An UnSatoorsfactory Appointment

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Needless to say we were given the heads up about Paul Satoor being made Interim CEO of Wirral Council before the last Employment and Appointments Committee confirmed the appointment

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Also needless to say we understand that the current Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson now isn’t working his 3 month notice and is hastily taking up his new appointment as CEO of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) on July 16th. It’s all very much a case of : ” I’m a nonentity – get me out of here”

How ironic that someone who repeatedly turned a blind eye to the abuse of power at Wirral Council is the now head of the national organisation who are meant to be protecting the vulnerable from abuse.  It doesn’t augur well does it? But hey! that’s how things work in backward Britain these days . The bland leading the blind.

Meanwhile we thought we’d check out Stressed Eric’s successor…or more accurately his Wirral Leaks rap sheet and see what Satoor is bringing to the party. And it’s not a lot if you ask us. It’s the usual case of :  “Use what you know to get what you want” (see also – Burgess, Adderley, Degg, Downey, Green, Armstrong, Blott etc;etc;)

For starters he was up to his neck in the Halliday debacle . No wonder Stressed Eric stressed that no-one was going to take the rap for this particular dereliction of due diligence. No doubt the rubicund public servant was too busy lining up his successor whilst standing behind the shredder and preparing  his press statement about how it all happened before he was appointed when the proverbial hits the fan. And it will dear reader. Oh, believe us, it will…

 

Heads up on Halliday

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After first being sent to elected members, we understand that a confidential report concerned with allegations involving controversial Wirral Council appointment  Stuart/Stewart Halliday and others ,which was exclusively revealed by Wirral Leaks , is due to be published shortly . For those wanting to do a bit of background reading in the mean time (especially as the story can’t be found anywhere else ) we recommend :

Halliday Money : The Rising Son of York

The Curse of Leaky Towers : Heave-ho for Halliday ?!

EXCLUSIVE : What’s in a Name? – Is this the real reason the controversial, high profile Stewart/Stuart Halliday appointment was suddenly dropped by Wirral Council?

Halliday fallout : Will Wirral Council Deputy CEO David Armstrong be the fall guy ?

The report is due before the Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) and up until now there have been no moves to make the report an exempt item on the agenda. As the next meeting of ARMC is on 11 March we expect the report to be available to the public early next week. This is curious for a number reasons ,not least the reluctance , or more accurately the fierce resistance, of Wirral Council to publish a previous investigation report from 2015 which as far as we are aware has never been so much the subject of curiosity let alone discussion by members of ARMC. But more on the Warren Report another time…

All we’ve managed to elicit so far on this latest report is that it is “…worth watching out for…”

Tune in to Wirral Leaks for our forensic analysis of the findings when the report can be found on the Wirral Council website.

 

 

Kingdom Comeuppance? – Part 1

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#sadface pic courtesy of BBC website

Grant us this indulgence but we’d like to comment further if we may on stories featured this week on Wirral Leaks with a mini-series of quick fire posts .

First up is a follow up to last night’s Kingdom Suspended ! story where in our haste to get the BBC footage on the website we missed the opportunity to comment on some aspects of the latest saga in the Kingdom Security debacle and particularly the role of the  mainstream media and local politicians in ‘exposing’ how the cash for trash company operate on the say so of Wirral Council. No doubt Kingdom will still be operating to full contract value (much like the other Wirral Council suspendee Stewart/Stuart Halliday) and so will now have the capacity to have more operatives out on the streets of Wirral hounding those least able to pay a fine for what is essentially a trash tax on the poor and very little to do with environmental protection.

The most curious aspect for us was how the suspension of Kingdom Security from dealing with the business waste aspect of their contract with Wirral Council ended up on the telly. Perhaps a clue is to be had from one of yesterday’s commentators on our blog :

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Taking time out from from name-dropping to comment on litter-dropping Peter ‘Granty’ Grant in his ‘Granty’s Infernal’ column was surprisingly low key on the Kingdom story (not even mentioning them by name) he merely stated :

While Wirral Council comes under fire for “Waste-Gate” (the incredibly ill-thought out fixed penalty notices blitz on businesses… )

“Waste-Gate”, eh? Now where have we heard a similar turn of phrase ? Ah yes  – “Wirralgate” . Now we know that Granty is keen on recycling – and as has been brought to our attention before, often from this very blog – but we very much doubt Granty will be referring to “Wirralgate” any time soon and certainly not in the run up to May’s local elections like he did last time round (see below). Well, not since July 2017 when the editor of the Wirral Globe got his hands on the “Wirralgate” tape anyway!

