Where Are They Now ? Part 4 – Emma Degg

new-job

Following on from yesterday’s ‘ Where Are They Now?’ story we follow up with perhaps the most successful trio ever to emerge, seemingly unscathed, from the wreckage of Wirral Council.

Yes,  once again we’re talking about the Graham Burgess/ Kevin Adderley/Emma Degg er,’triangle’ . As we have previously reported they snaffled over £500,000 between them as they parted company with their former employer under circumstances that in any other normal organisation might have led to their dismissal. But as we know Wirral Council are far from normal and the ‘conduct unbecoming’ of senior officers went without sanction , and was instead , rewarded with public money .

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/dearly-departed/

As we know Adderley walked down the road to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce with a cool quarter of a million . As far as we know Burgess got about half of that (although he’d only been at Wirral for about five minutes) and went on to chair both Blackburn & Darwen’s Clinical Commissioning Group , and the housing group Torus Common Purpose Board –  yes you read that right, the Torus COMMON PURPOSE Board!

http://www.wearetorus.co.uk/theteam/torus-group-board/

Not bad for someone who’d ‘retired’ from  Wirral Council……or more accurately ousted by Birkenhead MP and Victorian moralist Frank Field who feigned outrage at Burgess’s ‘unseemly conduct’ but was really rather more concerned that Burgess wouldn’t bend to his will over the ‘Wirralgate’ scandal.

And so finally having failed to be appointed the de facto Chief Executive of Wirral Council – and being prevented from doing so by Cllr Steve Foulkes and his use of some rather dubious tactics which led to Degg’s first bung  – the irresistible rise of that modern phenomenon/curse , the ‘Policy Advisor’ has struck again (see also Degg’s spin doctor successor at Wirral Council – Martin Liptrot).

For, as from tomorrow (March 1st), Degg takes up the position of Chief Executive of North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Degg must laughing into her Uggs/Rocket Dogs as having snaffled not one ,  but two pay-outs from Wirral Council she now lands a plum regional job.

It’s all worked out rather well hasn’t it ?- as it always seems to do with these kind of people. Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you’ve got the ‘right’ people to give you a good reference!

 

 

Open & Transparent : Emerging Thoughts

Here's a thought

…how about Wirral Council making their New Year’s resolution to be “open and transparent” in 2016 !

After his no doubt desperately longed for extended festive break Wirral Council CEO Eric “Feeble” Robinson  returned to what passes for reality at Wallasey Town Hall today.

As an aside we’d like to ask , as a matter of public interest , as to whether he’s moved any closer to Wirral like he said he would when he was first appointed. I think we know the answer to that one!.No FOI request required!

However ,we digress, as we know that awaiting Stressed Eric in his , no doubt bulging inbox , was the latest missive from our correspondent Dr.Robert in his quest to get to the bottom of the Kevin “Addled” Adderley pay -off saga (see below)

Before Christmas Stressed Eric had tangled himself up in knots trying to justify this egregious payment and told Dr.Robert  about his “emerging thoughts” on the matter.

Well we can only hope that during his midwinter sojourn those thoughts have, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis , now fully formed into a coherent and lucid response.

Dear Mr Robinson re – AN OPEN LETTER TO  – Cllr Phil Davies, Eric Robinson, Surjit Tour, Chris Hyams, Wirral Council Cabinet Members, all Wirral Councillors.

Further to my 2 ‘interim’ responses to your reply to my Open Letter, I now send my fully considered response to your reply. I was hoping that it could be brief, and succinct, however you have left me little alternative regarding brevity.

One fundamental observation I would like to make relates to the basis for your decision regarding the agreement of VS and the total payment of £250,000 – can you clarify when an ’emerging’ thought actually becomes a thought? It would appear to me that this fact is crucial to the validity of almost everything you have said, and the context to which it applies. If it is not yet a complete ‘thought’ that can be applied to a prevailing set of circumstances, there is no basis for situational considerations, restructure, future changes, and/or effective planning and management?.

It may be simpler to deal with your reply paragraph by paragraph (1-9), and pick up any additions at the end of my response.

