Better to reign in Hell,than to serve in Heaven ……

better-to-reign-in-hell

We are proud to publish the latest instalment of the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods saga written by Nigel ” Highbrow” Hobro  which may answer a few questions raised by our readers and explain why we continue to follow this story.

We follow it because it’s everything that’s wrong. The incompetence, the ineptitude, the total disregard of what’s right and wrong.

Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven:

“So spake th’apostate Angel, vaunting aloud

But inward rack’d with pain”

Satan is the Father of Lies whose feeble imitation of God is Gehenna, or Hell. Rather than serve Truth he will concoct a monstrous imitation, rather like Macbeth who preferred to be a false King than a faithful Thane.

We read much vaunting from Councillor P Davies and from his faithless band, that Wirral Borough Council is ever “open and transparent”. We read glossy brochures from Merseyside Special Investment Fund about its manifold successes and yet all are silent on their failures?

My Lord Leaky in the preface to “The Big Lie” https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/the-big-lie/ worried about the muteness of regulatory authorities. He did not elaborate but they are worth reciting here. A forensic investigator given access to the Beverley Edwards report signally fails to report of the warnings from that lady about the phoenixing of Lockwood Engineering Ltd’s assets into Harbac UK ltd. Remarkable it is, considering the discussions held with Andrew Walker, the Government Internal Audit Agent, that Grant Thornton can report of no wrong-doing by Council officers. Long before I and James (Griffiths) made our complaints GIAA was investigating the perversion of the tender process for the £3m Business Start up 2 (ISUS) project, and the intimidation by council officers of the most qualified candidate to run it who had an assessment of 88% compared to wirralbiz’s 36%! Yet still the 88% candidate did not secure the contract. Turning to the liquidators of Lockwood Engineering Ltd they found nothing unusual in an engineering company stating on oath that the engineering firm had no machinery whatsoever. When confronted with this anomaly and the starkly clear evidence of the BIG file their response was the liquidation was over. The liquidators of Harbac UK Ltd when presented with same evidence by devilish equivocation asked by what right did I question them, was I a creditor of Harbac UK Ltd? Finally they finished with a “well we have lost a lot of money!” (some £10k on their £395 per hour fees). At this time after a prolonged liquidation, due to there being no accounting records given to them, they propose to close the company in January 2017,without reporting any need for detailed investigation despite having had copious correspondence between myself and themselves (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07396044).

I have only started emptying the bucket but the above should be enough to persuade the reader that we should all share Lord Leaky’s concerns.

The Devil rules the world and he does so with coin!

What of Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF) and connexions with the Big Lie article?
I don’t intend to befuddle the Reader but these matters are not a clear as the springs in Paradise. Pandemonium is a phrase well coined.

Unlike Councillor Davies in the press release referred to in the Ministry of Truth article

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/ministry-of-truth/

I will warn the Reader that there is some speculation in what I am going to write. I feel entitled to speculate when my adversaries plainly lie. Councillor P Davies undoubtedly is a clever man ( really? – Wirral Leaks) and with fingers in many pies as can be seen from his personal website :

I represent the Learning Partnership on the Wirral Local Strategic Partnership and the Wirral Waterfront Board. 
I am a non-executive director of the following organisations: The Mersey Partnership; Greater Merseyside Enterprise; the PSL Group (Pentra); The Lauries; Wirral Multi-cultural Organisation; and the Laird Foundation.
I also represent Wirral Borough Council on the Merseyside Objective 1 Programme Monitoring Committee and chair a post-2006 European funding lobbying group as well as the Wirral Pathways (Priority 4) Board .

