Halliday Money : The Rising Son of York

smug-halliday

Hooray! Hooray! It’s a Halli-Halliday ?…

You may recall that we brought you the news of the appointment  and resignation of Brian Bailey, Wirral Council’s Corporate Director for Economic and Housing Growth  , a significant role which includes overseeing the production of Wirral’s non-existant Local Plan.

We’ll give you one guess as to his successor…

Good guess. But no, sorry it wasn’t Martin Liptrot . As you know some CCTV footage may have put paid to his meteoric – and  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies -assisted – rise through the Wirral Council ranks …

Have another go .Yes, that’s right, it the other one. Stewart Halliday, the rising son of York. The man who arrived with a chequered past from over the Pennines and the adventures of whom Wirral Leaks have chronicled for the past couple of years.

Here are a selection of Halliday’s (and our) greatest hits :

Wirral Council – Where Transformation Means More Of The Same

Reference Point

Happy Halliday

Secret Chamber

We may never know what Halliday did (or didn’t ) get up to in York but from the reaction we’ve received from contacts in City of York Council they’re not best pleased at the appointment :

After pocketing around £300k for 21 months ‘work’? as a consultant at Wirral …, he’s now been made a Director by this LA….
It stinks !!!!
Meanwhile as far as we can see not a peep from Wirral Council or its councillors , Wirral View or the local press on the prestigious and highly remunerated new appointment. Shall we await a big media splash or will the powers that be not want to cause any waves or muddy the (Wirral Waters) about their fishing in the shallow end of the local government talent pool? …
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EXCLUSIVE : Hoylake Golf Resort /Celtic Manor Resort – Extraordinary Wirral Council meeting

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For those of you who peruse the Wirral Council calendar of meetings and who might be wondering what the Extraordinary Meeting called for 25 February 2019 was all about we can exclusively reveal, courtesy of the above leaked email, that it’s all about the Hoylake Golf Resort (aka Celtic Manor Resort).

As you can see the letter requisitioning the meeting emanates from the Wirral Council Conservative Group :

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Now where do you think the ever opportunistic Conservative Group might have read about ‘the opposition voiced recently by the Local Campaign Forum of The Labour Party’ ?

We’ll give you one guess : Hoylake Golf Resort : ‘Wirral Local Campaign Forum reflects the views of the members which may at times differ from the Labour Group’

Whilst a credit would have been nice we are more than compensated by the thought that the Extraordinary Meeting will be a test of Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ ‘leadership’ (no laughing at the back) . After all Pip has bewilderingly pushed for this misbegotten development against all known reason, logic and finance and after the sinking of Wirral Waters courtesy of his naive faith in Stella Shiu this was presumably to be his ‘lasting legacy’ on Wirral (we can  make some suggestions as to what his lasting legacy really should be but we’ll leave that for a later date )

Not only will Pip face opposition from the Conservative Group and presumably the might of the Green Party ( yes,that’s you Cllr Pat Cleary) but opposition within his own ranks of newly elected or up and coming councillors who will no longer do as their told or bend to the will of a power crazed elite. But will they stick by their new found principles and back the Local Campaign Forum of The Labour Party AND the Conservative Group ?  Now there’s a political dilemma !

Pass the popcorn…

 

 

Frank Field’s Bread and Circuses (Special Royal Edition)

Red Braces

“Listen Janette dear, I’m well aware of your Republican tendencies but the Royals have their uses in times of trouble so do be a sweetie and step away from Twitter next week… and anyway never forget I’m more regal than any of them…”

Of course we couldn’t let the news pass that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Prince Harry and Meghan) were visiting Birkenhead next week following the invitation from its MP Frank Field. Needless to say Frankenfield is ‘delighted’ as desperate times call for desperate measures and is there anything more desperate that roping in the royals to prop up your popularity and putting out the flags when support within the local Labour Party is flagging?

Will Frankenfield be showing the royal couple round the town he likes to call ‘Beirut’ and which is inhabited by people he refers to as ‘scallywags’ ? Needless to say local measures to tackle violence,poverty ,deprivation and anti -social behaviour will be highlighted on the royal mini-tour of the town which we are sure will leave a lasting and positive impression. But let’s not forget a trip to see the Wilfred Owen statue shoved to the side of Hamilton Square. Just let’s hope Prince Harry doesn’t don his Nazi regalia as our Fun with Fascism story highlighted it seems to be de rigueur on Wirral for someone to rock up at a World War One commemoration dressed up as a fascist.

prince nazi

We’re not sure that an introduction to Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies is not such a good idea though . What if one of the nation’s sweethearts asks the usual royal question “And what is that you do? …”  They might be in for a bit of a shock at the answer but then let’s face it Pip is unlikely to answer truthfully is he?

