Save the Davies

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This week’s very minor political news is that Rock Ferry residents now find themselves without a Labour councillor as Cllr Bill Davies is the latest local politician to claim to be ‘Independent’ and yet paradoxically recite the same script of those councillors who’ve gone before him. “Hard left”, ” I can’t continue to support something I no longer believe in.” etc;etc;

No mention of mention of bullying/anti-semitism so far. But then we suspect that Billyboy wouldn’t understand what either meant. After all his main claim to fame for Wirral Leaks readers came when he somehow found himself chairing the Standards and Constitutional Committee and where we observed:

Now if your idea of fun is watching someone picking their teeth, gurning and looking generally befuddled for 40 minutes we recommend you keep your eye on Committee chair  Cllr Bill Davies – “standards”  don’t even come into it !

Her Ladyship turned her head away from the screen and cried despairingly :  “Oh for goodness sake get that man a toothpick and some lessons in etiquette.What is it with local councillors called Davies ? –  they appear to be social disgraces unacquainted with the social graces

Read full story : Low Standards, High Fives

So now with Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies taking the coward’s route out before either the Greens or the Reds forced him out and Cllr Bill Davies joining Cllrs McLaughlin,  Meaden and Sullivan and their vainglorious ‘Independent’ venture Labour councillors called Davies are a threatened species. No wonder local Labour activists are throwing everything at the local election campaign to enable Labour Cabinet member Cllr Angie ‘Excited’ Davies to remain in the Prenton ward. This is a ward in which the Green Party made huge gains at the last local elections and will be hotly contested this time round (see above).

Somehow Angie is being touted as a future Labour leader (even by local Tories) which makes us want to use an expression using the following words : scraping, bottom and barrel.

The other Davies remaining in the Labour ranks is the infamous Cllr George Davies who by rights he should have been stripped of public office a long time ago. It’s a shame that when Cllr Bill Davies claimed that the Labour Party was not the party he joined and could no longer believe in was because of the corrupt antics of the likes of Cllr George Davies and Cllr Phil Davies . As we presume it’s not – Bill just looks like the latest of local Labour politicians who have benefitted from colluding with a corrupt cabal and are now unhappy with democratic processes which mean that they’re not getting their own way anymore… to which we can only say good riddance and for God’s sake get a decent pair of dentures.

Intimidation and the Hypocrisies of Public Life

Cox 009

We’ve been forwarded the latest footage from the eye of the lens of our beloved Mr Brace by a number of people who thought it might be of interest.

Although Our Man Brace makes a guest appearance three minutes into Part 1 which was diverting especially when we clocked the facial expressions of Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee  chair Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin who gives a whole new meaning to the expression clockwatching. However there were too many longueurs for our liking (that’s French for ‘boring bits’).

As usual it was a case of  councillors skirting round the most pertinent issues with Matron reminding committee members that they  “can get yourselves into a bit of a mess “ if they don’t follow the Council’s guidance and protocols. You don’t say ! – care to give some examples? There then followed a prolonged session of speaking in tongues about ‘sanctions’ for errant councillors (or rather lack thereof)  with everyone careful not to mention ‘The Councillor That Dare Not Speak It’s Name’ ( that’s Cllr Louise Reecejones aka LRJ ). Although we have to say that LRJ’s violations against the Council’s Code of Conduct are but nothing compared to the likes of Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr George Davies we feel as though we’ve done that one to death. 

We were just about to turn off  halfway through Part 2 when the issue of ‘whistleblowing’ was dismissed in the blink of an eye or rather a cold hard stare from the Matron as if to say “nobody better say another bloody word on this subject”

However we pricked up our ears at about 18 minutes as councillors struggled to understand the word ‘intimidation’ (after all it is more than two syllables ). There followed a particularly revealing exchange between Matron and Cllr Ron Abbey . Well when we say exchange poor Ron couldn’t get a word in as Matron seemed particularly agitated about this particular subject :

Matron : There isn’t actually a way of defining what intimidation (is). You might think that particular website in the way that it talks about people and elected members…..

Abbey : I’m not talking about ……

Matron : No… I am , I am. I’m suggesting would that be intimidatory, could that be considered intimidatory if someone is regularly being insulted or allegations made that you can’t contradict……

Ron Abbey : The only way you can test that is in a court of law…..

Matron : Well so far some people have tried to have something done about particular website that might use those sort of tactics and found that it’s not possible to do it.

