Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #20

West Kirby Parking

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Wirral Leaks reader contacts us about the above parking signs in West Kirby and comments :

Hi
No doubt the incompetent company that erected this rubbish will be paid to correct it.
Mean while any parking restrictions will, I assume, be invalid.
Toot Toot

Perhaps local resident and Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies can get on the phone to someone and rectify this latest parking malarkey asap. But be warned West Kirbyians that based on previous experience he’ll only do so if it is politically opportune.

SIGN OF THE TIMES 2

Sohool

You’ve probably all seen this by now but blimey this is yet another example of what happens when Wirral Council outsources to companies who don’t give a shit as Council-hired staff painted “SOHOOL” in yellow letters outside Woodslee Primary in Bromborough, Wirral.

A spokesman for Wirral Council said it trusts the worker had been given “a detention to work on his lines”.The spokesman added the contractor was given “top marks” for correcting the mistake on the same day it was made.

Ha! ha! bloody ha ! We’d like to remind Council spokesperson  (Lost Kev perchance?) about who pays for this incompetence . Yes , Wirral council taxpayers! Let’s hope they find it equally hilarious!

MEDIA HOUGHTON

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Now we’re sure Young Tom is a very nice chappy….. – for a journalist anyway ! However ,as we’ve alluded to before , we are deeply concerned about these so-called ‘Local Democracy Reporters’  which for us unfortunately translates as ‘homogeneous news on the cheap’ – where there is one story,one view,one truth across the local mainstream media . Needless to say Tom ‘Media’ Houghton (geddit?)  has not approached us for news stories – which is rather surprising considering our track record when it comes to local exclusives. Indeed when approached by a local resident with the comment ‘Hey Tom why don’t you start with WIRRALGATE!’  all he could come back with was a rather feeble  : “I’m just getting my head round your comments’ but feel free to comment on my author page.”  I think we’re safe to assume we’re not dealing with the next John Pilger.

AND FINALLY……. COMMUNITY TRANSPORT PETITION

Inspired by our Community Transport – Thrown Under The Bus ?     story a petition has been set up here . The post quotes our original post and ends with the comment : The following article was left on Wirral Leaks but Wirral Leaks is not enough. 

The petitioner is absolutely right – but then what options do local people have ? Perhaps the disaffected of Wirral can rely on a ‘Local Democracy Reporter’ to get their story heard – or perhaps not!

Picture the View

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One of the arduous tasks we all have to endure when returning from a break is to catch up on correspondence. So imagine our delight when wading through the bills and flyers that had landed on our doormat during our absence that we found a copy of Wirral View.

As this is only the second copy we have received of this elusive publication since its launch we decided to wait a week , give the publication the attention it deserves and review the latest edition of Wirral View whilst we were perusing the Sunday papers in the Leaky Towers morning room or what we are now calling in the modern vernacular , the ‘Information Hub’ .

Needless to say we weren’t impressed. But then we never were. We had high hopes that Wirral View would provide us with  ‘endless opportunities for satire ‘ . But the man behind the hapless project – Wirral Council’s head of communications Kevin ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum is absolutely right when he says we haven’t ‘delivered’ on this pledge mainly because it’s the dreariest thing we’ve ever read and we can’t even work up enough enthusiasm to mock it.

Communication with Kev

Communicating with Kev – Continued

However we do note that the latest edition is already now down to 24 pages (from the original 32)  and we note that it consists of  more pictures than words. Not including the Wirral councillors mugshots we lost count at 80 pictures . The front page (see above) is indicative of the content within. It reminds us of the song lyric – “let’s go through the book of life , you can just look at the pictures if you like”  .   Her Ladyship quips that it would appear that Wirral View now has more fillers than Katie Price !

It seems to us that  Wirral Council think the collective readership of Wirral View has an ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ and need to be distracted at regular intervals by pretty pictures (or in some cases – not so pretty).

For example on page 8 there is a FULL PAGE encouraging us to, er, take a walk in the park and yet another half a page on 16 telling us to do the same – it’s just such a shame there is nearly another full page on page 23 which gives notices of parking charges in Wirral’s parks , thereby discouraging ‘one of the easiest ways to get active, lose weight and be healthier’. As ever with Wirral Council , it’s a case of left hand meet right hand.

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We are left wondering just how the business case to set up Wirral View is stacking up. With just one (half page) advertisement from Goodwin’s restaurant in Greasby it’s no wonder another half page is used to flog advertising space with the questionable claim that “Wirral View is a monthly publication distributed FREE to every home and business in Wirral”

Two things  –  firstly ,Wirral View ain’t free , it costs Wirral council taxpayers at least £270K per annum and it needs to be asked as to whether those council taxpayers should be promoting  private businesses and secondly somebody needs to report Wirral Council to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)  if they cannot  provide evidence that Wirral View  is indeed distributed to every home and business in Wirral.

As far as we’re concerned this claim is all my arse and talking of which His Lordship must apologise but he has to be off to the Leaky Towers  ‘Slash & Dump Hub’.

Alternative Facts in a Parallel Universe

Not for the first time when it comes to the ruling administration at Wirral Council we find ourselves asking : “Is it us or are we missing something?” and then we realise we are now living in the age of of ‘alternative facts’. The current epicentre of this parallel universe when it comes to local government has to be our dear own local council.

Of course the main Wirral Council conduit for alternative facts is Wirral View –and halleluljah and praise be , as for the first time Leaky Towers actually received a printed copy of what is known variously to our sources as Liprot’s Journal/ Lost Kev’s Chronicle/Pip’s Post-Truth News .

