A Farewell to Stressed Eric

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Fat cat creams another top job.

Wirral Council’s loss is the Disclosure and Barring Service’s loss as Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson jumps the sinking ship shortly after Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies. Read more New Chief Executive appointed for Disclosure and Barring Service

His new appointment was approved by Victoria Atkins, the secretary of state for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability. Oh, the irony!

We’re wondering whether he’ll be on the same humungous salary he was on at Wirral Council ? Surely he wouldn’t have taken a pay cut – or was he that desperate to get out of what was becoming an increasingly untenable position as the power base of his political benefactors he’s protected the past few years begins slowly to be eroded?

Shortly after the DBS press release Stressed Eric sent an email to Wirral Council staff which was subsequently quoted in the Wirral Globe which must have been the basis for script he used when wooing the DBS crew . Needless to say there are some glaring omissions from his list of ‘achievements’ .

Inevitably the one word that isn’t omitted is ‘passionate’ which is compulsory for a public servant in pursuit of a lucrative gig.

“Making people safer is something I am passionate about, and I believe I have a successful track record.”

Really Eric ?  Yeah, just don’t mention the  Children’s Services Ofsted report and the fallout that followed… or the Stuart Halliday debacle … or the Wirralgate cover up.

In the interest of balance we will be discussing these issues (and more) in our tribute before he leaves later this summer but we’d like think we nailed him from the outset in our Wirral Leaks Welcomes Stressed Eric  post.

Finally is anyone keeping count of the Chief Executives that Wirral Council have had since 2012? Wirral Leaks offers a prize to the person who can name all of them (including acting and interim) who have held the poisoned chalice and sipped from the trough of plenty during this time.

Pip Pops Off : A Wirral Leaks Tribute

Before we provide you with our post local election reflections we need to commemorate that a week ago today the Annual Meeting of Wirral Council saw the  end of an era (pronounced error) as Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ tenure as council ‘leader’ officially ceased.

Here at Wirral Leaks we couldn’t let the momentous event pass without providing our own fitting tribute to a ‘man’ who given the choice between right and wrong would always choose the latter option . In our opinion this didn’t make him a political game player it just made him weak. A man who always seemed uncomfortable with ‘leadership’ being thrust upon him after the ignominious fall from grace of that consummate political game player Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  in 2012, in the aftermath of a series of damning reports. This is how we commented on his ascendancy to the top of Wirral Council’s greasy pole:

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As we were to subsequently find out if Power Boy Pip (as he was to become known to Wirral Leaks readers) excelled at anything it was ‘denial’. At this point we’d like to take a leaf out of Kipling’s ‘Just So’ stories and pose the question : ‘How did ‘Power Boy Pip’ get his name?’ Well, thereby hangs a tale from 2013 which you can read here where we mocked how Pip invested in himself ‘Strong leader powers’ and a Cabinet system that screamed weakness. A council criticised for its secrecy becomes less open and transparent,  a council criticised for its lack of accountability concentrates its power in someone who abuses it ,  a council criticised for the conduct of its elected members lets its councillors run amok  as George Davies, Louise Reecejones, Jim Crabtee and Steve Foulkes show their contempt for their ‘leader’ with their out of control conduct and yet somehow Pip only publicly criticises Reecejones – go figure .

We nailed it in our We Leak, Pip Squeaks  post when we wrote :

Of course we believe that ultimately what what will do for Power Boy Pip is his failure to rein in Cllrs  Steve Foulkes and George Davies and to stand up to Birkenhead MP Frank Field over the Wirralgate scandal. These are not the actions of a leader – this is a man out of his depth clutching onto a red flag of convenience and not waving but drowning………………

Pip was never a leader but always the ‘front man’ –  a turd-polishing pollyanna . The pinnacle of this ‘achievement’ being Local Government Chronicle’s ‘ Most Improved Council’ Award in 2015.

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Needless to say Pip took his cue from the ne plus ultra of local political game players, Frank Field, who as we know , has spent 4 decades surrounding himself with ugly bullies and useful idiots . Conveniently Pip was to find many of both, not only in his own party but in the paid ranks of public servants at Wirral Council. However where Pip really began to become unstuck was the alliance made in hell (via West Kirby) with his infamous appointment of politically motivated spin doctor Martin Liptrot to whatever job ‘Liptrotsky’ wanted. The pitiful correspondence from Liptrot to the Council ‘leader’ dictating terms of his  grace and (political) favour employment was pitiful to behold and further evidence of Pip’s reliance on others to sustain him in power. This episode and further details of this disastrous appointment can be read in The Liptrot Mystery.

