Bye, Bye, Bernie!

Lordy photo

Two days is a long time in Wirral politics. Soon-to be ex-councillor Mooney is now smiling on the other side of her face.

We always know there’s something is brewing when an old post suddenly starts racking up the stats and sure enough Wirral Leaks Scoops the Mooney Scoop  has had a lot of interest all week.  Now we learn that Deputy Leader of Wirral Council ,Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney, is the latest local politician to be subject to democratic party processes and then go running to the ever compliant Liverpool Echo complaining of ‘the hard left’ and ‘bullying’ and how it’s all so ‘unfair’ when they get ousted by their own party members from seeking re-selection.

Needless to say ,and as you can read in our post above, we knew this was on the cards after we exclusively revealed the skullduggery surrounding Mooney’s nomination as a Labour candidate for Liscard at the forthcoming local elections . Once again here’s a reminder of her rap sheet during that particular selection process :

  • Multiple complaints about phone calls, done to promote herself – not permitted.
  • Using an email address “Wallasey Labour Party”, when the email was from her personally
  • The email had the Constituency Labour Party Office address on it and a photo which included people who had not been asked for permission, and were not in fact endorsing sitting councillor Mooney
  • Repeated canvassing of Branch members by phone using the Party database at a time when this is not allowed by the rules
  • Some of these phone calls also misrepresented the situation, implying that a candidate had already been chosen, and so discouraging members who favoured a full selection process from attending the meeting
  • Leafleting in support of a candidate inside the meeting venue, with other copies of the leaflets next to the signing in sheet, which is also not allowed
  • All of this conveyed the impression that the sitting councillor was the official or preferred candidate of the Labour Party
  • It was unfair to other potential candidates who might otherwise have been invited to address the meeting, and be given the chance to become the Council candidate in May 2019

Inevitably these issues are glossed over as a ‘dispute’ and ‘breach of procedures’ in the latest Liverpool Echo story titled  Council’s ‘next leader ‘ ousted as she becomes latest to hit out at ‘hard-left Labour Party takeover’ as we get the usual extended litany of McCarthyite ‘reds under the bed’ rhetoric from Mooney and co.

However what delights more than anything is that the decision to oust Mooney comes two days after she smirked and belligerently shouted “There’s always one…’ when whistleblower Martin Morton put in an inconvenient  appearance at Monday’s Wirral Council Cabinet meeting .  Now with delicious irony she says that she’s been booted out “because I stood up and refused to be bullied…” – a line which is right out of the Morton Playbook.

All we do know that this decision will be a particularly hard smack in the face for ‘The Bruiser’ and affirmation of the old adage that ‘he who laughs loudest laughs last…’

 

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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.

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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…

 

 

 

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Seven – The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

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PAST : It was with breathtaking cynicism that on Christmas Eve 6 years ago Wirral Council shut up shop and published a report by Richard Penn which investigated a minor case of alleged ‘whistleblowing’ which nevertheless managed to get some airtime on Radio Merseyside on Christmas Day 2012. We won’t go into the details as apparently to do so could potentially cause ‘damage and distress ‘ to those named in the report. As you can see from our report The Penn Is Mightier Than The Sword  such was the secrecy and subterfuge it was a week later (and six years to the day) before we  got around to  covering the story –  and let’s face it like most of you probably under the influence of a hangover.

PRESENT : So you might be wondering why are we bringing up the matter of on the sixth anniversary of the publication of  ‘The Penn Report’ now? Well ,dear readers  ‘The Penn Report’ featured as evidence this year in a significant legal case which ended up in the Upper Tribunal in London, far from prying eyes and inquisitive ears and which demonstrated what can happen when low friends in high places pull a few strings who want to avoid the publication of ‘The Warren Report’ covering  the same issues as the ‘The Penn Report’ but allegedly penned (no pun intended) by close friend of Frank Field who describes the author of the unpublished report as a ‘stunning lawyer’ . We prefer the term ‘compromised ex-Judge in a conflict of interest clusterfuck’ and we’re confident with all his legal knowledge Nicholas Warren isn’t going to sue us for expressing that reasonably held belief even when Warren himself was indemnified by you, dear readers, to write whatever he wants about whoever he likes even though his report can’t ever be published.

