The Leaky Awards – All Time Best Quotes

One of the most satisfying aspects of reviewing our past body of work is identifying the consistent thread of delusion and deceit associated with those from Wirral Council that weaves its way through our posts like words through a stick of rock

Wanker rock

To highlight this  we present the past winners of ‘Quote of the Year’ 2013-16

 2013 – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” – Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies

Full story here: THE LEAKYS – WIRRAL LEAKS AWARDS 2013

2014 – ” (I was) played an excerpt of the recording (and) an adverse comment (was) made by a senior member (of the Labour group)” 

Powerboytrumpet

Power Boy Pip – a hearing impairment or a truth allergy? 

We’ve added some annotations (in bold) to the comments on our original post just to highlight the extent of the denial and deceit that’s going on here :

Wirral Leaks followers will recall that the Quote of the Year in the 2013 Leaky Awards came from Power Boy Pip and was in reference to the Wirralgate tape – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” (This investigation will be the unheralded Peter Mackay investigation from October 2013 – about which much more in our upcoming Wirralgate For Dummies guide). Then having thought he’d cleverly boxed off that little local difficulty Pip’s plans were dashed after someone (that someone tipped off Tory leader Jefferson Green about the Wirralgate tape just before last Christmas and by the new year it suddenly appeared that Power Boy Pip had recovered from a bout of amnesia and suddenly recalled being “played an excerpt of the recording” and that “an adverse comment (was) made by the senior member” of the Labour group” !!!

We were more coy in those days. The ‘someone’ who tipped off Green was none other than Liam Murphy who at the time was working for the Liverpool Echo but as you all now know works for the local Labour group!

Oops! the “adverse comment” must’ve slipped Pip’s tiny mind during the Mackay investigation in October 2013.

So having been rumbled Pip was forced to concede that the Wirralgate tapes went from an “unsubstantiated rumour” to “inaudible” to him admitting that he was indeed “played an excerpt.”

What we find frustrating is that the then Tory leader Green or indeed any other councillor didn’t think to refer the matter to the Standards Panel as Pip had clearly lied to investigator and to elected members. But then they didn’t when Cllr Steve Foulkes had evidentially done the same during the first Thynne investigation and they were ALL witnesses!  

Is it any wonder that the runner up for Quote of the Year 2014 was this :

“We wanted justice but you wouldn’t give it to us”Whistleblower Nigel ‘Highbrow’ Hobro speaking at Audit & Risk Management Committee in October whilst exposing Wirral Council’s inglorious record of thwarting whistleblowers by means of delay, obfuscation ,denial , minimisation and total lack of scrutiny or challenge from opposition councillors (see above).

Full story here : THE LEAKYS 2014

2015  – “You really don’t expect this sort of thing from a Labour Council.” –  Paddy Cleary ,Unison Branch Secretary commenting on proposals to close disabilities respite unit Girtrell Court , which we all know subsequently closed. Last time we heard carers weren’t happy with replacement services. 

As we said with such prescience at the time :  Is this what passes for “slamming” round here?.Seriously Paddy – where have you bloody been?. Oh !-  sitting in Wallasey Town Hall on the Council payroll !Memo to Paddy : This a Labour Council in name only and it is exactly the type of “thing” they’ve been doing for years. We deserve so much better and so do your members and until you all realise this your membership and influence will continue to dwindle. # UNISON #USELESS #FACEPALM 

Full story here : THE LEAKY AWARDS 2015

2016  From the brink of intervention, to the pinnacle of local government”  – Eric Robinson CEO Wirral Council. 

As we said at the time : Now we don’t know whether Stressed Eric has been buying some powerful hallucinogenics with his megabucks salary but this can surely be the only explanation for this ludicrous claim that Wirral Council is the pinnacle of local government. When it comes to public service peak performance we’re talking more Moel Famau than Mount Everest!

