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

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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

 

 

GIANT Bill

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So farewell then to the ‘Giants’ and despite the fact that Andy Pandy put us off puppets for life we get the awe and wonder, we get the fact that Wirral Council  desperately wanted the presence of the puppets on Wirral shores and did everything to ensure that the ‘Giants spectacular’ was a success by allowing some schools to shut and council staff to’ work from home’ (see below) , we even get why Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was on the telly trying to flog Wirral for all it’s worth.

However,as ever ,we are with ‘the Lilliputians’ on this one – the little people who keep the show on the road –  and we just hope the costs for this ‘free event’ were worth it for all those who went to New Brighton for the Wirral leg of the ‘Giant’ story and not just for our local political puppeteering elite .  Echoing our thoughts ,a Wirral Council insider sent us this message on Friday following our Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants story which makes some interesting observations on the matter. :

Now all 66 councillors were invited to the Floral Pavilion today to watch the Giants …and get a ‘birds eye view’ I assume there would have been food available.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had given this invitation to the ‘ needy’ in the Borough and God knows there are plenty of them!
Oh no Foulkes had his TRFC (Tranmere Rovers Football Club) buddies there as guests!
Did you know ALL staff at Wirral Town Hall were told they ‘could work from home today’ because there ‘maybe’ problems parking! Needless to say many had a lovely day off!
How much did that cost?
How much did Wirral Council  pay to Liverpool City Council for the Giants to ‘cross the water’?
Who paid for the stewards, policing, PA etc…road closures, staffing the list goes on….
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Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

“Discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”. 

A big thank you to our readers who’ve been out and about and telling us they’ve been visited by giants. We thought at first they were putting something in the water supply – it would certainly explain a lot of things that happen on that crazy peninsula of yours ! – But fortunately they provided photographic evidence of their sightings .

First off we’ve got this beach scene . Who’s that in the navy blue shorty raincoat? Could it be Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies sadly surveying his political career?  –  Supine and all washed up.

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Next up is Pip’s predecessor as Wirral Council leader Cllr Steve Foulkes . As we know no freebie event would be complete without Freeloader -In -Chief  Foulkesy. He’s been feeding at Wirral Council’s trough of plenty for a quarter of century and doesn’t it show ? It was you, dear readers who paid for the gutless one’s gut so prominently on display.

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Yeah -it’s boring AF isn’t it Foulkesy ? But it’s all about being seen isn’t it? And let’s face it there’s no missing you matey!

Wirral Leaks welcomes readers to comment on the above pictures in our special ‘Giants Caption Competition’ . Winners will get the opportunity to stand in the pouring rain looking at a big lump of wood thinking  “WTF am I doing here and what have I done with my life… ?” .

Wirral’s Green Belt and the Growth of Grassroots Activism – Part 1

Green Belt FOI

We don’t know who is advising Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies but we can guess which belligerent spin merchant it might be. Whoever they are they’re doing about as good a job as Theresa May’s choreographer.

Witness the botched Green Belt PR fiasco which has not only exposed the ruling administration in their failed attempt to gaslight the Wirral public but has also led to a growth in grassroots activism.  As you can see below the people who have been grouping  together to share their concerns about the Green Belt have also been running crop circles around dissembling council officers and councillors.

Are the Council misleading the public about other options considered for the Hoylake Golf Resort Site? In the Common Questions section of the Council’s Hoylake Golf Resort web page, question 36  (see above) asks what consideration the Council have given to other options for the site,( including a Wild Fowl and Wetlands Resort). The Council answers by stating that no other scheme “measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact” and that the golf resort provides “the best return for Wirral across a number of indicators”. In numerous public forums some Councillors and Council Officers have reiterated this statement and have insisted that other options for the site have been looked at and been discounted.

A Freedom of Information request was submitted in April 2018, requesting copies of reports or studies which looked at the other options for the site and to provide details of the “measures” and “indicators” which the Council say they have used. Initially the Council responded by providing a copy of a 2004 document – “Regeneration Plan for West Kirby and Hoylake – Strategic Options Report”. This report only looked at one option for the Golf Resort Site – i.e the golf resort! The Council were then challenged further and, again, the Council were requested to provide information showing that they had looked at other options for the site. The Council responded that the request was “manifestly unreasonable” and that the “cost or burden of dealing with the request” was too great and refused to provide further information.

The Council were then requested to undertake an internal review of the Freedom of Information request and, only then, (5 months later) did the Council admit that there is “no recorded information….of the nature of a single or series of studies that specifically weigh up the options of the current golf resort proposal vis-à-vis other options on that particular site”. So why have Councillors and Council Officers repeatedly insisted that other options have been looked at and discounted? Full details of the FOI request and the Council response can be read in the following FOI link

 

Wirral Council and the NHS …what is the truth?

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In advance of a report of tonight’s public meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall where the headline issue is the threat to close all Wirral’s NHS walk-in centres we provide some background information indicating that this threat is the tip of the iceberg. Which is an appropriate metaphor as what Wirral Council and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group  (CCG) are doing is rearranging the deckchairs of Wirral’s NHS Titanic.)

The fundamental issue is that the Council and CCG have amalgamated health and care services and ‘pooled’ related budgets. (This will end in tears.)

To finalise the shenanigans on 16th October they will sign something called a Section 75 agreement (laid down by the Tories in their 2012 Health and Social Care Act). Incredibly the agreement has not been shown to Wirral councillors on the scrutiny committee, let alone the public. And they have refused to release the associated ‘due diligence’ report until the same date even to their councillors!!! The ‘due diligence’ was done for £40 by the very very iffy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

The Labour Party nationally is dead set against S.75 because it allows whatever is its subject to be subsequently contracted off (as will be inevitable as the two parties discover that trying to do twice as much with two slashed budgets is not an easy trick to pull off and so they will have to sub-contract the mess to the highest bidder).

