A Day of Protest at Wallasey Town Hall Part 1 : ‘There’s always one…’

Lordy photo

He’s ‘armless really…

As we predicted in Sunday’s  Hoylake Golf Resort : Protest and Protect post the start to the week would be a challenging one for the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council.

However we couldn’t have predicted that it would start so early with an unexpected surprise at the end of what seems to be the dreariest Wirral Council meeting ever. As you can see from our exclusive footage serial whistleblower Martin Morton makes a return to the scene of many a crime. We are grateful for his son for forwarding the footage , apparently Morton Jnr is at University studying film and is making a video about whistleblowing. Should be essential viewing and if it involves Wirral Council –  x-rated!

 

Of course we just took that the message on Morton’s t-shirt – LORDY, I HOPE THERE ARE TAPES – was addressed directly to us at Wirral Leaks. Is this an example of what is known in modern parlance as ‘meta’? For as we know ‘His Lordship’ has known about Wirralgate since 2013 and knows that there are tapes (as does Mr Morton and many others) and which would (and should have) brought the corrupt ruling Labour administration crashing down a long time ago .

However we appreciate that for many of our readers and the wider public that the origins of the quote on the t-shirt may be somewhat obscure. We’ve done a bit of research and apparently these are the infamous words of former FBI Director James Comey commenting on alleged recorded conversations between him and US President Donald Trump.

Lordy gif

Unfortunately you won’t see the footage on the Wirral Council website or, rather disappointingly on John Brace’s video coverage – although we understand that he wouldn’t want to spoil the enjoyment of the 4 people who have endured the video so far.

Unfortunately there is no sound but we understand that belligerent Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney shouts out :

“There’s always one…”  

and you can lip read Mr Morton’s reply :

Yes,there is…

Apparently the cheeky wave from Morton was directed at Wirral Council’s Head of Communications Kev ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum who was sitting there stony-faced and cross-armed and you can see Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore leaving his seat to get a good look at the message on the t-shirt. Meanwhile the three wise monkeys at the back ( Head of Law Philip McCourt, council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and council CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson appear to be having a jolly good laugh at Morton’s expense )

Watching that sickening section of footage (we advise you watch it on full screen and focus on the three of them) we can’t help thinking that Morton should have pulled this stunt way back in 2013 at the Improvement Board meeting where Power Boy Pip couldn’t even stay in the room when Morton spoke. Now, like a typical coward –  and oh how weakness and cowardice have characterised his political career – Pip feels confident with  a room full of cronies behind him to LOL.

We’re left wondering as to who will have the last laugh?  History tells us it will be Pip and co – but that’s only because other people who had the means to do something about it, have instead, simply allowed it or in some cases through fear or favour , facilitated it. Shame on you all…

 

 

 

 

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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

 

Birth Rights and Wrongs

Paddling Pool

Is this what they mean by a pop-up birthing pool? 

News reaches us of an interesting meeting held in Wallasey last week.