Of course this claim has gone from ludicrous to insulting as it was made before the publication of the damning Ofsted report which deemed local Children’s Services to be ‘inadequate’

Stressed Eric was also the runner up last year with this howler :

” It might seem an unusual step to revert to a printed product, and even I queried this at first …….” (Eric Robinson talking about Wirral Council’s decision to publish Wirral View ) “Until I was told to get back under my desk ….”  he might of added to prove once again why he’s the perfect CEO for Wirral Council.

 

EricERic v3

One of these is under the control of unseen hands and speaks other people’s words. The other one is a ventriloquist’s dummy.

THE LEAKY AWARDS 2016

And finally here’s a potential winner for  ‘Quote of the Year 2018’ from someone who doesn’t and has never worked for Wirral Council  but fortunately for her knows somebody who did and which provides further insight into ‘how things work’ these days.

“This year Emma Degg took over as CEO of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Over the years , Emma had offered me various work experience placements to help me advance and develop my network. It’s through NWBLT that I found out about The Juice Academy ….” Emma Green

From Pub to Powerhouse

We ask ourselves could Emma Green be in any way related to former Wirral Council Tory group leader Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green who could often be seen having a fag with Emma Degg round the back of Wallasey Town Hall ? I think we all know the answer to that question don’t we boys and girls? But isn’t it nice to see those who have moved on to pastures new courtesy of nepotism, sorry ,’network’ is able to give the leg up to the daughter of the former leader of Wirral Council?

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A Dim View

things-to-do-030

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….

wirral-business-support-008

From Welfare to Fairway

Golf cart

An indication of how far Labour -controlled Wirral Council have fallen from the moral high ground and into the golf bunker is that their Welfare Rights Unit employing 3 people is having to make a business case to ensure its survival. Yes – you read that right – applying a business model to welfare rights . Frank Field must be so proud of his amoral protégés.

“..This Officer Option would involve the Council stopping it’s current ‘Welfare Rights’ service , due to similar services being provided by other organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau , which are also funded by the Council.”

BUSINESSCASE

Oh how we long for the day when the Wirral Council’s Chief Executive and his Super Duper Directors have to justify their existence and their massive salaries or are they too busy racking up massive bills buying office furniture from Jenkinson’s ?.

How does this Council reconcile the outraged soundbites and screaming headlines about “Tory cuts”  whilst they desperately woo private industry and zealously dismantle public services?. Where are we living- Wirral or Tunbridge Wells?.

Let’s look beyond the rhetoric and look at the Council’s actions :-

  • Closure of Lyndale School for disabled children
  • Threatened closure of Girtrell Court respite service for disabled adults
  • Threatened closure of Welfare Rights Unit
  • Punitive implementation of the Bedroom Tax and ;
  • Hiking up Council Tax contributions for unemployed which were both local decisions

Then compare the above with the following :

  • Pay hike for the Chief Executive Eric “Feeble” Robinson
  • Appointment of PR kingpin Martin Liptrot (was there a business plan for this grace and favour appointment?)
  • Peppercorn rent and refurbishment grants for their friends in the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (aka the Nepotism Depot – we understand that Basnett’s bro’ has joined Basnett’s sis’ as part of the crew.It’s a family affair y’all.)
  • Failing to attract investors and pouring money down the Wirral Waters plughole
  • Relentless pursuit of establishing a golf resort in Hoylake in the face of increasing local scepticism  http://www.hoylakegolfresort.uk/

This private enterprise and personal enrichment taking priority over social justice and the welfare safety net approach is reflected in Eric Feeble’s latest less than riveting ExecView newsletter which plugs the following local press coverage that spin king Liptrot(sky) has managed to secure. We were disappointed to see no mention of any stories from Wirral Leaks – as we know Liptrot is particularly keen to know more about us. Don’t be shy Marty – we’d love to hear from you directly ! :

 

cleardothttps://gallery.mailchimp.com/28dc8b56d191c90e7216a3f5b/images/cd58e6e1-24ba-4a3f-8c03-f36f6cb3e9d0.jpg

‘Green Light for Wirral Growth Plan’ Insider Media
‘Plans for Birkenhead Kick Start Economic Regeneration’ Wirral Globe
‘Time To Wake Sleeping Giant’ Echo
‘£250m Plans To Turn Birkenhead Into ‘Major Business Capital’ Radio City
‘Council unveils plans for Downtown Birkenhead investment scheme’ BBC

ExecView- Jan 2016

We can imagine the Council licking their lips at the prospect of getting rid of the Welfare Rights Unit so they can employ Liptrot(sky) full time to spin this BS!.