Morton v 1.Information Commissioner 2. Wirral Metropolitan Council : (2018) UKUT 295 (AAC)

FUTURE : We predict – no, we promise – both reports will feature significantly in future 2019 Wirral Leaks posts as we finally put to bed the biggest scandal in Wirral Council history and reveal just how deep the corruption goes in our most revered and venerated UK institutions and which extends far beyond the insular peninsula…

 

The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Six – Organised Crime

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There were raised eyebrows at Leaky Towers at the moral outrage and shock ! horror! report titled Wirral bar that saw vicious attack had ‘strong link’ to organised crime gangs  where we found out that the licence for Sherlocks , a classy joint in downtown Birkenhead where apparently rival organised crime gangs like to beat seven shades of shite out of each other,  had been revoked after appeals by Merseyside Police to Wirral Council.

Funny that, we thought to ourselves, Merseyside Police weren’t quite so agitated when it came to organised crime gangs threatening to beat vulnerable people in the care of Wirral Council with baseball bats. Where were the cries from Merseyside Police to close down so called ‘care homes’ then? Could it be that both they and Wirral Council were compromised by the fact that the ‘care’ company  as reported in Private Eye was owned by Peter and Jane Spencer, ex Merseyside CID ? Just sayin’

Private Eye ALS

For further information read the the full horror story here  where you will discover how Merseyside Police and Wirral Council colluded with an Organised Crime Group – even when it meant the death of a vulnerable adult – all in the name of reputation management. It’s still the most shocking report that we’ve ever read in relation to Wirral Council – just think about that for a moment and then weep copious tears.

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Case Dismissed : The Truth Will NOT Out

Wirralgate -Anatomy of A Cover Up

We understand that a most extraordinary court case involving veteran whistleblower and self-styled public accountability campaigner Martin Morton against Wirral Council and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ended with Morton’s case being dismissed. Wirral Council have known about the ruling for a month but there has been no public announcement and the judgment is strangely not publicly available – cover up much? But then the course of this legal challenge has been very strange indeed. A hearing was originally supposed to be held in Liverpool in November 2017 only for the case to be mysteriously transferred to London – far from the prying eyes of the people of Wirral.The case was transferred by Justice Peter Lane who was the then President of the General Regulatory Chamber.

A hearing was eventually held in April 2018 and nearly 5 MONTHS LATER we haven’t had official notice of the Upper Tribunal’s decision.

So what was the case about and what was Morton after? Apparently he was after a report written by close Frank Field associate , Nick Warren, that was supposed to be the final word on the long running Wirral Council highways whistleblowing case dating all the way back to 2008 (!) Please note Nick Warren was the President of the General Regulatory Chamber prior to Justice Peter Lane , to which we can only add are you people beginning to realise how this shit works yet? – establishment cover up much?

Although the Warren Report was completed in 2015 it has never been published. Well that’s not strictly true Morton managed to get the ICO to force Wirral Council to publish part of the Warren Report which we reviewed at the time. We think the technical term for what we read was ‘pisspoor’ .  Read full story here : ‘Ask not what the whistleblowers have done for themselves – ask what they have done for Wirral…’

We haven’t as yet read the ruling but we are led to believe that the reason that the Wirral public are not allowed to see the Warren Report is that it would  cause ‘damage and distress’ to those named in the report. We think the technical term for this is ‘bollocks’.

Isn’t it funny how people are happy to take public money but not happy to subject to public accountability? What’s more it must be the first time in the history of whistleblowing that the so-called ‘whistleblowers’ didn’t want a report about what they’d reported and what they’d been through as a result to be published. Surely genuine whistleblowers would want to act in the public interest and DEMAND the Warren Report was published.