What particular website could Matron possibly mean? If , for argument’s sake we take it to be Wirral Leaks we need to make ourselves very clear on this particular matter. Firstly ,  let’s us deal with the issue of defining ‘intimidation’ . Perhaps we can assist elected members where their acting head of law and governance Philip ‘Peachy-keen’ McCourt failed them. Might we suggest their discussion could have been better informed if they were aware that the government’s Committee on Standards in Public Office published a report in December 2017 titled :  Intimidation in Public Life : A Review by the Committee on Standards in Public Life 

For elected members information we provide a link to the report here :  Intimidation in Public Life

As ever what was missing from the discussion was a failure to acknowledge the power dynamic between a public institution and a local website. What’s more we totally refute the idea that people are not given the opportunity to contradict any allegations that this particular website makes. All they have to do is contact us at wirralleaks@gmail.com as well Matron knows as a member of her family has done so a couple of times. The trouble is that those who have contacted us usually come off second best ( Kevin MacCallum – Wirral Council’s head of communications springs to mind.)

As for the fact that some people have apparently  ‘tried to have something done about a particular website’ for exercising its right to freedom of expression tells us everything we need to know about Wirral Council.  Now if that isn’t a definition of ‘intimidation’ we don’t know what is!

Intimidation is all about power and control and getting people to do what you want by threatening them .Those people who try to control the public discourse are those who want to control everything.Wirral Council’s control freakery is out of control and they hate the fact they have no control over this particular website. We’re in no mood to apologise for our irreverent tone or our sarcasm or our satire or our cynicism or our expletives and certainly not our lack of deference for people for whom we have absolutely no respect – deference died a horrible death for us a long, long time a go. We are not Wirral View!

The Brendan Cox quote taken from the report that we reference above highlights the hypocrisies that surround the subject of intimidation. For those who don’t know , Cox is  a former highflyer in the charity sector and the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox. Mr Cox, was forced to quit two charities he set up in her memory earlier this month after allegations of sexual assault were made public. This is the second time Mr Cox was forced to quit after similar allegations were made when he resigned from the Save the Children charity in 2015.  If you read the lurid allegations made against Cox it would appear he himself was an expert in intimidation. The Intimidation in Public Life report is littered (and we use the term advisedly) with quotes from Mr Cox. A hypocrite pontificating about hypocrisy is something we do not need.

Similarly might we suggest that no representative of Wirral Council (Matron or otherwise) is any position to to accuse a particular website of intimidation when it actually REWARDS such conduct :

Thynne1 011

Add to holding an incriminating recording over the heads of Wirral’s top politicians like the Sword of Damocles , threatening councillors and council officers over the phone and in person , participating in a smear campaign and even ordering pizzas from Pizza Magic and sending them to a former councillor.

And what did the Wirralgate ‘Group’ get for such ‘intimidation’ ? – the most senior politicians and council officers on Wirral conspiring to enable them to receive ‘compensation’.

All those involved will be forever tainted with the accusation of hypocrisy (and worse) by a particular website and that is most definitely NOT intimidation.

Apologies and Apologists

Apologies i have none

There was a very sorry display (or should that be ‘not sorry’ display?) at this week’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee where much of the meeting was spent discussing ” How do we solve a problem like Louise Reecejones (LRJ) ?” .

Apparently at the time of Monday’s meeting LRJ has yet to issue an acceptable apology to the whistleblowers who had made valid complaints about her but were then subject to personal attacks on social media and had to counter allegations intended to damage their careers. Furthermore doubts were raised during this week’s  meeting as to whether LRJ will comply with the requirement  to offer a  grovelling apology for her conduct to all Wirral councillors at full council meeting to be held on December 11 and whether she will actually turn up – something we had already raised as a possibility as you can read here : Standards and Measures

Having said all that it was particularly dispiriting to witness Wirral councillors flailing about and not knowing what to do if LRJ’s BSL signer is required to stick two fingers up to the sanctions imposed on her by the council’s Standards Panel . A rather excitable interim Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt seemed to get a vicarious thrill from reciting instances of appalling conduct of councillors from other areas as if to say ” and you thought you were bad!……”  

At which point Cllr Ron Abbey gormlessly  commented :   ” Just goes to show what’s going on out there . We live in a sheltered world . We’re all too good for our own  good 

Really???

Meanwhile his comedy sidekick Cllr Paul Stuart seems tickled pink by his hilariously insightful comments . They’re the Chuckle Brothers without the chuckles. All of this can be witnessed at between 18- 22 minutes of the John Brace video posted below.

We’d like to ask McCourt where he thinks councillors using racial slurs to describe his predecessor , attempting smear campaigns and trying to use public money to buy the silence of complainants would rank in the scheme of councillor misconduct?  #Wirralgate ……or whether this just confirms his prissy assertion that councillors can currently be ” naughty to a fairly large degree” without it impacting on them being fine upstanding public representatives and pillars of the community.

As far as we’re concerned it’s BY FAR the very worst behaviour ever committed by Wirral councillors . However sadly the days when  councillors could be surcharged for their  misdeeds (Tesco heiress Dame Shirley Porter’s gerrymandering  in Westminster being the most prominent example ) or even referred to inept independent body Standards for England are long gone . Would you believe that despite ex-councillor Jim Crabtree’s conviction earlier this year for his repulsive behaviour (ironically) towards LRJ  that he would still be eligible to stand again as a councillor as he did not receive a custodial sentence of more than 3 months!

