Pip Pops Off : A Wirral Leaks Tribute

Before we provide you with our post local election reflections we need to commemorate that a week ago today the Annual Meeting of Wirral Council saw the  end of an era (pronounced error) as Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ tenure as council ‘leader’ officially ceased.

Here at Wirral Leaks we couldn’t let the momentous event pass without providing our own fitting tribute to a ‘man’ who given the choice between right and wrong would always choose the latter option . In our opinion this didn’t make him a political game player it just made him weak. A man who always seemed uncomfortable with ‘leadership’ being thrust upon him after the ignominious fall from grace of that consummate political game player Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  in 2012, in the aftermath of a series of damning reports. This is how we commented on his ascendancy to the top of Wirral Council’s greasy pole:

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As we were to subsequently find out if Power Boy Pip (as he was to become known to Wirral Leaks readers) excelled at anything it was ‘denial’. At this point we’d like to take a leaf out of Kipling’s ‘Just So’ stories and pose the question : ‘How did ‘Power Boy Pip’ get his name?’ Well, thereby hangs a tale from 2013 which you can read here where we mocked how Pip invested in himself ‘Strong leader powers’ and a Cabinet system that screamed weakness. A council criticised for its secrecy becomes less open and transparent,  a council criticised for its lack of accountability concentrates its power in someone who abuses it ,  a council criticised for the conduct of its elected members lets its councillors run amok  as George Davies, Louise Reecejones, Jim Crabtee and Steve Foulkes show their contempt for their ‘leader’ with their out of control conduct and yet somehow Pip only publicly criticises Reecejones – go figure .

We nailed it in our We Leak, Pip Squeaks  post when we wrote :

Of course we believe that ultimately what what will do for Power Boy Pip is his failure to rein in Cllrs  Steve Foulkes and George Davies and to stand up to Birkenhead MP Frank Field over the Wirralgate scandal. These are not the actions of a leader – this is a man out of his depth clutching onto a red flag of convenience and not waving but drowning………………

Pip was never a leader but always the ‘front man’ –  a turd-polishing pollyanna . The pinnacle of this ‘achievement’ being Local Government Chronicle’s ‘ Most Improved Council’ Award in 2015.

a-prick

Needless to say Pip took his cue from the ne plus ultra of local political game players, Frank Field, who as we know , has spent 4 decades surrounding himself with ugly bullies and useful idiots . Conveniently Pip was to find many of both, not only in his own party but in the paid ranks of public servants at Wirral Council. However where Pip really began to become unstuck was the alliance made in hell (via West Kirby) with his infamous appointment of politically motivated spin doctor Martin Liptrot to whatever job ‘Liptrotsky’ wanted. The pitiful correspondence from Liptrot to the Council ‘leader’ dictating terms of his  grace and (political) favour employment was pitiful to behold and further evidence of Pip’s reliance on others to sustain him in power. This episode and further details of this disastrous appointment can be read in The Liptrot Mystery.

This reliance on the bad will of others has meant that the past 7 years have been one one long pay off party for some really horrible senior council officers . The routine seemed to be –  Inept? Here’s a cheque. Inept and knowing –  here’s a bigger cheque. Inept , knowing and prepared to do Pip’s dirty work (Hey, Joe  name your price!…)

Compare and contrast that with the fact that throughout his tenure as ‘leader’ (and even before that…) there wasn’t a Wirral Council whistleblower he wasn’t prepared to screw over. Except, of course, the one set of  bogus , so called Wirralgate ‘whistleblowers’ who had him over a barrel and could shaft him at the drop of a tape recording. Luckily for him he had those ‘special leader powers’ to get him out of a deeply corrupt hole of his own making by deciding to bring the Highways contract back in house and give Gary’s Gang what they wanted all along.  Obviously when the hired hands with their hands on the ‘record’ button it’s time to go visit your grandkids in Canada. For more details read here

So many unanswered questions and it shames councillors of all parties that Pip was allowed to quietly depart without them ever being asked. We never did hear the end of the Wirralgate saga did we ? The one that led to front page news stories, and an ‘independent’ investigation that has never seen the light of day ? But oh, believe us before we go you will dear reader!…

Typically, Pip isn’t around to see whether any of the 20 pledges in his much lauded 20/20 Vision thing are ever realised in 2020. Funny how we don’t hear about the pledges anymore isn’t it? There was a time when it seemed that every Labour councillor had to preface every utterance with reference to ‘pledges’ . Could it be that it was all complete bollocks and another reason Pip bailed out before the 20/20 Vision was, to mix a metaphor with a bit of the Bard,  proven to be the usual smoke and mirrors signifying nothing?

However whilst Pip will be gone he will not forgotten as the last ever Leaky Awards will be known as Pip Memorial Awards for Public Dishonour – winners to be announced in a glittering awards ceremony hosted by Pip beneficiaries – the Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

With our nasty head on (do we have any other? ) we were going to wish Pip a very short retirement but we suspect that as he merrily frolics with the Davies clan in Canada and he’s finally free of a position to which he was manifestly unsuited that the red suffused face ( part high blood pressure/part embarrassment) will be replaced by the rosy glow of contentment of knowing that he managed to blag it for so long.