Anyway we don’t think the judgment has anything to do with preventing damage or distress to whistleblowers or former Wirral Council senior officers trekking around India and enjoying their retirement funded by Wirral council taxpayers. It’s all about preventing damage and distress to Nicholas Warren who appears to have been prepared to sacrifice his esteemed standing in the legal profession to help out his old mucker Frank Field by agreeing to play a dubious role in the utterly corrupt clusterfuck known as ‘Wirralgate’.

We have to be uncharacteristically circumspect from here on in as a)  we don’t know whether Morton intends to appeal this seemingly ridiculous decision and b) we haven’t yet read the ruling in full. However from our perspective it would seem an approach to the Court of Appeal would be highly unlikely as ,unlike Wirral Council, Morton doesn’t have a bottomless pit of public money to hire top notch barristers to help get the most senior politicians on Wirral out of a hole of their own making. If Morton were to lose an appeal he would have to pick up the tab for a legal bill that would run into tens of thousands.  Equity before the law? Don’t make us laugh!

However perhaps all is not lost. Could Morton draw upon the support of Frank Field?, who should be equally disappointed in the judgment as all of us who are interested in public accountability . As we have previously reported Field stated in his blog dated 23 June 2018 :

The next stage in establishing that truth will come, I guess, with the publication of the Nick Warren report. The whistle-blowers agreed with the council that this stunning lawyer should carry out an inquiry into their case. The report will be made public, I’m sure, as a freedom of information claim has been lodged.

Slowly but surely the truth will out. The citizens of Wirral owe the whistle-blowers, including X, such a debt for shifting officers that were found wanting in respect of the public good.

Read full story here : Frank Field – ‘The Truth Will Out’

Perhaps ‘stunning lawyer’ Nick Warren can pull a few strings like he appears to have done already and finally get the report he allegedly wrote published in the public interest? Indeed if he doesn’t questions will continue to be asked as to what he was doing getting involved in the biggest scandal in Wirral’s political history whilst he was still a Judge.

Currently it would appear the only way the  truth ,the whole truth and nothing but the truth will ever be revealed about ‘Wirralgate’ will be via Wirral Leaks  – the collusion, the corruption the conspiracy of silence and the cover up (other c words are available) -involving an MP, councillors, council officers past and present , Merseyside Police , the Judiciary and the local press has yet to be told. One day we hope to dissect in forensic detail the ‘Anatomy of A Cover Up’. Until then we’d like to applaud all those involved so far…

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Where Are They Now Part 5 & 6 – Maura Noone and Mike Fowler

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We were alerted to this story by a search term on our website which read : “Maura Noone Reading”. This piqued our interest so we did a bit of further research and lo – or should that be low? – and behold we discover that Noone is astonishingly now Head of Adult Social Care at Reading Borough Council.  No,really !!!

Those who remember the 2012 publication of the Independent Review of Allegations Made by Martin Morton ( and Others) will know the furore that followed which led to the following front page headlines

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Of course this being Wirral Council there were no such sackings. Instead – and much to the horror of Tory councillor Lesley Rennie who claimed she’d been misled by Labour councillors about such matters – two of the worst offenders who were redacted out of the report, but we know them to be Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) senior managers Mike Fowler and Maura Noone , who were handed £100K + and ask to asked to go quietly on the eve of publication. There was incredulity and outrage that bullying,dishonesty and incompetence was rewarded. But no one was surprised.