Perhaps a better option to be a guest of honour would be ardent royalist Cllr Janette Williamson – she must  want to enquire how Prince Harry’s dear grandpapa is, for as we know from this story she takes a particular interest in the wellbeing of the Duke of Edinburgh…

 

 

 

 

 

Hoylake Golf Resort : ‘Wirral Local Campaign Forum reflects the views of the members which may at times differ from the Labour Group’

A  press release we have just received from the Wirral Local Campaign Forum (formerly known as the Wirral District Labour Party) is the clearest indication yet of the schism between local party members and the old guard of Labour Group . The LCF declares its opposition to the Hoylake Golf Resort – or Celtic Manor Resort as its being rebranded in certain quarters – which has been a flagship development for the ruling administration under the ‘leadership’ of council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies.

We did predict that 2019 would be an interesting year for politics on Wirral. One week in and things just got a whole lot more interesting…

 

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Fieldwatch 4 : ‘Vulgarity is the conduct of other people…’

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The Blott,Pip & Addled Caption Competition – answers to Wirralleaks @gmail.com

Vulgarity is the conduct of other people, just as falsehoods are the truths of other people – Oscar Wilde

We’re really sorry we started this but since we’ve been monitoring the local and national media appearances since Birkenhead’s Labour MP Frank Field became an ‘independent’ we could make Wirral Leaks a wall-to-wall Frankenfield-fest…but ain’t nobody got time for that.

However there are a couple of stories which have caught our attention this week which we think highlight his hypocrisies.

First up we have Field seeing fit to comment on the Daily Mail non- story Fury after Bake Off Sue compares PM to ‘s*** on a shoe’

The story concerns Sue Perkins ,ex Great British Bake Off presenter and leading media figure from the LGBTQXYZ community – we really try and keep up with the latest acronyms but apologies if this is not quite right – and her less than flattering assessment of Brexit in general and Theresa May in particular on a late night TV programme ‘The Last Leg’ on Channel 4 that about half a dozen people accidentally watch after they’ve got in from the pub. In response to the question How do you think Theresa May has handled this week? Do you admire her?’ Perkins replied :

‘In the same way I admire s*** on a shoe in that it endures and no amount of using a twig on it or power-hosing it will remove it, so her ability to cling on is the stuff of legend and I don’t want it near me.’

The Daily Mail reported :

Conservative and Labour politicians reacted with fury to the comments yesterday, including Ministers who demanded an apology from the star.

MP Frank Field said: ‘There is a worrying trend in public life that people are getting more and more obscene and violent in their comments and are being allowed to get away with it. What Sue Perkins said crosses the line. Channel 4 and other broadcasters should not let her on again.’

We’d have thought there were more pressing matters for MPs to comment on at the moment but it does allow us to reiterate a point we’ve made before about powerful politicians. Frankenfield, in particular, seems to be cursed with the delicate sensibility of a Victorian maiden aunt forever being offended by the vulgarity and lack of deference of the ‘others’ towards their ‘superiors’. But then Frankenfield has always had a particularly low threshold about what he considers ‘obscene’ . We must tell you ‘The Mary Whitehouse Story’ one day which concerns a poem the anti-obscenity campaigner once showed Field which described Jesus Christ having sexual intercourse with Mary Magdalene. Apparently he’s never got over it…but we’ll save that one for another time.

However back to the point that we wanted to make. We believe that  Conservative and Labour politicians reacting with ‘fury’ to the Perkins’  ‘shit on a shoe’ comment is all about powerful people wanting to control the language,control the political discourse and ultimately control everything. It’s not only as though freedom of expression doesn’t exist – and some might say it doesn’t- but as an expression of righteous anger goes it’s a far cry from the actions of France’s gilets jaunes!

We’re left wondering whether Perkins first encountered this earthy expression when mixing with Wirral Council reps at the Local Government Chronicle awards in 2015 ?

As we know ,since the picture above was taken Kevin Adderley and Joe Blott have left the Wirral Council ‘shoe’ courtesy of being power-hosed off with vast amounts of public money whilst council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is scraping himself off before he’s kicked to the kerb. Unfortunately the stain they all leave behind will be indelible and forever stink to high heaven.

As far we’re concerned another quote published this week by a different  national newspaper about their making Universal Credit work campaign (to which we not be providing a link) demonstrates the further hypocrisies at play:

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, also congratulated The S*n on its campaign.

