An Eternal Haunting

Honest People

We find Halloween frightful (and not in a good way) so we’ve pulled up the drawbridge at Leaky Towers and are now settling down before a log fire to recall our All Hallow’s Eve stories of yore.

We decided we couldn’t outdo our 2015 story below as it is as pertinent then as it is now.  Wirral Leaks is playing the part of Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost  in Emily Bronte’s classic gothic novel  Wuthering Heights – scratching at the window and haunting the guilty in their sleep…………………for eternity!

Although reporting Wirral Council horror stories is our stock in trade our fiendish readers realise we always like to make a special effort on Halloween.

Halloween Special – House of Horrors – keeping it clean

Halloween Special – You Only Moved The Headstones

Tricked or Treat – where the Abnorman is Normal

So reporting (almost) live from the gothic monstrosity that is Leaky Towers we bring you the leading mischief makers in the Wirralgate scandal that haunts Wirral Council. This is the scandal which the local poltergeist politicians want to keep hidden in the basement like the body of Norman Bates’s mother.Frank-N-Field

The Rt.Hon Frankenfield has like Dr. Frankenstein created a monster.That monster has been cobbled together from a small group of obedient halfwits and an amoral wannabe.

This monster has been running amok for years always knowing that Frankenfield will defend his unco-ordinated , incoherent and clumsy creation.

However by setting up the call which ended in a fateful recorded conversation he effectively created the Wirralgate scandal.

 

Mental-PowerBoyThe eternal wannabe council leader Power Boy Pip Davies – always in denial and forever deluded. In his own words he said The Ghouls ,sorry The Group were using “the content of the phone conversation to pressurise him into settling their claim ” ( page 7 – Report of Investigation Into allegation of Breach Code of Conduct for Councillors – Patricia Thynne June 2014).……and then meekly obeys when Frankenfield steps in and “demands” a compensation for The Group!. Frankenfield then gets close friend “Old Nick” Warren to cobble together some kind of justification for compensation when there is no legal basis for such a claim.     

admin-ajaxIt was the feckless and reckless Foulkesy who instigated the Wirralgate scandal.However there are only so many people’s lives and careers he can destroy before they begin to emerge from his curse. Here he is pictured above with the person who we believe may prove to be his nemesis.

George Comb Forward

If a picture paints a thousand words then no photoshopping is required. Frankenfield’s factotum – the runaround,the go-between,the fixer.Just like Igor obediently acting on his master’s instructions Cllr George Davies had in his own words a “relaxed and unguarded way of talking” to The Group (Page 11 –  Report of Investigation Into allegation of Breach Code of Conduct for Councillors – Patricia Thynne June 2014).This “relaxed and unguarded way of talking” apparently included casual racism , smears and illegal sweetheart deals….all of which was recorded by a member of The Group.

And so like a recurring nightmare Wirral Leaks seeks to be a constant reminder that what is seemingly dead and buried will sometimes come come back and haunt those named and shamed above during their long dark night of the soul*.

*Disclaimer – Wirral Leaks realises the people described above sold their soul a long time ago and any resemblance to a fit and proper person to hold public office is entirely coincidental. 

WIRRALGATE! – The Road Makers on the Make ?

road-makers-012

For those with their finger on the ‘record’ button the streets of Wirral are lined with gold.

We’ve never been able to settle on a collective name for the four men of mystery at the centre of the Wirralgate saga. Various reports and articles have referred to them as ‘The Group’, ‘The Complainants’ and  The Colas/HESPE/Highways ‘whistleblowers’. However their elusive nature and their absence from the Thynne investigations suggests to us they have a slippery quality – a bit like phlegm.

Similarly does anyone know what their gripe with Wirral Council was ever about?. We know they were a bit peeved about not getting a contract to mend the roads and replace the bulbs in the streetlights and they claimed there  was some jiggerypokery about how the contract was awarded to Colas . Something to do with EU contract regulations being flouted – like that’s something new with Wirral Council!. For example their dodgy arrangement with Wirral Mind springs to,er, mind. Nothing was ever done about that one for a start.