No wonder the compliant Unison spokesperson Paddy Cleary safely ensconced on the Council payroll saw fit to bite the hand that feeds him recently when he said “You really don’t expect this sort of thing from a Labour Council.”

Oh we do Paddy and might we advise you read the Business Case prepared by the Welfare Rights Unit as the extracts quoted below are  very reminiscent of the dodgy rationale for the proposed closure of Girtell Court. No cost benefit analysis ,no coherent financial modelling and no details of exactly how services would be re-provided.

“There are three full time welfare rights advisors who have accumulated a vast range of experience, knowledge and skills in this field though working in the community sector, local authority and Department for Work and Pensions. The annual cost of running this “in house” service is stated to be £108,606 (Summary Business Case). No detail has been given as to how the Welfare Rights Service will be “re-provided”, or how much that service will cost the local authority, although it is acknowledged in the Summary Business Case that residents would have to be directed to agreed alternative providers, and that “this may involve additional costs which would reduce the savings proposed…….

We understand the scale of the financial challenges facing Wirral Council, but we consider that the proposal does not accurately identify actual cost savings; does not acknowledge the direct impact that our service can have on generating council income; and does not address the effect of losing the current service on other departments of the local authority, as well as our external partners……..

We do not have the resources to check all gains, but recorded gains for the period January 2015 to December 2015 were £782,029.99. The great majority of gains relate to awards of benefits that are paid by central government funds. The gains achieved can directly benefit the Local authority in terms of meeting the pledge in the Wirral Plan to reduce family and child poverty.”

But who needs needs reasoned ,cogent arguments to justify the closure of services when the Council abandoned welfare for the fairway a long time ago?.

Seems like we could all be going to hell in a golf cart.

 

The Leaky Awards 2015

500 posts

We must first apologise for the late arrival of the much anticipated annual Leaky Awards.

However we thought we’d wait until it was our 500th post before releasing the names of the lucky and unlucky losers!!!.These are our suggestions – you may have others.If you do we’d be delighted to hear from you!.

It has been a momentous year for Wirral Leaks and we’d like to thank our illustrious contributors,impeccable sources and incredible leakers who helped us SMASH !!! through the 400,000 hits barrier just before Christmas in what was a record breaking year for us at Leaky Towers.

As a point of comparison Council Leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies’ totally tedious “Leaders Blog” has had a total of 15,000+ hits.Did somebody mention public interest?.Somebody needs to tell Pip’s poor-man’s Machiavelli Martin Liptrotsky that he needs to up his game and start earning his £45K shit-glittering fee.Might we suggest sexing the blog up?. Cllr Adrian Jones in a mankini ,Cllr Joe Walsh in a jockstrap, Cllr Moira McLaughlin in her matron’s outfit – that sort of thing.

Meanwhile our 500th post will review our year and explain why we are the pre-eminent political blog on Wirral.Could it be because we prick the pomposity ,highlight the hypocrisy and satirize the sleaze that Wirral politicians and officials have been allowed to get away with for far too long?.

However on with the show :

Campaign of the Year 

What has gratified us more than anything this year has been to witness the Wirral populace emerge from their political apathy and start kicking arse.

Our advice to you all is to do it more often as Wirral Council haven’t got a bloody clue what they’re doing and they just want to avoid adverse publicity at all costs.

So our joint winners are :

Brand New Brighton Rocks On https://www.facebook.com/Brand-New-Brighton-Rocks-On-101238503553982/?fref=ts

Their campaign in forcing Wirral Council to do a U-turn on parking charges in New Brighton was co-ordinated ,reasoned  and reasonable.Wirral Council could learn something from these lot.