  1.  In view of issues I have raised previously with you, you have advised me that other senior officers would reply on your behalf. Mark Smith refused to correspond with me regarding New Brighton. I am still awaiting an update regarding his, yours and Surjit Tour’s conduct and disciplinary actions being taken, in view of zero responses from them, on your behalf. However, at least in this instance I agree that it is appropriate for you to respond to me. As the individual in question, the apparently newly-created ‘Group’ directorship in question, and the Council Leader, Asif Hamid & Paula Basnett (and Kevin Adderley & Cllr Phil Davies) all hold/held directorships within the Group viz. Egerton House Community Interest Company/Wirral Chamber of Commerce (and other local and regional bodies) then it would fall to you to answer on behalf of the Councillors and the Council. I would also assume that due to the hierarchy at Wirral Council that you will have signed off the departure package for Mr Adderley, monitored for legislative and procedural compliance by Mr Surjit Tour?
  1.  There were neither inaccuracies, nor misunderstandings in my email; only requests for clarification.
  1. With regard to the proposed ‘new’ operating structure, of which there is absolutely no evidence to date. I had previously read your report to the Employment and Appointments Committee, which was essentially the reason for my Open Letter. It was entirely unconvincing and insubstantial, as a justification for the premise upon which the publicly perceived ‘gift’ of £250,000 of Wirral’s public money could be reasonably argued in such times of financial restraint. ‘Weasel words’ abound in the report, as they do in your reply to me, which is troublingly vague when such significant amounts of money are concerned. In my view, it was at this point that you could have exerted your self-proclaimed talent as a ‘whole system leader’, and put a stop to this latest in an apparently unjustified succession of excessive payouts to departing senior officers.
  1. Your reference to the report and Committee minutes, which are available on the Council website is not an issue. However, given the state of the new Council website and its problematic navigation, ‘openly available’, I would suggest, is stretching a point.

With regard to your last sentence in paragraph 4, regarding the report being initially exempt because “the request for voluntary severance was capable of being refused”, this argument can logically be applied to every request for VS, where Committee approval is required, so what made this case different if Mr Adderley was being treated “in the same manner as over 300 employees who have left the Council through voluntary severance over the past 18 months” (para 7) but warranted consideration as an exempt item? Were the 300 other employees’ requests treated as exempt items and considered ‘in camera’ as they could potentially have been refused?

  1. As a result of applying content analysis to your reply, there appears to be an issue of both chronology, and ’cause and effect’ relationships and dependencies. If one utilises critical path analysis (CPA) and applies it to the events described in Para 4, and others, even more questions emerge.

If we take Para 4 as a whole, you state that Mr Adderley had “independently decided to request voluntary severance” (not Early Voluntary Retirement which implies a need for pension to support one after leaving employment), in order to pursue other interests. The departure of Mr Adderley, given his independent decision-making, I would suggest, qualifies as a ‘fully emerged and fully-formed thought’, in that it has progressed through the embryonic, emerging thought stage, and had been developed completely (ie progressed from an ’embryonic’, emerging thought, through to achieving a final considered outcome, and the process by which it would be achieved), ie an achievable plan. It has a coherent ‘action plan’ (leave current WBC employment), an interim transitional stage (be available for whatever other interests demand, unencumbered by current employment constraints) and a ‘final outcome’ (freedom to pursue other interests), all of which can exist entirely independently of Wirral Council.

At this stage, Voluntary Severance should neither have been requested, considered, nor agreed, but resignation could, and should, have been accepted.

You claim that VS was agreed as a result of your ’emerging thoughts’. There appears to be no evidence of emerging, or any other kind of thoughts to date, regarding a coherent, restructured and  redesigned management, operational and/or delivery model, which would exclude any Strategic Director (or any other) post. The most recent staff structure to be found has your predecessor, Graham Burgess’ name on it, and appears to reflect fully emerged thoughts. That, in itself, would indicate zero progress striving for fully emerged thoughts after about 10 months in post as Chief Executive. The Chief Officer & Senior staff management structure on Wirral Council’s own website only displays vacant and currently occupied posts (plus salaries payable) with no deletions, so it would appear that little or no progress has been made.

In that context, I would question the arising of any legal implications, and also query the ‘legitimacy’ and the basis of the ‘council’s interest’, as the evidence you provided in your report would not appear to support the assertion that “… in Mr Adderley’s case, a clear redundancy situation had already arisen….”. Therefore, there would be no requirement to comply with “the Regulations”, but advice of notice of resignation could be accepted.