Apparently there were speakers on the night, but very early on, just after the initial apologies, etc. someone (it’s been suggested a plant) asked a question about the new “UK-FIRST” birthing unit in Seacombe Children’s Centre.  Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney’s hand spontaneously shot up (we suspect a few people may have flinched) and said authoritatively  :  “I’ll answer that!!”
It is alleged that she then went into a rambling, Trump style : “Let’s Make Seacombe Great Again” sermon about what a wonderful idea they were…
o the women of Seacombe keep telling her how desperate they are to have it 
o the women of Seacombe are over the moon and so happy they now have ENHANCED CHOICE
o Blah, blah, jargon,  “community-focused birthing options”, blah, blah, more jargon….
Also there and speaking even more authoritatively , because they were a retired consultant with 40 years service in the local NHS and so actually knew what they were talking about , informed the assembled throng  about these “pop-up non-medicalised birthing units” and how this one just popped up in Seacombe and there was NEVER any consultation with Seacombe residents.
They eloquently put across their knowledge and expertise re: childbirth, birthing units and the potential dangers involved for both mother and baby and how the safe option is to have your baby in hospital where the full range of expert staff are on hand, no matter how handy or convenient these units are (or how more cost effective it was for NHS managers).Read more here : Pop Up Pool
There’s another one planned for Kirby apparently – whaddyaknow, another economically deprived area.We wonder why if it’s such a wonderful idea why isn’t it being ‘pioneered’ in council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies very own WEST Kirby, where they live an extra 12 years compared to people who live in Seacombe, and where life is obviously far more precious. And another thing why aren’t people up in arms about the lack of consultation –  could it be that unlike the proposed Eastham Walk-In Centre closure there wasn’t any political mileage to be had out of the issue?
However back to the meeting and Mooney having got the first blow in was equally eager to get the first round in and ‘wet the baby’s head’ so to speak at her usual Friday night rendezvous .
After she’d gone and during his speech, the NHS veteran politely said, “I was hoping Councillor Mooney would stay and answer some questions”…..
However a source tells us :  “She f*cked off just before the retired consultant stood up to talk, vanishing in the same way Pip did (to Martin Morton) at that hallowed “Improvement Board Meeting” all those years ago.”
This can only lead us to wonder as to exactly what questions are being avoided and why a story about the birthing unit which appeared in the Wirral Globe, has been strangely DELETED. See  here :  Deleted story

 

Advent Farewell 4 – Parasite Paradise

Parasites

We’d like to thank our readers for the supportive comments that came in following the news of His Lord and Ladyship’s departure far from the madding crowd.

One of our long standing contributors and commentators, Dr Robert Smith, penned a reply that we felt was too good to languish in our replies section. It’s not so much a tribute as an insightful analysis of why we did what we did. As far as we’re concerned Dr Smith has it taped (or should that be tapewormed?). And for that we will be eternally grateful. Remember folks, surround yourself with people who get it….. 

I see the function of Wirral Leaks over the last 7 years in this way.

You saw Wirral Council as a Council in trouble ie a very ‘sick organisation’ on the verge of Government intervention. This sick organisation was making many very questionable decisions which fly in the face of its own publicly stated claims and its raison d’être.

Wirral Leaks addressed an ‘information deficit’ on behalf of the unsuspecting people of Wirral, bringing to public attention the fact that Wirral Council was rapidly becoming a parasitic organisation which did not have a symbiotic relationship with its host, ie the resident and tax paying public it is there to serve, but had by then, grown into a type of parasite or cancer that eats away at the host for survival.

Behind the smoke and mirrors charade of an ‘Improvement Board’, the parasite grows stronger by the day, and as any public challenges are ignored, and any ‘audits’ and potentially incriminating evidence from ‘investigations’ is shielded from the public, it grows its protective shield of interdependent compromised councillors, compromised senior officers, and compromised external ‘partners’.

The parasite or cancer then enters an all-consuming survival phase and, when threatened, produces a façade of concern and respectability, a contrived myth of competence, all the time growing and absorbing the resources intended for the people of the borough.

For the self-serving and compromised there is much at stake should any scrutiny genuinely be allowed, or genuinely impartial reviews undertaken. This serves to compromise internal and external scrutiny, being held accountable and negates the concept of responsibility. The ‘bar’ has not been lowered, it has been completely removed. The proclaimed ‘independence’ of many third parties and partners is compromised by conflicting relationships, and these are then sucked into the parasitic organisation’s sel-serving network, and so it grows stronger as there is no meaningful independent scrutiny.

Wirral Leaks however, over 7 years, has continually revealed and endeavoured to ‘excise’ the parasitic or cancerous elements by public exposure of these insidious events, needing the democratic equivalent of surgical removal, or ‘containment’, by public action at the ballot box.

What if there is no public action at the ballot box? Has the parasite grown stronger than those which it supposedly serves? Does it feast on public resources to grow even stronger, more impenetrable and self-serving, as a self-sustaining corporate body bereft of any genuine concern, obligation or conscience associated with its public service duties?

