Whistling in the Wind


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 !


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!




Know Thy Fate

Wirral Council Employees – your fate is a point on somebody else’s action plan.
Ever felt you’ve been cheated?
And when questioned the Head of Propaganda responded THUS
So, who do you trust ?
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Giant Arrives on Merseyside

Well when we say “giant” we mean “giant salary.” Solace Associate and Council troubleshooter Michael Fratler has been drafted in to sort out beleaguered Wirral Council on a  monthly salary of  £15,000 – “based on £1,200 per day, three days a week, 4.2 weeks per month.” Nice work if you can get it. Can anyone smell a gravy train pulling into Hamilton Square ?

Michael , who bears more than a passing resemblance to a middle aged Harry Potter , will certainly need a magic wand to defeat the ‘death eaters’ who infest the corridors of power in WBC and his appointment has been greeted with much triumphant harrumphing by readers of the  Wirral Globe. It seems they have found a new hero, although looking for a hero in “Solace” would seem as fatuous as looking for enduring talent in a Simon Cowell TV show. 

Lord and Lady Wirral-Leaks are not ones to burst anyone’s bubble, but maybe, for balance, we should check out Michaels “previous.”  A blog in Nottingham, an authority were MF had been Chief Exec, doesn’t seem particularly enamoured with his particular brand of public service wizardry and states –

“Michael Frater is the 3rd Chief Exec to leave Nottingham in the past 6 years. Pay-offs to the previous Chief Execs were £110,000 and £153,000 bringing the total amount Nottingham City Council has spent on getting rid of disgruntled execs to around half a million pounds. It looks like there’s quite a bit of money to be made in not getting along with your colleagues if you’re a Chief Executive. It’s good to know that our taxes are being well spent.

It’s not the only area in which Frater has been frittering away money. At the start of the month, by which time it is claimed he had already moved his furniture back to Telford, he was enjoying himself at a Nottingham City Council funded £52,000 beach party on the Cote d’Azur. Apparently he was wooing developers to invest in Nottingham at an international property show. It seems that we don’t have enough luxury flats in the city centre, making private profit for their millionaire owners whilst pushing affordable housing further into the periphery.

Frater has also come under fire for his commissioning of a play to improve public services. Rather than engaging in dialogue with Council employees, Frater thought that it would be better if actors presented the issues according a Council-approved script. This propaganda effort was to be directed at 3,500 Council workers and cost £387,000, more than £100 per person. Why the money couldn’t have been spent taking concrete measures to address the problems staff face was never addressed.”

Hmmm, you can read more HERE

So here at  Maison Forte De Wirral- Leaks we will not stringing up the bunting or  popping the Armand de Brignac open just yet.

Wirral Council – Where The Abnormal is Normal

If you find this headline shocking or even offensive then good – Job done, because so do we. But it’s not half as shocking as the truth and the way your local Council has conducted it’s business over at least the last 10 years. Shame them into making real changes and make WBC fit for purpose.

Wirral Council News Desk Of Shame Part 1,000,002



Klonowski social services abuse inquiry – Names Are released

From the Wirral Globe

“A “key” to unlocking names withheld in the Anna Klonowski social services investigation has been published by Wirral Council.

The move was agreed when council leader Cllr Jeff Green moved to have the document taken out of “exempt” information and placed in the public domain.”


When Is A Social Worker Not A Social Worker?

Below are examples of why Wirral Social Services is one of the worst in the country. Myopic to the point of being unable to see the wood for the trees.

Back in 2010 ASO’s replacing Social Workers was seen very much  as Branch head of Assessment Rick O Brien’s “baby”- So let see what he said in Community Care magazine(below)



 Our 2008 survey found 27% of practitioners expected to see a reduction in the number of social workers in their own teams, 44% expected an increase in staff without a social work qualification, 14% more staff from a health background and 17% no change.

 That survey followed Wirral Council’s decision to cut 29 social work posts and increase the number of non-qualified staff by 26, with social workers focusing on managing complex cases and non-qualified staff taking on the assessment of users with lower-level needs.

 Two years on, the level of change anticipated by the 2008 survey has not taken place. One in eight 2010 respondents has seen a reduction in social workers in their teams while 16% have seen an increase in the number of non-social work qualified staff and 7% an increase in health staff; 53% have seen no change.

 Cartwright says we should have seen more workforce change by now, given that “personalisation was supposed to be a revolution”. Hawkins say the results indicate that councils are avoiding some of the “tough issues” on reconfiguring staff, evidence that personalisation is “starting to stagnate”. He adds: “There should be a different skills mix and fewer social workers.”

 Unsurprisingly, Cartwright disagrees, saying the importance of social workers’ unique skills for delivering personalisation ought to result in more professionals.

 However, Rick O’Brien, head of branch, access and assessment at Wirral Council, says that since its reorganisation the authority now has a “fairly balanced workforce” in terms of the number of social workers and other staff. Social workers, he argues, are better deployed now, managing complex cases and handling safeguarding.

 Despite their reduced numbers, he says personalisation is opening up new opportunities for social workers. For instance, he says care reviews would previously often be carried out by non-social work staff, but because they are now more focused on outcomes, social workers are more involved.



 Now fast forward to 2012. The new head of Social Services Graham Hodkinson, it appears has completely the opposite view..


Graham Hodkinson, director of Adult Services at Wirral Council,  emphasised the importance of social work in the local authority’s future performance.

 Commenting on Mr Hodkinson’s views, set out in a Community Care interview, Ruth Cartwright, BASW England manager, said: “Social work with adults is ill defined and, as such, more at risk. BASW is campaigning to have this work respected and protected.

 “Two years ago, we listened with concern to news from members that social workers had been made redundant from Wirral Council but today we can take heart from the fact that Wirral has realised it needs social workers and that getting rid of them was a false economy – 16 new posts have been created and there will be greater professional support for social workers.



NB. And so Wirral in their infinite wisdom got rid of  29 social workers, and  replaced them with lower paid unqualified ASO’s. Yet The ASO’s have been increasingly given complex work. Word reaches us that ASO’s in at least one team on the Wirral have allegedly put in a claim for a pay increase.

 Apparently they have put  a compelling case to their manager (let’s call him Peter.)  He tried to argue the ASO’s aren’t doing complex work, but the ASO’s pointed out that the only thing Social Workers do that they don’t is adult protection.

Apparently Peter has passed this matter to the Head Of Branch , lets call him Rick.

You couldn’t make it up. And we haven’t.

Four-week delay whistle-blower tells the Globe why he did it

More on “DELAYGATE”  which is rocking WBC… and not in a good way


Care Scandal Continues To Rock Beleaguered Wirral Council

Read them and quite literally weep.  What a disgrace !

Wirral Globe Readers Fury At Four Week Delay

DELAY SCANDAL: Wirral man’s despair as his mother died after waiting for care package