The key words are THE Mersey Partnership, Wirral Waterfront Board and Merseyside Objective 1 Programme Monitoring Committee and chair a post-2006 European funding lobbying group. I believe these posts extend in substance back to the beginnings of wirralbiz and of the strange case of New Concept Gaming Limited. Speculation coming…Councillor Davies would associate closely with Mark Basnett, Director of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership, for, after all he had also been a member of the LEP and has many photo opportunities with Mrs Paula Basnett, ex Head of Invest Wirral , and now Head of Wirral Chamber of Commerce. Invest Wirral was in charge of the BIG fund and Mrs Basnett was charged from early 2011 with supervision of the renegade Directors of wirralbiz. If myself, Lord Leaky or Paul Cardin were the three witches on the blasted heath cackling before Macbeth, a picture can be conjured up. These people were and are an elite, an Eurocracy, who run Roman triumphs through the media hailing their achievements with our money, European money, and who would recoil at having their failures equally trumpeted.

New Gaming Concept Ltd

The following is neither lie, nor speculation.

In October 2009 Councillor Jean Stapleton signed off a BIG grant to the company who had already received public funding of £845,000 via Subsidiaries of MSIF and via the NWDA.

In March 2010 the same company filed for Liquidation with an accumulated net loss of £905K. All the European, BIG money and NWDA money was declared lost at the final Liquidators report in (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05427776) except for £5,000!

No accounts submitted to Companies House in the lead up to the investment of £845,000 of public money on 30th January 2008 were endorsed by professional accountants. Indeed the 30th April 2008 accounts did not even allude to the floating charge nor the debenture created on 30th January 2008.

Speculation follows:

Shoddy indeed was this for a recipient of £845,000 of public money, even dishonest. I wonder whether the accounts filed for 30th April 2009 on 8th December 2009 were truthful in outlining £461,494 of debtors when three months later the Statement of Assets

At liquidation the Debtors are described as £90,000 of which the liquidator by June 2011 has collected just and precisely £NIL. With Invest Wirral running the show given the revelations in the Grant Thornton BIG investigation one can imagine the BIG panel being duped.

This case has not been followed by any detailed investigation for like wirralbiz it does not suit the Eurocracy, among whom I count Cllr P Davies, to rake over the ashes. Certainly I doubt if Joe Public would ever have heard of this monumental waste if it had not been for the determination of the whistle-blowers to nail the LIE.

I have asked MSIF under FOI for their file on New Concept Gaming Ltd and received the fastest ever response to any FOI, that they were not subject to FOI. I have asked NWDA and its successor, DCLG, and WBC, for their files who of course are subject to FOI.

I conclude that Readers should be aware of just how little protection we are afforded from deception by Councillors or downright robbery by some private companies, by any organ of the state or duly appointed agent of the same. CAVEAT EMPTOR and respect to WIRRAL IN IT TOGETHER and WIRRALLEAKS who do the next best thing which is to put travesties on RECORD.

Legal Personality of the Year

surjit-legal-personality

“Where can I buy a personality and can I get it on expenses?”

We continue with the heroic struggle of the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods whistleblowers as they attempt to bludgeon Wirral Council into submission when it comes to revealing the truth and holding people to account. Hey ! guys  you could have saved yourselves a lot of “time and trouble” if you’d recorded a top ranking and well connected councillor being racist and reckless . Just sayin’……….
The latest revelation has come at the intervention of the Information Commissioners Office  (ICO) .Whistleblower Nigel “Highbrow” Hobro  tells us : ” Even the ICO expresses his inquietude re : the withholding of company names that had gone bust.”
Never mind “inquietude” the ICO ruling falls just short of  stating : ” WTF are Wirral Council playing at?…..” :
“The first thing to say here is that the Commissioner has seen the
withheld information a list of companies who received grants
and she has discovered that a certain number were in fact no longer trading
at the time of the request. A search of Companies House has shown that
certain companies were in liquidation or had been otherwise dissolved.
Clearly for these companies there can be no detriment as the companies
no longer exist. Moreover, a company that is dissolved has no legal
personality so there is no way any claim for breach of confidence would
be actionable. There is no conceivable way the section 41 exemption
could be applied to withhold the names of the companies who are no
longer trading. Indeed it is worrying that the Council has sought to
withhold the names of these companies as it should have been obvious
that the exemption would not be engaged in such circumstances. The
Commissioner would expect the Council to be aware if companies it had
given financial support to were no longer trading and so it would seem
unlikely that the Council were simply unaware that some companies
were no longer trading………
This leads the Commissioner to conclude that the Council has
applied the exemption in a blanket fashion without properly considering what
the consequences of disclosure might be. In light of this the Commissioner has also decided that the Council has failed to demonstrate what the consequences of disclosure might be. “
Oops!
Nigel reminds us that it was 2 years ago that rather worringly he had to remind Wirral Council’s Head of Law  :
“Surjit bust companies have no legal personality…you should know that Surjit!!”