Might we suggest that for many people on Merseyside any association with the tawdry rag following its campaign of hate after the Hillsborough disaster is more worthy of the word ‘obscene’ than a pottymouthed celebrity putdown of the PM.

Exit Stage Left

Green Party leaflet 001

As the above Green Party leaflet doing the rounds shows  opposition parties are delighting in the fact that the local Labour Party continues to enact a form of political autophagous. What is surprising is that some members of the Labour old guard are so under threat from their own members that they appear to be colluding with the opposition in ensuring maximum damage is inflicted upon their own body politic.

Consequently we couldn’t let Monday’s full Wirral Council meeting go without commenting on the dramatic scenes of Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin being allowed to open proceedings with a ‘short statement’ comprising a triple whammy of slagging off what she considers to be ‘the wrong sort’ of members of the Labour Party , rewriting history and that old stand-by, feigning victimhood.

Thanks to the John Brace film productions you can watch the ‘playing to the gallery’ unfold below from the 8 minute mark:

Apparently the local Labour Party no longer has the values that she ‘holds dear’ – which, based on her appalling track record, from our point of view, can only be a good thing! Whilst ‘Matron’ still graciously approves of a small number of local Labour members there can be no doubt that they will be the same members usually referred to on here as a ‘cabal’. Understandably the ‘cabal’ resent the challenge to their long held power base from what the Rock Ferry councillor describes as an ‘organised takeover by the hard left’ and Matron is now apparently their appointed spokesperson.

Needless to say there was the usual (unsubstantiated) allegations of ‘bullying,harassment and vilification’ by local Labour party members which  Matron claimed had been raised at local,regional and national level and been ‘ignored and tolerated’ and therefore  ‘condoned’…or perhaps there just wasn’t any substance to them. Just sayin’ ! She actually identified herself and others such as recently deselected Cllr Chris Meaden and Clllr Ron Abbey as ‘victims’ – no,really! Victims of what ? Democratic party processes?  We’re just surprised at this point she didn’t reach for a hanky and dab away the crocodile tears for full dramatic effect.

Remember this is coming from the councillor who  ignored,tolerated and condoned appalling PROVEN and EVIDENCED bullying and harassment when she oversaw an utterly toxic and dysfunctional culture within the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS). Matron preferring to be  comfortably numb – then and now – to the ‘unpleasant’ reality of what was happening within DASS courtesy of her corrupt Cheshire chums.

And on she went in full Hattie Jacques in Carry On Matron mode complaining about Cllr Chris Meaden’s replacement who she pointedly refused to name but in a far from comradely manner described her previous tenure as the leader of Wirral Council as being ‘chaos’.

Yvonne Nolan (for it is she) was described as being ‘parachuted in’ and of having no knowledge of the area or any interest in Rock Ferry. ‘It’s disgraceful’ Matron harrumphed as though she’d caught Sid James having a crafty fag under the bedsheets. Once again the hypocrisy was staggering as Matron went all ‘Cassandra’ on us and  predicted  that Nolan would be an ‘absentee councillor’. Er,hang on a minute can somebody tell us how far Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ home is from his safe Birkenhead ward? Just askin’!

Apparently it was the Mayor’s discretion to allow Matron to chew the scenery , sorry make a personal statement. The current Tory Mayor Cllr Geoffrey Watt didn’t afford Labour councillor Tony Norbury the opportunity to reply. But then he wouldn’t would he? This was stage management at it’s most cynical. It was an absolute pass the sickbag moment as the Tory benches rose in unison to give Matron a standing ovation. It was interesting to note that not all Labour councillors stood up to applaud. Ever the chancer former leader of the council  Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes can be seen nervously twitching in his seat but resolutely stayed put, obviously not wanting to upset his new found allies on the ‘hard left’ who keep him in a position of power and influence.

Watching this sickening scene was an insight into how politics on Wirral has long been nothing more than a pantomime with the main political parties playing their parts. All trying to upstage each other by pretending to be outraged and shocked and appalled before nipping into the Mayor’s parlour for a little snifter and a pat on the back. No wonder when a challenge to the status quo (and allowances and expenses) arrives it is met with catcalls from the supporting cast and luvvie speeches of support from opposition party leaders . It would seem that for long standing politicians at Wirral Council , familiarity breeds content…

 

 

 

Christmas Cheer for Cammell Laird Workers

Casualisation

Pic : Ross Quinn, Unite

 

Very welcome news that the 291 planned redundancies for Cammell Laird workers have been rescinded just before Christmas.

