The Twelve Days of Christmas : Day Five -More for Torus , Less for All of Us

Eastham Housing

There’s an interesting post on the Save Our Social Housing Facebook page which reads :

Torus Housing Association ( Magenta Living’s bedfellows in Bamboo) have lodged an application to build 28 homes on the Lyndale School site in Eastham. They will be a mixture of 2,3 and 4 bedroom homes to be sold under a shared ownership scheme with four being let at affordable/social rents. This is not good enough. Wirral Council must require more homes for genuine affordable rents as per Labour Party policy. They should follow the Islington Council example who won their case against a developer forcing them to build more social housing. The Lyndale site is/ was Council property, I say at least 14 of those homes should be genuinely affordable rents.

Talking of bedfellows Wirral Leaks readers will know of the Torus /Bamboo connection because the Torus Chair is none other than Graham Burgess  who was formerly the CEO of Wirral Council when the decision was made to close Lyndale School . But for those who are unfamiliar with the story you can catch up here  and also find out the links to Magenta Living ( Board members Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr Jeff Green). The full sorry story of the closure of Lyndale School and the role of Cllr Steve Foulkes can be read here
And so what was once public property now becomes part of the portfolio of a private company  headed up by a former self serving public servant who did very well for himself at Wirral Council and did absolutely nothing for the people of Wirral.
Isn’t it just wonderful how the plans seem to work out for people such as Burgess, Foulkes and their ilk ? We’re left wondering whether future plans were hatched as far back as October 2012 at ‘The Mayor’s Ball’ were you can see from this story on our old website there were some familiar names involved in the closure of Lyndale School and a very interesting seating arrangement :

Table 2 (9)