Yes, it does, and as this imbalance grows and Wirral Council and its senior managers become the parts of an organisation which must be protected at any and all costs, with all public resources, be it money, employee skills and expertise, buildings, service delivery, etc., being sacrificed to feed the beast.

Wirral Leaks has recognised in this case, as medical practitioners do, that a point is reached where no further intervention will make any difference to a situation where a parasitoid-type organisation reflects the life-cycle of a parasitic or cancerous organism that spends a significant portion of its life history attached to or within a single host organism (Wirral electorate and residents) in a relationship where the host is ultimately killed.

Wirral Council will suck the life out of Wirral and its people to ensure its organisational survival. The inevitability of the outcome is certain, and as we know, Wirral Council is the greatest threat to Wirral’s future.

It is therefore now the time to walk away, as the all-consuming rot continues unabated.

Dr Robert B Smith FCMI

BYEBYEGOOFY-B

Graham Burgess  (aka Burgesski) – once “the fourth most influential person in local government” periodically enriched by public bodies and a parasite in excelsis.

Where Are They Now? Part 3 – Anna Klonowski

klonowski

A Valentine’s Day lament : Roses are red, Anna’s in blue,playing the game,cash she’ll accrue

We return to one of our occasional series. This particular one brings you news of the great and the good who have graced our blog with their presence. Sadly for us that has not hindered their progress towards high office and more importantly for them, the bank.

This blog post features the relentless progress of consultant Anna Klonowski . As we mentioned last month it is 5 years since the Independent Review of Allegations Made by Martin Morton & Others report landed with a bang in a blaze of bad publicity for Wirral Council and ended in November 2013 with a whimper that was the damp squib of a final meeting of the so-called ‘Improvement Board’ which purportedly was set up to address Wirral Council’s failings identified in the report.

We now hear that Ms Klonowski has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Bristol City Council on £160K a pop.

http://news.bristol.gov.uk/anna_klonowski_recommended_as_bristol_city_council_s

As we know Klonowski started her investigations at Wirral Council in August 2010 and when scheduled to meet the then Chief Executive Steve Maddox he promptly announced he was retiring to spend more time with his long suffering golf clubs. Three years on and with cowardly circularity Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies similarly made a swift exit at the aforementioned Improvement Board when whistleblower Martin Morton stood up to speak .

Although it must be said Davies had every reason to have the squirts. Morton tells us he regrets not specifically mentioning that the misconduct of Labour councillors Steve Foulkes and George Davies was one of the main reasons why he could not return to work for Wirral Council as it might have saved him 3 years of stonewalling and cover up. Sorry Mart, but we have to disagree with you on this one – stonewalling and cover up is like breathing to these people.

We understand that during her ‘investigation’ Klonowski bemoaned the fact to Morton that local authority investigative work was drying up. We suggest that this might explain why the investigation took so long. Despite the fact that Klonowski was on the case from August 2010 to  January 2012 and handbagged a £250,000 pay cheque and cost Wirral Council another £150,000+ as a result of legal advice and putting up Anna in her own Aparthotel in Liverpool , she summarily failed to complete what she was commissioned to do, and that was to FULLY investigate the whistleblowing allegations brought to her attention.

With a background in CIPFA ( Chartered Institute of Public Finance) it was clear that Klonowski was way out of her depth when it came to tackling the more problematic social care issues that Morton ( & unnamed and redacted others told her about ).

Klonowski was much more at home discussing corporate governance issues which led to the ‘Refresh & Renew’ report which was published in October 2011 . It’s just such a shame that this was not her brief. She returned to the CIPFA comfort zone in the Independent Review report itself were there are pages and pages and pages of endless, tedious observations about Wirral Council’s Internal Audit.

This led to some shameful omissions on Klonowski’s part. Morton tells us his most significant whistleblow concerned the death of a vulnerable young man who died whilst the staff who should have been giving him his medication were allegedly at the bingo.This received a couple of lines in her report!

