Give A Little Whistle …….

FRANKY-KNOWS

These are strange times indeed when Frankenfield follows in the footsteps of Tory Tyro Jefferson Green and shows the latter that he is a rank amateur when it comes to politicking by making a very belated reference to a £48,000 under the counter payment to a senior council officer.   SEE HERE

We have to say that we find Frankenfield’s stance on the matter to be most curious and indeed why he suddenly feels the urge to go public on the matter at all.This is seemingly all in aid of securing a similar pay-off for a group of whistleblowers who (for some obscure reason) he particularly likes to court and fete.

Frankie Says: ‘The debt Wirral owes to those who blew the whistle is considerable’

The nature of this “debt”  is just one of many questions we’d like to raise and hope that the only Wirral MP who ever sees fit to comment on, interfere with or, so it seems to us, actually run Wirral Council can clarify once and for all.

What exactly does Wirral “owe” to these particular whistleblowers? From what we’ve read it would appear that they exposed that Wirral Council MAY have flouted EU regulations when it came to a highways contract tender ( which may not be right – but in the steady stream of scandals emanating from Wallasey Town Hall it hardly seems to warrant screaming front page headlines ) ….now we must make it clear that we are NOT decrying whistle-blowers here – everyone knows they are our meat and potatoes and we have followed this intriguing case for some time.All we are saying is that we don’t seem to be getting the full story……in fact we know we aren’t!

For example is Frankenfield now saying that this case is about so much more than exposing a bureaucratic oversight and the Richard Penn “No Case To Answer” report relating to the Colas highways whistleblowing case is BOGUS (we’ve long stated at Leaky Towers that this report was a stitch up).If so can he make a public statement to that fact?

Can he also clarify as to why he is asking Wirral Council to put their hand in the till once again when we understand that this group of whistle blowers didn’t actually work for Wirral Council? Is Frankenfield going to show his new found commitment to whistle blowers and back Nigel ” Highbrow” Hobro who similarly exposed malpractice about which Wirral Council have serious questions to answer , although he too didn’t actually work for the Council?. Furthermore did he support the Wirral Council whistle blower who we know about who was left to rot at home for SEVEN YEARS before being paid off and silenced last year?(yes it would appear that Wirral Council are still gagging people even after Burgesski publicly stated they weren’t)

As with the £48,000 pay off we are asking Frankenfield to identify the heinous treatment that was dished out these whistleblowers that he think warrants such  a pay off.It is our belief that the contentious £48K payment was more “hush money” than for hurt feelings .Is this the case here?.All we can see is that one of the whistleblowers was named in a council report distributed to councillors. Again we need to state that we don’t doubt for a second that these whistleblowers have suffered ( it seems to the fate of all whistle-blowers) but once again we don’t appear to be getting the full story……..

As we stated above , the timing of  Frankenfield’s public pronouncement is most curious and leads us to ask as to what made him want to focus on the senior council officer who suddenly and spectacularly seems to have fallen from favour? Have they served their purpose and – like so many before – are now to be cast aside in the name of political opportunism?  Will there be a flurry of further damaging revelations that will follow in the wake of this opening salvo?

We’d be most grateful that in the PUBLIC INTEREST if Frankenfield  could answer the above questions and particularly in the hope that he’s been listening to his inner Jiminy Cricket………  Let’s see exactly what Frank erm, nose 😉 ?

RPT : Redacted ,Protracted & Traduced

 AREPEAT
“We wanted justice but you wouldn’t give it to us” – Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro
Now we’ve made no secret of the fact that at times we have found the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods whistleblowing case hard to fathom (and 600 + page Committee reports don’t help) However we do know that when we hear Wirral Council using the dreaded phrase “lessons have been learned” we know that something has gone badly awry.
Therefore when Her Ladyship told me that history was repeating itself and tied me to the wingback chair in the library I first thought we were re-enacting our wedding night. However she was just ensuring that I sat through a recording of the finale of the long drawn out saga fronted by indomitable whistleblower Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro and his Aussie mate James Griffiths by showing me a recording of Wednesday’s Audit and Risk Mendacity Committee (we’re not saying that ARMC are mendacious but we are claiming that this committee has experienced enough “misleading statements” in it’s time).
We’re grateful for the fact that the recording and incisive commentary by John Brace on his blog saved us the trouble of looking at the back of  Burgesski’s head ( fashion tip from Her Ladyship: Comrade needs a haircut)……..
 So from his usual observation point on the front row the ever perceptive Mr.Brace drew parallels with the infamous Morton whistleblowing case which still casts a long,dark shadow over council proceedings. This suggests that once again that the “lessons learned” by Wirral Council warrant an F for Fail.
Certainly the redacted reports and protracted investigations reminded us of past misdemeanours although such was the welter of evidence produced by Hobro that the “No Case To Answer” stamp failed to materialise for once.The meeting itself seemed to be a bit of a fractious affair overseen by a charming new council officer/councillor double act : Tetchy Tour and Crabby Crabtree
Indicative of  the opposing viewpoints on display was the matter of a particularly contentious Internal Audit report which according to Burgesski “needed further work” whilst Hobro described it as a “pathetic piece of work” ( although we’re not sure whether he meant the report or the author !)………However we must refrain from such honestly held opinions as Burgesski doesn’t take kindly to council staff (past or present) being “traduced on social media” (!)  – funny how Burgesski doesn’t seem quite so animated on council officers being “traduced” by councillors ( but let’s not go there for the time being)  or council officers traducing whistleblowers.Perhaps he was concerned he’d have to whip out the cheque book again if someone’s feelings were hurt.” If only that cheque book could talk ! ….” sniped Her Ladyship , to which I retorted ” If that cheque book could talk it would be bound to be gagged”.
The general conclusion was that , yes ,mistakes were made ,nobody’s perfect,we’re moving forward etc;etc;etc when it came to dubious business practices and lax accounting and auditing processes which were supposed to be overseen by Wirral Council.
The people who ended up in hospital,losing their business and getting County Court judgements made against them – were forgotten about in a buck-passing masterclass – from Wirral Council to auditors Grant Thornton to Merseyside Police to North West Development Agency (with whom there are some interesting past associations) and back again.” It was before my time….” was a familiar refrain heard during the meeting.
The £46,000 payment to the former Chief Internal Auditor wasn’t before your time though was it Comrade?
As we’ve already reported the day after this meeting Burgesski announced his retirement so it seems that having once declared  : “We’ve won the war now it’s time to win the peace” it would appear that he no longer has the stomach for the fight.
And who can blame him?………there’s a H-bomb on the horizon.
H is for Hubris.