This reliance on the bad will of others has meant that the past 7 years have been one one long pay off party for some really horrible senior council officers . The routine seemed to be –  Inept? Here’s a cheque. Inept and knowing –  here’s a bigger cheque. Inept , knowing and prepared to do Pip’s dirty work (Hey, Joe  name your price!…)

Compare and contrast that with the fact that throughout his tenure as ‘leader’ (and even before that…) there wasn’t a Wirral Council whistleblower he wasn’t prepared to screw over. Except, of course, the one set of  bogus , so called Wirralgate ‘whistleblowers’ who had him over a barrel and could shaft him at the drop of a tape recording. Luckily for him he had those ‘special leader powers’ to get him out of a deeply corrupt hole of his own making by deciding to bring the Highways contract back in house and give Gary’s Gang what they wanted all along.  Obviously when the hired hands with their hands on the ‘record’ button it’s time to go visit your grandkids in Canada. For more details read here

So many unanswered questions and it shames councillors of all parties that Pip was allowed to quietly depart without them ever being asked. We never did hear the end of the Wirralgate saga did we ? The one that led to front page news stories, and an ‘independent’ investigation that has never seen the light of day ? But oh, believe us before we go you will dear reader!…

Typically, Pip isn’t around to see whether any of the 20 pledges in his much lauded 20/20 Vision thing are ever realised in 2020. Funny how we don’t hear about the pledges anymore isn’t it? There was a time when it seemed that every Labour councillor had to preface every utterance with reference to ‘pledges’ . Could it be that it was all complete bollocks and another reason Pip bailed out before the 20/20 Vision was, to mix a metaphor with a bit of the Bard,  proven to be the usual smoke and mirrors signifying nothing?

However whilst Pip will be gone he will not forgotten as the last ever Leaky Awards will be known as Pip Memorial Awards for Public Dishonour – winners to be announced in a glittering awards ceremony hosted by Pip beneficiaries – the Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

With our nasty head on (do we have any other? ) we were going to wish Pip a very short retirement but we suspect that as he merrily frolics with the Davies clan in Canada and he’s finally free of a position to which he was manifestly unsuited that the red suffused face ( part high blood pressure/part embarrassment) will be replaced by the rosy glow of contentment of knowing that he managed to blag it for so long.

Finally …do we have an extradition treaty with Canada ? Askin’ for a friend!

Can Hackett ‘Hack It’ ?

Hackett

We make no apologies for the inevitable headline as we proudly present, ladies and  gentleman of Wirral, your new ‘leader’.

Cllr Pat Hackett of the New Brighton ward has been duly chosen to drink from the poisoned chalice passed on by former ‘leader’ of Wirral Council, Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip Davies and following today’s vote by the local Labour Group is now their new head honcho.

Of course this will come as no surprise to Wirral Leaks readers who, inevitably ,were given the heads up that this on the cards by one of our sources in our Into the Void post  when they told us :

And not to be left out (geddit) the “left” have decide to rally round Cllr Pat ( why talk for five minutes when you drone on for an hour) Hackett as their chosen “seat warmer” as interim Leader , in anticipation of the return of Yvonne ( voice of the people) Nolan.   They need somebody malleable, controllable and compliant until their contingent has the necessary numbers, after another round of deselections into the 2020 elections, to inflict their particular brand of middle class ‘socialism’ ( sorry I mean create the workers paradise that Wirral residents have been dreaming of) on our borough…

We don’t envy him , do you?  Fancy having to reconcile a party riven by division and a new Wirral Council set up where you have no overall control ! Good luck with that ,Pat!…

 

Whither Wirral Politics?

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‘Disappointed’ Pip #sadface

How are you all feeling after the local election results ? We have to say that even in self-imposed exile we raised a toast or three to Wirral’s voters who seem to have at last woken up and smelt the bullshit!