However the fact that a ‘task force’ has been set up by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson to save shipyard jobs raises yet more questions about the role of Birkenhead MP Frank Field and his failure to publicly support the recent strike action. It is interesting to note that also on the ‘task force’ is Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies. We understand Pip even made an appearance on the picket line although  it was in the aftermath of high profile political and public support for strikers.

We have to say as an observer of local politics and local media that recent events have been a PR disaster for Cammell Laird’s current management and particularly CEO John Syvret who had to publicly apologise for claiming that strikers were  “pandering to negative stereotypes of Merseyside” . But then Syvret was given the platform to make such claims in the local media without initially any discussion of why strike action was considered to be necessary by unions. This was not just about redundancies but about the ongoing spectre of ‘casualisation’ which is something that the local media seems to have  belatedly acknowledged in the wake of widespread public and political support.

There may have been a Christmas truce declared in this particular battle but the war against employment practices which undermine workers rights continues…

Wirral Council ‘leader’ and his shock resignation : Power Boy Pip reaches the ‘Omega Point’

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Power Boy Pip’s reflects on his political career  and decides smashing the mirror is easier than doing something about the distorted image. 

There are many curious aspects to Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’  announcement that he was packing in politics – not least the fact we got to exclusively reveal the news from a leaked email . As much as we appreciate the leak we would have thought a more appropriate forum for this momentous news would have been the previous evening’s full Wirral Council meeting.

Whilst Liverpool Echo just did a hasty cut and paste job with archive photos shortly after we’d published the story , clearly other parts of local MSM were geared up for the announcement as Wirral Globe managed to get the news into yesterday’s print edition. The Globe also managed to reference to Frank Field’s recent run-ins with the resurgent Labour left despite the fact that this did not feature in Pip’s epitaph for his political career.

We’ll be analysing both the resignation message and Power Boy Pip’s political career in a special commemorative,cut out and keep, full colour supplement on Sunday  titled ‘ THE 30 INGLORIOUS YEARS OF PIP’ – but for now all we’ll say is the hackneyed comment about him wanting to spend time with his long suffering family’  was not only reminiscent of resignations of Wirral Council’s past ( ex-CEOs Maddox and Burgess spring immediately to mind) but is also the time honoured phrase used by politicians just before the proverbial hits the fan…and oh believe us, it’s about to…

There have been various theories sent to us about the sudden announcement  and we believe it may be a combination of all of them. After  Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  reign of terror came to an end in 2012 in an unprecedented vote of no confidence , Power Boy Pip had the chance  to really ,really make a difference to the toxic culture of Wirral Council but instead chose the path of least resistance.

Ultimately it is a failure of Pip’s ‘leadership’ – the reliance on a handpicked spin doctor ,the failure to rein in out of control councillors ( Crabtree, Reecejones, Foulkes and George Davies for starters) ,the inability to say ‘NO!’ to Birkenhead MP Frank Field, the all consuming reputation management and the constant denial best exemplified by the fantasy  (Local Government Chronicle ‘Most Improved Council award) taking precedence over the reality (an ‘Inadequate’ rating of Wirral’s Children’s Services by Ofsted).

However it is also what French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin titled the “Omega Point”: “Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! … For everything that rises must converge.”

It is about the rise of the Green Party in Birkenhead (the humiliation of defeat in next May’s local elections had become a reality for Pip) , it is about the rise of Labour left (being held to account by party members had never before been a reality for Pip) , it is about the rise of local blogs ( there is no hiding place for local politicians up to no good any more ) and it is about the rise of political activism from people of all political persuasions across Wirral (especially those defending the Green Belt and the NHS – the likes of which Wirral politicians have never experienced before) .

For everything that rises must converge and together we say that is what is  responsible for Pip’s demise…

 

 

EXCLUSIVE : Pip Pops Off – Wirral Council ‘leader’ calls time on political career

SUPERPIPD

Power Boy Pip’s super powers can’t save him now

 

Cllr Phil Davies aka ‘Power Boy Pip’ has called time on his political career. The net is closing in…

His announcement in full –

From: “Davies, Phil L. (Councillor)” <phildavies@wirral.gov.uk> Date: 16 October 2018 at 20:03:57 BST Subject: CALLING TIME ON MY POLITICAL CAREER

Dear Colleague,

After 30 years of public service, I have decided to call time on my political career and will not seek re-election to the Council in May 2019. This term of office as both Councillor for Birkenhead & Tranmere Ward and Leader of the Council will be my last. By the end of my current term of office, I will have been a Councillor for 28 years and Leader of the Council for 7 years. I will celebrate my 60th birthday next year and, if you add the two years I worked as an officer with Wirral Council in the late 1980s, have served the residents of Wirral for half of my life.