Help Save Hamilton Square Birkenhead https://www.facebook.com/savehamiltonsquare/

We were the first to report the criticism about Wirral Council’s circling the Square proposals.We are gratified to report there is now a co-ordinated campaign group.Join and have your say before Hamilton square becomes a less than magic roundabout.

Wirral – the People Fight Back https://www.facebook.com/Wirral-the-People-Fight-Back-1637227719856809/?fref=ts

A regular compendium of Wirral Council woes.Somewhat like Wirral Leaks this campaigning Facebook page acts as a critical friend wanting the council to be better for the benefit of the people of Wirral.However it would seem Wirral Council much prefer non-critical friends like those local government lackeys they had in recently undertaking a “peer review”.

We also should mention the Save Woodside Ferry Terminal campaign but fear that this noble cause may have already been politically hijacked.Was anyone taken in by the “Foulkesy Across The Mersey” charade at Thursday’s Merseytravel meeting?.Let’s face it , when was the last time Foulkes or any other of the leading campaigners (including Frankenfield) used Woodside Ferry terminal?.At least Foulksey has a decent excuse – apparently the last time he was on the landing stage he was nearly harpooned.

We also remain to be convinced by the Save Girtrell Court campaign.We are a big supporter of services for disabled people but so far we’ve only heard from unions,staff,councillors and social services managers.When do the tenants or their advocates get a say ?- and if they do will they have an informed choice about the services they really want?.

Director of the Year    

Shock horror! – the winner of this award does not emanate from the charisma free zone that is Fish ,Blott and Armstrong .

No , the director we’re talking about here is John Brace.The man with the movie camera at meetings across Merseyside .He used to be a master of the single shot but now he’s learned to do tracking shots. Just promise us John that you don’t learn to do close -ups.Nobody wants to see Wirral councillors in close up.Ever.

http://johnbrace.com/

Quote of The Year 

Unison Branch secretary Paddy Cleary apparently “slammed” the proposed closure of respite care home Girtrell Court (see above) by saying: “You really don’t expect this sort of thing from a Labour Council.”

Is this what passes for “slamming” round here?.Seriously Paddy – where have you bloody been?. Oh !-  sitting in Wallasey Town Hall on the Council payroll !.

Memo to Paddy : This a Labour Council in name only and it is exactly the type of “thing” they’ve been doing for years.We deserve so much better and so do your members and until you all realise this your membership and influence will continue to dwindle.

Mathematical Problem of The Year

Somewhat like the lottery , when it came to the departure of three of our most senior Wirral Council officers within a 10 month period of each of other,  the permutations were apparently endless .Three was the magic number of their bonus ball and their lottery win netted them £500,000 of public money –  thereby proving the mathematical equation that two into one does go !.

Cryptic Question: When is a triangle not a triangle? Answer: When it’s a square!.You do the math!

Photograph of The Year

Foulkesy and pussy

Yes – for the second year running it’s multi-award winning  ex this, ex-that , and ex-the other Cllr Foulkesy who saw fit to publicly publish this picture.

We can imagine his acceptance speech for this award will go something like:

“Speaking as one of the main beneficiaries of Frank Field’s “Feeding Birkenhead” initiative I’d like to thank him for his support which has enabled me to keep putting my snout in the trough of plenty for a quarter of a century”.

Although we’ve judiciously edited the picture as the other person in shot is no longer a civic dignitary and therefore no longer fair game we would like to make it clear we did not photoshop this picture.Now ordinarily this would be a caption competition but we’d request that readers insert their own captions in the privacy of their own home.We don’t want Foulkesy having to make a cheque out to himself for hurt feelings do we?.

Finally we’d like to thank everyone for their leaks in the past year and we look forward to publishing more shocking revelations.Currently this seems to be the only means by which wayward Wirral Council officials will be ever held publicly accountable.

Indeed thanks to our much valued sources we already have a couple of eye-watering exclusives to kick off 2016!……….