You can see the full  cringeworthy Tour/Hobro exchange at between 14 and 15 mins of this John Brace video . You can also see that it wasn’t a bad dream and that astonishingly  Jim “Crabby” Crabtree once chaired the Audit & Risk Management Committee!.

This ICO Decision Notice  also reinforces our impression that Tour rocks up every Monday at Wallasey Town Hall and thinks to himself  : ” What FOI exemption shall I use this week ?”  whether it applies or not. Oh he’s definitely a legal “personality” is our Surjit!

no-hidden-wrongdoing

” Dear boy – just repeat after me  : ‘no hidden wrongdoing’ and you’ll be fine. I’ve been getting away with that line for years . If in doubt go for denial .”

All pics  and video courtesy of John Brace.

 

The Long Road to Freedom Of Information – A Wirral Leaks Exclusive!

Do_This-Return-to-Sender

We have previously reported on Wirral Council’s woeful record when it comes to responding to Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests

Indeed we referenced a statement by UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham who said that “Wirral was selected for monitoring as it had failed to respond to 85% of FOI requests within the time limit of 20 working days and had exceeded the limit “by a significant margin on numerous occasions.”
Consequently Wirral Council was subject to 2 monitoring periods by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) who enforced further humiliation by making the Council make a public undertaking to improve their handling of FOI requests .

That’s if you count Super-Duper Director Joe Blott mumbling something under his breath with his fingers crossed behind his back qualifying as a public undertaking anyway.All we can say is that it’s lucky for Wirral Council that the ICO are about as impotent as a eunuch after a six pack of Special Brew

So how is Wirral Council been shaping up? Well according to a self-congratulatory Scrutiny Review Report published last week they think they are doing splendidly.Bless.

Although we think it’s a case of self praise being no praise at all especially when the Council is  congratulating itself on actually complying with the law ( well most of the time anyway!)

Of course a closer examination of the claims made in the report can be found on the ever informative blog written by John Brace which includes details of 39 ICO Decision Notices where disgruntled members of the public have been unhappy with their FOI response from Wirral Counil (39! – count’ em and weep)

However we were particularly drawn to the details in the report which read :

“In terms of the volume of Freedom of Information requests made to Wirral Borough Council, a benchmarking exercise was carried out against a number of similar sized local authorities to see if there were any consistencies. The benchmarked local authorities were derived from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, based on numbers of constituents. The results of the exercise are included below.

From the results of the exercise, The Panel was assured that in terms of volume received, Wirral Borough Council was not receiving significantly more or less requests than the comparable local authorities, with the average number of requests coming in as 1073. Wirral Borough Council received 1082 requests in the 2012/13 financial year which is around the average amount received for all eight local authorities benchmarked.”

This evidentially counters Frankenfield’s paranoid bleatings on Tony Snell’s Radio Merseyside programme that there was a co-ordinated attempt to destabilise the part of the council handling FOI requests.

A further point we’d like to make is what’s the point in an answering an FOI request within the 20 day legal timeframe when the response says you can’t have the information you want anyway  – it would be interesting to have analysis of time spent looking for reasons not to provide information than actually providing it and the number of times the ICO rule in favour of disclosing the information only for Wirral Council to move the goalposts and try another exemption after the first one failed!