Public service is both a duty and a privilege and having had the chance to serve the residents of Birkenhead and Tranmere and be Leader of Wirral Council is something I am extremely grateful for. But now, with three young grandchildren and another on the way, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family, and hopefully visiting my youngest daughter who now lives in Canada.

In the three decades I have been part of Wirral Council, much has changed. However, on reflection, there are some surprising constants. When I was first elected we had a Tory Prime Minister in open war with their own party over Europe, and now, nearly 30 years later, despite a period of relative calm under a Labour premiership, we are seeing another Tory Prime Minister failing to hold her party together on this issue.

While the challenges of local government have evolved during my time as a councillor – budget cuts mean resources are stretched further than ever before – putting a Labour ‘stamp’ on the Council has always been my priority. Our mission of protecting the vulnerable, growing our economy and securing our environment has always guided our policies.

I am proud that under my leadership Wirral was one of the first Councils to pay the Living Wage to all its employees. I was also pleased to see young people afforded new opportunities through the opening of The Hive, and when Wirral signed the ethical care charter and developed initiatives such as exempting care leavers from paying Council Tax. Devolving power and putting it in the hands of local people is something I am passionate about, so I was exceptionally proud when, as the first Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, I signed the devolution deal with the government in November 2015.

We are lucky to call Wirral home so I have always given a high priority to show-casing the borough on the national and international stage. High-profile events such as The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, the Tall Ships, the River of Light fireworks display, and just last week the Giants Spectacular, have all helped put Wirral on the map and attract substantial jobs and investment to our borough.

Representing the borough also brings more sombre occasions and, during my time as Leader, Wirral Council has honoured those who were so tragically taken from us. I will always recall meeting the family of PC David Phillips who was killed in the line of duty in 2015, and opening the garden of remembrance for the 96 people who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

To achieve our goals, now more than ever, we have to work in partnership with those who share our values. I have always believed in working as a team and am fortunate to have been supported by excellent colleagues in successive Cabinets and Labour Groups. I am also grateful for the work of many excellent officers during my time at Wirral Council and have been honoured to Chair the Wirral Partnership and work in collaboration with key organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to deliver the 20 Pledges of our Wirral Plan.

Public service isn’t for everyone, but the chance to make a difference in the lives of our residents is what inspires those who choose to seek office. From my time here members of Wirral Council, irrespective of their political allegiances, have worked extremely hard to improve the quality of life of their constituents and are driven first and foremost by meeting the needs of the communities they represent. May I thank everyone for their kindness and support during my three decades of service as a member of Wirral Council. It is an honour to be Leader of the Labour Group and Leader of the Council and I look forward to watching the progress of the many projects launched during my tenure in office as they come to fruition over the coming months and years.

Regards Phil

Last Train to Pipsville

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All you trainspotters out there will be aware there’s a ‘mock up’ of the new type of train that is coming to Merseyside that can be seen at Pacific Road tramsheds.
It is actually made of wood and rumoured to have cost a cool £1 million.  It’s not known whether Merseytravel considered consulting the travelling public of Merseyside whether would rather have their over-inflated fares spent on securing guards on trains or on an oversized boy’s toy.

Further rumours that  Merseytravel are planning to rustle up interest in the exhibit by hosting a special Halloween  ‘ghost train horrorshow’ featuring an imposing life size figure of Wirral Council’s Lead Investment Manager Martin Liptrot standing on the train with his arms folded and giving his best death stare are as yet unconfirmed.

We also noticed that the destination on the front of the train was West Kirby which is appropriate for Liptrot and his friend,neighbour,comrade and benefactor , Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies . Both are season ticket holders on the West Kirby gravy train who try to not look out of the window as they pass through Birkenhead North!

Talking of tramsheds we note that there has been resurrection of the ideas of  streetcars in Birkenhead which were first mooted five years ago when the fantasy that was Wirral Waters was first floated. Now that that fantasy has sunk to the bottom of the Mersey along with Stella Shiu ,her prize winning marrows and the International Trade Centre and rebranded as Wirral Waters One,  the idea of transportation by streetcar been resurrected by Green councillor Pat Cleary in an upcoming Wirral Council Notice of Motion to be debated next week titled , ‘Sustainable Transport For Wirral Waters ‘. Dare we suggest the title should have been ‘ A Streetcar Named Desire To Have Some Coordinated Infrastructure Planning Between Partner Agencies For Once’?…

 

Desire