Pip’s Cabinet Kerfuffle

Following the local election comes the the arrival of the new civic year with the Mayor-making ceremony held earlier this week at Wallasey Town Hall which witnessed  Tory Cllr Geoffrey Watt installed as this year’s incumbent. Watt’s yawn-inducing acceptance speech gave Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson the opportunity to do what he does best – multitasking. By which we mean blinking and looking utterly vacant .

Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies then did what he does best  by rewarding failure – in this case we mean nominating former Cabinet member responsible for Children’s Services , Cllr Tony Smith to be Deputy Mayor (and therefore next year’s Mayor). This follows the inglorious record of failed and disgraced councillors who have been Labour’s nomination to be Wirral’s first citizen following on from the likes of Cllr Moira McLaughlin and Cllr Steve Foulkes.

Pip later moved on make the announcement of a Cabinet shake-up which involved the creation of new portfolios and the dropping of Cllr Christine Spriggs from Leisure and Recreation in favour of Cllr Philip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore . We can only wonder what prompted Pip to oust Spriggs – but we have a fairly good idea.  The other change of note is Cllr Paul Stuart heading up ‘Law and Order’ (no laughing at the back). Might we suggest that Stuart’s first test will be the argy-bargy brewing with Wirral Council staff who are part of the much heralded ‘Safer Wirral Hub’ at Solar Campus (more on that developing story later.)

Meanwhile here’s a Labour sources interesting observations on the recent election campaign , The Contact Company and the current Labour cabinet

Dear Wirral Leaks,

During the campaign in Birkenhead & Tranmere, it was widely known throughout the Labour camp that they were keeping record of Labour members within the ward who were planning on voting Green. It was claimed by Sheila Murphy, a delegate to Wirral Labour’s LCF, and Paul Jobson the Labour candidate that members who say on the doorstep they will vote Green can be removed from the party.
It is my understanding speaking to North West branch that this is false. Members may vote for whoever they choose as it is a secret ballot, provided they do not campaign for another party. It is my belief this was an intimidation tactic used by the Labour campaign to force members to vote Green.
However, if such a list exists separately from the data political parties may keep when knocking on the doorstep, then there would possibly be a legal infringement.
You may have also picked up a leaflet printed about Pat Cleary during the campaign, much of which was a personal attack up Pat rather than over policies. It should be noted that on Twitter many Labour members made their feelings clear over personal attacks against candidates rather than those on policies.
However, it is not only members who were being forced to get behind the campaign.
Wirral Council’s cabinet were also whipped to attend campaign days in Birkenhead & Tranmere on “action saturdays”, and it was only until this issue was raised by Labour’s LCF that other target seats were included too. Again, this was well known throughout the Labour campaign.
The pouring of resources into Birkenhead & Tranmere it is well known is less to do with a fear of Pat Cleary, and more due to the fact that there is a fear Phil Davies will lose his seat next year and throwing everything into the ward this year was meant to stem the Green tide. However, it may have come at the cost of Pensby, and the possibility of winning other seats.
One final note, an investigative piece into workers rights in The Contact Company, and Phil Davies and Liverpool City Region’s links to the company and its owner Asif may be well worth a look in to. Agency workers  on minimum wage, 13 week, zero hours contracts working over 40 hours a week, many getting sacked for spurious reasons linked to a LABOUR council leader…. you get the idea.
Please respect my anonymity, but understand I am only trying to uncover what is going on behind the scenes because the majority of Wirral Labour Party want this current cabinet out, and are in fact good people.
  Yours Faithfully,
  A Labour Source.
We managed to track down copies of the offending leaflets referred to above on Twitter courtesy of  @LuciBella_
Twitter - Election
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Inspiral Carpets

Black & Gold

We knew it wouldn’t be long before one of you good people came up with the goods. Here’s a picture of the new carpet in the Wallasey Town Hall council chamber.

Is it just us or does it look like the last thing you see just before you blackout after drinking Sangria in the sun all afternoon ? Not that we’ve ever had a such a blackout you understand……

Whilst we understand the laying of the carpet is almost complete we don’t know, as yet ,how much the final bill is for the migraine -inducing black and gold swirls is ……although we’re sure one of you can find out!

Whatever the cost it’s like “walking on air”, apparently. Isn’t it truly inspirational  that in these times of austerity the council can find a few bob down the back of the sofa so that the Wirral power elite can tread softly on council taxpayers dreams?