It would appear the bar for decent conduct for public servants has now been set so low that is it any wonder that we have the appalling shower of public representatives that we have at Wirral Council?  What’s more when you consider that councillors have been apologists for the most appalling conduct of both favoured senior officers and fellow councillors over recent  years that they now lack any MORAL AUTHORITY when it comes to trying to censure the conduct of  others.

Not that we’re apologists for LRJ but if she’s struggling to cobble together a convincing and sincere apology here’s our humble suggestion :

As a once proud upstanding member of this council I am today detumescent before you. Before I prostrate myself  in abject shame and beg your forgiveness I offer these wholly inadequate yet heartfelt words. I realise I could never hope to meet the high standards set by former Labour councillors such as Harry Smith , with his tact, diplomacy and his use of the English language ,and especially his command of Anglo-Saxon . Nor could I ever hope to attain the high office of  Jim Crabtree .  I realise that his telephone manner left a lot to be desired but in every other respect his behaviour was exemplary – at least by Bidston & St James ward standards anyway.  

As for current Labour councillors there is our supreme leader Phil aka Power Boy Pip who has been a particular inspiration to me when it comes to delegating his powers as I have long admired how he gets other people to do his dirty work. As for his deputies what can I say ? There’s big hitter Bernie and casual racist George. And as for Foulkesy? What can I say other than I am simply unworthy to keep their company.  All that is left for me to say is that I apologise for all the wrongs that the Labour group have inflicted upon Wirral and I accept my role as a scapegoat on their behalf.  

 

 

Standards and Measures

We promised to revisit the Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ)  ‘It Has To Stop’  story with our considered views on the role of Wirral Council’s Standards Panel/ Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee and the measures they have taken to sanction LRJ. As we said :

We are not giving LRJ an out here – she deserves everything she gets but it is a matter of proven fact that she has been treated markedly differently than her Labour colleague Cllr Steve Foulkes by the Standards Panel. As far as we’re concerned councillors McLaughlin, Gilchrist and Blakeley have some explaining to do. This is something we will be analysing in a later post.

So let’s briefly recap what sanctions that LRJ faced for being a bad – but by means the worst – councillor at Wirral Council

  •  suspension from the local Labour Group

The Labour Group ‘leader’ , Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies in a rare show of authority recommended permanent expulsion 

  •  referral to the Labour Party regional body ( Labour Northwest) 

Labour Northwest ,who must be heartily sick to the back teeth of Wirral Labour Party careerists, sorry members, commuted the suspension to 6 months 

  • removal of the Labour Party whip 

Thus isolating LRJ from the ‘support’ of the local Labour Party machine. Although we have to say the Labour Party whip would have to have the skills of an ex-lion tamer with a whip and a chair to keep local Labour members under control

  • removal of LRJ representing Wirral Council on outside bodies

Although we’re not sure whether this involved any loss of remuneration (our money)

  •  asked to make full apology to whistleblowers 

And look how that went! LRJ came across as an obstreberous 6 year old stamping her feet and crossing her arms in protest at being found with her hands in the cookie jar

  • asked to make a full apology to all elected members at next full Wirral Council meeting

We won’t hold our breath waiting for LRJ to humbly apologise for her misdemeanours 

As we all know the last councillor to face the Standards Panel prior to LRJ was ex- Wirral council leader and mayor Cllr Steve ‘ Don’t Mention Sorrento’ Foulkes. And what sanctions were imposed on him for being a serial liar?

  • asked to make an apology  to the then Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green

Even though by his own admission Cllr Green WAS NOT THE COMPLAINANT!

  • Er, that’s it  

Bit of a discrepancy don’t you think?, especially when the reason given by clapped out Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin for the local Labour group going after LRJ was her lack of ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness. We’re left wondering whether Matron should have been on the Standards Panel in the first place . She nearly came a cropper for declaring she put her personal friendship with Kevin Miller ,the former monumental failure of a Director of Adult Social Services, above her civic duties.

But then Matron isn’t the only errant councillor in this farrago. Where were the rest of the councillors of all parties when the first Patricia Thynne report was published and where Foulkesy said he couldn’t possibly have handed over a document attempting  to smear Cllr Jeff Green to duplicitous journalist Liam Murphy because there would have to have been an adjournment of the Council meeting when it was alleged he had done so.

Apparently neither ‘investigator’ Thynne or any Wirral councillor bothered to check the minutes because they would have found out that there had indeed been an adjournment. This was one of the reasons that a second (costly) investigation took place and enabled several witnesses to later testify that they saw Foulkesy hand over the incriminating document to Murphy. Something which he had denied in the first investigation. The only explanation we think of for this particular lack of scrutiny is that councillors must have all just sat there and said  : ”  Well, it’s Foulkesy, innit, what do you expect?”