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Talking of ‘literary musings’ let’s get back to Granty and Cathy Roberts , the ‘co-owner’ of the ‘Literally’ bookshop in New Brighton, who was on the telly complaining about being fined £300 over sandwich wrapper . The TV and website records Ms Roberts in full flow  complaining that sweet papers, newspapers, milk cartons and tea bags weren’t commercial waste. Whilst we agree it made us wonder a) just how much butty munching, sweet eating and tea bagging goes on in ‘Literally’ b) was Ms Roberts reading ‘Granty’s Infernal’ column in the picture on the BBC website above c) did Granty  pull a few strings with his extensive media contacts to enable the story to get such prominent media coverage ?  and d) why has the Kingdom business waste story attracted so little attention at the Wirral Globe until this week? If they had covered the matter as Wirral Leaks had done so here back in October 2018 and highlighted “the incredibly ill-thought out fixed penalty notices blitz on businesses” perhaps the co-owners of ‘Literally’ might have known what was heading their way !

Shall we await “with bated breath” to see whether Granty answers these questions in next week’s Wirral Globe column…

 

EXCLUSIVE : What’s in a Name? – Is this the real reason the controversial, high profile Stewart/Stuart Halliday appointment was suddenly dropped by Wirral Council?

We have been made aware that the attached four invoices (see below) , each referring to Forge House Associates Ltd and including an amount claimed for VAT, were dated AFTER the company was compulsorily dissolved by Companies House (first Gazette notice 10 July 2018; final Gazette notice 25 September 2018).
The invoices relates to work to support the “Wirral Growth Company” and includes the company number 10306493.
  • 21 October: £16,189.50
  • 16 November 2018: £15,152.63
  • 14 December 2018: £16,333.30
  • 11 January 2019: £9,600

So far, so familiar – for as we know from the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods debacle Wirral Council don’t seem to concern themselves with the status or personnel of companies when it comes to distributing public money.

So what’s the big deal here?

Well it may interest you to know that there were 2 directors of Forge House Associates, an Elizabeth Stead and one… Stuart Halliday.

 

On 3rd October 2018 a new company, “Forge House Associates Lincs” was incorporated, this time with just Elizabeth Stead as the sole director, although Stuart Halliday owns 50% shares in the company (Company number 11602174).

However the now dissolved Forge House Associates continued to invoice the Council up until January 2019 when the “financial irregularities” were brought to the attention of the Council. Could this have been the route via which Halliday’s consultancy fees ( circa £4K a week!) were paid prior to his short lived appointment as the new Director of Housing and Economic Growth?

We understand that the HMRC and Companies House are now investigating and under the circumstances we think it is reasonable to assume that this could be the reason that Stewart / Stuart was dropped by the Council .

After persistent rumours we have also been made aware that Martin Liptrot – from ‘Wirral Well Made’ , which from what we can gather is the PR arm of the Wirral Growth Company – has also allegedly been removed from his post with immediate effect. As Wirral Council are currently on lockdown about this alleged departure we don’t know if the two matters are related.  However when we get more information – and we will – we’ll let you know.

And so with the departure of Brian Bailey, and now Stewart Halliday, this will result in yet  further delays to Wirral’s beleaguered and long overdue Local Plan. Surely now we could have hoped that the Council would bring in a new Director of Housing and Economic Growth who would have a strong background in, well, housing and economic growth and, as he is the man to bring forward the Local Plan,  a thorough understanding of national planning policy. Apparently the man to now take forward the Local Plan is to be Paul Satoor a man who has a “strong background in organisational transformation, human resources and organisational development”.

http://www.bringitonwirral.co.uk/the-senior-team/

All of which leaves us fearing that this may not turn out well for the likes of the Local Plan ,Wirral Waters or the Green Belt but it will certainly continue to keep us in business !

Please note we have edited the bank and personal contact details of company director from the following invoices (and apologies for the wonky screenshots – it’s a late night for us!) :

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