Meanwhile rumours that the limo featured in the following video clip (appropriately titled ‘Black & Gold)  is the new Mayoral conveyance have been denied by a Wirral Council spokesperson who is reported to have said : ” Who do you think you are ? Know your place – you’re just here to pay the bills ……”

Null and Void in New Brighton?

pastedImage

We had been contacted by Paula Walters the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward in this week’s local elections prior to Wirral Globe updating  its original story from 23rd April about Ms Walter’s alleged ‘hate tweeting’ .  Today , a week after the article, Wirral Globe have also issued an apology to Ms Walters – see here
The upshot of all this hoo -ha is that depending on the outcome of the election that Ms Walters may well have to petition to have the  New Brighton election declared null and void (see below).
We won’t comment on Ms Walters’ statement to us other than to say that we fully concur with Ms Walters’ final line :
I was contacted by Liverpool Echo that Christine Spriggs accused me of hate tweeting and would I like to comment. I asked to see the article so that I could respond. They refused but did send the tweets which were from 2015. I responded to each and every one of them which to be fair was a bit like ‘War and Peace’. I was then advised by Tom Houghton from the Echo that he was unable to honour my right to reply and went ahead to publish – on April 22nd see here –  what in my opinion is an unfair,unjust article. The Globe reproduced the article in its entirety but went further in their headline that I am standing down. There has been no sign of an apology for trampling over my reputation (until today –  a week after the original article ) and the Police are now involved, also The Independent Press Standards Organisation. I often attack policies of other parties but would not attack other candidates as a way of point scoring. I find this abhorrent. Feel free to publish my statement
STATEMENT : It has been falsely alleged by Christine Spriggs, The Liverpool Echo and by the Wirral Globe that I have posted ‘hateful’ Tweets. These Tweets have not been reproduced by the paper. I tweeted that Halal slaughter, in which animals are conscious when their throats are cut, should not be allowed in this country. I tweeted that money should be given to those needing cancer treatment, pensioners and the homeless rather than illegal immigrants. I tweeted that illegal immigration jeopardises our security, as ISIS has pledged (again last week) to send jihadists into our societies. I tweeted that people who have multiple wives – a criminal offence in this country – should not be paid extra benefits for them. The Wirral Globe/Echo did not reproduce these Tweets, because they were aware that huge numbers of Wirral voters agree with them, wholeheartedly.
Instead, they have propagated the lie that they were ‘hateful’.  They have additionally now stated that I am standing down as a candidate in the forthcoming election. This is another lie, and an illegal interference with the election, contravening Section 106 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983 I cannot now do anything to change that, so on the Town Hall’s advice I will be petitioning for the election to be declared null and void. I regret the cost and inconvenience this will cause, but if someone lies repeatedly and breaks the law to affect an election, it is the only proper course to take. These people will stop at nothing.
Paula Walters, UKIP candidate for New Brighton

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #13

Mr T

CARPET BURNS 

Our Wallasey Town Hall (WTH) fixtures and fittings expert contacted us to say :

Hi,
Sorry not able to get a picture ..but for over a week a team of carpet fitters have been fitting the most luxurious carpet in the council chamber at WTH .
It’s very thick, predominantly black with gold swirls, must have cost a fortune, it looks and feels like top end! But what else would you expect from these self righteous t****.
Perhaps one of your contacts will be able to get you a pic.
Just sayin’….

Sounds like it was designed by Wirral Leaks’ favourite motivational speaker Mr T !

The first person to provide us with a pic of the new carpet gets to roll around on it with a chief officer of their choice . Let’s bring back the glory days of municipal rumpy-pumpy (Shake’N’ Vac not provided) .

STUCK IN TRAFFIC

The appointment of of highly paid consultants to perform statutory tasks on behalf of Wirral Council officers continues. The latest insult brought to our attention involves the appointment of Mott MacDonald (not a euphemism) to complete a Traffic Network Management Plan at a cost of £22,745.19 . Apparently they were the only ones to submit an application. And what do you get for your money you might ask?

Wirral Council are looking to appoint a consultant to produce a Traffic Network
Management Plan. The objective of the commission is to undertake two
distinct stages of work. This will include an audit to review against the current
legislation to ensure that Wirral Council is discharging its responsibilities. The
second element of the work is to produce a Traffic Network Management
Plan.
The Traffic Management Act 2004, Part 2: Network Management by Local
Authorities imposes a duty on traffic authorities to secure expeditious
movement of traffic on their network and to appoint a Traffic Manager. It is
important that the authority undertakes its duties under Part 2 of the Traffic
Management Act satisfactorily, and in the event of an authority failing to
perform its network management duty the Secretary for State has powers to
intervene. This work will identify what is required to pass the duty.

Read more here : Network Management Plan

By the sounds of it it is basically an arse-covering exercise in case central government intervenes yet again ( see also ‘Local Plan’) and asks why local government officers haven’t got a Mr Magoo as to what is required to cobble together their own Network Management Plan.