Clearly our expectations are out of step with our local elected members and until they realise they are accountable to us we’re afraid it will remain forever thus.

So when it comes to ‘credibility’ and ‘reliability’ as a witness we’re left thinking that Foulkesy is even more lacking than LRJ – and that’s really sayin’ somethin’ ! What it doesn’t do is explain the difference in the measures made against each respective councillor.

But then those who regularly read Wirral Leaks will know exactly what the explanation is…..

Meanwhile compare and contrast these respective investigators comments :

LRJ v Foulkesy 017

LRJ v Foulkesy 019

 

 

 

‘It Has To Stop’

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‘It has to stop’ …..

These were the poignant words used by one of the whistleblowers at last night’s special meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee. These whistleblowers had been found to have been victimised by Labour councillor Louise Reecejones (LRJ) at a Standards Panel hearing held in June.

As we flagged up last week  in our Sorry/Not Sorry – The LRJ saga continues story it seems that LRJ didn’t offer up an adequate apology for her actions and compounded the original breach by continuing to victimise the same people who had been brave enough to act in the public interest and raise their concerns about how LRJ had allegedly handled the financial affairs of a charity.

We recommend you watch both parts of the John Brace videos below to witness the full halloween horrorshow.

Needless to say  it won’t surprise any of you to hear we have a few observations to make on proceedings. It was frankly sickening to witness the weasel words of all the councillors on the committee –  ‘beyond belief’,’disbelief’, ‘astonishing’, ‘disappointing’ were used to describe the actions/inactions of LRJ. However it was particularly galling to hear it from Labour councillors and especially from Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin who in full  Matron mode ( stern looks and crossed arms) uttered the immortal words :

As the Labour  member on the (Standards) Panel it was very difficult for me  to hear that a Labour councillor had used her position as a councillor to damage the reputation and the livelihoods of other people. It goes without saying that people who come into this council were elected to serve the residents of the borough and not to use our position to do damage to them………

This was breathtaking hypocrisy – as she of all people knows only too well that Labour councillors have been destroying the reputation and livelihoods of whistleblowers and those who call them out or won’t go along with their cover ups for years and years and years. It’s like the year 2012 has been erased from history.

We are not giving LRJ an out here – she deserves everything she gets but it is a matter of proven fact that she has been treated markedly differently than her Labour colleague Cllr Steve Foulkes by the Standards Panel. As far as we’re concerned councillors McLaughlin, Gilchrist and Blakeley have some explaining to do. This is something we will be analysing in a later post.

Meanwhile we’ll just wait and see as to whether LRJ finally offers a meaningful apology to her victims, whether the local Labour Group does indeed impose further sanctions and whether LRJ turns up to provide Council with a fulsome and sincere apology at their next meeting in December.

As for the whistleblowers all we can hope for is that, for them , the nightmare does ‘stop’. Although our knowledge of whistleblowers on Wirral is that it never ‘stops’ – the sense of loss, injustice and powerlessness stays with them for a very long time.

We also have to ask ourselves whether the appalling conduct of some councillors will ever ‘stop’ without meaningful , equitable and proportionate sanctions.

 

Sorry/Not Sorry – The LRJ saga continues

Not Sorry 2

It is perhaps appropriate that Halloween sees the unveiling of the latest instalment of Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) saga.

The previous two instalments can be found here :

Crabby v LRJ The Feud Continues

An LRJ Reaction

Wirral Leaks readers will remember that The Standards Panel of 15th June 2017 determined that LRJ had breached the Members’ Code of Conduct. The Panel decision required a number of actions to take place, including reporting the outcome to  Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee on 31st October to check whether LRJ has complied with the sanctions against her. The decision was subject to LRJ’s appeal which, considering the evidence against her, inevitably fell flat on its face. The report to the Committee sets out the steps that have, or have not, been taken by LRJ and other interested parties in responding to the actions required……..and it makes very interesting reading and might we suggest will lead to some intriguing political questions .

The report of  Philip McCourt (Interim Assistant Director – Law & Governance /Monitoring Officer)  who is currently auditioning to be Surjit Tour’s successor can be found  HERE

As you can see there are a number of recommendations made to the  Committee . The most damning being set out at recommendation (d) that LRJ 

(i) has been, and continues to be, an unreliable witness;
(ii) has attempted to mislead both the investigator conducting the
review and the monitoring officer in attempting to enforce the
sanctions of the Standards Panel; and

(iii) has continued to use her position and influence as a councillor to
victimise the complainants by making false allegations against
them via social media and to others
in breach of her obligations under the Members Code of Conduct

Now for us this is where it gets really interesting  because as a result of  of the Standards Panel held on 15th June the Labour Political Group Leader (presumably  Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies) was asked to consider whether party disciplinary action should be taken against Councillor Reecejones and whether she should be removed (through Council) from all outside bodies to which she has been appointed.