So here are our thoughts on Thursday’s momentous events. First of all we’d like to say that it seems to us the old guard of all political parties have been wrong-footed by new outlets for political dissemination. Leaflets and flyers and doorstepping just don’t cut it anymore. ‘Advertisement features’ in local newspapers are seen for what they are – expensive and desperate.  We even have to say that the only mis-step of the highly effective Green Party election campaign was the ‘Thank You’ card sent  out to voters on the eve of the election. In the event the sentiment  wasn’t misplaced but it wasn’t very ‘green’. It seems to us that social media is increasingly where it’s at if you want to influence voters – there’s no hiding place anymore for the dissemblers and the disingenuous in political life. The truth is out there if you truly want to find it and as the song goes : ‘ do you want the truth or do you want your sanity?…

Meanwhile the wind of political change blowing across Wirral is not only evidenced by the graphic below which indicates the swing in the local election results since last time but we are also reliably informed that the Green vote share across Wirral was 17%. This is higher than Lib Dems, UKIP and Independents combined and more than double their percentage share last year…

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The fact that now ex- councillor and Wirral Independent Group  stalking horse Chris Meaden failed to secure the Rock Ferry ward is very bad news for another ‘Independent’ Birkenhead MP Frank Field. This was the public vindication of political loyalty over personality.  We understand that Field is repeatedly being told the same thing by the local Labour Party faithful and long standing party members : ” We simply can’t vote for you anymore – you’re not a Labour representative…” .  The inevitable victor in the battle of political ideology was Yvonne Nolan or rather Cllr  Yvonne Nolan who clearly we will be hearing a lot more of if her TV appearance in the wake of her political comeback is anything to go by…

However wasn’t it a shame that the Wirral Independent Group (WIG!) election campaign wasn’t as co-ordinated as their outfits – Oh, the shame!

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The Black and White Minstrel Show  – WIG are the light entertainment of Wirral politics.

Of course this being Wirral there were some sour notes among the sweetness of defeat of   a couple of prominent Labour cabinet members , namely Phill Brightmore and Angie Davies. Brightmore was succeeded as the  councillor for Pensby & Thingwall by Tory poacher turned gamekeeper Mike Collins. This screenshot from Facebook was sent to us in anticipation that Cllr Collins would feature prominently in future Wirral Leaks posts.

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Despite Cllr Collins’ obvious credentials when it comes to satirical opportunities he’ll be hard pressed to challenge long standing Wirral Leaks regular Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes who was sadly was returned to serve another electoral term as a councillor for Claughton. Seemingly Foulkesy is the political equivalent of shit on a shoe and we get the overwhelming urge to scrape the shoe along the proverbial kerb until the noxious waste is finally removed.

And finally – oh, how we hollered with delight to witness Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the telly with his best sadface on saying how ‘disappointed’ he was in the local election results. Believe us Pip, we guarantee you’re not as ‘disappointed’ as us in the 7 year misrule that you have inflicted on the people of Wirral whilst you’ve been ‘leader’ of Wirral Council . Tomorrow we will find out who his successor as ‘leader’ of the local Labour Group. Whoever it is will have their work cut out as to where the local Labour Party goes from here, especially  in the light of the fact that they no longer have overall control of Wirral Council and their hegemony of horror has come to an end.

For now all we do know is that when it comes to the future of Wirral politics the old certainties seem to be over…

Wirral Local Elections – Wow!

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We didn’t know whether we were still dreaming this morning when we woke up to  the news that Labour have LOST OVERALL CONTROL OF WIRRAL COUNCIL.

Some astonishing results included Birkenhead and Tranmere where the Greens ANNIHILATED Labour. Remember this was the ward that outgoing (and now gone) Wirral Council ‘leader’ Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies was due to stand. We told you he knew the writing was on the wall and in typical Pip fashion popped off before he was publicly humiliated.  However we didn’t anticipate the scale of the victory of the Greens – who DOUBLED the Labour vote. We can only echo the word of Cllr Pat Cleary who  ,up until now anyway, was the only Green councillor on Wirral Council – WOW!

Other astonishing results meant that  Independent  Cllr Meaden was defeated, Cllr Brightmore was booted out and Cllr (Angie) Davies was downed by another victory for the Greens in Prenton.

Meanwhile we’re going to have a lie down in a darkened room and come back to you with our full analysis of yesterday’s events and what it means for the future on politics on Wirral…

Wirral Council Candidates Defending Our NHS

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The picture above represents a very big reason why campaigners are looking forward to new faces amongst Wirral councillors. The upper circle shows the logos of private NHS contractors given contracts since 2012. The lower circle shows the logos of AMERICAN corporations operating in the NHS in Wirral. The linked quotations speak for themselves. This is very much part of departing Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’s appalling legacy which we will be shortly exploring in full. He may soon be gone but will not be forgotten.

