Apparently the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) will be providing a grant for the princely sum of £38,594 to pay for ‘a floating ‘event platform’ to create ‘Animate Marine Lake New Brighton’. So, basically a giant float. Which we’re sure we all agree that when it comes to planning and regeneration is a drop in the River Mersey.
Meanwhile on a macro planning level there was a further announcement today from MHCLG about Wirral Council today which whilst far more significant in the scheme of things found itself being announced in the rather more obscure Planning Resource website which can only be accessed via a pay wall.
Here we discovered that ‘ten local authorities have fallen below the government’s ‘special measures’ threshold for the proportion of application decisions made within the statutory timescales, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)’.
And of those ten councils we’ll give you one guess as to which authority was the worst performing in the country :
Which again we’re sure we can all agree that this doesn’t augur well for the ambitious developments we keep reading about the Local Plan ,Wirral Growth Company, and Wirral Waters (One), especially when it comes to these plans being realised any time soon.
But never mind there’ll always be plenty more artist’s impressions in the local press and a ‘floating event platform’ to keep the Wirral Council’s regeneration plans afloat in the public imagination.
So farewell then to the ‘Giants’ and despite the fact that Andy Pandy put us off puppets for life we get the awe and wonder, we get the fact that Wirral Council desperately wanted the presence of the puppets on Wirral shores and did everything to ensure that the ‘Giants spectacular’ was a success by allowing some schools to shut and council staff to’ work from home’ (see below) , we even get why Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was on the telly trying to flog Wirral for all it’s worth.
However,as ever ,we are with ‘the Lilliputians’ on this one – the little people who keep the show on the road – and we just hope the costs for this ‘free event’ were worth it for all those who went to New Brighton for the Wirral leg of the ‘Giant’ story and not just for our local political puppeteering elite . Echoing our thoughts ,a Wirral Council insider sent us this message on Friday following our Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants story which makes some interesting observations on the matter. :
Now all 66 councillors were invited to the Floral Pavilion today to watch the Giants …and get a ‘birds eye view’ I assume there would have been food available.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had given this invitation to the ‘ needy’ in the Borough and God knows there are plenty of them!
Oh no Foulkes had his TRFC (Tranmere Rovers Football Club) buddies there as guests!
Did you know ALL staff at Wirral Town Hall were told they ‘could work from home today’ because there ‘maybe’ problems parking! Needless to say many had a lovely day off!
How much did that cost?
How much did Wirral Council pay to Liverpool City Council for the Giants to ‘cross the water’?
Who paid for the stewards, policing, PA etc…road closures, staffing the list goes on….
“Discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”.
A big thank you to our readers who’ve been out and about and telling us they’ve been visited by giants. We thought at first they were putting something in the water supply – it would certainly explain a lot of things that happen on that crazy peninsula of yours ! – But fortunately they provided photographic evidence of their sightings .
First off we’ve got this beach scene . Who’s that in the navy blue shorty raincoat? Could it be Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies sadly surveying his political career? – Supine and all washed up.
Next up is Pip’s predecessor as Wirral Council leader Cllr Steve Foulkes . As we know no freebie event would be complete without Freeloader -In -Chief Foulkesy. He’s been feeding at Wirral Council’s trough of plenty for a quarter of century and doesn’t it show ? It was you, dear readers who paid for the gutless one’s gut so prominently on display.
Yeah -it’s boring AF isn’t it Foulkesy ? But it’s all about being seen isn’t it? And let’s face it there’s no missing you matey!
Wirral Leaks welcomes readers to comment on the above pictures in our special ‘Giants Caption Competition’ . Winners will get the opportunity to stand in the pouring rain looking at a big lump of wood thinking “WTF am I doing here and what have I done with my life… ?” .
We had been contacted by Paula Walters the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward in this week’s local elections prior to Wirral Globe updating its original story from 23rd April about Ms Walter’s alleged ‘hate tweeting’ . Today , a week after the article, Wirral Globe have also issued an apology to Ms Walters – see here
The upshot of all this hoo -ha is that depending on the outcome of the election that Ms Walters may well have to petition to have the New Brighton election declared null and void (see below).