The staff involved worked for an organisation by the name of Assisted Living Services (ALS). This organisation had links to drugs money laundering and yet were owned by former Merseyside Police CID officers. Strange bedfellows – or perhaps not! It was left to a subsequent investigation to identify these connections so we can only presume Klonowski either couldn’t be arsed or was warned off by ‘interested parties’.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/corporate_governance_committee_m#outgoing-259991

As you can read no serious case review was undertaken into the death – instead Wirral Council saw fit to persecute Morton and respond to false allegations that he was in cahoots with disgruntled staff to bring down ALS. An investigation into the allegations against Morton led the investigator to declare them as ‘a crock of shit’.

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) considering her background in finance Klonowski also failed to address further issues of financial mismanagement involving disabled people – claiming she’d run out of time and that despite all evidence to the contrary that Wirral Council could be trusted to sort it out and left them to it ! Needless to say they never did .This is a matter we have previewed but have not got round to publishing. However whilst it is complicated story it is a cautionary tale of how a cover up is coordinated (and supported by other agencies) and something we will get back to at a later date.

Instead Klonowski sought the advice of largest legal firm in the world (DLA Piper)-like you do when someone else is footing the bill!- to come up with a convoluted and frankly ludicrous attempt to deny disabled people a full reimbursement of monies that was unlawfully taken from them on the grounds that to charge disability benefits from disabled people and not from non-disabled people was somehow not disability discrimination ! Even the shameless Wirral Council weren’t prepared to sustain this unsustainable argument and conceded that £736,000 should be repaid , despite DLA Piper giving them a get out.

Is it us? – or it is entirely perplexing that someone so seemingly intent on maximising their own fees wants to minimise the repayment of unlawful charges to disabled people – or are they in any way related? I think we should be told!

You won’t be surprised to hear that Morton wanted to raise these omissions with La Klonowski herself. After an unanswered telephone call and one email Special K set the hounds of law on him . Yes! , you guessed it – DLA Piper!

dla-piper-010

Isn’t it funny that Klonowski had ‘no on-going obligations to liaise with interested parties’ and yet sat on Wirral Council’s Improvement Board during this time (reputedly for £1,000 a day) . Again we can only presume that ‘interested parties’ is defined by their ability to pay.

Even more damning we understand that she was quite happy to discuss her concerns about Wirral Council with opportunistic ‘complainant’ Gary Downey . Downey alleges that Klonowski disclosed to him during the first Wirral  Council vote of no confidence vote in the then current leader Steve Foulkes ( aka Foulkesy ) that she hoped he didn’t lose as she had no trust and confidence that Wirral Council Tory leader Jeff Green would do anything about Wirral Council’s toxic culture. Whilst she may have called that one correct it also means that she subscribes to the Martin Liptrot school of political neutrality. Either that or she was taken in by Foulkesy’s cheeky chappy persona and his ‘bible-like’ devotion to her recommendations for cash-money purposes.

Nevertheless in conclusion it would seem that it all worked out well for Klonowski in the end. For unemployed Morton and the long suffering council tax payers of Wirral – not so much !

SPECIAL REPORT : Where Your Money Goes

where-your-money-goes

It must be this time of year, as we’ve been musing on money matters (or rather lack thereof). Clearly Wirral Council have been doing the same as they gear up to set their forthcoming budget and pursue a number of punitive charging regimes to offset central government funding cuts.

Yeah,yeah, yeah – we get it when they drone on about how badly they’ve been done to by central government and they have to make tough choices and priorities. But that’s what we take issue with Wirral Council here at Leaky Towers – it’s the choices that they make which indicate to us that their priorities are all wrong. Consequently they lose all moral authority when they start bleating about lack of finances.