BCEGI TO DIFFER

We understand  BCEGI  is an international property developer and construction company with foundations in China who hoped to be Wirral Council’s joint venture partner in the Wirral Growth Company . However as we reported it was Muse Developments who got the gig – Muse Musings and More Muse Musings . You will also note that the runner up in the bid was BCEGI/ Scarborough and we noted that there were some problematic areas with bids .Sure enough we have just received the following leak from a well placed source :

So a letter has been sent from BCEGI (the other company competing for Wirral Council’s assets) complaining about several serious issues relating to the whole procurement exercise. Now who was the person heading up the procurement exercise? ………..
Oh dear – we do hope these allegations prove unfounded. How many times have Wirral Council cocked up a procurement exercise and uttered those immortal words : lessons have been learned. We certainly hope they didn’t put the procurement in the hands of a highly remunerated consultant with a chequered past or we could be looking at yet another potential failure of due diligence couldn’t we?
AND FINALLY ……..TRIBUNAL TRIBULATIONS
We’re best not commenting on news of this Tribunal found on John Brace’s blog . Suffice to say we believe a forthcoming Tribunal in that there London is likely to feature many of our recurrent themes /recurring nightmares. Who needs a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout when you’ve got Martin Morton v Information Commissioner’s Office and Wirral Council . There’ll be blood and snot flying everywhere – hopefully anyway……. 

The Leaky Awards – All Time Best Quotes

One of the most satisfying aspects of reviewing our past body of work is identifying the consistent thread of delusion and deceit associated with those from Wirral Council that weaves its way through our posts like words through a stick of rock

Wanker rock

To highlight this  we present the past winners of ‘Quote of the Year’ 2013-16

 2013 – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” – Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies

Full story here: THE LEAKYS – WIRRAL LEAKS AWARDS 2013

2014 – ” (I was) played an excerpt of the recording (and) an adverse comment (was) made by a senior member (of the Labour group)” 

Powerboytrumpet

Power Boy Pip – a hearing impairment or a truth allergy? 

We’ve added some annotations (in bold) to the comments on our original post just to highlight the extent of the denial and deceit that’s going on here :

Wirral Leaks followers will recall that the Quote of the Year in the 2013 Leaky Awards came from Power Boy Pip and was in reference to the Wirralgate tape – ” No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language” (This investigation will be the unheralded Peter Mackay investigation from October 2013 – about which much more in our upcoming Wirralgate For Dummies guide). Then having thought he’d cleverly boxed off that little local difficulty Pip’s plans were dashed after someone (that someone tipped off Tory leader Jefferson Green about the Wirralgate tape just before last Christmas and by the new year it suddenly appeared that Power Boy Pip had recovered from a bout of amnesia and suddenly recalled being “played an excerpt of the recording” and that “an adverse comment (was) made by the senior member” of the Labour group” !!!

We were more coy in those days. The ‘someone’ who tipped off Green was none other than Liam Murphy who at the time was working for the Liverpool Echo but as you all now know works for the local Labour group!

Oops! the “adverse comment” must’ve slipped Pip’s tiny mind during the Mackay investigation in October 2013.

So having been rumbled Pip was forced to concede that the Wirralgate tapes went from an “unsubstantiated rumour” to “inaudible” to him admitting that he was indeed “played an excerpt.”

What we find frustrating is that the then Tory leader Green or indeed any other councillor didn’t think to refer the matter to the Standards Panel as Pip had clearly lied to investigator and to elected members. But then they didn’t when Cllr Steve Foulkes had evidentially done the same during the first Thynne investigation and they were ALL witnesses!  

Is it any wonder that the runner up for Quote of the Year 2014 was this :

“We wanted justice but you wouldn’t give it to us”Whistleblower Nigel ‘Highbrow’ Hobro speaking at Audit & Risk Management Committee in October whilst exposing Wirral Council’s inglorious record of thwarting whistleblowers by means of delay, obfuscation ,denial , minimisation and total lack of scrutiny or challenge from opposition councillors (see above).

Full story here : THE LEAKYS 2014

2015  – “You really don’t expect this sort of thing from a Labour Council.” –  Paddy Cleary ,Unison Branch Secretary commenting on proposals to close disabilities respite unit Girtrell Court , which we all know subsequently closed. Last time we heard carers weren’t happy with replacement services. 

As we said with such prescience at the time :  Is this what passes for “slamming” round here?.Seriously Paddy – where have you bloody been?. Oh !-  sitting in Wallasey Town Hall on the Council payroll !Memo to Paddy : This a Labour Council in name only and it is exactly the type of “thing” they’ve been doing for years. We deserve so much better and so do your members and until you all realise this your membership and influence will continue to dwindle. # UNISON #USELESS #FACEPALM 

Full story here : THE LEAKY AWARDS 2015

2016  From the brink of intervention, to the pinnacle of local government”  – Eric Robinson CEO Wirral Council. 

As we said at the time : Now we don’t know whether Stressed Eric has been buying some powerful hallucinogenics with his megabucks salary but this can surely be the only explanation for this ludicrous claim that Wirral Council is the pinnacle of local government. When it comes to public service peak performance we’re talking more Moel Famau than Mount Everest!