Mr & Mrs G Burgess

Mr & Mrs G Hodkinson

Ms Julia Hassall

Mr David Armstrong

Ms Fiona Johnstone

Mr Kevin Adderley

Mrs Emma Degg

Burgess-Cake-.jpg

Let them have shared ownership and be grateful…

House of Bamboo

bamboo lettings 2
It’s made of sticks.
Sticks and bricks,
But you can get your kicks
In the house of bamboo.
If you consider the ‘personalities’ involved and the issues it raises it might strike you as surprising that we’ve only just caught up the curious case of Bamboo Lettings. Furthermore if you ever wanted to know about how things work on Wirral and in the wider world of networking – here it is laid out for you in this deeply worrying story.
We were prompted to pursue this story by a recent correspondent who asked us:
Also can you advise re Magenta Living being a Social non profit org. starting up a subsidiary called Bamboo Lettings which is a joint venture with Torus Group (St Helens – Graham Burgess) which will increase the returns on some formerly social-rented stock by letting them at market rates for a period of five years.
At 31st March 2017, Magenta Living had transferred 5 properties into Bamboo Lettings, with the intention being that a further 95 properties will be transferred into Bamboo by the end of 2017-18. Magenta Annual Report 2016/17
It might be legal but who decides property A is Social – Property B next door is commercial and charges more? 100 now ,how many in future years? Still classed as a Charity? Stinks to high heaven……………..
However it should be noted it was a brave and curious Wirral resident who first raised the issue courtesy of a Freedom of Information request in May 2016 . You might be surprised to know this local housing development wasn’t lauded with a press release featuring fat felines grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. Maybe that’s because some deeply troubling questions might have been asked at the time – Bamboo Lettings – FOI request
It was left to Joe Halewood and his excellent welfare rights blog SPeye blog to pick up on the issues with this post in February 2017 where Joe writes :
Bamboo Lettings is owned by Magenta and Torus.  Magenta was the former council housing department of Wirral Borough Council, and Torus is the former council housing departments of Warrington and St Helens.  It has offices in Wirral and even its own Facebook page here and there you can see the strap line Bamboo Lettings is a private lettings company, with properties in Wirral, Warrington and St Helens.  Such contrived and opaque constructs are no longer needed reader!
Then belatedly, but God love him ,  Lib Dem Cllr Stuart Kelly tried to raise the profile of this dodgy development and introduced a Notice of Motion at a Wirral Council meeting in July 2017
LOSS OF SOCIAL HOUSING TO BAMBOO LETTINGS LLP (to be debated)
Proposed by Councillor Stuart Kelly
Seconded by Councillor Chris Carubia
Council notes the establishment of a private lettings company known as Bamboo
Lettings LLP between Magenta Living and a housing organisation called Torus.
Council notes that Magenta are planning to transfer under a lease arrangement up to100 social housing homes to Bamboo Lettings company for them to be let at full market rents.
Council notes that a three bedroom house offered for let by Bamboo in the
Woodchurch area will cost a prospective tenant £137 per week against the social
rent charged by Magenta of circa £97 per week in the same area (and against an
‘affordable’ rent level of £110).
In addition, Council is concerned that Bamboo Lettings also charge private sector
style ‘fees’; an example of these fees for a three bedroom house in the Woodchurch
area is:
 Application fee – £50
 Administration fee – £75
 Guarantor fee – £50
 Check out fee – £60
 Additional deposit for a pet – £100
Council believes that these fees are not linked to the service provided, are
unacceptable and extortionate and requests a justification for this regime.
Council notes the Cabinet Member for Housing has told Magenta that Wirral Council would not want to see larger 4 bedroom accommodation, those for older people and those adapted properties being transferred; and has highlighted to Magenta concerns about a number of disposals occurring in the same popular locations, thus reducing availability of social housing stock.
Council notes that there are currently 9643 people registered on the Choice Based
Lettings System, of which 2348 have a housing priority need.
Council has objections to the use of social housing in this way and requests (through the Council’s Managing Director for Delivery to Magenta Living) that the relationship with Torus/Bamboo be suspended to allow the Council the opportunity to fully investigate the use of social housing stock as de facto private rented houses https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50042720/Council%20NoMs%20-%2010-7-17.pdf8
Cllr Kelly elaborated further on his concerns about this development in this Wirral Globe article  – Councillor slams ‘unacceptable and extortionate transfer of former council houses’
Needless to say nobody took a blind bit of notice of the ‘Notice of Motion’ and that’s not just because Cllr Kelly is a Lib Dem with – let’s face it – no power or influence over Wirral Council whatsoever.
So let’s join the dots and explain why that might be the case and look at the interested parties who do have that kind of power and influence. First of all can we say that any joint venture between Magenta Living and Torus should have been called Red Bull(shit)- geddit?
First of all here’s the Torus Group Board or more accurately the Torus COMMON PURPOSE Board TORUS COMMON PURPOSE BOARD
We first highlighted the connections here : Where Are They Now? Part 4- Emma Degg
Torus 032
Wirral Leaks readers may recall the candy floss- haired one on the left is former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess who’s main claim to fame is that he once shared a hole at the ‘The Open’ with former Wirral Council Super Duper Director Kevin Adderley when it was last held in Hoylake. The man on the right is Rob’ Narcissist’ Young – a former Assistant Director of Wirral Council’s Housing Department.
Although surprisingly for such egomaniacs they’re quite shy about their involvement in this money-making racket masquerading as Tory housing policy : Companies House Officers
See how this works yet ? If you don’t , you need to realise that Magenta Living Board includes such Wirral Council  luminaries as Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes , Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green and Cllr Stuart ‘Witless’ Whittingham Magenta Living Board
Which raises the question as to why they were appointed in the first place – could it be they are the last people who’d raise questions in the best interests of those who need social housing?  Ever felt you’ve been bamboozled by bureaucrats?

Where Are They Now ? Part 4 – Emma Degg

new-job

Following on from yesterday’s ‘ Where Are They Now?’ story we follow up with perhaps the most successful trio ever to emerge, seemingly unscathed, from the wreckage of Wirral Council.

Yes,  once again we’re talking about the Graham Burgess/ Kevin Adderley/Emma Degg er,’triangle’ . As we have previously reported they snaffled over £500,000 between them as they parted company with their former employer under circumstances that in any other normal organisation might have led to their dismissal. But as we know Wirral Council are far from normal and the ‘conduct unbecoming’ of senior officers went without sanction , and was instead , rewarded with public money .

