Improved Council in Britain’ tag can finally be consigned to history – we note that it is conspicuously absent from Wirral Council correspondence we’ve recently received. Yes that’s right – Wirral Council have been directly in touch  with us for the very first time. But more about that another time.

I suppose we shall have to wait for the intervention of interfering Birkenhead MP Frank Field making demands for the resignation of those responsible for the findings in the upcoming report, just like he did in the past with former Wirral Council CEO Steve Maddox and  Director of Children’s Services Howard Cooper. Both of whom were rewarded for their varied and manifest failings with an OBE.

Or perhaps not. Field will no doubt play his part in perpetuating  ‘The Big Lie’.

So we’ll do it for him instead –   CEO Eric Robinson  , Head of Children’s Services  Julia Hassall , Corporate Safeguarding Manager  Simon Garner ,  Council Leader Phil Davies ,Children Services Lead Cllr Tony Smith, People Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chair Cllr Moira McLaughlin  – RESIGN NOW

Failure Is Not An Option – Its A Career Choice!

Huzzah and Hurrah ! News reaches us that former Wirral Chief Executive Steve”Mad Dog” Maddox is now a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside !!

A what?  Well basically these demi gods assist a Lord-Lieutenant who is the queen’s representative down here on planet earth.  Because of their expertise or much admired role within the local community they may be asked for their help with very important issues such as Honours nominations , Assessments for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; Suggesting names for Royal Garden Parties; Participation in Citizenship ceremonies as well as gadding about like some sort of Netto version of Richard Gere in an “Officer And A Gentleman” (because Male Deputy Lieutenants get to wear a knee-tremblingly sexy uniform replete with a bright shiny badge.) We wait with bated breath to hear if any of Wirral Council’s much loved senior officers make the next honours list now Steve has got his foot in the door.

Indeed Wirral seems to have an inordinate number of well paid failures, who , upon  leaving public office go on to do rather well for themselves. For example local MP Frank N. Field once publically called for Steve Maddox’s resignation and that of the then Education Director Howard “Tommy” Copper in a blistering public attack in which he referred scathingly to their inability to show the minimum level of leadership necessary to run any local authority. The incompetence that you and Howard Cooper have displayed in mismanaging education in Birkenhead has smitten the lives of too many of the young people I represent in Birkenhead and is unacceptable.

“I told you that if there were any further setbacks to establishing a new secondary school in Birkenhead I would publicly call for the removal of you both. I therefore serve notice that I am doing exactly that.””


Steve “Mad dog” Maddox of course left WBC by “mutual consent” after being gently nudged towards early retirement prior to the full details of Anna Klonowski’s damning report being made public. He also pocketed an OBE plus (according to WBC’s 2010/11 accounts) £157k  paid as “Compensation for loss of Office”(a similar amount was paid to former Social Services Director John “Curly Watts” Webb). Bizarrely, for a man who once suggested that the only thing Wirral tax payers were interested in was “dog crap,”Chester residing dandy Maddox was also awarded the freedom of Wirral!! But what of Cooperman ? Well Howie went on become interim manager of the sinking ship that is known as Wirral Social Services, he picked up a CBE (just like that! ) and has recently sailed off into the sunset with what one imagines is a comfortable pension. It would appear that a public savaging by dear old Frank N. actually enhances your career prospects!

For the record Frank N. Field is also a Deputy Lieutenant.

However, this sort of old boy’s club wankery isn’t confined to Wirral Borough Council.  Last year Consultants at Arrowe Park Hospital passed a vote of no confidence in their Chief Executive Len Richards. At the time the unions stated  “”The RCN has been raising concerns for many months about cuts in nursing staff, a lack of consultation with clinicians such as nurses and doctors, the closure of wards at Clatterbridge and reductions of beds and staff at Arrowe Park.

“Our members certainly feel that there has been an unwillingness to listen to clinical concerns and we hope that any new CEO will be prepared to listen carefully, work in partnership with us and act on the concerns raised by our members”.

Labour MP  Frank N Field was back in “attack dog” mode and was amongst a number of local MP’s who were highly critical of Mr Richards plans claiming it would cost the NHS extra money and take services further away from people who genuinely needed them.

Mr Richards left the Wirral very soon afterwards… and where is he now?  Well he’s only gone and secured himself a nice interim post as Chief Executive at Newham University Hospital Trust.  

See if you can find mention the vote of no confidence on the Wirral in this sentence?

“Len is ideally suited to meet the particular challenges the Trust now faces”

No joy? Try this one then..

“Len’s track record of service integration and retention of local delivery in merged organisations will help us greatly in capitalising on the enormous opportunities that this merger presents.” Really ???

Above is a photo of Len in his new post, “hangin’ tough”with his new “Transformational Posse” and meeting Stephen Timms, Labour Member of Parliament for East Ham, who, after meeting Len, simpered ““It was terrific to speak together to such a wide range of people responsible for the health service in Newham, working hard to improve services right across the board.  In the House of Commons I opposed the Government’s massive re-organisation of the NHS, but now everybody has to work together to make it work.”

It is not for us to suggest that Wirral’s gain is Newham’s loss but it certainly shows, yet again, just how successful failure can be if you know the right people.


If you fancy nominating somebody for an honour you can do so here

It would be refreshing to have someone who actually did something worthwhile to get some sort of recognition, instead of usual bottom feeding, obsequious squint-eyed lackies . So if you want to do a good deed for the day why not nominate Martin Morton?  After all he’s done more for the people of Wirral than the officers and councillors who continue to let the public down and desperately still attempt to cling to power, any which way!