However you know what they say about an ill wind and the hyaenas in high office soon realised there were rich pickings to be had from the calamity. The Local Government Association, North West Employers Association, Audit Commission(later to transfer to Grant Thornton) and future Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess all gorged themselves on the corpse of Wirral Council. Whilst even when a report commissioned by Burgess when he became CEO implicated Fowler and Noone and others  in £31 million of toxic debts Burgess claimed that Fowler/Noone should never have been paid off there were merely whimpers  from the likes of council ‘leader’  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies who meekly claimed that there was nothing Wirral Council  Pip claimed there was nothing they could do because those responsible had ‘left’. But they hadn’t just ‘left’ they had been rewarded with public money,their reputations were protected and Noone and Fowler were free to ply their trade elsewhere. Meanwhile former leader Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes was privately telling concerned members of the local Labour Party that he’d been ‘misled’ by officers (whilst writing to the Wirral Globe in praise of a disgraced DASS Director) .

We should never underestimate (or forgive) Pip’s role in this debacle  starting with the kangaroo court that that led to the ‘exoneration’ of Noone for any wrongdoing ( Fowler was sent a ‘letter’ saying what we’ll never know) aided and abetted service by a North West Employer’s Organisation report (which was later proven to be a whitewash and a sham).

Within a few months of cashing their six figure cheques Fowler found himself in another well paid sinecure at Brook Young People where he remains to this day .  Read here : https://wirralinittogether.blog/2015/07/06/corporate-abuse-of-disabled-people-neednt-sound-the-death-knell-for-your-career/

fowler brook job

Meanwhile Noone undertook n MA in Public Health at Liverpool John Moore’s University then landing a Assistant Director post at Northamptonshire County Council before bailing out prior to the Government sending in commissioners to take over the failing Council, which brings us full circle to Noone’s  latest post as Head of Adult Social Care at Reading Borough Council.

And so the (im)moral of this story seems to be that bullying ,dishonesty and incompetence remain no bar to high public office. It also helps to explain why so many public services are in such a mess – it’s not just about lack of money as let’s face it there’s always plenty of public money for reputation management.

 

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #13

Mr T

CARPET BURNS 

Our Wallasey Town Hall (WTH) fixtures and fittings expert contacted us to say :

Hi,
Sorry not able to get a picture ..but for over a week a team of carpet fitters have been fitting the most luxurious carpet in the council chamber at WTH .
It’s very thick, predominantly black with gold swirls, must have cost a fortune, it looks and feels like top end! But what else would you expect from these self righteous t****.
Perhaps one of your contacts will be able to get you a pic.
Just sayin’….

Sounds like it was designed by Wirral Leaks’ favourite motivational speaker Mr T !

The first person to provide us with a pic of the new carpet gets to roll around on it with a chief officer of their choice . Let’s bring back the glory days of municipal rumpy-pumpy (Shake’N’ Vac not provided) .

STUCK IN TRAFFIC

The appointment of of highly paid consultants to perform statutory tasks on behalf of Wirral Council officers continues. The latest insult brought to our attention involves the appointment of Mott MacDonald (not a euphemism) to complete a Traffic Network Management Plan at a cost of £22,745.19 . Apparently they were the only ones to submit an application. And what do you get for your money you might ask?

Wirral Council are looking to appoint a consultant to produce a Traffic Network
Management Plan. The objective of the commission is to undertake two
distinct stages of work. This will include an audit to review against the current
legislation to ensure that Wirral Council is discharging its responsibilities. The
second element of the work is to produce a Traffic Network Management
Plan.
The Traffic Management Act 2004, Part 2: Network Management by Local
Authorities imposes a duty on traffic authorities to secure expeditious
movement of traffic on their network and to appoint a Traffic Manager. It is
important that the authority undertakes its duties under Part 2 of the Traffic
Management Act satisfactorily, and in the event of an authority failing to
perform its network management duty the Secretary for State has powers to
intervene. This work will identify what is required to pass the duty.

Read more here : Network Management Plan

By the sounds of it it is basically an arse-covering exercise in case central government intervenes yet again ( see also ‘Local Plan’) and asks why local government officers haven’t got a Mr Magoo as to what is required to cobble together their own Network Management Plan.