There is also an evident consideration regarding the new post that Mr Adderley has moved to after his departure from the Council. This is a new post, not in the ‘public sector’, but in an organisation which enjoys considerable funding from the public purse. This post has not existed before according to the Chamber’s/Egerton House staffing web pages or any archive. I am unable to find any public recruitment details, such as advertisements promoting the opportunity to apply for this post, no advance publicity, nor media exposure. As the only Directors of Egerton House Community Interest Company listed are Paula Basnett & Asif Hamid, is it reasonable to assume that they comprised the interview panel? For clarity can you advise (as a partner organisation, and funder) how many applications were received, who shortlisted from applications, who was shortlisted for interview, and what was the recruitment timetable? A job description and person specification, and any advert would also help my understanding.

It would seem rather strange, for such a high profile post to be newly established and filled, with no apparent surrounding spin and media hysteria. Given the incessant trumpeting by Paula Basnett regarding the empire-building aspirations of the Chamber of Commerce, and the drive towards the ‘partner-privatisation of Wirral’, maybe a reputation management post may have been of greater necessity?

It must surely be extremely important to the Council (and other custodians and distributors of public funds) that appropriate use of scarce public money is open, transparent and accountable. What appears to the lay-person to be an unconventional recruitment process, could be allayed by a public statement being made, (in the press possibly?), from the parties involved? Such an obvious act would appear to be a ‘transparent’ gesture by an organisation in receipt of substantial public funds. The funders would draw comfort, protect their reputations, and reinforce the concept of public accountability which flows from  being monitored, evaluated and regularly reviewed organisations. These actions are usually undertaken through regular returns, and internal and external audits by the various funding agencies. The issue regarding Wirral Chamber recruitment has been raised in the media previously, therefore it would appear that the Chamber does not seem to operate within accepted and usually strictly monitored parameters related to equal opportunities recruitment, although in receipt of substantial swathes of public money, and which appears to attract little attention from its funders?

(It must be noted that Wirral Chamber/Egerton House benefits from significant financial and in-kind support from Wirral Council).

  1. Regarding the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations”). Given that ’emerging thoughts’ (as opposed to formally revised, debated, agreed  and published staff structures) appear to be the basis upon which Mr Adderley’s departure was considered to attract ‘redundancy’ considerations, then logically one could argue that every single job where an employee hands in their notice to terminate employment (to pursue other interests, or for other reasons), all must be considered in that way viewed as a potentially redundant post, and VS agreed during consideration of an alternative delivery model? That would appear to be an expensive precedent to set, which as you state, is important when spending public money.

 

...”the Regulations” with which I am familiar, state as you say that ‘the member of the Pension Scheme is automatically entitled to access “unreduced accrued pension benefits”. You also say that “and must take immediate payment”‘ – I have read Section 30 and do not necessarily agree on a number of points, with your interpretation, in these circumstances.

‘Accrued’ is a past participle, and the definition is ‘(of sums of money or benefits) be received by someone in regular or increasing amounts over time’. ie employer & employee contributions to the pension fund over the time of employment, paid subsequently as ‘regular benefits and increasing in amounts over time’. That would suggest that the unreduced accrued pension benefits are what has ‘accrued’ in the pension fund over time of employment – irrespective of the argument over the VS sum of c£43,000 and its appropriateness. Where does an additional £207,000 fit with regard to this ‘automatic entitlement’ of accessing ‘accrued pension benefits’, also as we have defined that ‘accrued’ is past tense, and cumulative? 

  1. You state – “Mr Adderley has been treated in the same manner as over 300 employees who have left the Council through voluntary severance over the past 18 months” You also state that ” the council did not pay any NI or personal tax attributable to Mr Adderley and nor was any compromise contract entered into.” If Mr Adderley has been treated the same does that mean that no other senior or other departees from Wirral Council have a compromise contract entered into, and that NI and personal tax liability has not been paid to any individual, in addition to a ‘settlement figure’ – this would be useful to clarify for the avoidance of doubt.

” Mr Adderley’s entitlement…” only becomes an entitlement upon agreement in legitimate circumstances. If the ‘agreement’ is fundamentally flawed, then there are no grounds for consideration of ‘entitlement’, are there?

