Getting It Wrong

Get it Wrong

The late ,great meme-tastic Gene Wilder explains the Wirral Council modus operandi

The ‘Invitation to Tender’ (ITT) document  for ‘PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR GETTING IT RIGHT PROJECT (SUPPORTING ACCESS WIRRAL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME)’ is most revealing for those interested in finding out where Wirral Council is heading. As far as we’re concerned its willingly over the precipice dancing to the Pied Piper of private enterprise.

ITT Getting It Right 2017

Behind the convoluted branding and language the document simply sets out the means by which Wirral Council are seeking  to outsource public services and put people out of work. Indeed the latter is explicitly stated in the specification of the contract at  2.1 of the ITT document  : Reshape services to reduce significantly, over three to five years

The former is set out in the Scope of the tender at 1.1 as follows:

We have already undertaken significant work to develop our programme; we are implementing a new operating model which sets out the future operating principles of the organisation which includes a strategic hub, business management function and service delivery through a mixed economy of direct provision, shared service and commissioned outcomes

The council has also set out a commitment to take a commercial approach to service design, management and decisions, encouraging innovation whilst optimising assets and services to exploit opportunities to generate income surplus for reinvestment and reduce costs.

This ‘new operating model’ (mainly filched from elsewhere) apparently also includes ‘imaginative’plans for Wirral Council to become an energy provider!

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/15168461.Wirral_Council_to_set_up_as_an_energy_company_providing_power_to_heat_and_light_our_homes/

This doesn’t augur well as the ruling administration at Wirral Council have an inglorious record of keeping the people of Wirral in the dark and freezing out the opposition.

Having said that the thought occurred to us that if you can’t beat ’em , join ’em . We thought momentarily that we’d join the  serried ranks of ex- council  employees topping up their pensions merrily making their former colleagues redundant and helping to hand over precious public assets into the private sector. Accordingly Leaky Towers Inc ; were  considering an application to pick up the phones and respond to complaints etc; on behalf of the people of Wirral ( in return for a mahoosive  contract). However our application stalled at Method Statement 5 which read :

How does your organisation use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems whilst demonstrating the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability?

Huh?

All we can only presume that Wirral Council are particularly hoping for an explanation as to what public transparency and legal accountability actually are as they appear to be alien concepts.

Meanwhile the likes of ‘Capita’, ‘The Contact Company’ and the ‘Wirral Chamber of Commerce’ can only be licking their lips in anticipation of things to come.

 

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Christmas Day in the Call Centre

workhouse

“Your call is important to us , but not as important as putting food on the table…..”

 

Following on from our posts earlier this week – which we understand has ruffled the feathers of those who are usually more concerned with feathering their own nest – we’ve been contacted by people with inside knowledge of exactly what happens when you give a multi-millionaire a million pounds of public money.

But first of all we need to declare a deep, abiding prejudice. As we’ve said before we think call centres are ‘the satanic mills of the 21st century’.

And indeed the Indeed website provides us with a fascinating insight into what it must be like to work in such a place :

http://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/The-Contact-Company/reviews?fcountry=ALL

Among the reviews from former employees we note the use of the term ‘workhouse’ . And again this is a term used by one of the commentators on one of our previous posts:

Speaking as one of many local little people, who is employed Mr Asif he runs two modern day work houses were approx 75% are employed by outside agencies , it is a work house where, fear of dismissal is ever present, a living wage is non existent, plus huge staff turnover, and low morale, he is a modern day pirate……..a very morally corrupt business model

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/the-common-people/

So have local prominent politicians had that difficult conversation with The Contact Company owner Asif ‘Massive’* Hamid yet ? ( * the ‘Massive’ tag  refers to his ever expanding business empire obvs).

You know that difficult conversation about ‘championing’ the living wage?

http://www.frankfield.co.uk/latest-news/articles/news.aspx?p=102665

No, thought not!. They clearly think that the serfs who keep them in power should be grateful for any level entry employment going no matter how demeaning/demoralising/disempowering.

However we at Leaky Towers like to look at the bigger picture and comment on the fact that all studies of mental health wellbeing always indicate security as the defining factor – be it security in relationships, security in employment and the ultimate security of having a roof over your head.