BCEGI TO DIFFER

We understand  BCEGI  is an international property developer and construction company with foundations in China who hoped to be Wirral Council’s joint venture partner in the Wirral Growth Company . However as we reported it was Muse Developments who got the gig – Muse Musings and More Muse Musings . You will also note that the runner up in the bid was BCEGI/ Scarborough and we noted that there were some problematic areas with bids .Sure enough we have just received the following leak from a well placed source :

So a letter has been sent from BCEGI (the other company competing for Wirral Council’s assets) complaining about several serious issues relating to the whole procurement exercise. Now who was the person heading up the procurement exercise? ………..
Oh dear – we do hope these allegations prove unfounded. How many times have Wirral Council cocked up a procurement exercise and uttered those immortal words : lessons have been learned. We certainly hope they didn’t put the procurement in the hands of a highly remunerated consultant with a chequered past or we could be looking at yet another potential failure of due diligence couldn’t we?
AND FINALLY ……..TRIBUNAL TRIBULATIONS
We’re best not commenting on news of this Tribunal found on John Brace’s blog . Suffice to say we believe a forthcoming Tribunal in that there London is likely to feature many of our recurrent themes /recurring nightmares. Who needs a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout when you’ve got Martin Morton v Information Commissioner’s Office and Wirral Council . There’ll be blood and snot flying everywhere – hopefully anyway……. 

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

 

The Leaky Awards 2017 – the Grand Finale

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And so we finally reach the grand finale of the Leaky Awards 2017 and taking our cue from the #TimesUp  contingent at the Golden Globes we’ll be wearing black. The clock may been ticking down for us but may it also do the same on the abuse of power – wherever it takes place and in whatever form.

Times Up

However we’ll spare you the dreary , self-righteous speeches – it’s on with the show and our first award of the evening…….

Campaign of the Year

Winner – Defend Our NHS (Wirral)

The local branch of the DONHS have throughout the year provided us with information about future plans for the NHS  and particularly about Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) that should concern us all  , especially as Wirral Council are a key strategic player via the Clinical Commissioning Group.

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Runner Up – Wirral Needs

If only for the chant ” Labour Council listen to the people”. Our advice to them after  7 years of banging our head against a brick wall is that they won’t so you’ll  have to make them ! The only way they will be forced to listen is at your local constituency party meetings and in the run up to the local elections this May.  After that it’ll be the same old,same old – personal interest and political ambition taking precedence over the public interest. Don’t say we didn’t tell you!

Wirral Needs

Campaign Fail of the Year

Winner – Wirral Labour ‘Keep Wirral Green’ campaign

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How Wirral Labour reconciled this campaign with proposals and developments for assaults on the Green Belt at Saughall Massie, Hoylake and Thornton Hough etc; we can only hazard a guess but full marks for the sheer PR chutzpah .

Runner up  – Frank Field/Wirral Globe nurses car parking charges at Arrowe Park Hospital (aka Wirral University Teaching Hospital – WUTH )

Whilst it was undoubtedly a worthy campaign we noted how  WUTH CEO David Allison received the petition from Field, gave some bland assurances and then promptly disappeared in a cloud of controversy.We suspect that any incoming CEO will have their work cut-out just keeping WUTH afloat and car parking charges won’t be a priority . Meanwhile  we note that Field is strangely silent about more wide reaching proposals for car parking charges across Wirral that are set to be introduced by Wirral Council. And once again we have to ask is this the only income generation scheme that Wirral Council can come up with and is it even legal?

 

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David Allison : Yeah whatevs Frank I don’t need this right now. But love your tank top .

Comeback of the Year

Winner Esther McVey, MP for Tatton

Back from the dead

The former MP for Wirral West returns to high office as Work and Pensions Secretary in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle . Somehow this cat on a hot tin roof always manages to land on her kitten heels . And for all her talk of female empowerment we think that McVey is the quintessential beneficiary of modern day political nepotism , where ambition exceeds talent .  The only contribution of note to the local political scene when she was a Wirral West MP was when she hijacked the Martin Morton whistleblowing case for personal and political advantage at Prime Minister’s Questions (apparently Morton knew nothing about it) . What happened after she raised the issue with David Cameron is a particularly worrying episode but alas we won’t be able to do it justice here. Perhaps one day the full shameful tale will be told. 