Ironically in the week that this report was published Wirral Council received yet another gentle slap on the wrist from the ICOLocal Government Lawyer website reports:“Two local authorities have given undertakings to the Information Commissioner’s Office after breaches of the Data Protection Act in relation to social services records.In the first case Wokingham Borough Council lost records relating to the care of a young child. In the second, Wirral Borough Council twice sent social services records to wrong addresses.”

It was once more up to Super-Duper Director Blott to admit to the breaches of the Data Protection Act telling the Wirral Globe :

“We take these matters very seriously… As soon as we discovered the errors , we self-referred to the ICO and took immediate steps to discover what went wrong, and make sure we do what is necessary to ensure it doesn’t happen again…..”

SEE HERE

However it was after reading this particular news report that a dedicated Wirral Leaks follower contacted us to report that they too had received confidential information that was sent to their address but was meant for someone else.

—–Original Message—–
Subject: Correspondence Sent In Error

Dear ,

A letter was delivered to my address on Friday 24th June. My partner
opened it thinking it was for me, only to find it was meant for a Mr A. The letter was addressed to my address……..

Obviously, this letter has been wrongly addressed, and I was not meant
to receive it, I will return it to you in the post.

I am, however, very concerned that such a highly confidential letter
could have been sent to me in error.


Our source received the following response from a senior officer of Wirral Council :
Dear

The letter was incorrectly addressed, for which I apologise. It should
not have happened.

Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

Imagine our source’s surprise when they realised the significance of the Data Protection Act breach when the intended recipient’s named turned up in the local press in relation to the notorious 4 week delay scandal.

It is not known whether a) The person for whom the highly confidential letter was intended for was ever informed about this breach and b) Whether the incident was ever reported to the ICO.

Perhaps someone would like to make Freedom of Information Act/Data Subject Access request to find out!

Flogging a Dead Cause

FLOGIT

Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things, that may not be taken from you.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism  – Oscar Wilde

We understand that experts at last weekend’s recording of “Flog It!” at Wallasey Town Hall were particularly impressed with one of the finest collection of Compromise Agreements in the country.  The controversial agreements made with disgraced former council officers were appraised to be worth over £1 million pounds of public money.
Other items uncovered included a rare landscape of  Wirral Waters which is hung in the waiting area next to Comrade Burgesski’s throne room.

This picture features a fortune cookie -type quote from the inscrutable and elusive Madam Stella Shiu which reads: “Wirral Waters will put Wirral on the map.”

Furniture expert  Ann Teak said that a particularly fine table from the Mayors parlour that was destined for the skip was indicative of Wirral Council’s profligate ways – ” They seem to get rid of the hidden treasures and keep throwing good money after bad debts, bad decisions and bad people…”

Also on show was a  hand-crafted gold-embossed “No Case To Answer” rubber stamp believed to be unique to Wirral Council. A council spokesperson  commented : ” Although showing signs of wear and tear this item has proved to be priceless for us”

Unfortunately it was predicted that the Mayoral chain would soon become devalued to the point of being absolutely worthless – well at least during the next term of office anyway .This is because of what experts referred to as “The Foulkes Factor”……..

Tread Softly …..

LDale

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

Having pledged to protect the most vulnerable people on Wirral the Council seem to have the usual “abnormal” way of going about it. Saying goodnight to Moreton Day Centre, puncturing meals on wheels,enforcing a 22% Council Tax hike on unemployed people (compared to Liverpool Council’s 5% ).

It seems to us they much prefer to pretend they’re more big business than a public service and so we see representatives jetting off to China and helping to set up the plush offices of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile the pupils ,parents, carers and staff of Lyndale are fighting to keep Lyndale School open. Wirral Globe reported : ” The heart-wrenching pleas of parents and teaching staff of a Wirral special needs  were not enough to convince councillors who tonight backed plans to consult on the school’s closure.”

SEE HERE

Following the meeting, Lyndale parent Zoe Anderson displaying a firm grasp of how Wirral Council conduct such matters told the Globe she was not surprised with the decision.