But then the Labour Party nationally (and apparently some of its councillors locally – who knew?) are dead set against most of what Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is seemingly prepared to go along with.

It could, for example, end up with a group of GPs bidding for the contract… or a health company of which some Wirral GPs are very fond? Only speculating, of course…

There is a judicial review of the contract about to be heard so the whole caboodle could end up being illegal! http://999callfornhs.org.uk/999-judicial-review-aug-2018/4594401565

Pip could land in deep water with the law – and with his party nationally.  But does he care?

 

The Great Green Belt Deception

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The above leaked internal Labour document shows the dissembling and deception over Wirral’s Green Belt that is going on behind the scenes at embattled local Labour HQ.

Labour HQ presumably being council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ West Kirby home where faithful factotum Martin Liptrot bangs out the bogus press releases from his well-worn laptop on the kitchen table – assuming ,of course, that Liptrotsky is currently not ‘indisposed’ after his recent ,ahem, travel difficulties.

Prepare for the local press to print ,without question or edit, a news release blaming the Government for threatened assaults on the Green Belt and citing ‘miscalculations’ in statistics and how Wirral Council have been ‘proved right’. Nothing to do with the fact that Wirral Council hasn’t had a Local Plan for 14 years or that the ruling Labour administration have been playing  fast and loose with facts and figures to suit their political agenda or that they’ve been using the local press to try and make out that they are the saviours of the Green Belt when all the evidence points to the fact that they won’t be happy until Wirral is one big concrete jungle with a golf resort.

However it is the contempt with which the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council (or what’s left of it anyway) treat the people of Wirral that particularly galls us. Fortunately there is a growing number of  well-informed people out there who have sussed out the town hall machinations.  Call us a Cassandra but we called this one out from the outset in our  Green Gauge Summer  post from July where we commented :

Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?

Sure enough there has been enough wasted newsprint on the subject to turn Wirral’s Green Belt into landfill . All this is is to set up the scenario where Pip’s posse rides into town to save the day from evil Government interlopers trying to take over Dodgy City. The only problem is we’ve all seen this movie a million times ,the plot is predictable and Pip is no Clint Eastwood. He’s not so much the ‘The Man With No Name’ as ‘The Man With No Shame’ and ain’t nobody is gonna be taken in by this cowboy…

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Peel, Pip and Porkies

We are aware that  Save Wirral’s Green Belt is a Conservative Party initiative and consequently considering their track record on political opportunism we can only hope it can be differentiated with Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces   as I’m sure we can all agree Wirral’s Green Belt transcends party political point scoring.

However ,having said all that ,we feel compelled to bring you a copy of the letter that was sent to Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies from Richard Mawdsley from the Peel Group that was published on Defend Wirral’s Green Spaces Facebook page and was distributed at Monday’s Extraordinary Council meeting. As we can see the nameplate of Tory  Cllr Chris Blakeley is in the background of the screenshot and therefore we have to be cognizant of possible political motivations. Nevertheless we think the letter is of immense interest and deserves wider coverage as it is highly instructive about the relationship between Peel Group and Wirral Council in general and ‘Power Boy Pip’ in particular.

We mentioned yesterday that attendees who attend Mr Mawdsley’s talk about ‘Wirral Waters’ on September 28 make specific reference to the letter below.

The letter’s most pertinent quotes have been usefully annotated but this comment from Mawdsley to Pip is the most telling :

Given the way you have conducted yourself in recent months , and the very misleading public statements you have made , we ask that you stop this campaign of misinformation and be honest with the people of Wirral and correct the misleading information you are distributing

So basically what you’re saying Mr Mawdsley, in that mealymouthed way you people have , is that  Pip is a big fat liar . Tell us something we don’t know! And it’s not just about Wirral Waters or the Green Belt or Wirralgate . Lying is like breathing to Pip and his ilk. Asking him to be honest is like asking Lance Armstrong to confirm he took performance enhancing drugs or President Bill Clinton whether he’d has sex with Monica Lewinsky or whether Pip himself had heard the Wirralgate tape …Wirralgate – Louder Than Bombs

Mawdsley

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Peachez Creams Wirral Council

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Red cheeks all round : Wirral Council makes an arse of itself over Peachez

Oh dear , another, er, cock up at Wirral Council as it makes yet another arse of itself . Wirral Leaks readers who have followed the Peachez ‘gentleman’s club’ debacle will know all about the lap dancing club and the hypocritical/hilarious attempts by Wirral Councillors , and particularly council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’, to close the strip joint down.

You can read the unfolding episodes of the full sordid saga here : Peachez

However the ,ahem, bottom line is that after initially being approved by council officers and six months after the bump’n’grind was, er, firmly established ,along came the tut-tutting councillors who have mistaken the constituency for Tunbridge Wells and tried to use planning laws to prevent Birkenhead falling yet further into moral turpitude. Clearly they’ve never been out on the lash on Conway Street of a Saturday night where cavorting about with very little clothing on is the norm.

Inevitably Wirral Council lost the case. Badly. Not only did they lose the case YOU dear reader had to pay the full costs as Peachez creamed Wirral Council for making  ‘”an unnecessary appeal”.

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate were particularly scathing about Wirral Council’s moral crusade saying it had made “vague and generalised assertions”, had acted “unreasonably” and provided “no evidence” of any requirement to “promote a positive image of the area” in the council’s development plan . Consequently the Inspectorate ruled that Peachez did not have a “significantly harmful effect on the vitality of Birkenhead”.

Now if this ruling isn’t enough to make you want to take your Council Tax contributions out of Power Boy Pip’s knicker elastic we don’t know what is!