But how better to keep people in subservience  by being in constant threat of being unemployed and at risk of attending one of Frankenfield’s foodbanks ( do you see how this sh*t works yet?) . The Contact Company appear to do it by hiring staff via an agency ,presumably as a means to undermine employment rights. Wirral Council do something similar but pay lip service to the Employment Rights Act 1996 and instead subjugate their staff by subjecting them to the constant threat of redundancy. Forget zero hours contracts – this unspoken practice is the greatest threat to workers in the modern workplace and which has sent us hurtling back to the nineteenth century.

P.S. Oh and by the way  what’s this posted on our Facebook page about (we presume) Hamid buying water from Home Bargains for 24p a bottle and selling them for £1?. Surely that’s an urban myth?.

 

Contacts and Connections

If you wanted further confirmation of how things work round these parts look no further than the following article from today’s Daily Mail .  Here you will see the appearance of Wirral Leaks regulars Paula Basnett and Asif  Hamid.  The story itself concerns the fact that in 2014 call centre king Hamid was handed £1 million by the Local Enterprise Partnership – a board which he sits on.  However a spokesperson for The Contact Company denies anything untoward – pointing out that local councils have a final say in who get the grants. So that will be  Hamid’s friends at Wirral Council making the decision about awarding £1 million grants  – well that’s alright then isn’t it?  No rules may have been broken but that’s because these people seem to make them up to suit themselves.

And as you can see from the picture accompanying the article below – which for various reasons has to be one of the most repulsive pictures we have ever seen – if  you throw the Wirral Chamber of Commerce into this increasingly incestuous and lucrative mix we have the local nexus of nepotism.

Paula Basnett is the Chief Executive of Wirral Chamber of Commerce

Asif Hamid is the Chair of Wirral Chamber of Commerce and the owner of the Contact Company

Mark Basnett is Managing Director of Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership

Cllr Phil Davies is the leader of Wirral Council. Wirral Council have enabled  Wirral Chamber of Commerce to manage an increasing property portfolio including Egerton House , Pacific Road and The Lauries.

A call centre boss and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)  member was handed £1million – by the LEP.

The grant to Asif Hamid’s already-successful business in Merseyside – which turns over £10million a year – amounted to a quarter of all the money handed out in the Wirral area.

Millionaire Mr Hamid, 48, who describes himself as ‘an award-winning entrepreneur and pioneer’, is a well-known businessman in the North West. He has been photographed with David Cameron and Esther McVey, the former Tory minister.

His call centre – The Contact Company – used the £1million it received in 2014 to move into a new 900-seat premises in the Wirral and take on new staff.

Connections: Asif Hamid with former prime minister David Cameron and former minister Esther McVey in 2008

Connections: Asif Hamid with former prime minister David Cameron and former minister Esther McVey in 2008* ( * Paula must be livid that even though she’s rockin’ another lovely white dress she doesn’t get a namecheck)  

The company – owned entirely by Mr Hamid – also benefited from another grant, worth £40,800. This money was given to a company which helped train his staff, and was secured thanks to a bid led by Mr Hamid.

A spokesman for The Contact Company said the firm and its owner ‘completely reject the suggestion that there is anything improper about the relationship between LEP, The Contact Company and Mr Hamid or the funding award in 2014’.

He added: ‘Mr Hamid played no part in the award of the funding.’ Liverpool City Region LEP said the £1million grant had been a success, and that while it had a role in considering if the grant recipients were suitable, local councils had the final say.

A spokesman said: ‘At no point was the LEP Board or its members, including Mr Hamid, involved in decision making as to appraisal of applications or awards of grant.’

On the £40,800 funding for training, the LEP said the process was overseen by a separate board that did not include Mr Hamid. Those funds ‘were paid to training providers, not to The Contact Company’.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4000010/Exposed-Secretive-fat-cats-carving-7bn-cash-friends-family-including-40-000-renovate-barn-155-000-Jamie-Oliver-s-charity-restaurant.html#ixzz4RxccbY1K

Indecent Exposure

Is it us or does this Wirral Council business model have a feel of ‘Big Brother’s Cartel’ about it  ? Not only do Wirral Council want to be the the publishers of rose-tinted news and features via  Wirral Today but with their Wirral View branding arm , which we exposed on Friday , it would appear they also want to provide local advertising in public places.

indecent-exposure

And as far as we’re concerned they’ve now started a turf war with Wirral Leaks as everyone knows that exposure 24hrs a day , 7 days a week is our territory!.

Although having said that recent acquisitions and developments involving Wirral Council, Wirral Chamber of Commerce and The Contact Company have left us wondering whether there will be wasted advertising space – as the way things are going there won’t be any other businesses left out there!.