Runner Up  Stewart Halliday – the economic migrant/consultant from York who crossed the Pennines escaping infamy to make his fortune on Wirral with his two consultancy stints earning him circa £200K. So will Wirral Council kindly tell us whether he’s still around and what exactly we got for our money?

smug-halliday

This man can do a powerpoint presentation and bullshit at the same time ! Therefore Wirral Council must give him as much money as they can.

Comrades of the Year – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) and Cllr Steve Foulkes (Foulkesy)

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Were LRJ and Foulkesy separated at birth? Whilst they share so many characteristics none of them can be found in the Nolan Principles! See for yourself :

LRJ Standards Panel investigation report : The  Panel found the evidence of Cllr Louise Reecejones to be inconsistent,vague and misleading. The Panel did not therefore find Cllr Reecejones to be credible.

Foulkesy Standards Panel investigation report : I found it difficult to get Cllr Foulkes to be precise or detailed . His responses were vague,inclined to be evasive and I found them ‘economical with the truth ‘ and unconvincing. 

Yes, just the kind of low lifes we want making decisions about our lives,eh?

Accessories of the Year  –

Winner – Paula Basnett ,CEO Wirral Chamber of Commerce for those shoes.

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These understated little numbers were considered suitable daywear to shortlist nominees for yet another awards ceremony and did not in anyway reinforce our perception that Ms Basnett and her organisation are all about flash presentation and very little else.

Runner up All Wirral councillors wielding ‘Show Racism the Red Card’placards as a virtue signalling accessory. But especially the local Labour group who tolerate  racists in their midst. But can anyone spot Deputy Leader Cllr George Davies in the picture?

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Best Picture of Unwanted Copies of Wirral View

Winner 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Runner Up

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Whilst appropriately enough both pictures position copies of woeful Wirral View next to their final destination –  a bin – we’d like to think the winner of this category contributed to the dumping (no pun intended) of the original Liverpool -based distributor of Wirral View. Unfortunately a £750,000 3 year print deal with Trinity Mirror means we’re burdened with this lumbering white elephant for the forseeable future. Compare and contrast with Wirral Leaks which has cost council taxpayers of Wirral £0 and we would argue has been more effective in addressing the ‘information deficit’ of local people, particularly when we’ve been providing information that Wirral Council don’t want you to know about!

Wirral’s annual entry in Rotten Boroughs Awards 2017

Winner  Ex- Wirral councillor Jim Crabtree

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Included in Private Eye’s  Rotten Boroughs 2017 ‘Quotes of the Year’ is this fine example of ‘doublespeak’ from former Wirral Councillor Jim ‘Crabby’ Crabtree. It’s a year to the day that Crabtree pleading guilty to offences under the Communications Act 2003 and it’s frightening to think that his well deserved fall from grace might never have happened if his increasingly appalling conduct hadn’t been reported on Wirral Leaks. As a quote from one of our Labour sources testifies when they raised concerns about Crabtree’s fitness to be a councillor    – “The comment from George Davies was ‘better the devil you know’ while Frank (Field) thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread” –  the local Labour group were reluctant to rein him in . Furthermore we understand that they failed to address allegations made by a whistleblower about grant monies which Crabtree allegedly should have paid back to Wirral Council.

Leaky awards   Leaky awardsLeaky awards

 

Advent Farewell 9 – Out of Sight , Out of Mind

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Two Deputy Lieutenants of Merseyside are of one mind.

From time to time we like to check up on the progress on some of the Wirral Council charlatans and chancers that have (dis)graced our pages over the years in our special ‘ Where Are They Now?’ feature.