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/dearly-departed/

As we know Adderley walked down the road to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce with a cool quarter of a million . As far as we know Burgess got about half of that (although he’d only been at Wirral for about five minutes) and went on to chair both Blackburn & Darwen’s Clinical Commissioning Group , and the housing group Torus Common Purpose Board –  yes you read that right, the Torus COMMON PURPOSE Board!

http://www.wearetorus.co.uk/theteam/torus-group-board/

Not bad for someone who’d ‘retired’ from  Wirral Council……or more accurately ousted by Birkenhead MP and Victorian moralist Frank Field who feigned outrage at Burgess’s ‘unseemly conduct’ but was really rather more concerned that Burgess wouldn’t bend to his will over the ‘Wirralgate’ scandal.

And so finally having failed to be appointed the de facto Chief Executive of Wirral Council – and being prevented from doing so by Cllr Steve Foulkes and his use of some rather dubious tactics which led to Degg’s first bung  – the irresistible rise of that modern phenomenon/curse , the ‘Policy Advisor’ has struck again (see also Degg’s spin doctor successor at Wirral Council – Martin Liptrot).

For, as from tomorrow (March 1st), Degg takes up the position of Chief Executive of North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Degg must laughing into her Uggs/Rocket Dogs as having snaffled not one ,  but two pay-outs from Wirral Council she now lands a plum regional job.

It’s all worked out rather well hasn’t it ?- as it always seems to do with these kind of people. Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you’ve got the ‘right’ people to give you a good reference!

 

 

Sindy Says

Sindy Says…..

Networking

Hi Leakers and Leakerettes Sindy Snipe here!

So they’ve asked me to deal with some of the more downmarket elements emerging from their bulging postbag and also to add a bit of showbiz razzamatazz to proceedings at Leaky Towers….and at the moment the postbag is bulging like a consultant’s bank account ( Is that a rolled up  independent report in your trousers or are you just pleased to see me ? – by the way you can gag me anytime big boy!…..but it’ll cost ya!.)

The Silver Fox & The Blonde Bombshell

And so to the surprise of absolutely nobody we hear that outgoing  Wirral Council chief executive G-man Burgesski – has with indecent haste after announcing his alleged “retirement” – revealed he’s got a lucrative new gig as chairman of a newly-formed Northwest housing group called Torus. SEE HERE  (gotta pay the rent somehow eh G-man? But beware property management can be a sticky business! )

Burgesski cheekily says :

“The size, scale and vision of what I have seen so far are really impressive.”
Oo – er! …we can only hope the wily old silver fox is talking about his pay cheque!…….

Joining him at the top of this ambitious Northwest network for narcissists will be Rob “Blonde Bombshell” Young – a former Assistant Housing Director at ,yes you guessed it boys and girls ,……Wirral Council! ……..“I’m really looking forward to working alongside Graham right from the start of the Torus journey.”
Yes –  a journey all the way to the bank.  Torus? For-Us morelike !

What A Pair of Tits!

APAIROFTITS

Vapid, Vain and fake. But enough about Frank..

I understand that one-woman frocky horror show Dame Vivienne Westwood  caused controversy this week by suggesting that poor people should eat less so they can afford organic food. “Let Them Eat Mung Beans” eh,Viv ? – you batty old trout.

Talking of which has my favourite local MP been whispering his usual showboating piffle in her ear?  Hey Frankenfield – do they have Fairtrade tofu at the local foodbanks ?….. I’m sure you volunteer there all the time!
What a pair of tits! – and I’m not talking about Pamela Anderson.

Menage A Trois

I know that French is the langue d’amour but I’ve never been able to get my tongue round it?!!! ..  😉  However I keep coming across the phrase “Menage A Trois” in correspondence addressed to Leaky Towers…..whatever does it mean?!………..do tell !

Mwah!

Sindy X