You also state – “There were no ‘behind closed doors’ meetings as you (Dr Smith) suggest. The Employment and Appointments Committee report whilst initially exempt was subsequently published in full”. How can you make such an emphatic statement regarding the meeting when the press and public were excluded from the meeting during the consideration of Mr Adderley’s departure? This event was cloaked in ‘smoke & mirrors’ secrecy, and appeared to be blindsided by another departee’s Committee discussions? The Committee considerations of Mr Adderley’s circumstances did not become public knowledge until some considerable time later? If he was treated the same as 300 others who would have had their affairs considered in public, is your statement a reasonable account of events surrounding Mr Adderley whilst being “treated in the same manner as over 300 employees who have left the Council…”? Possibly not?

  1. I have dealt with this paragraph previously in my 2 interim emails, as you were leaving the office until the 4th January 2016. For completeness I insert them here and will attach the associated files.
  2. “You make a number of other inappropriate remarks and comments about relationships which I do not consider warrant a response…” –  This is obviously another point where we differ considerably. Given the ‘bigger picture’ I fully understand the need, and often necessity for working closely with stakeholders, and partners from other sectors, and the benefits that can accrue for Wirral as a result. It is a very competitive world as we well know (even within the much-lauded Northern Powerhouse’). Networking is an increasingly crucial component of modern business, and local and central government. It is also extremely important for integrated community involvement and a balance between political (local, regional and national), party politics, community and local interests, investment, business relationships, adaptation, true accountability, and conduct in public office. My ‘public interest’ concern is true accountability for public funds, the purpose to which these funds and networks are put. and the concentration of very small communities of interest. their relationship to Wirral-wide potential benefits, and the various beneficiaries of those same interests.
  1. I look forward to hearing from you shortly

————————————————–

Dear Mr Robinson (sent 23.12.15 Attachments ref File 1 & File 2) 

Prior to my comprehensive reply, to your reply to me, which raises far more questions than it answers, I would like you to consider these 2 attached files. 

I would suggest that this alone would render your last three paragraphs, particularly the last paragraph, including – 

“You make a number of other inappropriate remarks and comments about relationships which I do not consider warrant a response…” 

– all the more questionable regarding practices and policies, departure and recruitment procedures, and relationships, plus the apparent illusion of equality, accountability and transparency. You will see that they may well not be such “inappropriate comments”, once you examine the attached files. 

Yours sincerely

 Dr Robert B Smith

 

Attached file 1 – ‎Saturday,12 ‎December ‎2015, ‏‎09:42:15

My Open letter sent to you – 13 December 2015 15:17

Attached file 2 – Today 23 December 2015 11.42

The last sentence of Kevin Adderley’s entry in the later version makes for interesting reading, don’t you think – as did my original comment in my letter?

———————————————–

Dear Mr Robinson (sent 23.12.15 Attachments ref A – Egerton House, A – Wirral Chamber) 

Further to my earlier email regarding Kevin Adderley and his recent employment with Wirral Chamber of Commerce/’Egerton House Community Interest Company’. I will still reply in full to your email at some point in the near future, but this seemed to be immediately pertinent, given the reply that you sent to me. 

I have to say that I find it particularly interesting that neither Cllr Phil Davies, nor Surjit Tour, have replied to any of my emails directed to them specifically since July. It seems to be that this strategy might possibly be construed by others as your being used as a ‘human shield’, which may make you particularly vulnerable, and we know how high a priority vulnerable people are to Wirral Council…maybe I am just being fanciful, but I digress. 

With regard to the ‘independence or separation’ of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, and the Egerton House Community Interest Company, this raises a particularly intriguing area of interest. Is this a ‘Community Interest Company’ or is it a ‘Community OF Interest Company’ – as they are worlds apart with that two letter word making a massive difference – if that could be clarified it will be most helpful. 

I attach for you 2 more files (related to the 2 previous files) which you may wish also to consider regarding your last 3 paragraphs of the reply, but particularly the last one. The reason that I raise these issues is that, as much as I am totally supportive of regeneration, and job creation in Wirral, and fully appreciate the importance of vision, inward investment, ‘networking’, and public, private and voluntary sector relationships, it is the use to which these networks, relationships and public money are put, in which I have a particular interest. Second only to transparency and actual accountability. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

The Bung,The Bad & The Uggly : Silence is a Golden Handshake

CIGGIEMATES

Two terse sentences brought to an end 13 long years in the chaotic world of Brighton Street on Monday:
“We can confirm that Emma Degg left the Council on Friday 17 July following her request for voluntary severance and an agreement being reached with her.
We wish her well for the future.”

