Standards and Measures

We promised to revisit the Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ)  ‘It Has To Stop’  story with our considered views on the role of Wirral Council’s Standards Panel/ Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee and the measures they have taken to sanction LRJ. As we said :

We are not giving LRJ an out here – she deserves everything she gets but it is a matter of proven fact that she has been treated markedly differently than her Labour colleague Cllr Steve Foulkes by the Standards Panel. As far as we’re concerned councillors McLaughlin, Gilchrist and Blakeley have some explaining to do. This is something we will be analysing in a later post.

So let’s briefly recap what sanctions that LRJ faced for being a bad – but by means the worst – councillor at Wirral Council

  •  suspension from the local Labour Group

The Labour Group ‘leader’ , Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies in a rare show of authority recommended permanent expulsion 

  •  referral to the Labour Party regional body ( Labour Northwest) 

Labour Northwest ,who must be heartily sick to the back teeth of Wirral Labour Party careerists, sorry members, commuted the suspension to 6 months 

  • removal of the Labour Party whip 

Thus isolating LRJ from the ‘support’ of the local Labour Party machine. Although we have to say the Labour Party whip would have to have the skills of an ex-lion tamer with a whip and a chair to keep local Labour members under control

  • removal of LRJ representing Wirral Council on outside bodies

Although we’re not sure whether this involved any loss of remuneration (our money)

  •  asked to make full apology to whistleblowers 

And look how that went! LRJ came across as an obstreberous 6 year old stamping her feet and crossing her arms in protest at being found with her hands in the cookie jar

  • asked to make a full apology to all elected members at next full Wirral Council meeting

We won’t hold our breath waiting for LRJ to humbly apologise for her misdemeanours 

As we all know the last councillor to face the Standards Panel prior to LRJ was ex- Wirral council leader and mayor Cllr Steve ‘ Don’t Mention Sorrento’ Foulkes. And what sanctions were imposed on him for being a serial liar?

  • asked to make an apology  to the then Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green

Even though by his own admission Cllr Green WAS NOT THE COMPLAINANT!

  • Er, that’s it  

Bit of a discrepancy don’t you think?, especially when the reason given by clapped out Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin for the local Labour group going after LRJ was her lack of ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness. We’re left wondering whether Matron should have been on the Standards Panel in the first place . She nearly came a cropper for declaring she put her personal friendship with Kevin Miller ,the former monumental failure of a Director of Adult Social Services, above her civic duties.

But then Matron isn’t the only errant councillor in this farrago. Where were the rest of the councillors of all parties when the first Patricia Thynne report was published and where Foulkesy said he couldn’t possibly have handed over a document attempting  to smear Cllr Jeff Green to duplicitous journalist Liam Murphy because there would have to have been an adjournment of the Council meeting when it was alleged he had done so.

Apparently neither ‘investigator’ Thynne or any Wirral councillor bothered to check the minutes because they would have found out that there had indeed been an adjournment. This was one of the reasons that a second (costly) investigation took place and enabled several witnesses to later testify that they saw Foulkesy hand over the incriminating document to Murphy. Something which he had denied in the first investigation. The only explanation we think of for this particular lack of scrutiny is that councillors must have all just sat there and said  : ”  Well, it’s Foulkesy, innit, what do you expect?”

Clearly our expectations are out of step with our local elected members and until they realise they are accountable to us we’re afraid it will remain forever thus.

So when it comes to ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness we’re left thinking that Foulkesy is even more lacking than LRJ – and that’s really sayin’ somethin’ ! What it doesn’t do is explain the difference in the measures made against each respective councillor.

But then those who regularly read Wirral Leaks will know exactly what the explanation is…..

Meanwhile compare and contrast these respective investigators comments :

LRJ v Foulkesy 017

LRJ v Foulkesy 019

 

 

 

Advertisements

Pond Life

Fish 2 010Fish 2 012

You may remember a recent post about a Wirral Council  Employment and Appointments Committee held on June 28th where we referenced a particular agenda item and commented  : Curiously there was (inevitably) an exempt item on the agenda which we understand involved discussions about yet another high profile departure who has been allowed to slip the net (if you get our drift). Suffice to say there’ll be more on that particular catch of the day at a later date.   

Comings and Goings

As we alluded to last week we can now confirm it’s farewell then to cartoon character Dolly Pond lookalike and Wirral Council Super-Duper Director Clare Fish.

We’ll miss her. Mainly because of the endless punning opportunities this overpaid failure provided – wet fish, fish out of water , out of her depth etc; It really was like shooting Fish in a barrel.

It always struck us that Clare was content to be a small fish in a stagnant pond and suddenly found herself swimming with sharks who were either screwing each other or screwing each other over.

Inevitably she found herself to be yet another Wirral council senior officer responsible for social care who has been thrown overboard having netted a big fat cheque – think Miller, Webb, Noone, Fowler ,Hassall . Meanwhile  the overseer of a series of failures, Cllr Moira McLaughlin, sails serenely on like an ocean going tanker full of toxic waste.

In this particular case Fish netted £105,000 . Wirral Council will have you believe with some financial jiggerypokery that they didn’t splash out another six figure sum to reward failure – but they did. It’s what they do, because they don’t know any other way. We say try sacking people or let them resign – that’s how it works in the business world that Wirral Council seem so determined to replicate.