Strangely such recommendations were not made by the Standards Panel at Cllr Steve Foulkes  Code of Conduct hearing held in August 2016 – where it could be argued that Foulkesy’s proven dishonesty was much more serious and much more damaging to Wirral Council.

WIRRALGATE! – Half the Story

However  in the light of LRJ  Standards Panel hearing she was suspended from the Labour Group indefinitely. On appeal to the Labour North West , this action was
commuted to a suspension of four months, to 6th January 2018, on the condition that Cllr Reecejones makes the formal apology required of her.

LRJ’s  belated ‘sorry/not sorry’ response set out below (which is included in McCourts’s report above ) will need to be considered by the Standards Panel and the Labour Group 

Dear Overchurch Residents Association,
I am writing to you as an outcome to the standards panel of 15th June
2017, I apologise for breaching the members code of conduct.
Yours Sincerely,
Cllr Louise Reecejones”
The other letters contained the same or less, but were additionally
accompanied by a final statement that read:
“This letter is solely for the recipient and should not be for publication “

We will have to wait and see whether this will suffice to save LRJ’s political skin. But having ,at least in the eyes of the Labour Group power elite anyway, been seen as being responsible for taking down one of their own ( ex Cllr Jim Crabtree) we don’t fancy her chances of retaining her current status as a Labour councillor.

If this does transpire we’d be interested to know how the Labour Group justify their kid glove approach to the likes of Cllr George Davies and  Cllr Steve Foulkes. Neither have even been suspended let alone face any kind of meaningful sanction for what frankly amounts to criminality – but then when the Labour Political Group Leader Cllr Phil Davies and the Labour Political Group Godfather are implicated in the cover up of their crime what should we expect?

 

LRJ Confidential

FOI

It was so dispiriting and yet so predictable that roving reporter John Brace was hastily chucked out of yet another Wirral Council meeting yesterday. This time it was the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee. Oh the irony!

Not as ironic as the fact the Committee is chaired by serial failure/ bossy old trout Cllr Matron McLaughlin. Oversight? – don’t make us laugh !

No doubt the reason was the fact they were about to discuss the fallout from last week’s Standards Panel aka as ‘Jeez Louise!’ where Louise Reecejones proved to be, well , your average local Labour councillor , ‘ inconsistent , vague and misleading‘ – and they were her good points!

Sanction Distinction

However we have to say that Wirral Leaks don’t like to kick someone when they’re down . But we’ll make an exception in this case as LRJ is yet another local representative who we feel is clearly unfit for public office. Having said that we do feel she was badly done to in one respect and that was the ruling that she breached confidentiality in contacting us !.

Oh FFS – half of Wirral Council would be before the Standards Panel if that were the case! LRJ did not breach confidentiality by telling us that there was an investigation being undertaken. However by imposing sanctions on a councillor who contacted us in the public interest clearly imposes a ‘chilling effect’ on all those who might be considering it, doesn’t it? Thankfully we can always rely on Wirral Council’s oppressed staff for information and not politically motivated councillors.

LRJ’s position is now being considered by Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies. Once again we have to declare – ‘Oh the irony!’

Power Boy Pip is the last person to pass judgement on councillor conduct and LRJ knows it!

We know this because we had the following exchange with LRJ on the 25 March 2016 :

Dear Wirral leaks,
The Story you have received is not true, I am fully reinstated as a Labour Party Councillor, I am also completely cleared of any wrong doing.
I was treated terribly by most of Wirral Labour group with only a few who were decent.
I have faced abuse by a group of parents who have tried to discredit me and make up false, slanderous statements including one post by a person who is a governor at Kingsway academy, chair of Merseyside Autistic Children’s society were you can only receive support if you agree with her, she is also and more worryingly working with WIRED the Carers charity commissioned by Wirral Council to support Parents in education who have SEND.
I have enclosed a screen shot of her post.
I only want to make a difference, I don’t stand on parade nor do I ask for thanks, I never want another young person go through what mine has. That’s my motivation nothing else.
 

Kind Regards,

Cllr Louise Reecejones
Proud trustee at TLC Network charity

Everything in our story is true. You were reinstated yesterday.

Read it again. Believe us – you got off lightly.We didn’t print all of the email because they couldn’t provide the evidence.
“I was treated terribly by most of Wirral Labour group…”  and ” I never want another person go through what mine has”  
Don’t play the victim –  do something about it!.
I have a right to play the victim after receiving what I have. 
We understand the suspension still stands and suspect the council will be taking matters further as well as dealing with the public spat with outgoing councillor Jim “Crabby” Crabtree.