Of course this claim has gone from ludicrous to insulting as it was made before the publication of the damning Ofsted report which deemed local Children’s Services to be ‘inadequate’

Stressed Eric was also the runner up last year with this howler :

” It might seem an unusual step to revert to a printed product, and even I queried this at first …….” (Eric Robinson talking about Wirral Council’s decision to publish Wirral View ) “Until I was told to get back under my desk ….”  he might of added to prove once again why he’s the perfect CEO for Wirral Council.

 

EricERic v3

One of these is under the control of unseen hands and speaks other people’s words. The other one is a ventriloquist’s dummy.

THE LEAKY AWARDS 2016

And finally here’s a potential winner for  ‘Quote of the Year 2018’ from someone who doesn’t and has never worked for Wirral Council  but fortunately for her knows somebody who did and which provides further insight into ‘how things work’ these days.

“This year Emma Degg took over as CEO of the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT). Over the years , Emma had offered me various work experience placements to help me advance and develop my network. It’s through NWBLT that I found out about The Juice Academy ….” Emma Green

From Pub to Powerhouse

We ask ourselves could Emma Green be in any way related to former Wirral Council Tory group leader Cllr Jeff ‘Kindred’ Green who could often be seen having a fag with Emma Degg round the back of Wallasey Town Hall ? I think we all know the answer to that question don’t we boys and girls? But isn’t it nice to see those who have moved on to pastures new courtesy of nepotism, sorry ,’network’ is able to give the leg up to the daughter of the former leader of Wirral Council?

Leaky Awards 2017 – Quotes of the Year Part Two

Leaky awardsLeaky awardsLeaky awards

Join us for the second part of our journey down the red carpet to hell.

JULY

“Five years ago, we were a local authority in crisis: focused on cuts and on the verge of government intervention. Since then, we’ve been recognised as the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Most Improved Council’, experiencing the fastest turnaround of any council in the UK. So what’s changed? In a nutshell, we refuse to give up; we never stop moving. Our pragmatic, innovative and bold plan, ‘2020 Vision’ will ensure that we’re getting the basics right; that we’re achieving more; that we’re changing the way we do things. In this role, you’ll take us to the next level and create a legacy for yourself in the process.” – Wirral Council advert to recruit a new Director of Finance will make you laugh , vomit or both.

Full story : A LACK OF DISCRETION

“They don’t seem to realise I’m at the top of the pecking order ” and referring to the investigator : “She doesn’t scare me and a little councillor involved might just shut her up.” – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) texts used as evidence against her during Standards Panel Code of Conduct investigation. LRJ describing herself as top of the pecking order brings visions of an Animal Farm hen coop in desperate need of a cock. The cock in question being Foghorn Leghorn!

Full story : AN LRJ REACTION

AUGUST

”  ‘Sustainable’ = slashed budgets and services.·   ‘Transformed’ = cut, demoralised and damaged beyond recognition. ‘Partnership’ = developed in secret, operating in secret, condemned by local councils, a total lack of public/patient consultation, and the only happy partners are Richard Branson and a series of US ‘healthcos’. ”  Defend Our NHS provide a definition of STP (Sustainability & Transformation Plans)

Full story : BANK HOLIDAY BULLETIN BOARD

SEPTEMBER

“An economic value below the legal minimum wage……..(would help employers) to take on low-productivity disabled workers.”  – Frank Field ,Birkenhead MP demonstrates his deep understanding of disability and equality rights .

“For anyone in this day and age to hold those views, and especially someone in Frank Field’s position, is abominable. It is exactly the same sort of thinking as the Nazi ‘useless eaters’ rhetoric.” Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) responds to Field’s comments

“The right to equal treatment and equality are human rights. Human rights are not privileges. That’s why they are called rights. I suggest Mr Field goes back to the drawing board. His comments are a disgrace and he should now apologise. Furthermore, if the Labour Party wishes to prove that it has truly changed its tune, it will need to demonstrate that the New Labour old guard are no longer calling the shots and put the voices of disabled people first.The last time we looked, Mr Field was not a spokesperson for disabled people.” John McArdle from campaign group Black Triangle also responds to Field’s comments. By the way people from Birkenhead , just a reminder, you are allowed to disagree with your MP.