We won’t comment on Ms Walters’ statement to us other than to say that we fully concur with Ms Walters’ final line :
I was contacted by Liverpool Echo that Christine Spriggs accused me of hate tweeting and would I like to comment. I asked to see the article so that I could respond. They refused but did send the tweets which were from 2015. I responded to each and every one of them which to be fair was a bit like ‘War and Peace’. I was then advised by Tom Houghton from the Echo that he was unable to honour my right to reply and went ahead to publish – on April 22nd see here – what in my opinion is an unfair,unjust article. The Globe reproduced the article in its entirety but went further in their headline that I am standing down. There has been no sign of an apology for trampling over my reputation (until today – a week after the original article ) and the Police are now involved, also The Independent Press Standards Organisation. I often attack policies of other parties but would not attack other candidates as a way of point scoring. I find this abhorrent. Feel free to publish my statement
STATEMENT : It has been falsely alleged by Christine Spriggs, The Liverpool Echo and by the Wirral Globe that I have posted ‘hateful’ Tweets. These Tweets have not been reproduced by the paper. I tweeted that Halal slaughter, in which animals are conscious when their throats are cut, should not be allowed in this country. I tweeted that money should be given to those needing cancer treatment, pensioners and the homeless rather than illegal immigrants. I tweeted that illegal immigration jeopardises our security, as ISIS has pledged (again last week) to send jihadists into our societies. I tweeted that people who have multiple wives – a criminal offence in this country – should not be paid extra benefits for them. The Wirral Globe/Echo did not reproduce these Tweets, because they were aware that huge numbers of Wirral voters agree with them, wholeheartedly.
Instead, they have propagated the lie that they were ‘hateful’. They have additionally now stated that I am standing down as a candidate in the forthcoming election. This is another lie, and an illegal interference with the election, contravening Section 106 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983 I cannot now do anything to change that, so on the Town Hall’s advice I will be petitioning for the election to be declared null and void. I regret the cost and inconvenience this will cause, but if someone lies repeatedly and breaks the law to affect an election, it is the only proper course to take. These people will stop at nothing.
If nothing else Wirral is well served by free media – mainstream or otherwise . From Wirral Leaks to Wirral Globe to Wirral View to Wirral Life – all along the news spectrum from the grime to the gloss.
However did you spot the deliberate mistake? We’ve been asked what part of the word ‘free’ doesn’t Wirral Council understand . Those of our readers who have miraculously received their first ever print edition of Wirral View have been asking us how can it have ‘FREE’ emblazoned on the front cover when the print and distribution costs and presumably the wages of the cut and paste mob who are responsible for compiling the unwanted rag runs into hundreds of thousands of £££ each year and is paid for by council tax payers ?
For those who had the honour and privilege of finally receiving a copy of Wirral View the most frequently asked question is : “Are there elections due ? In probably the last edition before purdah we understand it was rammed with Wirral Growth Company/Muse Developments/Wirral Waters articles replete with the obligatory artist’s impressions. There wasn’t even room for any healthy, cheap and nourishing recipes! We are sure a peep at the online edition would confirm the veracity of these claims but as the saying goes you don’t have to go to the Arctic to know it’s cold…
Another reader was a bit alarmed by the Wirral View headline above . At first they thought it was members of the Wirral Council cabal getting a vigilante posse together and taking time out from next week’s MIPIM conference in Cannes to track down ‘His Lordship’ and give him a good pasting . That was until they read the article , which was about how not to upset the kiddiewinks with stories about all the nasty things going on in the world. Although we think telling them to get a good education, not to do drugs and get away from Wirral as fast as you can is the best advice that any Wirral parent could give to their child.
THE ART OF DOING BUSINESS ON THE GOLF COURSE
From the glitz and glamour of Cannes we glide seamlessly to the latest glossy, glamorous, aspirational edition of Wirral Life . Inexplicably the cover star is hasbeen chanteuse / gardener Kim Wilde. So is Kim – best known for that annoying racket ‘Kids in America’ – coming to Wirral as part of her UK tour ? Er,no. She’s going to Wrexham ( oh the glamour of it all) . We couldn’t work out a Wirral connection even though the exclusive and highly insightful interview revealed that Ms Wilde only has “2 handbags and less than 10 pairs of shoes (not countingtrainers) “. Now if the interviewer had asked her about what trackie she would wear to visit The Pound Bakery we might have understood why Wirral Life was plugging her tour and giving her front cover status.
However less of this celebrity flummery what did interest us was finding out about the inevitable Wirral Chamber of Commerce section. There was news of Wirral Waters ( don’t they know it’s had a re-brand to Wirral Waters One?) and the Wirral Chamber Corporate Cup as the Chamber ‘host prestigious corporate golf day at Caldy’ . What is it with these people and bloody golf? We’ve long known that much of Wirral Council business is conducted at Wallasey Golf Club and of course there’s that Hoylake housing development proposal masquerading as a ‘golf resort’ but we’re definitely with Mark Twain on this one – “golfis a good walk spoiled”. The point of this anti-golf tirade (and we do have one) is that one of the 2018 teams is Morgan Sindall . Muse Developments are part of the Morgan Sindall group of companies . Is anyone other than us joining the dots? Read more here : Morgan Sindall
WIRRAL UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL : #PROUD – The Musical
Following our Wirral University Teaching Hospital : #Proud ? story we’ve been sent a video of the opening of Arrowe Park Hospital entrance from 2014 involving a ‘flashmob’ performing the song ‘Proud’. It brought a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye – but for reasons that probably means that we’re best walking away from the keyboard. Disgraced former WUTH CEO David Allison can be seen at the start of the video doing the difficult job of encouraging someone to cut the ribbon. So David tell us what did YOU do since this was filmed to make you feel proud?