Was it worth the wait? – hardly ! However the front page caught our attention as it demonstrates to us as to why, once and for all , the tawdry rag should be halted in its tedious tracks. Here we have the now infamous ‘Spot the Muff’ photo-op and the declaration that ‘Proposals to bring in new charges at on-street car parks across the borough have been withdrawn, following feedback from Wirral residents and businesses.’

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Oh ! it was all about Wirral Council listening to ‘feedback’ was it ?. Nothing to do with protests, petitions and the highly suspect legality of most of the proposals. Feedback ?- yeah right!

The Witless, Pip and Mr Muff picture turned up again on our Facebook page due to some weird algorithm which suggests that we’d ‘like’ Wirral Labour News. We suppose it makes a change from promos for incontinence and mobility aids and ‘Superman’ pyjamas but let us state for the record it was as equally unwelcome !

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Then there was further message from ‘Wirral Labour News’ which made us think it must surely be a parody account :

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Keep Wirral Green ? Huh?  Fernbank Farm?, the Saughall Massie Fire Station ? and the Hoylake Golf Resort?  Our heads started to hurt at Leaky Towers as to how the increasingly self righteous Labour administration could reconcile these development plans with their new found love for the Green Belt.

How ironic that Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies talked about “protecting our precious Green Belt” at  yesterday’s Cabinet meeting whilst  we understand that all the seats in the public gallery had the following flyer on them :

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However the ne plus ultra of this week’s alternative facts emanating from Wirral Council is the controversial appointment of the increasingly divisive Martin Liptrot to the post of ‘ Interim Investment Lead’ which we not only predicted but exclusively revealed on this blog:

Pip’s Pay Pal – THAT Liptrot Appointment

The Uncanny and the Corrupt

According to a spokesperson for Wirral Council ( we assume that’ll be Liptrot’s acolyte   Kevin MacCallum)

“The post was advertised and an open recruitment process was held with external support.The panel selected the best person for the job and that person has been appointed.”

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15103854.Fury_as_Wirral_Council_hires_Labour_s_policy_adviser_to_be_their_new_investment_chief___on___350_a_day/

Really ? – so you’re going with that ‘alternative fact’ are you ? Perhaps one of the interview panel chaired by Alan Evans and including the council’s Strategic Development Manager; Stephen Butterworth, Head of Transformation ( there’s that word again  !) ; Paula Basnett, CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce  (a surprising late replacement for a curiously unenthusiastic Asif Hamid) and Ellen Cutler, Director of Inward Investment at Liverpool Vision could publicly endorse this statement .

Alternatively they could tell the people who fund this post exactly what went on behind the scenes and whether they decided not to appoint Liptrot (or indeed anyone) but the decision was taken out of their hands and made by an increasingly desperate Power Boy Pip and the increasingly sinister Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson.

We’re led to speculate what exactly is the Rasputin-like hold that Liptrotsky  has over Power Boy Pip? All we can say is look what happened to Rasputin and the Imperial Royal Family of Wirral, sorry , Russia.  Just sayin’ !

 

 

 

A Dim View

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Despite the publication of the third issue of Wirral View we have yet to see a copy of Wirral Council’s limp organ at Leaky Towers – and from correspondence we’ve been receiving we’re not the only ones.

Meanwhile we’ve had to content ourselves with reading the online version. As it remains a particularly dreary read we ended up quickly clicking through the pages to count the number of Santa hats that appeared in the latest edition. Sadly whilst we anticipated that Wirral View would present us with endless opportunities for satire  , each issue has proved to be so anodyne we’ve been given nothing to work with.

Although for quite different reasons  , also taking a dim view of Wirral View is Marcus Jones , the Minister for Local Government. A sabre-rattling warning letter from the MP to Council leader Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies about non-compliance with the Publicity Code for councils apparently went unread for 9 days , allegedly because of ‘a post-room mix up’.   

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14969048.Post_room_mix_up_caused_Minister_s_crucial_warning_letter_about_Wirral_Council_s_newspaper_to_go_unread/

So do we believe that boys and girls ? Remember this is an organisation that has dishonesty running through it like a stick of rock . As former council leader and ex- Mayor Foulkesy proves persistent lying is no hindrance to high office. Indeed a series of council scandals have over the years proven that this culture of mendacity extends to senior officers and indeed was once endorsed by a veteran senior councillor with the words : ” We pay our Chief Officers to be slippery”.

The Wirral Globe article provided us with moments of both comedy and tragedy. The former inevitably is provided by class clown Kev aka Wirral Council’s supposed head of communications or more accurately ‘Policy Advisor’ Martin Liptrotsky’s patsy. The Globe  reports Mr McCallum ‘remained defiant’ or more accurately was shoved into the firing line to defend the indefensible . Having said that we feel he is a bit harsh on himself and his team when he says  : “It was clear from the research we have completed and the feedback we get on an ongoing basis, that the communications tools we were using were not getting this job done….”

The tragedy is provided by one of the the comments made by Paddy Cleary who declares himself UNISON branch secretary as if this gives his post some kind of extra credibility. Talk about deluded! Cleary suggested that the solution to the post room mix up would be to address staff cuts. It’s a comment which for us not only characterised either his naivete or complicity but explains why the local branch has an ever diminishing number of members.

Memo to Mr Cleary from Leaky Towers : believe us you could have had a flock of pigeonholers in that post-room and the Marcus Jones missive still wouldn’t have been answered promptly ! Might we suggest you might serve your remaining members better if you turn your attention to the continuing outsourcing of their jobs….

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