Judging by this weeks woeful media appearances it appears that Birkenhead MP Frank Field (why do we never hear from the other Wirral MPs?) seems to have embarked on a reckless kamikaze bid to restore Wirral Council’s tawdry reputation in his new role as the Unofficial Town Hall Apologist.
He seriously may need to reflect upon his decreasing credibility and ensure he doesn’t go down in flames with them.
We were breathless with anticipation here at Leaky Towers in the hope that Channel 4’s “Dispatches” programme would be a ruthless uncovering of exactly what has been going on at Wirral Council.
Instead we got a ” blink and you’ll miss it” slot which amounted to a couple of shots of Wallasey Town Hall and some bumbling fool driving through the streets of Wirral and then (deep breath) at last on comes St.Frank to provide a excoriating analysis of the £ 40 million highways contract scandal.
First Frank helpfully explains to the rest of the country that Wirral is a “small place” and then he went on to give the impression that because of that, it was quite likely that a Council Officer just might accidentally bump into a potential contract bidder during a tender process.
Well that’s alright then!!!! … we certainly heard nothing from Wirral’s numerous whistleblowers – but as this part of the programme was about the £260 million of public money paid to Council workers to shut them up, one could argue that this seemed entirely appropriate!
However Frankie made a slip up – referring to Council officers who had been “found wanting” – we thought that the official version was that there was “no case to answer”!.
Does he know something that we don’t!?……….
However incredulity was replaced by hilarity with his tetchy appearance on Tony Snell’s Radio Merseyside programme where he seemingly got up out of the wrong side of the coffin because he wasn’t allowed to turn the interview into another PR stunt and he started complaining he’d been brought onto the programme under “false pretences” before veering awkwardly into David Icke conspiracy theory territory and claiming Wirral Council’s woes were the result of a “campaign” to “break down that part of the Council” responding to Freedom of Information requests.
Making the few staff in the Wirral Council’s FOI office sound like GCHQ rather than a few under-resourced,overworked staff who rely on information from people who seemed to have forgotten they’re public servants, Frank seemed to be suffering, once again, from selective amnesia.
He seems to have forgotten that the Information Commissioners Office has been highly critical of Wirral Council’s performance when it comes to FOI requests and he also seems to have forgotten Anna Klonowski’s reference to “obsessive secrecy” in her damning reports and the recent £31 million Sundry Debts report where investigator Eugene Sullivan said he was “shocked” that the extent of toxic debt was “hidden” ( Power Boy Pip’s words) from Councillors.
What’s more I thought he said the other week that Wirral’s problems stemmed from local government re-organisation in the 1970’s – oh for goodness sake we do wish he’d make up his mind!
Care to evidence your allegation of a “campaign” Frank ? .
No thought not. You don’t seem to understand the rules of the game have changed – it would appear the years of a passive,docile electorate nodding meekly at your every utterance are sadly over.