Full story : THE SKWARKING CANARY COMES HOME TO ROOST

“It had adversely affected the staff morale and the reputation of the authority and rebuilding trust and transparency is still ongoing”   –  Simon Cuerden – Corporate Business Support Manager, Wirral Council comments on the conviction of Wallasey Town Hall petty cash thief  who would have evaded justice if an attempted cover up by officials hadn’t been uncovered by Wirral Leaks

Full story : EXCLUSIVE : THICK AS THIEVES UPDATE

OCTOBER

” Wirral is officially the happiest place to live in the North West” Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , ‘Leader’ of Wirral Council in peak Pollyanna mode latches onto a bogus Rightmove survey as if it somehow negates an Ofsted report deeming Children’s Services ‘inadequate’ and a Care Quality Commission assessment that over half of care homes on Wirral are inadequate or require improvement. Yeah, Pip, whatevs.

Full story : HAPPY TALK

No laughing matter

Hotel Prestige ,Sorrento try to apologise to holidaymakers for alleged conduct unbecoming a former Wirral Council Mayor and his consort. 

Full story : SORRENTO SHAME 2 : NO LAUGHING MATTER

Comrades, “Now is the time” to stop acting like a “Party within a party” – and even like a “Momentum within Momentum”.

It is time to grasp that the mainstream (often called the “Left”) has won back the heart and soul of the Labour Party.  I do not know of a single member of the Seacombe Branch who has not fully supported my own declarations for Corbyn on the two websites or who does not support him now.  So why introduce friction where there need be none? Let’s try now to be a single Labour Party in Seacombe Ward.

Some comrades will remember that we also, for a while, held “Songs of the Labour Movement” musical evenings in the Park View Social Club – an opportunity for comrades to perform – or just listen and rub shoulders informally.  But, since then, we have had the difficulty of the Party being suspended so long that many of us don’t even know each other. – Cllr Adrian Jones keeps the red flag flying and addresses Wallasey CLP members seemingly in denial about the circumstances that led to the local branch being suspended by the Labour Party. 

Full story : SONGS OF THE LABOUR MOVEMENT – TWO TRIBES

NOVEMBER

“To ensure the promotion of “professional curiosity” when vulnerable children seek advice” – The final recommendation made following the (unpublished) Serious Care Review report following the Rajenthiram Brothers Child Sexual Exploitation case. It comes to something when you have to ask those who get paid to protect vulnerable children to actually try and do their jobs properly!

Full story :  A REPULSIVE EXCLUSIVE 

“Wirral Council has to ensure every pound spent is wisely invested and we get the best value for our residents.This decision is the right decision at the right moment – the contract with BAM Nuttall was coming to an end and we believe we can deliver this service more effectively by taking direct control.” – Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies announces the surprise return of highways services to council control which is in the opposite direction of all other council services. There are suggestions this decision was influenced not by best value but by personal and political interests.

Full story : WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU SCAM

” Just goes to show what’s going on out there . We live in a sheltered world . We’re all too good for our own  good  Cllr Ron Abbey comments on the conduct of councillors in other councils clearly demonstrating he’s in denial and utterly deluded.

Full story : APOLOGIES AND APOLOGISTS

” I’ve always bought my houses, I’ve never inherited them……”   Frank Field , MP bitch slaps fellow Labour MP Hilary Benn and manages to unite all members of the House of Commons in condemnation of his comment.   

Full story : BIRKENHEAD MP’S BREXIT BITCHFEST BACKFIRES

“The darkness around us is very deep” – Cllr Tony ‘Tight-fit’ Norbury reads a poem urging elected members to ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ whilst every single Wirral councillor appears to be oblivious to the darkness around them.

Red Card 009

Full story : SHOW INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS THE RED CARD

“Basically, it is the same thing over and over and over: incompetence, very poor communication (with me, but also with other agencies and between themselves), rudeness, poor or non-existent note-taking, people leaving at short notice and with no proper explanation, etc etc. It just goes on and on.

When the Klonowski enquiry produced its damning report, I briefly hoped that the people found to be grossly incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) would be removed. Disheartening, to say the least, to see people like Steve Foulkes still in place. Where is the accountability? There simply is none.

It beggars belief that Wirral Council has not been placed in special measures. I daresay the reasons behind that are political. The Tories asking for it are being hypocritical because part of the problem is chronic underfunding from central govt but I do think that being placed in special measures would be the best thing. The only thing, actually, that would give people like me and my son the chance at least of a semi-decent service. I know special measures are not a panacea but they would be our best chance.” – A Carer contacts us to describe her experience of trying to get a much needed service for her disabled son.

Full story : THE NEVER-ENDING STORY

Private Eye Nov 2017 014

Private Eye report of Wirral Leaks exclusive featuring some choice quotes.

Full story : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

“As the Labour  member on the (Standards) Panel it was very difficult for me  to hear that a Labour councillor had used her position as a councillor to damage the reputation and the livelihoods of other people. It goes without saying that people who come into this council were elected to serve the residents of the borough and not to use our position to do damage to them………” Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin proves to be another councillor in denial and conveniently forgets her role and that of other Labour councillors in damaging reputations and livelihoods of various former council officers who dared challenge them.