Yehuda Bauer – the respected authority on the holocaust said : ‘Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.’ The choice is yours

The bold part makes it sound like it still relates to me, I have been fully cleared because I am completely innocent, I gave full accounts and documentation to the police, no money was ever missing but false invoices had been created when I was in hospital very poorly, this was an attempt to discredit me, nothing else and it hasn’t worked because unlike other I am not up to no good.

As for Crabby well he is one vile disgusting bully who goes around picking on women.

His words to me were, ” your a f@@@ing Deaf, Fat Bitch”

This was I front of school children at the holocaust memorial service.

Crabby refuses to answer to the complaint and will slope off as he has been deselected.

There is another one you may be interested in but I will give you her next week after I’ve met with the whip, some interesting times ahead with key people leaving the group at May’s elections, positions are up for grabs and scary times ahead for who will become chair of the group etc.

And I haven’t I have had him suspended and took him to task, I’m not an easy push over I just don’t believe this man should be near politics or vulnerable people.

You need to look higher up. Crabtree is a nonentity.

Oh I have stuff from a high up, all in good time xx
It’s prob worth noting that if I did as I was told over this case Labour would not of took it any further and I would not of been suspended. I was given an ultimatum and they were willing to brush over the accusation. I knew 100% I had done nothing so refused the offer with no hesitation. 
I had no idea what it was over until October when I went to see the CEO so that’s a lot of time to set me up.
First mistake – you put your trust in Burgess.
Oh no I’ve never put my trust in him at all, nor have I in the leadership of the group.

You do surprise me.Actually you don’t.Without being oppressive ,anyone with half a brain cell can see they’re winging it.  

Of course LRJ will never came up with the goods and Power Boy Pip won’t take her on because it’s mutually assured destruction. Moreover we’re sick to death of being told Crabtree had an incriminating file on the Labour group  if he ‘went down’ or that a file had been passed to the former wife of a former leader of Wirral Council as a negotiating tool during their acrimonious divorce.
And yet these pieces of crap are still allowed to make decisions about our lives and frankly we’ve had enough of it.
But we’ll leave the last word to someone in the know who tells us :
The police investigation had been underway for some time without LRJ’s knowledge and they were ready to arrest her Autumn 2015 when she presented herself at a police station after being tipped about the investigation by none other than the CEO Eric Robinson. We only found out a few weeks ago as they were trying their best to stop us finding out. 
So LRJ was sanctioned for breach of confidentiality and Stressed Eric wasn’t?
How does that work?  Perhaps the Standards and Constitutional Committee can explain?

Send In The Clowns

Foulkes Clown 2

So much money, so much time , so much energy  defending this clown. Can somebody please explain?

Ladies and gentleman we present you with the Wirral Council Circus. Witness amazing feats of escapology performed before your very eyes!.

Recorded for posterity by the indomitable John Brace – who seems to have recovered from being barred from last week’s Standards Panel meeting to bring us the thrills and spills from this week’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.

 

Watch  as chief town hall juggler  Surjit  Tour squirms as he walks the tightrope of truth and demonstrates a complete inability to give a straight answer by using the word ‘rationale’ as many times as he can as though he’s being sponsored for Comic Relief!

Watch Cllr Matron McLaughlin  change the subject  when awkward questions are being asked about the conduct of councillors by using the magic words  “Working Party”. We’d like to ask an awkward question using the word “Anna” and whether a declaration of interest should have been required at the Standards Panel.

Watch ineffectual and callow opposition councillors  (minus one honourable exception) “play nice”

Watch human potato Cllr Paul Stuart make the unfortunate mistake of asking about “recording devices” ( the new councillor obviously didn’t get the memo from Labour HQ!)

Watch as Surjit puts his head down to conceal his wry smirk as Cllr Stuart  mentions “recording devices” – for as we know no one as benefited as much from this technological device than he has!. The Complainants must be so proud!- their pursuit of  £48,000 each has gifted Tour a job for life ( Frank Field’s words)

Watch as an old dog learns new tricks – kudos to Cllr Gerry Ellis as he asks the obvious questions about what’s the point of protocols,policies and procedures if nobody on the Committee is allowed to know what complaints about councillors are about and what the outcome of the complaint is?. There is no point Gerry , none at all. Accept that councillors are beyond accountability and move on.

Watch as words like “due process” and concerns about length of time it takes to deal with complaints are raised and laugh out loud that those assembled can somehow manage keep a straight face whilst asking the question

Watch as Councillor Denise Roberts drags a quickfire meeting out as long as she can despite the fact that Committee members can’t seem to wait to get the hell out of there. As Her Ladyship  cried : “Somebody pass the cattle prod”

Watch as  it is revealed that the people you voted for have relinquished their responsibility for making decisions about Code of Conduct complaints to Tour and an “independent person”. This might explain why Joe Blott and his posse whisked so called “independent person” Brian Cummings off after last week’s Standards Panel to tell him what  decision he should make. It doesn’t explain why Tour deftly tries to pretend that the Committee are the ones making decisions – as once again the ringmaster has the whip hand and helps facilitate the placement of political and personal interests above the public interest! .