Precisely who the “we” is wishing the now departed head of tourism and community engagement “well for the future” would be interesting to know, however.
Because there isn’t exactly a queue of people lining up to donate towards her leaving present.
Emma “Uggs” Degg is of course long known to regular readers of Wirral Leaks. She’s been directly and euphemistically referred to in virtually all of our reports.
Such was her influence right across Wirral Council, there seemed little that could be done without her first giving it the nod.
And that includes her control over and interference in replies to Freedom of Information requests…

During her tenure she held enormous sway over three chief executives – and got a fourth, the incumbent  Eric “Feeble” Robinson, to sign off her generous leaving package – which we’ll come to shortly.
Degg was in effect the de facto deputy chief executive to previous CX Graham Burgess and Jim Wilkie before him, again, more of which later.

There are anecdotes galore about her antics. About her manipulations, her tantrums, her politicking, back-biting, hair pulling out, floor-rolling hysterics, wild accusations and constant poison-dripping.

There are those colourful relationships with certain senior council officers, too.
For a long time – too long a time – none of it seemed to matter.
Such was her vice-like grip on the balls of weak men in powerful positions – and let’s make no bones about it, we’re looking at every single individual, elected or employed, who failed to act against her histrionics – Degg remained untouchable for over a decade as she rose from mere spin doctor to taking up residence in the office next to the boss.

To the abject horror of many inside and outside our rotten borough, she appeared to be unstoppable – right up until the wheels began to fall off in October 2013.
That was when a letter was sent out to the local press detailing how Degg – who earned £84,000 a year of your council tax – had been paid a further, tax-free, hush-hush one-off payment of £48,000 out of the public purse.

The 2013 letter, since obtained by Wirral Leaks, said: “It was paid through the payroll and was tax-free, being classed as compensation – apparently in relation to her being bullied and ill-treated at work.
“The payment was authorised by Graham Burgess, the [then] Chief Executive and Chris Hyams, the head of human resources and organisational development.
“It is unclear as to whether elected members were involved in the decision to make this payment, or indeed, are even aware of it.
“External legal advice was sought as to making the payment, so that will add to the bill for the residents of Wirral.”

Though Degg was never identified as the recipient at the time, the reaction throughout the council was instant: Utter consternation.
But still she clung on.
Burgess of course skipped out of Brighton Street on New Year’s Eve, under circumstances that appear related to secretive and possibly romantic goings on between himself and Degg – and that of Degg and the director of regeneration, Kevin Adderley.
The heat was very definitely on, so Burgess scuttled out of the kitchen.

Since then Degg has largely been absent from the town hall, supposedly through illness.
Yet as one Leaker informed us yesterday: “Just had a call from… who were told this morning that she had decided to leave after being off ill for some time. What a joke.
“They have played the whole ‘she’s been off ill for some time’ card with the staff. One of the things that took so long was agreeing how she would go.
“She has even been putting the feelers out for who might like to go for leaving drinks with her (presumably to celebrate her massive cheque)…. Er, that will be no one, thanks.”

Ah yes – the massive cheque.
Another letter obtained by Wirral Leaks from what appears to be the same well-informed source behind the 2013 revelation about the £48,000 payment – a payment that to this day has never been explained to council taxpayers – offers up some details.
If you have recently left the council’s employ with a meagre pay off – or if you have left because you couldn’t work with or alongside Degg or her ever shrinking number of acolytes – then you may want to look away now……

She leaves with three month’s pay in lieu of notice, £35,000 in redundancy, and a £15,000 compromise agreement to keep her mouth shut.
The letter writer adds: “What makes it even worse is she insisted on receiving £50,000 cash to go – so the council has paid the income tax and national insurance on her behalf – so the taxable element of her payment has cost the council £27,000.
“It all means that Emma Degg’s take home pay for July is £97,000.”
(Interesting how Wirral Council always – always – has money to pay off senior staff members, but cries penury whenever we want some actual services, isn’t it?).

