Wirral Local Elections – Wow!

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We didn’t know whether we were still dreaming this morning when we woke up to  the news that Labour have LOST OVERALL CONTROL OF WIRRAL COUNCIL.

Some astonishing results included Birkenhead and Tranmere where the Greens ANNIHILATED Labour. Remember this was the ward that outgoing (and now gone) Wirral Council ‘leader’ Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies was due to stand. We told you he knew the writing was on the wall and in typical Pip fashion popped off before he was publicly humiliated.  However we didn’t anticipate the scale of the victory of the Greens – who DOUBLED the Labour vote. We can only echo the word of Cllr Pat Cleary who  ,up until now anyway, was the only Green councillor on Wirral Council – WOW!

Other astonishing results meant that  Independent  Cllr Meaden was defeated, Cllr Brightmore was booted out and Cllr (Angie) Davies was downed by another victory for the Greens in Prenton.

Meanwhile we’re going to have a lie down in a darkened room and come back to you with our full analysis of yesterday’s events and what it means for the future on politics on Wirral…

Election Anticipation Part 3 – The Final Day

 

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There can be no-one who will be looking forward to tomorrow than soon to be ex-Labour councillors Phil Davies and Paul Doughty as it will (hopefully ) be their final day  day in public office.

We believe that the fact that neither of them sought the public vote this time round is indicative of Davies’s cowardice and Doughty’s canniness. Both knew the net was closing in , their days were numbered and they’ve been counting the seconds until they can drop the pretence about upholding the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Nevertheless readers will have to wait until after the election for our very special tribute to these most self-serving of public servants.

Wirral politics won’t be the same without either of them and as far as we’re concerned that can only be a good thing!…

Election Anticipation Part 1

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OK gang are you all set for tomorrow’s local elections? We have a slew of last minute election news for you. It’s been a bumper time for us – but then it always is at this point in the political cycle. Sometimes we know when we’re being played and sometimes we play along and sometimes we don’t  but a cause we’re always happy to support is Defend Our NHS . We’ve been asked about prospective councillors who also support the cause – answers below:

  1. Wirral! The fight to #DefendourNHS continues! In the absence of a meaningful response to the 32000 residents who demanded the protection of our walk-in provision we are restarting the campaign.
    Watch for more information but meanwhile SIGN and SHARE the petition!
  2. Wirral! If you want to #VoteNHS in the local council elections on Thursday we can help you decide who to vote for. Ten candidates turned up to our hustings last week. Others sent apologies and a total of twenty-six sent answers to our questions about their stance on the NHS. (All ninety candidates were offered this opportunity but as you’ll see sixty-four did not reply.) You can find out who responded and what they said here.  
  3. Wirral!  Everyone! If you value your GP service then please note this urgent campaign to STOP PRIMARY CARE NETWORKS / SAVE OUR GP PRACTICES. GPs are being pressured into signing up to these new networks by MAY 15TH. Please watch this short film, and do all you can to tell your GP and fellow patients about the dangers they face.
  4. Everyone! Why the NHS long-term plan is a #longtermscam
Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Campaign Trail Tales : Bullying and Intimidation by Councillors