Full story : IT HAS TO STOP

DECEMBER

“Phil’s Folly “Cllr Gerry Ellis proving there’s life in the old dog yet at a standing room only public meeting where he described  Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil Davies and his plans for development of the Hoylake Golf Resort.

Full story : ADVENT FAREWELL 10 – QUESTION EVERYTHING

“LABOUR COUNCIL LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC!” – Wirral Needs campaigners repeated chant in the public gallery during last full Council meeting of 2017.

Full story : ADVENT FAREWELL 14 – WHY WIRRAL LEAKS SPEAKS IN PARABLES

Whistling in the Wind

Whistleblower

A senior Wirral Councillor writes :

I have been reading your recent postings with considerable interest.Your commentary on ‘life’ at the Town Hall has always been useful both as a background and a signpost, often well informed.You must have had well placed sources. I hope your successor rises to the occasion. I hope that your move to sunnier climes provides you with the retirement living you have looked forward to.

His Lordship replies :

Just to let you know we’re as probing of our sources as we are of our subjects. Unfortunately we have so many more stories that we haven’t published because our sources get frightened or they want to use us for personal grievances. We’d rather not know. The shame of it is though – we didn’t make a blind bit of difference,did we?

We shall observe local developments from afar and hope that the people of Wirral realise they deserve better representation. 

It’s rather endearing that Wirral Council have blocked us from accessing their website as if it was our main source of information . Bless! Of course our sources were always well placed and often surprisingly well placed to the throne of lies.

However we have to say we think the heady days of whistleblowing are about to become a distant memory. And that’s not to say that Wirral Council have changed their ways – it’s just that potential whistleblowers have learned the lessons from history and now seem either want to simply keep schtum, use what they know as an opportunity for career advancement /financial gain or to armourplate their arse against potential retribution. The public interest doesn’t come into it !

Jericho

But who can blame them ?  Whereas we can provide a long list of the dishonest,the incompetent and corrupt who went on to be Chief Executives,Directors, Trustees elsewhere we can’t find one example of a Wirral Council whistleblower who’s career and livelihood wasn’t destroyed.

Will scandals such as the financial abuse of disabled people, Wirral Council doing business with an Organised Crime Group, the illegal 4 week delay in care packages in the Department of Adult Social Services , the illegal implementation of the Discretionary Housing Benefit scheme , Misconduct in Public Office,the sexual indiscretions of senior management , the misuse and abuse of grant monies , theft, fraud,racism, gross mismanagement and waste of public money etc; etc; ever see the light of day again?

Let’s consider a couple of examples – firstly the Wirralgate complainants. They have been called many things but ‘whistleblowers’ they ain’t. We were always being told by others that they’d send us their tawdry tapes. They never did – as they knew we’d publish in the public interest in a heartbeat. They’re quite happy for Liverpool Echo and Wirral Globe to have the incriminating recording as they know that they’d never publish the contents in a million years. And what’s more it makes a great bargaining tool doesn’t it?

Which brings us to the latest incarnation of a Wirral Council ‘whistleblower’. This time it’s someone emanating from the department with perhaps knows the most about Wirral Council’s wicked ways  – the Department of Legal Services.

We understand that a solicitor in this department has suddenly remembered her Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) Code of Conduct and has cried she can’t go along with the cover ups anymore , dropped out of a highly contentious case and engaged a solicitor of her very own to make sure she doesn’t suffer any detriment for doing so . Is it any wonder Wirral Council can’t recruit a new head for this department following the departure of the utterly appalling Surjit Tour who succeeded the absolutely appalling Bill Norman and have had to resort to what they call a ‘market supplement’ and what we’d call a ‘hush money premium’ to recruit an Assistant Director – Law and Governance?

The Employment and Appointments Committee held on 18 December 2017 were asked to consider the following :

In June 2017, Employment and Appointments Committee agreed to proceed
with recruitment of Assistant Director Law and Governance. This is currently an
Assistant Director/Director 2 post with a salary range (£79,259 – £92,854)
The Council advertised this post in August 2017 but did not appoint at this time.
As set out in the 27 June 2017 report this remains a competitive market across
the Country. This is a statutory post and a critical role within the Senior
Leadership Team. It is therefore proposed to re-advertise at Director 2 level with a market supplement of up to 5% for the right candidate (£83,568-– £92,854(+5%)

We’re sure we all know what they mean by ‘ the right candidate’  to take this poisoned chalice don’t we boys and girls? The sad fact is that they’ll undoubtedly find someone!

But to finish on a more optimistic note here’s to all the leakers, whistleblowers , mavericks, outsiders, truth tellers, truth seekers and good people of Wirral . May 2018 be our year!