Whilst we readily acknowledge that we featured former Wirral Council CEO  Steve ‘ Mad Dog’ Maddox in such a post earlier this year we feel the original post needs enhancing mainly because we believe that in many ways it is most instructive on the ways of Wirral.

If ever there was an example of how to evade accountability and manage your reputation then Maddox is the ultimate case study. He saw the writing was on the wall when so called independent investigator Anna Klonowski was brought in by the Tories to find out what whistleblower Martin Morton was blathering on about . On the very day Maddox was due to meet with Klonowski  , Maddox took the coward’s way out and suddenly announced he was going to spend more time with his long suffering family. This followed over two years of Wirral Council senior management covering his expansive arse . Of course Maddox didn’t even need to work his 3 month notice period and swiftly pissed off to the golf course with additional pension payments made up to when he would have retired – about which we can only ask – why?

The panicked leader of Wirral Council at the time Cllr Steve Foulkes provided this farewell quote :

“Steve is essentially a self effacing and modest man who probably has no idea of the very real and extensive legacy he will be leaving behind.We know, and are grateful for it. I wish him all the best for the future and hope that he will continue to be involved with the people of Wirral, for whom he has always been an eloquent and passionate advocate.” Steve 2 Steve

This translates as Maddox did as he was told and his greatest quality is that he could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on .  But oh what a legacy he left behind!  Whilst Maddox secured himself a tidy six figure bung , collected the Freedom of the Borough of Wirral to add to his OBE and was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside to stand alongside Birkenhead MP Frank Field, his swift departure meant his hapless and hopeless sidekick Jim ‘Wee Willie’ Wilkie was to reap the wild wind of what his former boss had created – a toxic,corrosive culture of bullying,incompetence and deceit which was soon to be (partly) revealed in the Independent Review in  January 2012 . Needless to say shortly after Wilkie ended up being escorted from Wallasey Town Hall premises a broken man.

What’s more when the furore over the Independent Review had died down Maddox reappeared on the local scene and within the year was appointed as a Director of  mental health organisation Wirral Mind in December 2012 .

This appointment has always intrigued us ,  primarily because it is with some irony that Wirral Mind were seemingly gifted the management of the learning disability service that was a significant feature of Morton whistleblowing case that led to the Independent Review that in turn was the impetus for  Maddox’s ‘retirement’ !

It has long been thought that Wirral Mind, with no significant track record of supporting people with learning disabilities, were rewarded  the contract for keeping a lid on the unlawful charging scandal when they were appointed as advocates on behalf of those who couldn’t speak up for themselves when the scandal blew up . Unfortunately this ‘advocacy’ service didn’t actually extend to advocating on behalf of those who had been financially abused.  An appalled Wirral Leaks reader once recalled attending a  Wirral Council meeting  where Sandra Gilbert Wirral Mind CEO , said that the tenants who had been financially abused ‘lived in the lap of luxury’ . Perhaps if  we put aside the issue of illegality and equality Ms Gilbert might appreciate that if she had £100 + a WEEK taken out of her salary over a number of years she might have fought a bit harder on behalf of disabled people instead of leaving it to Morton and others.

All the Independent Review report had to say on the matter was that there was

” a need for the Council to refresh its contractual arrangements with (Wirral Mind) in the context of EU procurement requirements.”

Funny how Frank Field wasn’t jumping up and down about this proven case of Wirral Council flouting EU procurement regulations isn’t it ? Or getting Merseyside Police and the Serious Fraud Office involved as he did with the Highways contract complainants that apparently he is still ‘gallantly’ supporting 9 years after their alleged whistleblowing exploits !

Since our report we note that in August 2017 there was a  cessation of Maddox  being ‘a person with significant control’ of Wirral Mind  August 2017.   However he still remains a Director – presumably because of the lustre and prestige that someone with his impeccable track record brings to an organisation.