For a group of people who prize their anonymity it is surprising they were quite happy at one time to appear on the Channel 4 Despatches programme. However we understand they were so unconvincing they were replaced by the man who has championed their cause  – Birkenhead MP Frank Field who in his inimitable style stabbed his protegees in the back by claiming that Wirral was a small place and if a council officer bumped into a contractor during a tender process , well that was to be expected, now all move along  there’s nothing to see here.

Inexplicably Frankenfield was to later take claims of alleged nefarious wrongdoing to Merseyside Police and the the Serious Fraud Office – unsurprisingly neither were interested.  An Audit Commission report was, as ever with auditors , inconclusive and there was also an independent investigation into claims undertaken by external investigator Richard Penn whose “no case to answer” conclusion may be open to question but again nothing was ever proved.

Nevertheless our “heroes” , the men who Frankenfield claimed the people of Wirral owed so much (£192,000 to be precise) , have continued to pursue a compensation claim against Wirral Council. Other than briefly naming one of them  years ago on the Wirral Council website no-one has ever been able to tell us what exactly why they think they deserve compensation.

The best that Frankenfield could come up with was the vague notion as to whether they’d been treated “fairly” and then completely “unfairly” got his old mucker Nick Warren to undertake an inquiry!. Let’s face it if there was a bespoke inquiry every time people from  Wirral claimed to be hard done by the council there’d be a long and winding road between the two town halls and we’d be here ’til kingdom come.

But then when we consider that one of the main protagonists in the Wirralgate scandal is Frankenfield’s political agent Cllr George Davies it might explain why St. Frank has too much to lose and isn’t prepared to play Pompeia on this one.

Strangely the infamous recording where Cllr George Davies tries to secure what The Group/Complainants etc; themselves called a “Smear Deal”  is not in the Terms of Reference for that inquiry. You’d think if the Group/Complainants etc; were so keen to expose wrongdoing and wanting to make Wirral Council better for all of us you’d have thought the first thing they would have done would be to publicly release the tapes , especially when Cllr George Davies reneged on the arrangement to “sort them out”. The “Smear Deal” being reliant on them providing a signed copy of an old letter they’d sent to former council head of law Bill Norman . It would appear that not only did they hand over the document they then started touting the recording of Cllr George Davies left right and centre. Talk about wanting your tape and playing it too!. It’s no wonder it’s reported in the first Thynne investigation report that they received threats that if they produced the tape the “Smear Deal” was off.

Road Makers 009.JPG

We can’t help thinking that if the Warren inquiry was legit it should have been a pre- condition that if an inquiry took place then the recordings – and we understand there’s a number of them – should have been handed over . Then there could be no accusations , including from council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies , that a recorded telephone conversation was being used to extort money from Wirral Council.

Davies - Thynne 1 008

As it stands the only sensible conclusion is that the tapes are indeed a sordid means to a seedy end . Although it needs to be said that this is a situation which was created and dictated by a group of corrupt politicians and not by The Group etc; themselves. Having said that , ordinarily we’d support anyone taking on Wirral Council but these guys seemed to have played fast and loose with politicians, the press , us , other whistleblowers – anyone who could help progress their dubious claim for compensation.

Why we feel particularly let down here at Leaky Towers is that we have always understood that the Wirralgate scandal  was a once in a lifetime opportunity to expose the dark heart of Wirral Council and to hold accountable those who’d abused their power for many years whilst all the while destroying people’s lives and careers in the name of self enrichment and self-aggrandizement. This small cabal of  conniving, lying , scheming politicians should have been thrown out of office years ago.

Sadly it would seem that because of the road makers on the make politics on Wirral will remain forever in the gutter.

 

 

WIRRALGATE! – A Portrait in Green and Yellow

Jeff Green

Another Wirral councillor who features heavily in the Thynne 2 report is Tory leader Jeff Green – the target of a supposed ‘smear campaign’ by Labour councillors Foulkesy and George Davies. This has resulted in Foulkesy having to write a personal apology to the alleged ‘victim’ Green which we suspect went something like this :

Hey Jeff

Soz. But we’re still bezzies ,right?