She said: “We have always believed it is a foregone conclusion but we are glad that we got to say our bit and give our opinions in public.

“We are also pleased that the concerns we had about the consultation being open and transparent have actually been received and reassurances given to ensure that is the case.”

And who exactly gave Ms.Anderson reassurances about openness and transparency?.
Why none other than the chair of the meeting – Councillor Steve Foulkes aka “Foulksey” – the former Leader of the Council whose commitment to openness and transparency is there for all to see in a series of damning reports ( well actually you can’t see because they’re redacted to incomprehensibility) but let’s just say there’s a good reason he was ousted from the leadership in a vote of no confidence.

However we have to say we have to admire the sheer gall of the future Mayor – as earlier in the meeting he expressed the hope that the forum wouldn’t be used for “political points scoring.”

Knowing what we know might we suggest that “Foulksey” needs to tread very,very carefully on the matter of “political points scoring” ….

And talking again of treading carefully you will notice in the picture of Lyndale School pupils and their supporters taken before the Council meeting published in the Globe that the stair treads behind them are bereft of carpets.

Indeed we hjave been reliably informed that the stairs,landing and round room are being re-carpeted at a not inconsiderable cost of £11,000**. How fortuitous that the ongoing gentrification of Wallasey Town Hall comes just in time for Foulksey’s  tenure as Mayor.

Meanwhile can we appeal to Councillors to carefully consider the consultation on the closure of Lyndale School to tread softly because they are treading on peoples dreams.

**UPDATE – According to the Globe the figure is even higher – over double our sources estimate in fact ? STORY HERE  –  Deep shag perhaps ? After all the resident’s and town hall footsoldiers of Wirral have been feeling screwed for years !

Wallasey councillor Leah Fraser said: “This must be some kind of joke” (and no, she wasn’t talking about Foukseys rent -a tent mayoral robes.)

“The council preaches austerity and belt-tightening for taxpayers, while at the same time squandering their hard-earned cash on sprucing up the town hall.“It is actually offensive.”

Flashbacks & Updates

Picture Puzzle

UNHOLY

We have been sent the abvove picture with the rather cryptic message ” Who are this pugnacious bunch (oh and Chris Eubank) and why is this picture seemingly no longer available on the internet?”

Answers to wirralleaks@gmail.com

 On Patrol & On The Ropes

We’ve been informed that the remaining 3 staff in the Wirral Council control room have now been offered the chance to stay on after the March 31st cut off date due to senior officers not having a Mr.Magoo what operations are actually carried out in their own departments, even after they were informed by the soon to be stitched up eleven experienced staff members they haven’t got anything in place out of hours if they close the OUT OF HOURS control room.  We kind of thought the title rather gives it away but clearly, it was a bit ambiguous for those making the decisions.

We also understand the prize for this reprieve would be a pay grade drop and a new shift pattern for a job the self -serving management gurus deemed redundant on the 18th December 2013.

We understand these options weren’t available to the eleven staff members before being forced out of their positions.  Was this the Council’s duplicitous plan all along?  “Just stop whining about a reduction in pay and conditions and just be grateful you’ve got a job?” .And where were the union reps when this tawdry arrangement was made?  Exactly!  – exiting stage left (pun intended) with a nice little redundancy package of their own.

 Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am

Our thanks to Her Ladyship who wittily hinted in a previous article that the contractor taking over the Council’s Highways contract from Colas sounded like a professional wrestler – BAM Nuttall (geddit?).

 Left Hand Meet Right Hand

And so on to a cancelled meeting arranged to discuss the fact that the Council are “minded” to close Lyndale School (that usually means they’ve already “made their mind up”).  The cancellation was allegedly due to the Council failing to abide by its own constitution – a course of action which drew the following comment from one parent, Christine Woodland whose seven year old son Alex attends the school, who said she was “not surprised” at the blunder.