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We are dismayed but not surprised by the following press statement issued by Stop Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group /Defend Wirral’s Green and Open Spaces. We would  suggest to them that they make a Code of Conduct complaint but we think a more useful course of action would be to publicly name and shame the councillor involved so that the people of Wirral know what kind of person is representing them…
BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION BY COUNCILLORS
Stop the Hoylake Golf Resort Action Group/Defend Wirrals Green and Open Spaces, have witnessed first hand, bullying,intimidation and Harassment from those leafleting for Labour Councillors on Wirral.
Recently there have been two incidents within the Thingwall and Pensby ward, where two of our members on separate occasions have been bullied and harassed, whilst leafleting for our campaign. We find this behaviour totally unacceptable to our campaign.
On the 9th March whilst out leafleting, one of our lady members was shouted at and verbally abused by a senior labour figure within Wirral Borough Council. On behalf of our member, I wrote to the person in question asking for a full apology, stating that, our members are instructed not to engage with any members of the labour group,or any other group who they may encounter whilst leafleting, this is a strict rule within our group.
The lady in question was walking on the opposite side of the road to the senior officer when shouting started from their side. This has left are member very uneasy and traumatised.
On behalf of our member I wrote to the council official for a full apology to which I received a unreserved apology, which we accepted, it was mentioned to the person concerned that, I would appreciate if your members did not engage with ours during leafleting, we all have a job to do and we should be able to do it without prejudice. The official agreed.
However, the following week on the 16th March, one of our members neighbours had a knock on the door from an elderly gentleman. the gentleman asked if the person he was speaking to would be voting labour in the forthcoming by-elections, to which he received a answer saying no, definitely not. The reasons where explained to the gentleman about building on our greenbelt, especially when at council meetings the labour councillor for the ward of Thingwall and Pensby, can be seen voting to build on greenbelt, on at least four different occasions, when, in his news letter to residents, he says he will protect every blade of grass on the greenbelt areas. After this conversation the elderly gentleman left.
However, approximately three minutes later there was a knock on the door  again, this time it was the councillor himself. This time, the councillor was very abusive, with threating behaviour and abusive language. My members neighbour was preparing a childrens party at the time, so there where family members who must have heard the language from this councillor. It was a  very upsetting experience and once again, is totally unacceptable to members of the public to have verbal abuse thrown at them from councillors who mislead their constituents. It is shocking.
I as chairperson for the fore-mentioned groups, wrote to the councillor for a full  apology, I wrote on two separate occasions, he failed both times to even give the curtsey of a reply.
As the chairperson of the groups mentioned, I keep a rolling update of our petition signatures that we have to date. The figure is growing at a daily rate, it stands at 28,523 currently. The residents of Wirral are infuriated at the proposals to build on our greenbelt. Residents on our peninsula believe we are the forgotten shores, everywhere else seems to receive good coverage except Wirral.
Maybe our councillors realise this and therefore treat their constituents with the utmost contempt.
Finally, this case of intimidation and bullying must be addressed, if we are to encourage people to come out and vote at local elections. I will stress strongly, that the bullying was carried out, not by the momentum groups(whoever they are), but by acting councillors, yet these are the same people who accuse others of trying to ruin their party. The information that these councillors give out, is totally and utterly false. The  bullying, intimidation and harassment comes from within the cabinet.
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Your chance to lose the abusive councillors is on May 2nd

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – The Results

 

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Phew! we bet you’re all glad that’s it’s over and you can all get back to what passes for normal on Wirral.

It seems to be very much a case of ‘as you were’ with no gains or losses for any political party in the local elections . However considering the effort that Labour put into trying to topple lone Green councillor Pat Cleary in Birkenhead & Tranmere this has to be considered a huge moral and political victory for the popular and hardworking councillor deep in hardcore Labour territory . Although superannuated  Birkenhead MP  Frank Field was in attendance at the count and said he hoped for Labour success in his constituency even ‘The Field Effect’ couldn’t save them. This must come as a bitter blow to someone who is used to getting his own way in what he regards as his own personal and political fiefdom.

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Everything’s Gone Green : Green in the background and Green to the fore makes reds go green with envy !Pic courtesy : Wirral Globe

Cleary thanked the people of Birkenhead and Tranmere for re-electing him “in the face of a horrible,negative campaign by the Labour party” . Meanwhile Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies stood by with a face like a smacked arse as Wirral CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson read out the result .

We were left wondering which one of the following options that Stressed Eric will choose to do with his mega electoral expenses :

a) deposit in an offshore bank account

b) donate to a local charity

c) prop up the bar and order trebles all round in ‘Brew Dog’

The closest result of the night was in the Pensby and Thingwall ward where Labour candidate Kate Cannon held off the challenge of Conservative candidate Michael Collins by a mere 23 votes. Close but no cigar for the poacher turned gamekeeper . Suffice to say that some of our most devoted readers were very pleased indeed that their former colleague experienced the bitter taste of disappointment.  Schadenfreude can be such an unseemly emotion but can be so,so satisfying.

Meanwhile ambitious Labour councillor Gillian ‘Gilly’ Wood came over all stateswomanlike as she was (inevitably) announced the victor in the Claughton ward and starting channelling the Pankhursts. Unfortunately the gravitas was somewhat undermined by the reporting of her profound words as follows (full report read here ) :

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Suffragits ? Faught?  Listen guys and guyesses from the Globe we know it was a late night – but really?  As Her Ladyship said : ” The rousing speech ended up not so much Emmeline or Christabel but more Emily Davison .” Perhaps suffragits was a subliminal message about the gits that Gilly has to suffer .  Those gits being Gilly’s her fellow ward councillors – Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr George Davies.