The writer also says the first £48,000 payment was not for “bullying” after all.
It was “hush money as she had threatened to divulge certain information publicly”.
What that information was we can still only speculate. But it presumably wasn’t her poisonous briefing in 2008 that adult social services whistleblower Martin Morton was “a bit bonkers”.
Another Leaker, themselves in a different job after years working near Degg, contacted Leaky Towers yesterday, to say: “I don’t think I realised what an abnormal environment I was working in while working with her.
“[The new job has been] a massive eye opener… to make me realise how much [working in proximity to Degg] had really affected me. My default position with her was self-defence mode!
“[Now there is] No getting a million people to sign anything off, no worrying about whether I was allowed to share, and no being scared that I may have said too much.
“No drama and no one barking orders or screaming at people for doing things wrong. I am glad she has gone but so disappointed and let down she has been paid off.”

It’s interesting that part of the severance package included £35,000 “redundancy” – does that mean the role of head of tourism has now been deleted?
Surely the long-suffering council taxpayers of Wirral should be told?
As for the £15,000 to keep schtum – something Jim Wilkie, Graham Burgess and Kevin Adderley (at least) will be desperately hoping she sticks to – it seems pretty unlikely to be a watertight agreement.
Emma Degg knows where all the bodies are buried at Wirral Council. Not least because she helped bury many of them.
The question now is: Will the gatekeeper turn poacher in revenge?

Rip Off Pay Offs

Image

Payout

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 😉 ?

Lessons Learned

Wirral-Leaks-LessonsLearned

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

As Wirral Council merrily continues to dismantle public services we note ruefully at Leaky Towers how quickly the “organisation” has returned to its bad old ways.

Firstly the libraries closure volte-face debacle of 2010 is seemingly making a comeback with Burgesski taking his turn to face the flak and issue a statement claiming there’s nothing untoward going on by reviewing the library service once again.
Of course such is the lack of trust and confidence in Wirral Council  that anything emanating from Wallasey Town Hall is instantly met with hostility and suspicion.

It seems to us that Super -Duper Director meetings must mainly consist of them drawing straws to see who is going to front the latest controversial Council press release. Funny we never seem to hear from bullet-dodger Clare Fish whose surname seems most appropriate , as considering her prominent role ,she seems to be about as elusive and vocal as Stringray’s Aqua Marina.

So having been spared the indignity of being overtaken by commissioners (thanks to Frankenfield’s intervention) and having hoodwinked the blinkered Improvement Board it would seem Wirral Council feels secure in returning to the familiar power bases and personalities. There’s Foulkesy ensconced as Wirral’s first citizen with sidekick George Davies still acting as his middle man and Matron McLaughlin back chairing a Council Committee. It’s like the Independent Review never happened – but then this is what happens when an investigator like Anna Klonowski only does half a job and there is no accountability ,no consequences and a politically apathetic public (witness the shockingly low turnout in McLaughlin’s Rock Ferry ward).

Inevitably we now have the return of all the issues which brought Wirral Council into such disrepute – the corrosive culture,the obsessive secrecy,the abuse of power.

There are only so many times the Department of Spin can rely on golf tournaments and Stella Shiu and artists impressions of Wirral Waters and pictures of the Mayor and Mayoress before the spin spirals out of control into sheer delirium

However the Department of Spin does contain at least one person who has learned the lessons of the past. They can certainly show those naive whistleblowers how it should be done. They have learned that knowledge is power – so use it to your advantage.

Keep your job and get a nice big cheque.Win-Win.

That now makes 2 people in the Wirral Council “Job for Life” Club.

Accountability ?

Rumours have reached Leaky-Towers that it seems there are some within “Beleaguered Wirral Council” (it’s official title) who are currently attempting to negotiate their “exit strategy” rather than face the music before the axe of justice descends. “Early retirements” and “Enhanced Voluntary Severance ” all round eh chaps? Oh and maybe a job at the Deputy Lieutenants Office office or how about the freedom of the borough ? It’s all the rage apparently for Wirral’s abject failures.

Lord and Lady Wirral-Leaks discussed this matter at length and decided that even an organisation as dysfunctional and abusive and down right stupid as Wirral Council couldn’t be dim enough to allow these careerist charlatans to make haste with tax payers money to the leafy Cheshire suburbs yet again ….could they ???