Let There Be Light

Left in the dark 007

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.…

Once again we are grateful to one of our readers who has sent us a copy of yesterday’s front page of the Wirral edition of the Liverpool Echo.

We didn’t even know there was such a publication – the last time we bought the Echo on a Saturday it was pink and we’d check the football results with our pools coupon.

However what drew our reader’s attention was the glaring front page headline  :” Left in the dark” and the sub-heading – “Promise of Action on Wirral Street Lights”. Our puzzled reader was curious to see whether this was a lazy re-tread of a story we’d run on 29  January – and if so why exactly two weeks later a story about street lights is on the front page of the Liverpool Echo.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/shine-a-light/

The puzzle was solved when our reader turned to page 8 to see the source of the story was Birkenhead MP Frank ” Light of The World” Field  , because as we know that round here it’s not news until Frank  reports it. What’s more we all know that  when it comes to being in the media spotlight the super trouper beams are always going to find him!.

The late to the party Labour MP says in the report that residents’ concerns centred “on the apparent lack of urgency shown by the council’s Streetscene department to address each fault once it has been reported”.

What amused us more than anything else in the report was the response of Cllr Stuart Whittingham ,Wirral Council’s cabinet member for transport. When we first covered the story we included stats from former Lib Dem councillor Stuart Kelly. It was in response to Kelly’s tweet that Witless Whittingham further enhanced his resemblance to the Matt Lucas character George Dawes (“He’s a baby”)  by spitting his dummy out of the pram during this Twitterspat  :

twitterspat

Now you’ve witnessed the kind of high level political debate that Witless Whittingham indulges in compare and contrast his tittylipped response  with his grovelling apology in the Echo report :

“Sadly , this year we’ve seen increased levels of vandalism and unreported collision damage, which has contributed to a higher than normal number of outstanding faults . We have not been able to respond to this increase as well as I would like , so we are taking special action to deal with the backlog . I’d like to apologise to residents for not responding sooner to their concerns”.

Left in the dark 008

Of course there’s no mention of the fact that the ending of regular streetlight surveys has undoubtedly contributed to this dim situation . Nevertheless now that our saviour Frankenfield has declared “let there be light” we can now expect that Wirral will be lit up like Reno.

Shame that Field wants to keep us “left in the dark ” about  other matters concerning former Wirral Council streetscene workers though isn’t it ?. Accordingly  can we advise our readers not to expect that particular story lighting up the front page of the Echo any time soon !!!.

Streetlights lookalikes

WitlessGeorge Dawes -He's a baby

light of the worldSt Frank

Shine A Light

 

Lightbulb 4

One of the main issues which has concerned our readers this week has been Wirral streetlights. Or rather the lack of them or lack of someone to turn them off when they’re on 24/7! .

The streetlights situation  brings into focus once again that  Wirral Council need to concentrate on getting the basics right before they start channelling resources into speculative schemes such as golf resorts or international business centres.

Having vision (20/20 or otherwise) is one thing but short-sightedness or wilful blindness is another!

Firstly we must bring to your attention a disconcerting blog post by former Wirral Council street lighting design engineer turned inveterate blogger Paul Cardin which is absolutely essential reading on the matter.

https://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/whats-wrong-with-wirral-council-street-lighting/

Mr. Cardin records his concerns about information provided or not provided by Wirral Council about the location of street lights that have been turned off or were not working properly. The insightful post highlights(!) how some parts of the local media work and how some parts of Wirral Council don’t work with information appearing on and off websites like, well ,Wirral’s streetlights.

Another person who has resorted to social media to spotlight (!) their concerns is Wirral Leaks reader Nick Lauro  who tells us :

“Well after 3 months of waiting after reporting, including Tweets to WMBC, a letter in the Wirral Globe, a piece on the John Brace website and FINALLY, writing to my MP, they sent someone out.

The best bit is the three-way procedure between BAM Nuttall, WMBC and Scottish Power for reporting, assessing and fixing street lamps. It really does become like one of those “how many men does it take to change a light bulb?” jokes. Of course, nothing gets done – apart from the cash-cow street-furniture contract.

In this case, some £30,000,000 on a 6 year contract seems to be riding on whether we get street lamps fixed. I wonder how many honking snouts are in the money trough on that one!!!!

The more voices shouting against the bureaucracy and professional obfuscation that WMBC seem to excel in, the more chance we have of exposing their mismanagement of our public services and general poor practice. I know two people who will have to remain anonymous, who both work for the council as two of the many long suffering employees working under what they describe as a joke management team that have lost any respect from the workforce, mainly due to the pay-freezes they have to endure whilst golden handshakes are given out to the most ineffectual executives, along with obscene daily rates for outsourced consultants.”

We’d like to reassure Mr.Lauro and the growing number of people who have been contacting us that we’ll continue to shine a light on Wirral Council especially when they don’t do the same for us!

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