The run up to the local elections is monsoon season when it comes to leaks and we’re currently soaking wet. However to be totally accurate this post is a leak about a leak. You may remember our Eric Sees Red Over Green Belt story and if you don’t you really must try and keep up! However to recap last week we saw selective leaking of meetings from sources assumed to be close to the Labour group during the local election campaign. These leaks were designed to benefit Labour candidates but this now seems to have back fired now that full details are emerging. Labour politicians (most prominently Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore) were all over the local press and simultaneously showing up the Local Plan ‘consultation’ process for what it was – completely bogus – and trying to make political capital out of closely guarded information during the purdah period and declare the local Labour group as the belated saviours of Green Belt sites listed for development. Then we had a further leaked email written by Eric Robinson commenting:
This list went out to public consultation and remains unchanged and no sites have been removed from the list.
Well, there have been further developments on this story and it is even more sinister than we first realised. And we use the word ‘sinister’ advisedly. It doesn’t just mean something bad is about to happen it comes from the Italian word, sinistra – meaning left.
Whilst ‘left-leaning’ politicians is something we can get with – well, if they stick to their principles and not to the power trip anyway, ‘left leaning’ flag of convenience council officials on six figure salaries is another thing altogether. Aren’t they meant to be politically neutral? Just like Martin Liptrot!
Whilst we only know the officers (and not the councillors) involved in the following exchanges it is apparent that we have council officers who have a decidedly unhealthy twisted symbiotic relationship with the current ruling Labour administration. But then we’ve long known that but it is ,yes, sinister, to see it in action.
The plot is a bit convoluted but bear with:
An unnamed councillor attempts to get a copy of the documents information contained on a set of slides which formed the basis of last week’s leak resulting in ‘Labour Saves the Green Belt’ articles:
Despite the fact the document had already been leaked to us and the world and her husband seems to have access to it Paul Satoor the man currently responsible for cobbling a Local Plan together for the first time in 14 years replies on behalf of the elusive Wirral Council CEO ‘Stressed’ Eric Robinson :
The anonymous councillor persists :
The political hot potato gets passed to Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt who proves equally evasive:
The anonymous councillor persists:
It would appear that our intrepid councillor eventually acquires information they were requesting from another source and offers his thoughts on the tortuous process .
It is interesting to note the the timing of the meetings referred to in the leaked information coincides with the departure of Brian Bailey in November 2018. Bailey was formerly the senior officer responsible for all things to do with the ‘Local Plan’. Perhaps he wasn’t prepared to follow the ‘Wirral Way’ of doing things – wrongly obvs! Or after his Lottery win he just thought ‘sod this for a game of soldiers’…
We think that the public interest in these leaks lies in revealing the process of extracting information from PUBLIC servants who don’t want the PUBLIC to know what’s going on .
Oh btw if anyone would like us to publish more of the leaked information (some interesting extracts are provided below) just let us know as it would appear it’s OK for certain councillors to share them if there is political advantage to be gained .Therefore as far as we’re concerned it’s open season as the Local Plan ‘consultation’ entered into in good faith by 2,700 people has already been fatally compromised by a behind closed doors decision making process organised between senior council officers and the Labour cabinet…