As you know a couple of the reasons that we continued Wirral Leaks whilst in self imposed exile is that we wanted to cover the local elections and reach a million hits . It looks like that serendipitously that both events will coincide within a few hours. So it will be just a case of tying up a few loose ends and we can finally enjoy our day in the sun.

 

Two Banners

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Banner 1: Wise words for voters from Dr Seuss

Whilst we’re more interested in the Sport of Kings we understand that there’s a big footie match taking place in the Eternal City tonight as Liverpool take on AC Roma in the Champion’s League semi-final second leg.

With tomorrow’s local elections in mind we couldn’t help wishing  a) football supporters took as much interest in local politics as they do in their chosen football team and b) that local politics wasn’t as tribal as some football supporters.

Let’s face it the local Labour campaign amounted to nothing more than ” Tory Cuts” and the local Conservative campaign amounted to nothing more than ” Money Wasters”.

All we can say in advance of tonight’s match is good luck to Liverpool and in advance of the local elections that the electorate  : a) vote and b) vote for the candidate that will deliver a difference to their local community and not someone who poses for a photograph with the local MP  every few years in the hope that some of their electoral lustre will rub off on them – then sits back and contributes little to the community or political debate, does as their told by the party hierarchy , treats council allowances as a second income and trades on the dubious honour of being a Wirral councillor.

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Banner 2 : Wise words from Liverpool football supporters pic courtesy : Liverpool Echo 

 

The Wirral Leaks Effect – Sunshine After The Shame

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Well,well, well what a difference a Wirral Leaks blog post makes . We’ve been sent this picture by a grateful reader after the clean up operation to remove the obscene graffiti on the substation at the bottom of Holt Hill, Birkenhead. They also tell us the weather has picked up since Monday! So, it’s all good!

If we re-publish the original picture below we’re sure we can all agree that whoever was assigned the de- graffiti task has done a really good job.

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However call us cynical – guilty as charged –  but we couldn’t help but ask ourselves was the prompt action prompted by the upcoming local elections. Indeed it is all very reminiscent of a story we ran almost exactly two years ago when the local elections were last held.

That particular story was appropriately titled The Shame Game  and highlighted a derelict billboard site on Borough Road , Birkenhead which had been in a terrible state for a long time. A local resident contacted us and hey presto! –  next thing you know the site is cleared and the billboard restored!

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As we wrote at the time :

After complaining to Wirral Council to no avail about fly-tipping and general dereliction in their neighbourhood it only takes a few shaming pictures to us and lo and behold the situation is sorted first thing the following week  , as clearly someone with the power to do so has picked up the phone and told someone to sort it pronto!

We are expecting  a photo-op with a local councillor taking the credit in an election leaflet any time soon. This shamelessly happened after the clean up of the waste ground on Oxton Rd/Balls Rd East just up the road from the scenes above when Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies posed with a hapless local shopkeeper despite the site being left in a mess for many months before we were contacted by a despairing and long -suffering local resident who’d had enough of the biblical-like plague of bluebottles putting the fly into flytipping.

We’ve commented before that Wirral Council seem to be operating a system of governance by blog  – as it seems that be it street lights, potholes , thieves , unlawful parking charges ,the hiring of consultants, cover ups ,the sexual imbroglios of senior managers  or the corruption of councillors it seems the only way to get Wirral Council to do anything about “cleaning up the mess” is to shame them into it!

 

Halting the Momentum

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One of the few advantages of the modern age is that you can get the Sunday papers on the continent on the same day of publication. OK – we might not get the supplements , but really, who needs know about Dry January diet and exercise tips and what our astrological signs have in store for us in 2018?

The only downside is that it does nothing for our blood pressure especially when Her Ladyship has a habit of lovingly ringing articles that I may find interesting/infuriating. One such ring of ire was reserved for a letter published in The Sunday Times titled  ‘Labour executive wrong to meddle’.

“Did you have to?…..” I harrumphed ” you know it bring on my Sandie Shaw Syndrome – there’s always something there to remind me “

“Oh dearest do stop griping – take two aspirin and tell me how you feel in the morning ………”  chirruped Her Ladyship .

So here goes.