MM

 

 

Advent Farewell 19 – Girls On Top

Emma Ugg 019

As you know we don’t do Twitter but we do get alerts telling us about ‘our highlights’ . How former Wirral Council Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green pops up on there we don’t know – but he does. And for once we’re grateful for his intervention because we are able to feature his old Wallasey Town Hall smoking companion , Ms Emma Degg, who as we’ve previously reported is now CEO of North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) – you and us both, we’ve never heard of them.

Whilst Nigel Farage sound-a-like Green tells us on Twitter that his ” views are strictly my own” – we don’t convincing Jeff as they’re usually dull. Very Dull. So dull in fact that sometimes he precedes his tweet with the introduction ” Interesting stuff….”

One such tweet was this one :

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Isn’t it wonderful to see a former Leader of Wirral Council  – we know, frightening to think that actually happened- supporting the former doyenne of Wirral Council . We’re just surprised that the current leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and other prominent Labour councillors didn’t want to support their former communications czarina on social media . Oh no sorry we’re not – relations between various parties all got a bit messy in the end didn’t they?

However back to Ms Degg’s rad-fem magnum opus. First thing to say – and call us puerile (guilty as charged) – but we lol’d at the headline. Having suppressed the fit of giggles and resisted the temptation to question the stats that suggest women in business can boost the bottom line and whether this should be known as Kardashian economics, we found we could get with the idea that there should be more representation from women and the LGBT+ in positions of power. Although by missing the + Degg scored a –

Read the full ‘opinion piece’ here: Bottom Line

As you know we’ve long questioned the male dominance within the Liverpool City Region and the lack of diversity in political representation generally. What’s more it’s always struck us that whilst Wirral Council has long been renowned for having a macho bullying culture there has never been one of them wielding power who had a scrotum – always hiding behind lawyers,(in) human resources , Frank Field and any number of arselicking lackeys. Forever the little boys lost in a big girl’s blouse.

What would have been instructive if Degg had told us about the techniques and strategies she used to get to the top and how her plans to be Deputy CEO of Wirral Council were thwarted. But this cautionary tale wouldn’t be just about ‘toxic masculinity’ – it would also be about female rivalry. For example the infamous ‘Ladies of Hebden Bridge’  weren’t exactly renowned for their sisterly feelings towards Degg . Which brings to us to one of the strangest episodes we’ve ever covered on Wirral Leaks –  the fact that council leaders were utterly in thrall to these phony soothsayers that they’d decamp – which is unusual for Hebden Bridge – for spiritual, strategic and political guidance . Now if ever there was a case of girls being on top – this was it – but the bottom line is that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing!

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Advent Farewell 16 – A View of Christmas

Wendy Clements Wirral View (2)

“OK Wendy love, give us your best angry face…”

The bumper Christmas edition of Wirral View has landed .  A bumper edition consisting of 24 particularly pisspoor pages .

We can’t help feeling that articles titled “ Drink Less, Enjoy More”  and ” Tips To Avoid Scammers” should be directed towards a certain Labour councillor and his spouse and the ‘leader’ of Wirral Council respectively.

We have to say that the Wirral Conservatives picture to accompany the posting on their website decrying the Christmas edition of Wirral View is pure comedy gold

The full article reads :

Residents are now being asked to sign for receipt of Wirral Council’s controversial newspaper, ‘Wirral View’, when it is delivered.

As a further sign of the troubled delivery of the newspaper, the Town Hall has also compiled a list of ‘VIPs’ who must receive it and sign for it, including councilors.

One of the Councillors who was told she is on the ‘VIP List’ is Councillor Wendy Clements, in Greasby.

Councillor Clements said: “Wirral View gets more ridiculous as time goes on. To have a ‘VIP List’ of people who the Town Hall think are important and must receive it, whatever the weather, is a sign of how out of touch they have become.

“The only ‘very important people’ as far as this newspaper is concerned are the people who are paying £270,000 a year for it – the residents and taxpayers. Half the Borough doesn’t receive it and many of the rest don’t want it. The best Christmas present that the Labour Council could give us would be to scrap it.” Wirral View Goes VIP

As you can see from the picture above Cllr Wendy Clements has got her glum face on – and who can blame her ? It’s straight out of popular Facebook page Angry People in Local Newspapers  only in this particular case it’s more People Angry About Local Newspapers.

And finally (as once again they say on the telly) to follow up last week’s Wirral View story here’s a response from our regular commentator ‘ The Prof’ which was not published by the Wirral Globe following the letter from a certain Chris Noble asking for suggestions for alternative uses for the wretched rag.  Deja View

I agree with Mr. Noble in the last Globe: we should find positive usesfor ‘Wirral View’. I have found two. Firstly it is fun to spot and test all the false performance claims made by the council. The October / November issue claimed that ‘closer working [Safer Wirral initiative] has already led to an 11% reduction in anti-social behaviour across Wirral’. Using a Freedom of Information Act request I obtained the ASB incident data from 2012 to 2017.