So let’s take a quick look at where that money comes from and where it goes :

As we all know Wirral Council’s income stream is increasingly going to be us via Council Tax and any supplementary fund raising scams they can come up with.We look forward to their budget proposals now that they’ve been given the go ahead by central government to put up Council Tax by 3% to pay for the rising costs of social care. Rather frighteningly they also have the the opportunity to raise even more money via this route.Surrey County Council are looking at a total Council Tax rise of 15% but to do so they would have to put it to the local vote. We suggest that this is not something that the ruling group at Wirral Council wouldn’t risk but nothing ,nothing would surprise us about this shower of chancers.

David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, announces proposal to seek a council tax rise of 15%

So , down to business –  we’ve previously discussed the charming operatives from Kingdom Secrurity and their cash for trash extortion agency for the Council. As anyone who has seen a Kingdom Security in action – they go after vulnerable people who don’t have the means to  retaliate . Much like the people they get their contract off.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/cash-for-trash/

It’s not  about caring for the environment. Neither are other money-making scams devised by an increasingly desperate council. Similarly their car park charging proposals have absolutely nothing to do with maintaining the roads or traffic measures. It’s all about the moolah. Your moolah! – so cash cows out there prepare your teats for action as they’re going to be bled dry.

Park and Get Taken For A Ride

We’ve already reported the squandering of £80,000 on the appointment of an Investor Development Manager – rumoured to be a shoo-in for current leading Wirral Council puppet master Martin Liptrot.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/the-power-abusers/

Which again begs the question as to why there isn’t someone on a humongous salary with the requisite skills at Wirral Council – because well ,apparently there just isn’t ! Let’s not even mention what the likes of David Armstrong, Clare Fish and Joe Blott  get paid  – if you throw in Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson that’s half a million big ones per annum between them.

Never mind the recent ridiculous ‘Are Wirral’s 66 councillors Value For Money?’ exercise conducted by themselves and to which the unsurprising answer was a resounding YES! – how about we have a VFM consultation on the above gang of four/flaw? – especially when we consider the damning Ofsted report into Children’s Services.

This has necessitated the appointment of troubleshooter Eleanor Brazil and former Children’s Commissioner for England Professor Maggie Atkinson as the new ‘independent’ chairwoman of Wirral Safeguarding Children’s Board. The appointment of such big hitters suggests us to that Children’s Services is in an even bigger mess than the Ofsted report indicated. Not that we’ll ever know because the Children’s Services Improvement Board meets behind closed doors. Lessons have obviously been learned from the last Improvement Board – no openness, no transparency, no public accountability suits the powers that be. We’re just asked to stump up the bill.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15032232.Government_troubleshooter_who_dealt_with_aftermath_of_Baby_P_scandal_to_lead_rescue_of_Wirral_children_s_services/

These consultants seem to be mainly tasked with finding out why Wirral Council can’t recruit and retain staff in Children’s Services. We can tell them free of charge : because it’s rammed with poor calibre middle managers who bully their staff on the instructions of passive/aggressive senior managers who earn a nice wedge spouting platitudes and duping councillors.Plus the fact that who in their right mind would want to do Child Protection work in Birkenhead. Think about that for a moment  – beyond grim.

Another drain on resources that we never to get to hear about are the court cases that Wirral Council get ensnared in because they simply don’t know the difference between right and wrong….but they’ve got plenty of well paid people particularly in the HR and Law Departments who are prepared to blur the lines between the two in return for a big fat salary. We understand that there’s a court case coming up at the end of this month that could prove to be the defining moment of how Wirral Council chooses to ‘move forward’.

We’ll keep you posted.

The Big Lie Gets Even Bigger……

It’s been a week since we published our heartfelt preview of what was then the upcoming Ofsted inspection report of Wirral Council’s Children’s Services

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/the-big-lie/

And now in the aftermath of the publication of the latest in a long line of damning reports it would appear Wirral Council are adopting the timeworn tactic of denial and damage limitation.

As an antidote to these machinations we’re bringing you our further thoughts on the Ofsted report and subsequent developments.