It comes to something when leaders of Labour councils write to the establishment’s favourite mouthpiece ‘a-whingin’ and a-whinin’ about their own party’s National Executive Committee (and more particularly the Momentum element – although the dreaded ‘M ‘ word is studiously not used). You won’t be surprised to read that among the signatories were Mayor Joe Anderson  ( how many Mayors does Liverpool need f’chrissakes?) and your very own ‘leader’ (ha!ha!ha!) on Wirral – Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies.  The full letter is re-printed below . The list of signatories can be found here : Sunday Times letter and signatories

This internal clash of ideologies and political approaches comes as a result of the Labour NEC calling a halt on the Labour administration at Haringey Council wanting to get involved with Lendlease and develop a controversial housing scheme. The signatories consider that the Labour Party owe the leader of Haringey Ccouncil , Claire Kober  ,’a huge debt of gratitude’ :

LABOUR EXECUTIVE WRONG TO MEDDLE
It is a vital and long-standing rule of the Labour Party that individual Labour Groups, consisting of democratically elected Labour councillors, are sovereign bodies. As such, they have the ability, within available resources, party rules, and the law, to determine the most appropriate policies to serve their local communities.

Labour Local Government wishes to make it clear to all members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that they have no right or justification to interfere in or influence the legitimate actions of locally elected representatives. Such actions are not just outside of the party’s rules, but an affront to the basic principles of democracy.

We are extremely disappointed at the circumstances in which an issue in Haringey was brought forward and discussed by the NEC. Haringey Labour Group was not informed that such a discussion would take place, no advance notice was given, and no papers were produced, meaning the NEC discussion took place based on opinion and speculation rather than facts.

This sets a dangerous and alarming precedent and we ask the NEC for categorical assurances that such circumstances will not arise again in relation to this or any other Labour Group.

Labour councillors around the country are deeply concerned that, in seeking to mitigate Tory austerity by proposing radical new solutions, we face calls for disciplinary action against us. Such calls are uncomradely, disrespectful, and wilfully ignore the difficult and challenging role that we play in doing our best to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

Councillor Claire Kober has an outstanding record of improving the lives of residents in Haringey. Claire became the leader of Haringey Council in 2008 at the age of thirty, assuming the immense personal responsibility of leading a council in crisis following the appalling public service failures that led to the death of Peter Connelly (‘Baby P’).

Under her inspirational leadership, and despite suffering funding cuts of over 40% since 2010, the Haringey Labour Group has delivered the fastest improving schools in the country and generated billions of pounds of investment in the borough, and in 2017 the council won the Children’s Services of the Year award. We believe the Labour Party owes her a huge debt of gratitude for turning around a failing authority and as a result protecting thousands of the most vulnerable children and adults.”

However we feel we get a better insight into why certain Labour Council leaders such as Mayor Joe and Power Boy Pip would hold Cllr Kober in such high regard from a bravura (and brave) letter of resignation from one of her own Haringey councillors ,Cllr Stuart McNamara,which was written last November. The damning indictment of Kober’s leadership (which can be read in full here) includes the following claims:

Somebody has to call you out on your wrecking ball tactics and horrific wasting of public money on nonsense vanity projects whilst council services are starved of cash or sold off to the lowest bidder, making horrendous Tory government cuts even worse. This government and its behaviour towards the most vulnerable in our society is an absolute scandal; I am not suggesting they are not the core cause of the council’s financial predicament, rather that your ideological determination to pursue out-dated and maverick policies, whilst losing sight completely of the Labour values we are supposed to stand for, has made a very bad situation immeasurably worse.

The council’s reputation and recent history had warranted change and you came to us at a time of crisis at Haringey Council when a fresh direction was urgently needed. Like many people, I initially supported your leadership. You had, and still have, a right to be objectively and fairly judged on the merits of your leadership. Sadly, and on that basis, your leadership has been largely focused on the ideological pursuit of a poorly thought-through version of a commissioning and out-sourcing council.

You have projected a falsely positive view of Haringey to other local authorities and people of influence elsewhere in local and central government that is increasingly divorced from the reality on the ground. You have also placed a far higher importance on having good relations with private developers than with others in the Labour Party in Haringey and with residents, the very people we were elected to support and represent.

You are generous with council resources, waiving rents and large payments from powerful organisations when it suits you and you condone councillors dining out and enjoying corporate hospitality when the meals on wheels service has been cut. All too often, Labour councillors and residents find out about these things after the event, through member enquiries or FOI requests.