The improved ‘working together’ period covered 2016 onwards. ASB fell during
this period but it had been falling steadily since 2013.’Working together’ did not
affect the rate of fall. This is not surprising since the list of  12 ‘actions’ provided
is purely administrative not street focused.
Wirral View also claimed a £50,000 saving on emergency services in 2017 from
these anti-ASB actions. Surely a good result? But the savings related to stopping
high numbers of emergency calls from just TWO people. One was demented and
put in a care home! The other was mentally ill and they changed his medicine!
This was about sick, vulnerable, people seeking help, not ASB and crime reduction.
Wirral View is full of such amusing alternative facts …it is surely a treasure.
Secondly Mr. Noble suggests using Wirral View to wrap fish and chips. Here is another thought. When I was a kid in Liverpool we could not afford toilet paper and used the Echo.The paper quality of Wirral View is far superior to the Echo and in these days of austerity it can be pressed into use instead. Thank you Wirral Council and keep up the crap work.
                                                                                    Professor D P Gregg (retired)
P.S. On 04.09.17 the Globe reported a 38% fall in ASB ‘across Wirral’ due to the above  activities. My FOI request answer was that this was ‘incorrect data’ in the press release you quoted. Apparently the note implies, the Globe should have realised this so it was  your fault really for publishing false information! By the way the 38% applied to Frank Field’s (Beirut) Birkenhead but it is also based on flawed statistical data.

 

 

Advent Farewell 13 – Kill Bill

Vampire

Has Bill made another killing ? 

As we promised we thought we’d comment on the latest instalment involving the travels and travails of infamous former Wirral Council head of law Bill Norman.

Yesterday we were flooded with gleeful emails telling us that Norman  had ‘resigned’ from Cheshire East Council (CEC) . Among many of the the emails was the following attachment telling us the story :  Norman Resigns

Of course this is nowhere near the full story but sounds strangely familiar to the circumstances surrounding Norman’s departure from Wirral Council . The only difference being that the usual Wirral Council cock-up gifted him a cool £146K  golden handshake. You can read the full horror story here : Trick or Treat

However just to recap on the CEC situation there were reports in April of this year that Norman had asked a colleague to ‘dig the dirt’ on a CEC auditor who had previously raised legitimate concerns about CEC  leader Cllr Mike Jones dodgy contract with his personal physio. Jones eventually resigned over the scandal. In July Norman was suspended pending an investigation. Full story here. The announcement of his resignation ” with immediate effect” in December leaves us , as usual, with more questions than answers.  For starters we don’t know whether Norman pocketed more public money for being not so much an abject failure for his latest gig or for allegedly being a nasty piece of work. As we’ve commented before in our  Comings and Goings story the ‘dig the dirt’ strategy was allegedly deployed by Norman’s successor at Wirral Council , Surjit Tour, as part of the infamous ‘ The Sex List’ probe (no pun intended)

The dirt concerned allegations of sexual impropriety involving a now departed senior council officer . So far, so sordid. However, for us , what is even more sleazy is that the approach came with the  inducement that it would be beneficial to staff member’s careers if they dished the dirt. Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you have absolutely no morals,ethics or integrity. What did we say in yesterday’s post about Wallasey Town Hall being a cesspit? 

Full story here : Dirty Work

Tell us – are these the type of practices they teach in Solicitor School? It’s like the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) Code of Conduct doesn’t exist.

Consequently ,as once again, Norman’s departure from a local authority is shrouded in mystery we have to ask ourselves where will he rock up next ?  You’d think after trouble in Torbay, woe in Wirral, havoc in Hereford and sleaze in Cheshire East that future potential employers might want to ask some searing questions about his employment history.  However a chequered past doesn’t  seem to be an impediment to high office and high salary. We often get asked for an explanation for this strange phenomena in local government where there is always,always,always public money to be found to reward failure. Our incredulous readers have often asked us whether we think this phenomena is linked to Common Purpose? , the Freemasons?, Knights of St Columba?

We don’t know the answer to that but we do know that it’s got to stop. And hopefully that explains the title of this post – we’re not suggesting a vigilante group turn up with pitchforks and torches at  Norman’s no doubt beautifully appointed home. We just need to find a way to put an end to the Bills of this world making a killing and sucking the very lifeblood out of local government.

P.S. Contacts in Cheshire East are asking questions about Daniel Dickinson who is supposed to be acting director of legal services, in place of Bill Norman at CEC . Allegedly he hasn’t been seen at the CEC Westfields office in Sandbach for quite some time now and no one ‘on the ground’ seems to know where he is. Someone must know where he is and what he’s doing. Answers on a postcard please.