 

china4

China Crisis 

Once again Council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies demonstrates his renowned strong leader powers and makes plans to bog off to China with his new BFF  – Metro Mayor reject Joe Anderson  – in the aftermath of the Ofsted report crisis. At least his predecessor as council leader Steve Foulkes , who was not renowned for his political insight or indeed renowned for anything , had the good sense to abandon plans to jet off to the far east when the  equally damning Independent Review threw Wirral Council into chaos in 2012.

However it seems Power Boy Pip is undeterred by the fact his leadership is in question and the Council is yet again in turmoil as he embarks on yet another junket. What we’d like to know is what exactly is his “number one priority” – small children or big business?  and what have any of these many trips achieved for the people of Wirral?. Perhaps Pip can also tell us whether the Wirral Chamber of Commerce Queen Paula Basnett and  Contact Company King Asif Hamid are also on the trip and if so – why?.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14761154.Council_leader_defends_trip_to_China_amid_Wirral_s_child_safeguarding_crisis/

Walker Walks

We think the first casualty (and we hope not the last) of the Ofsted inspection was Bernard Walker the ‘independent’ chair of  Wirral Safeguarding Boards for both adults and children . Walker must have known the writing was on the wall and walked out when Ofsted walked in (allegedly at the end of his “tenure”). Subsequently Ofsted judged Wirral Safeguarding Children Board as “inadequate” and that it was “not discharging all of its statutory functions ….and the running of board business are not sufficiently independent of the local authority”.  As we know from the Standards & Constitutional Oversight Committee  an ‘independent’ person for Wirral Council is usually a safe pair of hands who won’t rock the boat and won’t ask any awkward questions . And at £500 a day for Walker’s services it would seem it’s the usual consultancy trick of taking the money but not taking the flak. Seems like Walker could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk. Under the circumstances might we suggest to Bernard that in the light of the Ofsted report findings that he may want to tinker with his LinkedIn profile – just sayin’.

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernard-walker-3333713b

Self Improvement 

“From the brink of intervention, to the pinnacle of local government” (Eric Robinson CEO Wirral Council).

So in the light of the Ofsted report how is that statement standing up Eric? . It’s all sounding a bit hollow isn’t it?. An empty Martin Liptrot -penned soundbite. Ain’t it a shame that the people of Wirral are not buying what you’re selling? . Although they are being asked to stump up another £2 million to help put things right!.

Unfortunately though the supine Department of Education suits think Wirral Council can be entrusted to set up their own improvement board and everything will be tickety-boo in no time. Of course long suffering Wirralians know better as we’ve all been here before . It is less than 3 years ago that the Local Government Association – led improvement board made a premature evacuation .

We all knew at the time  that Wirral Council was nowhere near being “improved”. Self improvement is not the way forward with this lot- we all know that Wirral Council has long needed external intervention.

“Oh but they’ve got an action plan……leave them alone” bleats Frank Field . To which we’d like to say to him – “You , sunshine have a lot to answer for – it was you who stopped the Local Government Commissioners intervening in 2012 . You must be so proud of your politically motivated control-freakery. This Ofsted report is part of your legacy Frankenfield – so please that’ll be no more  headline grabbing , fake- emoting over the plight of starving mites in Birkenhead from you thank you very much!……”

 

 

King Midas In Reverse

SOPPIP

So how’s that “Improvement Journey” going for you Supreme Leader Pip ?
It would seem that having hoodwinked Joycie and the Local Government Association lackeys who presided over the toothless Improvement Board with a pie chart,an action plan and a donation to the LGA fighting fund ( fighting for the right to sustain the self serving status quo) it would appear that its very much back to business unusual at Wirral Council.