 

Standard Procedures

 

Returning Officer  Money 011

 

Rather endearingly we’ve been asked by a very excited reader whether Wirral Council’s Standards & Constitutional Committee meeting on Thursday will finally mean that the Thynne 2 report will finally see the light of day.

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/g5680/Agenda%20frontsheet%2002nd-Jun-2016%2017.00%20Standards%20and%20Constitutional%20Oversight%20Committee.pdf?T=0

Sorry to disappoint them but all we can say is- ” You’ve got to be joking ! ”

Instead it seems to be a case of death by bureaucracy and a further desperate attempt by Wirral Council to kill the report stone dead. The sickening irony is that Thursday’s meeting is to approve procedures,protocols and appointments relating to complaints about Wirral Councillors.

The fact that the Committee hasn’t met for 6 months tells you everything you need to know about how seriously councillors take the issue of their own public accountability.

If you really want to lose the will to live might we suggest that you check out the protocol here :

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/b50006718/Additional%20Papers%2002nd-Jun-2016%2017.00%20Standards%20and%20Constitutional%20Oversight%20Committee.pdf?T=9

We have two main observations , the first of which is to ask what is the point of having a protocol , a procedure or a policy if you contemptuously ignore it?.

We mean specifically clause 16  of the protocol concerned as it is with the meeting of the Standards Panel

16. Standards Panel

16.1 Where a Standards Complaint has been referred for investigation and a finding of a breach has been found by the Investigator, the Standards Panel shall be convened within 20 working days of the Monitoring Officer receiving the Investigator’s final report.

So can the Committee tell us exactly how long they’ve had Investigator Patricia Thynne’s  second Code of Conduct report ?. By our reckoning it’s at least 6 months . Funny we can’t see anywhere in the protocol that Wirral Council have to check with a councillor’s legal rep whether it’s OK with them whether they can hold a meeting! . Although we do note that the decision to instigate a Standards Appeal Panel fills us with complete despair as no matter how heinous or how damning the evidence against them is an errant councillor can seemingly spin the inevitable out for even longer so that allegations can be dismissed as “historical”.

Our second observation is the truly terrifying aspect of the protocol that is the frightening number of powers that the Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour gives himself …..although now we come to think about it that might explain our first observation!!!.

The Monitoring Officer who thinks he’a Returning Officer – but isn’t !.

Oops! –  do you have a protocol for when that happens Mr.Tour?.

 

Thynne Will Be Done

Thynne1 011
As a follow on from previous stories about first the postponement and then cancellation of Standards  & Constitutional Oversight Committee we thought we’d try and discover why Wirral Council would resort to such delaying tactics.
Apparently the meetings were  cancelled because they had nothing to discuss!.
This must be because Wirral councillors are either :
A) simply beyond reproach and require neither oversight nor sanction  or B) they’ve got something to hide !.
This wasn’t a trick question. The answer is B.
The deciding factor for the delays was the fact that a Labour councillor couldn’t be found to attend a Standards Panel meeting where the sequel to the now infamous Thynne 1 report published in June 2014 was to be considered prior to a full meeting of the Standards Committee itself.
Now isn’t it funny – or rather , sickening  –  that when there’s a nice little earner to be had sitting on the board of Merseytravel, Magenta Living , Merseyside Fire & Rescue  etc there’s no shortage of councillors volunteering to stick their snouts in the trough but when it comes to performing their civic duties closer to home they come over all shy and retiring……or more accurately sly and in denial.
We understand that  Thynne 2 was complete many months ago and yet it remains hidden from not only public scrutiny but apparently any scrutiny whatsoever. Probably because this sequel is that rare thing  – an improvement on the original Thynne 1 – a report you won’t find on the Wirral Council website although it was originally published within a month of its completion.
We can only conclude that the reason that Thynne 2 hasn’t been published is that it includes testimony other than from those with something to hide. Therefore in the continuing absence of the follow up report we are compelled to revisit Thynne 1 and consider significant paragraphs that we can only hope were subject to closer scrutiny than they were the first time they were published.
Cllr Jeff Green’s evidence :
Para  5.1.2 Person A (one of the complainants called The Group )  then told him ( Cllr Green) that they had received threats from the council that if they produced the tape it would go badly for them
 