We have some very observant and tuned-in readers who look at the world in the same slightly skewiff way that we do . Accordingly we are grateful for both the picture taken from a Channel 4 ident along with the following comment :
My daughter has forwarded me this image today explaining that this giant monster is actually a deconstructed number 4 (as in C4).
So, not only is it a good New Brighton image but it is also, I guess, some kind of metaphor for what Wirral Leaks is trying to do – deconstructing Wirral?
(or, like those blokes in wheelchairs…maybe I am pushing it)
Imagine our delight at Leaky Towers to receive a rare ,hand delivered copy of Wirral View on a Sunday afternoon. If truth be told we were briefly entertained by the sheer brain numbing , desperate, relentless positivity of it all.
As it would appear that this comic (without the laughs) is not attracting enough advertising revenue to make this vacuous vehicle viable we are instead treated to 28 pages of relentless intelligence insulting BS ( we can almost feel our cranium escaping out of our earholes).
In lieu of addressing our ‘information deficit’ we get a free full page plug for relentless self promoter Nisha Katona and her Mowgli chain of Indian eateries. Ms Katona eulogises about Wirral without mentioning she hasn’t yet opened a restaurant in the place where she chooses to call home.
But don’t despair Nisha dispenses her wisdom on how to start a successful start -up. Might we suggest the income earned from being a barrister for 20 years might have helped somewhat and that attending Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s Enterprise Hub (FFS!) wasn’t the key to Mowgli’s nationwide success (just sayin’!)
However we acknowledge that Nisha is just trying to make a (very good) living and instead we reserve our opprobrium for Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and his ‘leader’s column’ ( no laughing at the back) .
Pip makes reference to the recent Rightmove website survey which suggests that Wirral is ‘officially’ the happiest place to live in the North West of England and the third happiest in the UK ( yeah ! whatevs!)
As we’ve alluded to before , perhaps ‘happiness’ on Wirral is predicated by on which side of the M53 you live and whether you have a property to sell with Rightmove ( just sayin’). Even after using the word ‘officially’ Pip concedes that these surveys are ‘ a bit of fun’. But fun for who? lazy press officers? It should as come as no surprise that Pip concludes ‘What a wonderful place we callhome’
But then when a monumental mediocrity like him reaches the top of the Wirral tree – a la Mandy Rice Davies – he would say that wouldn’t he? For others who don’t live in the right postcode he fails to acknowledge that life on Wirral can be pretty grim.
Meanwhile other highlights from this latest edition include Cllr George Davies cutting a tape ( Freud would have a ( Frank) Field day) and the headline ‘Everything you want toknow about Wirral’ juxtaposed ,with no irony whatsoever, with ‘ Secret Bunker of New Brighton’ .
You really couldn’t make this shit up ! – but Wirral Council do – and at our expense. But at least thanks to Wirral View we know to make a ‘CHEEKY CHILLI!’
Pic courtesy of Echo. How refreshing not to see an artist’s impression of Wirral Waters!
One of our readers contacted us before Easter to give us the heads up about a Wirral Council approved erection in New Brighton:
‘Because of the uproar the robbing 2hats could not charge for parking at Perch Rock. So what do they do ? They build a big wheel and other fairground attractions which will take up most of the parking and take a cut of all monies generated. More than one way to skin a cat as they say……..’
Now it seems that after only three weeks the wheels have come off this latest money-making wheeze as the big wheel comes crashing down down to earth when it is dismantled this Sunday.
It seems the man putting the spoke in the big wheel was infamous self publicising local solicitor (and ex-Wirral councillor) David Kirwan who contacted Wirral Council on behalf of his client ,the Wilkie Leisure Group which run the rather tired Adventureland site over the road, complaining that they weren’t consulted about the rival ‘attractions’.
Wirral Council have dismissed claims that these developments have anything to do with a legal challenge questioning the tendering process for the attractions and that the big wheel only had temporary planning permission.
Whatever the reason it means that visitors will ,for the time being, be denied the opportunity to have spectacular views of those beautiful wind turbines as this is one big wheel that won’t keep on turning and rolling on the river.