“The whole thing has been frustrating, but it doesn’t shock me that they have done this – it is Wirral Borough Council after all.”

Christine Woodland – we salute you!  , we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Joe Blott, Wirral Council’s Strategic Director for Transformation and Resources is seemingly responsible for addressing this latest debacle but judging by his attempt to constrain the Wirralgate investigation to the narrow issue of “an inappropriate comment” we’d advise Ms.Woodland and

Co not to be overly optimistic that openness and transparency will prevail.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/wirral-council-accused-over-lyndale-6670046

 It Couldn’t Happen Here…or could it?

Another day, another useless document whose main purpose seems to be how many times the word “robust” can be interspersed between the tedious platitudes.  This time the document in question is  “The Implication of the Francis Report for Wirral” produced by Wirral Council’s Families & Wellbeing Policy and Performance Committee

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50016458/Francis%20Review%20-%20Final.pdf
Those familiar with the Francis Report will know that this was a highly damning report into the abuse and neglect of patients at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital.

This review document is most notable for its absolute determination NOT to use the W word.

The fact that the Mid-Staffs scandal was exposed by WHISTLEBLOWERS is of course studiously ignored, which may have something to with the fact that two of the Councillors involved in the review were Moira McLaughlin and Denise Roberts.

The fact that they would like to think that there are ROBUST processes in place to ensure that Mid-Staffs couldn’t happen on Wirral is not in the least bit reassuring when you consider the pair of them did their utmost to ensure that the abuses identified in the AKA  Independent Review would never see the light of day.

 Nokia Down

Talking of whistleblowing, we have been privy to a series of emails about the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods case sent to all 66 Councillors.

Once again, this is a case that would not be out of place in an espionage novel – there is the reference to the acquisition of Nokia phone records and unpublished reports and the police, auditors and “pretend friends.”

Indeed, it must be said these emails can be said to make up for in detailed information what they lack in deference to Councillors and Council Officers.

Certainly, our esteemed elected members cannot claim they weren’t told about the multitude of questions and concerns this case raises.

 

2012 – Wirral’s Anus Horribilis ( the year Wirral Council made a horrible arse of itself)..

Coat_of_arms_of_Wirral_Metropolitan_Borough_CouncilTo counter the inevitable downer that a New Year brings we were planning to do a review of the years events on Wirralleaks  – from AKA to ICO from HESPE to SOLACE from WBC to WTF!… but to be frank ( and somebody has to be) the chronology of horror is there for all to see on this site….
Meanwhile Her Ladyship and I are still looking forward to the day when we and our faithful retinue can retire to somewhere hot and exotic like Torbay……..However it would appear there is much leakage to be done before we can set sail, safe in the knowledge that the people of Wirral are in safe hands……
Therefore we implore Wirral Council that 2013 should be the year that it puts it’s house in order and put’s us all out of our misery.Now we know the Council have had a slew of  terribly clever and awfully well paid consultancy chaps and chapesses to come in and help sort out the unholy mess that’s been created (who can forget Mr.Frater’s insightful diagnosis of Boiled Frog Syndrome?), but can we be ever so humble and suggest that to turn the Council round is very,very simple…….. they just need a new motto.
The old one –  “By Faith and Foresight” – just won’t cut it anymore –  and so might we suggest the following “rebranding”?:
SERVE MEDIUM DICO VERUM   – “Serve the public – tell the truth “.
 The crest will need changing too  – the bird on the top suggests we’re all being shat on from a great height.The horn should be appropriately replaced by a whistle
and the trident is all too suggestive of the three wise monkeys ( hear no evil,see no evil,speak no evil) and as for the lions rampant with golden handshakes – well what can we say???…..
We think it is appropriate to maintain the helmet – although perhaps in a more appropriate colour  –  our heraldic advisor tells us that  blue signifies truth and purple stands for justice.
Eldritch – although not usually known to be “good with colours” –  advocates purple as he says a purple helmet would finish off Wirral’s coat of arms off nicely…….
New-WBC