Meanwhile ten of the ninety candidates in next week’s local elections (Green, Red,Yellow but no Blue – see photo below) turned up at a Defend Our NHS hustings last Thursday and pledged total support to reverse the damage done to local health services by the unholy alliance of Wirral Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. A total of twenty-six sent messages of support and/or explaining their position when it comes to voting on health issues.

Onwards to 2nd May! But before then it’s your chance to play  ‘Name That Candidate!’ . We’ll start you off by giving you some clues – to the left there’s a former Lib Dem councillor, to the, er, right is a controversial Labour candidate for Rock Ferry and somewhere in the middle is another Labour candidate with the surname ‘Davies’ .  However, whoever they are, we anticipate that some will become more familiar than others over the coming months and years. Let’s just hope their support for the NHS is sustained long after the polls have closed…

Councilcandidates

 

 

 

Into the Void

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The contest to be the next Labour Group leader on Wirral Council and fill the blank void of nothingness soon to be left by current Wirral Council ‘leader’  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is proving to be such a fast moving story that our tip off that Cllr Paul Stuart was in line for the top job has already passed its sell by date. Sources tell us :

Don’t know where you got the Cllr Stuart for Leader story but that’s already old news.  Cllr Stuart does not want the post, so has withdrawn.
The new name in the frame to “help the Party heal”, and “lay out Labours vision for Wirral” ( or put another way the person willing to take £50k + in return for allowing the sorry collection currently running things to keep their allowances) is dog shit supremo Cllr Anita Leech.  Despite only having been in cabinet for five minutes Leech is the best that the current cabal can come up with. On the bright side there are still two weeks to go before the meeting to decide the next leader, so who knows maybe by then they might even select Tony ( pick me) Norbury, now that would be a sign of complete desperation!!!
And not to be left out (geddit) the “left” have decide to rally round Cllr Pat ( why talk for five minutes when you drone on for an hour) Hackett as their chosen “seat warmer” as interim Leader , in anticipation of the return of Yvonne ( voice of the people) Nolan.   They need somebody malleable, controllable and compliant until their contingent has the necessary numbers, after another round of deselections into the 2020 elections, to inflict their particular brand of middle class ‘socialism’ ( sorry I mean create the workers paradise that Wirral residents have been dreaming of) on our borough.  Pat is totally in the thrall of Paul Davies, and his muse Kathy Miller, who run, I mean organise for the benefit of the huddled masses, New Brighton Labour Party and was so grateful to escape the blood letting that saw 3 Labour Cllrs deselected that he has proven he has what it takes to be the the puppet they need…
As ever we’ll be reporting on developments as they happen and the way things are going almost anything will and can happen!…

The Local Election Circus Comes To Wirral

The names in the frames have been announced  for the local elections to be held on Thursday May 2 2019 . So we bring you the Wirral Leaks cut out and keep guide to where we think  the keenest contests will take place and which candidates to watch.

The first match up that caught our eye was the political celebrity death match to be held in the Rock Ferry ward where  ‘Independent’ Cllr Chris Meaden goes head to head with the official Labour candidate and former local Labour Group leader Yvonne Nolan.

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Credit where it’s due at least Cllr Meaden is throwing herself into the ring and is prepared to put herself to an electoral test unlike Councillors Mike Sullivan, Moira McLaughlin and Bill Davies who also fly under the flag of ‘Independent’. It will be interesting to see whether the Rock Ferry electorate vote for ‘personality’ over ‘politics’. Although with Rock Ferry regularly having the lowest voter turn out in the local elections we suspect that the winner of this particular political battle will be the one who best galvanises the local electorate from their political apathy. Good luck with that one.

Elsewhere judging by the resources that the local Labour group are throwing at the Birkenhead & Tranmere and Prenton wards, and the results last time round, it would seem they are anticipating a strong challenge from Green Party candidates Steve Hayes and Chris Cooke respectively.  The former is contesting current Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ ward now that the cowardly lion has bailed out of facing a public vote . The latter is up against Labour Wirral Council Cabinet member for being permanently excited, Cllr Angie Davies, who has been touted as a potential Labour Group leader (no laughing at the back) so this will be a particularly interesting ward to keep an eye on.