However the most curious aspect of this hasty departure , and a demonstration of Wirral Council’s usual commitment to openness,transparency and accountability is the fact that having applied an exemption, thus excluding press and public from the Employment and Appointments Committee where the pay-off was discussed, they then had to refer the matter for approval at last night’s full Council meeting as Ms Fish swam through the magic six figure mark meaning it needed to be agreed by elected members.

Outgoing Head of Law Surjit Tour seems to have forgotten to tell Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson how this council business works as Stressed Eric merrily revealed in his ExecView  internal newsletter ( which is a bit like Wirral View but without soup recipes and pictures of smiling tots)  that Fish had already slipped through the net .

Fish 009

As you can see ExecView  was dated July 4th and the CEO revealed that Fish had already left the previous week ! So what was the point of even bringing the matter to the Council meeting to agree Fish’s leaving terms ? None whatsoever! But it appears the pond life who are our local elected representatives get along swimmingly and don’t like to make too many ripples when it comes to spending our money on rewarding failure!

Fish 012

 

BOGOF

BOGOF

Pat Williams                                                Harry Smith 1

As a postscript to Monday’s Wirral Council meeting we couldn’t let proceedings pass without commenting on the vote to bestow former councillors Harry Smith (Labour) and Patricia Williams (Liberal Democrats) with the title Honorary Alderman.

We particularly note that there was an attempt by opposition councillors to vote separately on the respective appointments. Needless to say the majority Labour group were having none of it.They made it clear that Smith and Williams were a package deal  – a cut price buy one get one free offer. They were lumped together as a double act – the political equivalent of The Krankies…….without the laughs.

So what could possibly be the objection to the civic honour to one of these fine upstanding former public servants?. Could it be that one of them was a foul-mouthed,belligerent and incompetent councillor?.

We’ll leave our readers to guess who we mean but we will draw your attention that ex (and X-rated) Councillor Harry Smith once publicly used a four letter word beginning with C to describe a Wirral Globe journalist. He also publicly used a four letter word beginning with T to describe a Liverpool Echo journalist . The T word being “Tory”. But then the journalist did tip off Tory leader Jeff Green about the Wirralgate recordings so that’s perfectly understandable on Smith’s part. He also once gave the person who made the Wirralgate recordings a two-fingered salute.  So at least we can say he believed in Equal Opportunities  – everyone of any political persuasion could potentially be on the receiving end of his statesmanlike behaviour.

We draw this to the attention of our dear devoted readers only to remind them that when local politicians pretend that they’ve just  graduated from a Swiss finishing school rather than being dragged up in the north end of Birkenhead and clasp their breast in feigned horror that Wirral Leaks is  “poisonous and insulting” (guilty as charged) they need to remember who they consider should be revered as a pillar of the community and worthy of civic honours and STFU.

Nevertheless Pat and Harry will be able to exchange amusing anecdotes at their joint reception over publicly funded nibbles and fizz – such as the time that Cllr Williams brought up in Council chambers how they both attended a briefing where the then Director of Adult Social Services Kevin Miller and his assistant Maura Noone repeatedly lied to them . My how they’ll laugh! – of course the trouble with Harry is that he couldn’t remember being at this particular meeting when Cllr Williams brought it up – so it makes you wonder how someone with such crippling amnesia was able to make decisions which affected the lives of Wirral people doesn’t it?………….

 

Wirral Council – Ready, Shreddy, GO!!

Some time ago a mysterious picture was sent  to Lord & Lady Wirralleaks at Leaky Towers by the “Camberwick Green Kamikaze  Crew”.
At first glance we thought it was “Sir” Fred Goodwin  especially when we were informed it was a picture of the former head of a discredited and much maligned organisation .
 
However it later transpired it was the picture of “Sir” Kevin Miller – or “Windy”  as he was known by his adoring fan (yes that’ll be you Anthea!).

Now until the 4 week delay scandal came to our attention Windy had been a bit of a  mystery man.
However after reading a quite astonishing FOI request by whistleblower Martin Morton  on the Whatdotheyknow website (SEE IT IN ALL ITS JAW-DROPPING GLORY HERE)  it would seem that Windy Miller may be a bit Shady as well. 
It would appear he was getting someone by the name of  Mark Jones  to write secret and not very nice  reports about Morton and then forgetting all about it – only for his trusted Commandant Thomas Von Ryan to dob him in it good-style  with the cry: “ It vos Herr Vindy –  I vos only following orders”.
Although it must be said Von Ryan doesn’t seem to be the most reliable of witnesses as he appears to have a bit of a thing about having documents shredded. We are reliably informed this is known in Town Hall circles as “Von Ryan’s Excess”  and would appear to be catching as it is also reported in the whatdotheyknow request that 6 days after Morton  was front page news on the award winning Wirral Globe newspaper and 816 days after he retired as Director of DASS –  a “very white haired” Miller  is witnessed meeting with his successor as DASS  Director John “Webbmeister” Webb – who is then witnessed shredding documents!.
However I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation because as we know Windy is best mates with the Mayor Moira McLaughlin and she wouldn’t have let anything untoward happen when she was the Councillor responsible  for Social Services now would she???????………..  
*************************
Video of WBC’s secrecy HERE
And how whsitleblowers are abused HERE
Read Windy’s parting message HERE as he passes the torch of truth on to…..