Health and Safety gone…

Lord and Lady Wirral- Leaks aren’t quite sure about the legality of “volunteers” running crowd management control and security (see email below)  but Eldritch our loveable gardener wasn’t too keen on the idea of us “extending the opportunities “for him to volunteer additional services for nought but a pat on the head and a smart new hi-vis tabard.  But he did say “The ways I see it sir,  it seems all Local Authorities will be run by volunteers sir in the future, it’s that Big Society bollocks those F**k-witted Eton toffs talk about!  I hope these “volunteers” have proper insurance- it seems it’s not so much as Health and Safety gone mad, as Health and Safety…. gone.”

“Great Scott! “ roared Lady Wirral- Leaks, “I really do hate to think what might happen at a Michael Buble concert, I hear his fans can be quite the handful, in fact almost as relentless as Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear in pursuit of their prey!!  The whole idea of using volunteers, trained or not simply to cut costs where there are large numbers of people sitting in the dark is as outrageous as it is dangerous.  Why, if there was a serious incident, such as a mass “Buble-gasam” you could almost guarantee  nobody would be held accountable.

“But my dear Lady,” I gently chided,” this is the Wirral, accountability is not a concept they understand”

*****************

EMAIL:

“Dear Everybody,

As you will all be aware the council is going through a very difficult time and the requirement for savings has fallen on every single service area.  As part of the savings associated with the Floral we intend to extend the opportunities for volunteers to engage in the work of the theatre and seek to phase out our reliance on external contractor Kadansa who currently provide our stewarding services.

I appreciate how important the role of the steward is to the safe delivery of performances/events, however, there is no getting away from the fact that we spend a great deal of money on stewards and we simply will not be able to sustain this level of spend in the years ahead. There are many excellent examples of theatres working with volunteers as stewards and it is my intention to launch a brand new volunteers’ scheme in the spring of 2013 with the aim of volunteers taking over as stewards from September 2013. Volunteers will be supervised by our own Front of House Manager and a further two members of our staff team who will have responsibility for the fire panel etc. All volunteers will have gone through a fairly rigorous recruitment process and will receive full training.

In order for this scheme to get off the ground we are appointing a Special Project Co-ordinator for six months and it is anticipated that this person will be in post from January 2013. They will work directly with P’s team and J who is ultimately going to take over the role of ‘Volunteer Co-ordinator’ as part of her duties once the scheme is launched. The success of the scheme will depend very heavily on how well it is administered and also on how well we engage with our volunteers on a daily/weekly basis –quite a task and one that I am not underestimating, hence this lead in time.

We will continue to require security officers from time to time, however, Kadansa has been advised that we will not require freelance stewards after 31stAugust 2013. I have emailed P and he will be informing his freelance staff of our decision.

This is a big change I know and I am sure that many of you will have comments/suggestions to make so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly. “

Back To The Future

It’s  the new Super-Director led austerity “vision” for your local Council   HERE.

Can’t see “Ministry Of Spin” as yet ?

Night of the long knives

Oh dear

Night of the Long Knives

But not everybody is unhappy

*********************

Subject: Senior Management Restructure

Dear All,

 As you are aware, the Chief Executive has committed to reduce the senior management of the organisation by a third and met with Directors and Heads of Service at 16:30 yesterday afternoon to present his proposed structure to achieve this. Prior to it taking place I was asked to meet with him and informed that the Head of IT Services post was being deleted from the structure and that I would be made redundant. Therefore I will probably be leaving the organisation during March of next year. Like most of you I have been thinking about this for some time and am not too unhappy with the outcome.

 I thought it important that you heard this from me rather than via an indirect route or through rumour.

 This gives me about five months to get IT Services in the best shape I can for whatever lies in the future and I hope we can work together to achieve this.

 Regards,

*******************

Which gives him five months to order the 66 vitally important iPads for elected members, without which they cannot do their jobs, apparently.

As reported HERE