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Another anticipated closely fought political battle involving someone else who has been spoken of as a future Labour Group leader will be taking place in the Pensby & Thingwall ward where Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore faces Conservative candidate Mike Collins , who we know is a particular favourite of ex Wirral Council control room staff. When Collins stood last time in this ward the final count was very close. So who will take the spoils this time round? The political heavyweight or the actual heavyweight? People of Pensby & Thingwall you decide!

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Astonishingly we find that Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  is actually allowed to stand in the Claughton ward. It is an appalling indictment of the state of Wirral politics and the standard of its politicians. And then again look at his ‘proposer’,  fellow Claughton councillor George Davies. Of course, Davies , as Frank Field’s electoral agent is used to doing the dirty work when it comes to such matters.  Below is a picture from the local elections last time around and what the lucky people of Claughton can look forward to suddenly appearing on the doorstep over the next few weeks – but then knowing what the people of Claughton know about Foulkesy’s antics over the years they get what they deserve

George as Igor

And finally… if the name of the UKIP candidate for the Wallasey ward is to be believed it would appear that Santa Claus is coming to town in time for the local elections but then it must be said we don’t believe in any of them…

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Wirral Well Hard : Another Liptrot Mystery

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The Liptrot Mystery established from the outset that Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies pet PR -person Martin Liptrot was a man of mystery.

The main mystery of course being how did he keep repeatedly landing well remunerated and influential posts at Wirral Council ? We’d call him enigmatic if that didn’t carry connotations of being vaguely interesting . Liptrot is only interesting to us in the sense of the famous curse  ‘May you live in interesting times’.

Curse

We are certainly living in ‘interesting times’ and particularly at Wirral Council with several high profile departures in the offing (more on those in forthcoming posts). However in the aftermath of the Stewart Halliday affair we’d alluded to reports that Liptrot had also recently slipped out the back door (not a euphemism).

Try as we might, we’ve been trying to find out the whys and wherefores of this potentially intriguing development. However our usual sources are on pain of death to reveal anything at the moment so we’ve had to resort to a bit of research (i.e Google) .

As you can see above from our first port(al) of call Liptrot was NOT FOUND at the now seemingly defunct ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ website (can somebody tell us what the bloody full stops are all about ?) We could never quite work out what ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ was, other than Liptrot’s stupidly titled marketing tool (not a euphemism) and the PR arm of the Wirral Growth Company , which now appears to have taken over the website under its own name with the ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ imprint consigned to a domain name. Furthermore there have been no Facebook posts on the ‘Wirral. Well Made.’ page since mid-February and nothing on their Twitter feed since December.

All of which adds to the mystery and inevitably leads to speculation, not least from those pesky kids at Leaky Towers. We ask ourselves : Is the latest ‘Liptrot Mystery’ further fallout from the Stewart Halliday scandal? Is it anything to do with the infamous alleged  Train Rage  incident? Or is it Liptrot’s realisation that with your personal benefactor bailing out that the ‘belligerence and bullshit’ game is up?

As we know how Wirral Council are keen to promote their business and regeneration flagship that they will be anxious to quash this speculation and in the public interest clarify the situation about Liptrot’s crucial role in the future success of the Wirral Growth Company…and no, we don’t need another artist’s impression.

Liptrot pose

Mean and moody Marty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grubby World of Wirral Politics

As a postscript to Monday’s Extraordinary Wirral Council Meeting, which if nothing else gave many ordinary people on Wirral the opportunity to witness first hand the pantomime that passes for local political debate, we promised to bring you some further pictures of the night’s proceedings.

We feel as though the candid shots and the accompanying commentary provided by an eyewitness are a perfect summation of both the evening and how politics ‘works’ on Wirral.

Hi,

Just been down the Town Hall for the meeting. What a f***ing joke! The voting system seems to have come from some third world country!

You might be able to use these photos.

Grubby people, behind grubby windows, doing grubby deals! (I should work for the Star!)

Davies in the pre-meeting warning the members to vote his way and Foulkes being Foulkes!

Cheers

davies warning the troops

foulkes

They say that a picture paints a thousand words but we’ll give you three to start with :

COMPLACENT. CORPULENT. CORRUPT.