However it would appear that  Power Boy Pip and Comrade Burgesski , surely the most calamitous double act since Sodom & Gomorrah, carry on oblivious to reality and in today’s Guardian’s “Public Leaders Network” ( a platform whereby Council leaders nominate themselves to talk propagandist bollocks – and not as they’d like it to appear, a news item in the actual newspaper)  they provide a Stalinist rewriting of history that is a masterclass in revisionist bullshit. The deeply troubling events which led to their respective appointments fails to get a mention. As her Ladyship said : ” I suspect that only the Dulux sheepdog has witnessed more gloss” – SEE HERE

Meanwhile back in the real world the “excessive secrecy” ,”corrosive culture” and “bureaucratic machinations” appear to be back with a vengeance. Below are a selection of quotes from ongoing cases which make it seem like the optimistically titled “Independent Review – Refresh & Renew” never happened (which of course if you listen to Pip & Burgesski  it never did).
 
Forked Tongues & Fernbank Farm

Carolyn Thomson a member of the Fernbank Farm campaign group contacted Wirral Leaks to ask: “Speaking as a member of fernbank farm, we have had no word from the council about their proposed site of where they will re home us, they have gone quiet again , are they ignoring us yet again. Although they have said that they will find us somewhere the equivalent or better I suspect that they won’t find us anywhere at all and we shall be stableless, after our dealings with them I find it hard to trust anything they say, we have heard nothing from them since the court case in February. Does anyone know what’s going on?”

Led Up Hill and Down Lyndale

Parent Governor Emma Leadbetter commenting on the consultation process about Wirral Council being “minded” to close Lyndale School :
“We have sat and read the consultation document – it’s all about funding and capital.We think it’s quite misleading.The openness and transparency we were promised has been taken away from the parents…”  See HERE

Field of “In Your Dreams”

Ingleborough Road memorial field campaigners complain about the failure of the Council to publish a secret report despite a tribunal ruling telling them they should do so in accordance with Freedom Of Information Act. A spokesman for the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys’ group said :“There is no justification for the council to drag its heels, especially when it has given previous assurances to the Information Commissioner that it will improve its performance in dealing with Freedom of Information inquiries.SEE HERE

James Of A Thousand Days (& Counting)

James Griffiths reminds us that it is over a thousand days since he and Nigel Hobro whistleblew to the Council about exactly what we may never know – as we are still awaiting the publication of the reports investigating their myriad concerns about the Council’s financial arrangements with outside bodies staffed with insiders:

“Is that the DCLG Report into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods Reports that Phil the Dill is sitting on?.No it is the Grant Thornton Report they are still grovelling to the DCLG (Department of Communities & Local Government).We know we have lessons to learn blah! blah! blah! to quote the next Mayor. I’d like a dollar for every time he has said that at the Fudgit and Risk It Committee Meetings….”

On a lighter note Mr.Hobro informs us that some of the funny money involved was spent on “Parrot Studies & Behaviour” (no you really couldn’t make this shit up). Could this be for the Council power elite to learn how to “parrot” the well known phrases – “No case to answer” , ” Moving Forward” and “Lessons Have Been Learned” ?

In consideration of all the above might we suggest that if Power Boy Pip truly wants to improve Wirral Council he needs to take a leaf out of Tranmere Rovers book and act swiftly and decisively at the first suggestion of misconduct and if proven start sacking some people.

Readers will recall our Curse of Pip article where Pip and Ronnie Moore met up at a PR event at Wallasey Town Hall  – SEE HERE   where we reported on Rover’s boss’s suspension.

Now considering some of the shady shenanigans that have gone on with Wirral Council staff and Councillors Moore must feel hard done by that he’s lost the managers job at Prenton Park for admitting to betting irregularities .

If he worked for the Council no doubt it would have been no case to answer ,a biq cheque and an untarnished reputation. Of course the ultimate test of Pip’s glorious new regime is how he intends to handle the Wirralgate affair before the shit really hits the fan.

Having already not acted swiftly and decisively when he first heard the tapes we presume it will be a case of back to what Wirral Council knows best – cover up,delay and,denial (see above)…….

And so in Honour of Power Boy Pip, and to herald a new dawn we give you a possible suggestion for the  “Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Chairpersons Theme Song”

“He’s not the man to hold your trust
Everything he touches turns to dust
In his hands
Nothing he can do is right
He’d even like to sleep at night
But he can’t …..”