All you would need to do would be insert Wirral for Haringey and you’d  have a pin -point accurate description of Power Boy Pip’s administration except you wouldn’t get anyone brave enough within his cabal of careerist and complacent councillors to tell it like it is.  And as for the telling the Labour NEC ‘it has no right or justification to interfere in or influence the legitimate actions of locally elected representatives ‘,  perhaps Pip needs to think about matters closer to home and remind Birkenhead MP Frank Field about Wirral Council’s ‘sovereignty’ and ‘party rules and the law to determine the most appropriate policies to serve our communities’ and then ponder as to why Momentum is gaining,er , momentum and scaring the Blairites. We’ve long said that with feeble local political opposition the only thing that would sort the local Labour group out would be their own members – pass the hors d’oeuvres things could get really interesting in the run up to the local elections in May.

Vote for X

Vote X

 

The 103 candidates up for 23 council seats in Wirral’s 22 wards have been announced:

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/sites/default/files/all/Elections%20and%20voting/2016-05-05election/sopn-local-election-20160505.pdf

For us one name in particular stood out on the ballot sheet .

Let’s call them Councillor X  (although there are quite a few other things we’d like to call them including  ex-councillor).

Unlike Wirral Council we wouldn’t want to interfere or influence the democratic process by naming Councillor X .However we have grave concerns that Wirral Council officials have colluded with the likely election of someone who should have been suspended from public duties a long time ago.

Labour Councillors  Jim Crabtree and Louise Reecejones must feel particularly aggrieved at their suspensions as judged on what we know about the allegations made against them they don’t come anywhere near the seriousness of the malpractice that has been alleged against Councillor X.

Although these allegations have been duly investigated you’d think if it was the usual “no case to answer” that the matter could be forgotten about and we could get off our ballot box.

The report into the conduct of Councillor X (and others) was completed long ago. However the Standards Panel where it was to be discussed has shamefully been subject to delay after delay after delay thus enabling Councillor X to stand at the forthcoming local elections with an unblemished record when it comes to upholding the seven principles of public life. Nice to know that Wirral Council are enabling voters to make an informed choice about who they’re voting for isn’t it?.

The apparent reason for these delays was the unavailability of a representative from one particular political party and yet , making no comment on the the emotive issue that they were discussing , the members of that same political party all managed to attend a Cabinet meeting held today at Wallasey Town Hall. We also know that councillors who are not members of the Cabinet will be leafleting , electioneering and generally gladhanding the general public and reassuring them that they models of personal and public probity…..and yet not one of them could find time to attend a meeting to consider the most shameful episode in Wirral Council history before the local elections – funny that isn’t it?. ….and the joke is most certainly on Wirral’s voters.

Take Me To Your Leader

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It’s election time : when the air is full of speeches and vice versa!.

Indeed the election campaign has kicked off good and proper with the dissolution of parliament and the leaders debate on TV.

This gives Wirral Leaks endless ( and by the looks of it boy do we mean endless…..) opportunities to cast our jaundiced eye over the local political scene.
So having given Wirral MPs Frankenfield and McVague the Wirral Leaks treatment we thought we’d move on to Wirral’s political bottom feeders and focus on the so-called “leaders” who will be spearheading the local council election campaigns.

Protocol dictates we must start with the man who is the current council leader and the man with self declared “special powers” – the one and only Power Boy Pip! Well what can we say about The Pipster ? – other than to thank him for the continuous comedic opportunities he provides us with and which mostly emanate from his resolute adherence to ” The Pollyanna Principle”

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Unfortunately aiding and abetting the poor fool’s delusions are the likes of the Local Godawful Association giving Wirral Council Mickey Mouse awards – really you people should know better than to be an enabler for such flights of fancy as luxury golf resorts and trying to hook up with gambling resorts or envisioning skyscrapers over the Mersey….. most other people would be heavily medicated rather than encouraged to pursue such rampant lunacy.

The reality is expertly disinterred by the current edition of Private Eye under the headline “Mythed Opportunity”:
As we’ve said before and will no doubt say again the only thing this leader is good for is leading everyone up the garden path. As witnessed this week with the launch of the local labour campaign featuring a video of Power Boy Pip where the awkwardness spurts out of him like spit from a Roy Hattersley Spitting Image puppet.