Ta La, Foulkesy

What we’d like to do here is to borrow a phrase that Jeff Green was alleged to have used and blow all of the above out of the water and state loud and clear :

  • There was no smear campaign
  • Cllr Green is not the complainant
  • Green is certainly not a victim
  • There should have been no apology to Green

Firstly the ‘smear campaign’ . This hapless yet minor episode of the  Wirralgate saga proves that Foulksey/Georgie couldn’t organise a piss up in Houlihan’s and yet they have been/are the Leader and Deputy Leader of Wirral Council respectively – go figure!.

And as for Thynne’s conclusion that George Davies didn’t know what was in the letter -this is yet another example of her lack of investigative rigour  when it comes to the allegations against him. Does she really expect us to believe that Davies just asked for a random document about which he had no knowledge whatsoever? We’ve got news for you Patricia – we understand the letter was sent to him by the people you call The Group and we call The Complainants! So this becomes another of Davies’ lies to add to the growing tally.

Looking at the unsigned/undated letter sent by The Group/The Complainants in the appendices to the Thynne 2 report we can only assume that the ‘smear’ about Green was that he ‘courted and feted’ whistleblowers for political ends.

Click to access PT5%20-%20PUBLIC%20PACK.pdf

There is certainly evidence to suggest that this is exactly what Green was doing – having reaped the rewards  of the penalty kick that was the Martin Morton whistleblowing case it now appears that Green had  dealings with The Group/The Complainants. We’d be interested to know why he backed out from supporting them – did he realise this particular ‘whistleblowing’ case  was going to prove to be more problematic? We certainly think so and all of which means you can’t smear someone who takes political advantage of whistleblowers if it’s true! However we don’t think this is the reason that the Liverpool Echo didn’t run a story trying to smear Green (but we’ll save that for a later post).

Callow Green , not wanting to upset his political counterparts, is at pains to explain in both Thynne reports that he did NOT make a Code of Conduct complaint.  However what better way for senior councillors and officers to ignore this and to use this deeply flawed process to protect the powerful. It increasingly seems to us that Green much prefers to be in impotent opposition and in a perpetual state of  feigned “outrage” chasing headlines rather than changing  the culture – he truly is “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

Witness his comments in the Wirral Globe :

I urge every resident of Wirral to take the opportunity to read the investigation report now available on the council’s website . I am sure that like me they will be angry and shocked at the antics of senior Labour councillors throughout this whole saga

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14659374.New_scandal_at_Wirral_Council_after_probe_reveals__smear_attempt__on_Tory_leader/

Nobody but nobody is going to read a 55 page report ( + appendices) with references to Person A, B and C and where the key witnesses are a no-show. They’d be better off reading Wirral Leaks – and he knows it!.

However the biggest mystery of this whole saga is actually why does Green get an apology when he had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE COMMISSIONING OF THYNNE 2 ?.

Green seems to have relied on others (and two surprising people in particular) to get the political football rolling in the hope of – yet again – gaining some political capital out of the sordid situation.

As we shall  discover later the impetus for Thynne 2 came from an email sent to all councillors by serial whistleblower Martin Morton who raised serious concerns about the first Thynne report (among other allegations). Needless to say this was kicked into the long grass until an even more unexpected source belatedly piped up (again to be explored in a later post). An increasingly exasperated Morton has now sent us a copy of an email exchange between him and Green where the latter shows somewhat less than ruthless determination to get to the bottom of the Wirralgate scandal when he writes:

‘You do realise that I am no longer Leader of the Council don’t you? I can ask questions of Officers, make suggestions etc. but ultimately we all know who is running the show.

Throughout the preceding 4 months I have regularly asked for an update over the status of your email and have received a stock answer of ‘we are looking into it to see if there is any new information contained within the email.’

No wonder the power abusers of Wirral Council who are ‘running the show’ can do exactly what they want if this is what passes for robust challenge!.

But at the end of the day what did we expect ? , reading Thynne 2 Green and Foulkesy him seem to tread ‘similar paths’ and are indeed ‘kindred’.

And that is about the most damning assessment that we could ever make of Cllr Jeff Green.

Kindred 008