Cllr Phil Davies’ evidence :
Para 5.2.3  Cllr Davies believes the Group were trying to use the content of the phone conversation to pressurise him into settling their claim
SO WHY SUBSEQUENTLY DID WIRRAL COUNCIL LEADER  PHIL DAVIES COMMISSION A REVIEW FROM NICK WARREN WHICH TRIES TO ENSURE THE GROUP SETTLE THEIR “CLAIM” FOR COMPENSATION WITHOUT FOLLOWING DUE LEGAL PROCESS AND AGAINST LEGAL ADVICE WHEN IT APPEARS FROM HIS DESCRIPTION  THE GROUP WERE TRYING TO EXTRACT MONEY WITH MENACES ?! – WE  THINK THE EVIDENCE BELOW WILL HELP EXPLAIN.
Cllr Steve Foulkes evidence :
Para 5. 3 .3 He says that he was anxious to introduce a clear prohibition against the political manipulation of whistleblowers. At  the time some whistleblowers seemed to be feted and courted by some councillors whilst others were ignored. It occurred to him that the use of whistleblowers by politicians for political ends might itself constitute harm or damage that would support their claim (for) compensation from the Council. He thought that the document he had seen would provide good evidence to support his case about preventing this happening in future.
Para 5. 3. 4  Cllr Foulkes says that he asked Cllr George Davies who was actively involved with The Group to talk to them and request a copy of the document he had read several years previously . He also asked that the document be signed by them to prevent people thinking that he had written it himself. He says he asked for the document both to support his own desire to amend the Council policy on whistleblowing and also because he thought it might strengthen their claim against the Council for compensation.
CONTRADICTORY MUCH ?. FOULKESY WANTS TO STOP WHISTLEBLOWERS CLAIMING COMPENSATION BY HELPING SO CALLED WHISTLEBLOWERS MAKE A DUBIOUS CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION BY ASKING THEM TO PROVIDE A DOCUMENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO SMEAR A POLITICAL OPPONENT !. 
A DOCUMENT HE HAD ALREADY “ACQUIRED” FROM FORMER DIRECTOR OF LAW BILL NORMAN’S FILES AND HANDED OVER TO A LOCAL JOURNALIST. GO FIGURE! 
Para 5.3.6 Cllr Foulkes stated that he did not conduct smear campaigns. He has not used the letter to attack an individual. He states that as Deputy Mayor  , he could not have left the Council Chamber during a meeting unless there was an adjournment.
SEVERAL WITNESSES SAW FOULKES LEAVE THE COUNCIL CHAMBER TO MEET THE LOCAL JOURNALIST ON  13 JULY  2013. THERE WAS AN ADJOURNMENT AT THIS MEETING  – IT’S RECORDED IN THE MINUTES ! ……..AND HE’S FILMED ON YOUTUBE  SIGNALLING TO THE SAME JOURNALIST IN THE PUBLIC GALLERY !.
Cllr George Davies  evidence :
Para 5.4.1 …..Cllr Davies is Frank Field’s agent and was present at numerous subsequent meetings between the Group and Frank Field
Para 5.4.2 Cllr George Davies says that over the years he got to know the group well and developed what he describes as a relaxed and unguarded way of talking to them. He also admits he has difficulty remembering the detailed content of conversations.
GOOD JOB THE GROUP RECORDED THE CONVERSATIONS THEN ! 
Para 5.4.3 …It was during this telephone conversation call that Cllr George Davies made the reference to the council officer which had been the subject of the previous investigation. Cllr George Davies is adamant that they talked about no other issue and there was no conversation about any smear campaign against Cllr Green
WE BELIEVE THIS STATEMENT TO BE UNTRUE. GEORGE DAVIES NOT ONLY USES A RACIAL SLUR HE OFFERS TO SETTLE THE GROUP’S COMPENSATION CLAIM  DESCRIBED BY PERSON A FROM THE GROUP AS A SMEAR DEAL (SEE BELOW).
Letter from The Group to Joe Blott 
Para 5.5.2 The letter refers to a request they be interviewed as part of the previous investigation and asks that they not be contacted in future. The letter goes on to say that the investigation  “Makes no mention of the political cohesion (Smear Deal) from Wirral Labour Party that was set up with the whistleblowers on behalf of the Deputy Mayor Mr Foulkes including others , against Jeff Green the Wirral Conservative leader.”
 
WOULDN’T IT BE INTERESTING TO KNOW WHY THE GROUP WOULDN’T CO-OPERATE WITH ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT INVOLVED DETAILS OF THE RECORDED TELEPHONE CONVERSATION AND YET AGREED TO GIVE EVIDENCE TO THE NICK WARREN REVIEW?. COULD IT BE THAT THE FRANK FIELD FACILITATED REVIEW HAD THE POSSIBILITY OF  BIG CHEQUES AT THE END OF IT? . BUT CHEQUES FOR EXACTLY WHAT WE WONDER!. WE THINK  THYNNE 2  WILL HELP ANSWER THAT QUESTION  – WHICH MAY EXPLAIN WHY IT REMAINS HIDDEN FROM  PUBLIC SCRUTINY.