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But as Her Ladyship said at least prospective Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood “put some lippy on this time ” unlike her horrorshow of a performance when she was the support act to “Harriet Harperson’s Travelling Let’s Patronise Women Roadshow” when it recently hit West Wirral.

Pip’s faltering up close and personal piece to camera covered the usual bases – foodbanks and zero hour contracts being prominent among the soundbites. However it strikes us as sheer hypocrisy on Pip’s part as local Labour politicians seem to see foodbanks as no more than photo -ops and where the opening of a new one is somehow a cause for celebration.Moreover we suggest Pip spares a thought for council staff he and his cronies have made redundant and thereby putting staff on zero hours pemanently.The council’s appalling treatment of CCTV control room staff being a shameful case in point.

A new departure which nevertheless follows the usual negative campaigning template is attacks upon Arrowe Park Hospital which seem to be orchestrated as usual by Frankenfield.
The shoddy bullying tactic comes across as not about genuinely caring for the future of the NHS but rather a case of :” Ner ner ner ner ner…you’re worse than we are….”.

And so we move on to Nigel Farage soundalike Tory leader Jefferson Green – who seems to be permanently “outraged”, “appalled” or “shocked” about how the Council conducts it’s business (usually after he’s read some revelation on a local blog) but seems unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. This is the man who was once accused by Foulkesy of conducting a ” £250,000 ambush” following the fallout from the Morton whistleblowing scandal when the former Labour leader was booted out in a vote of no confidence.Of course as we know Foulkesy floated to the surface like an air-filled turd when he later became mayor ( talk about rewarding failure).

Foulkesy’s comment suggesting that Green would cynically use the serious issues raised in a series of scandalous reports to gain political power is perhaps only inaccurate in the sense that it wasn’t a £250,000 ambush – it was more like a £400,000 ambush ( which is what Klonowski and legal eagles/vultures pocketed between them !)….

We do however note that Green has gone awfully quiet on the subject of the Wirralgate scandal – which considering it was based on a conspiracy to discredit him seems to be a bit out of character. Could it be that even Green doesn’t come out of this episode smelling of roses – but then nobody including the “whistleblowers” do as far as we’re concerned.
In fact we think it was Foulkesy who summed up Green best during the joke of an investigation into “Wirralgate” cobbled together by Patricia Thynne where he described him as ” Kindred”

Indeed judging from the last council meeting that Foulkesy presided over as mayor and Green’s fawning,obsequious speech about the former’s year in office suggests that the feeling is mutual (if not symbiotic) and may help explain as to why Green is happy to rock the boat as long as he doesn’t make any waves……

As for the Lib Dem leader Phil Gilchrist – what can we say?.Nothing much to be honest.We can’t even drum up the enthusiasm to coin a satirical nickname.Apparently he’s been a councillor for 37 years and from what we can gather is well liked in his ward and is polite and inoffensive during political debates. Whilst his support of Lyndale School has been admirable it has to be said that his socks and sandals and cycle clips Lib-Demness has been no match for the Birkenhead Boot Boys on the Labour benches.

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Talking of ( re) cycling there is the (green) fly in the ointment that is sole Green councillor Pat Cleary.Remember it was Cleary who ousted Labour favourite Bri “Nylon” Kenny in the last council elections and he (and his party) have been the subject of much hostility from Labour politicians ever since.
A further reason that Cleary seems to irritate those in power is his utterly perplexing habit of cycling to council meetings.The freeloading Labour group are simply incredulous at the fact that he’s not jumping taxis or bunging in mileage claims for a huge gas guzzler.As this picture of the Queen of Social Care Matron McLaughlin proves it would appear this is how they think councillors should arrive at Wallasey Town Hall.

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However there is some good news concerned with the the local elections as we understand that the one man swearbox that is Councillor Harry Smith finally bows out of local political life. Oh how we’ll miss his constant inane interruptions in council meetings and his habit of verbally abusing journalists. However Wirral Council should be praised for their Equal Opportunities stance when it comes to Cllr Smith – as it seems to us from his behaviour he must be the first councillor with Tourette’s Syndrome to be appointed to the cabinet and will forever remain an inspiration to our pottymouthed butler Eldritch.

The bad news is that – yes you guessed it – aforementioned election failure Bri “Nylon” Kenny is to be parachuted into Cllr Smith’s safe Labour seat – which only goes to prove Red Ken Livingstone’s maxim that : “If voting changed anything they’d abolish it…..”