Finally …do we have an extradition treaty with Canada ? Askin’ for a friend!

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Wirral Leaks : Past, Present,Future …

24th November

Thanks for all your kind messages of support which followed our announcement that Wirral Leaks will soon be winding down, but not just yet…

How could we leave you all, especially when the blog has never been so widely read and appreciated ? Moreover we know we’ve said this before and whilst we don’t want to known as making more comebacks than Barbra Streisand we think it’s time to quit whilst we’re at the top of our game.

However we think we owe it to our faithful followers to clarify our position. As we said the catalyst for our decision – but not the cause – was prompted by the Halliday case. Whilst it gives Stewart Halliday more credence and influence than he deserves somehow that case just made us want to recite the last diary entry of Carry On star Kenneth Williams :

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It’s just become so bloody pointless recounting the seemingly endless parade of incompetence,dishonesty, collusion, corruption  and fuckwittery (INSERT OWN PEJORATIVE ADJECTIVE HERE) at Wirral Council and other Wirral institutions… and then to add insult to injury to have the local mainstream media leech off you!

So this is where we’re at…

THE PAST 

Rest assured the Wirral Leaks archive will remain in perpetuity. So when karma strikes aka ‘The Curse of Leaky Towers’ finally catches up with the sociopaths who run the show  we’ll be lying on our sun lounger sipping a cocktail, raising an arched eyebrow and  saying we told you so

THE PRESENT

For now the parade will continue ,especially in the light of the upcoming local elections. Therefore for now we’d like to make a special request to send us election leaflets, councillor sightings and general electioneering particularly as purdah – the publicity restrictions that should be observed by local authorities during the pre-election period – are about to kick in. Please note :

 

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THE FUTURE

Who knows?  All we do know is that we can’t continue with our current output – it does nothing for our our mental health or our blood pressure . What we can promise is that we will continue to provide a platform for what we consider to be independent thought and important causes – which basically means all we have to do is press the ‘publish and be damned ‘ button.

However we intend that our final salvoes will be special reports which conclude long running investigations into the following matters :

  • Cllr Paul Doughty/Pensions Committee
  • Wirral Council Procurement
  • Wirral Chamber of Commerce
  • Wirralgate

We will be posting requests for your invaluable contributions on these subjects over the next few days. We could use Wirral Council-speak and say it’s all in the name of openness and transparency. We prefer to say it’s about getting all the dirt that’s fit to print out there – for posterity’s sake if nothing else…

Tales from the Chamber : Food for thought…

Woodside Food & Ferry

Pic: Woodside Food & Ferry

Next week we will be making information appeals for some ‘Special Reports’ that we’ve been working on .However before that we thought we’d catch up on Wirral Chamber of Commerce which will be one of our forthcoming areas of investigation.
However we understand it’s been an interesting past few weeks at the Chamber. An insider tell us :
Gemma Nichols, who was brought into the chamber to be Head of Visitor Economy and BID has left quietly although through no fault of her own. She signed up to one thing, was moved onto another and then was put under the ‘former model’ Kate (Eugeni). It was the usual Paula process.
Kate was appointed as Director of Visitor Economy and over saw the BID (Birkenhead Improvement District)  –  (Wirral) council refused to pay Kate’s salary to Princess P(aula Basnett) and so now that there’s no money in the pot…what’s a girl to do?! 
Well, spoiler alert!
Their bright idea is to set up a Marketing and PR firm….and Kate is leading it. It’s due to launch in April……Just like the visitor economy she led for a few months, she has loads of experience in doing just that. She couldn’t write a press release to save her life…but then it’s not like she’ll actually do any of the work…is it?
I wonder what the PR and Marketing businesses who are members think of this? 
If the Woodside Ferry Village is anything to go by: they have nothing to be worried about.It’s worth having a right good rummage of the Woodside Ferry Village though…could one of the directors be  due to resign his position? Can accounts from WFV had to pay some of the BID’s bills to help balance the books because the BID money has been loaned to the WFV to set it up ?- and with Kate getting paid out of that pot…could there’ be nothing left to pay the bills?  
So: Gemma – good luck and well done for getting out. When the BID is up for vote with Birkenhead businesses – it was not you who let them down … 
Meanwhile an unquestioning local press is willing to publish overheated souffles about the ‘food concept venue’ Woodside Ferry Village which we’ve previously ridiculed here
Following the newly established pattern of publishing a  Wirral Chamber of Commerce/Wirral Council press release in the Liverpool Echo before exactly the same story is re-heated by the same journo in the Wirral Globe we get news that there are  Plans revealed for’next Baltic Market’ with shipping container shops and stunning River Mersey Views
Needless to say there are the compulsory artist’s impressions and quotes from, no!, not Chief Executive ‘Princess” Paula Basnett but the ‘Interim Managing Director’ of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce  , Sharon Stanton, who happens to be ,er, Princess Paula’s sister!
Our Shaz provides some unintended hilarity by saying:

“We have been looking at it for some time. We applied for the lease, and luckily enough, we got it and it went from there…”

 

Well I never! Funny how that happens isn’t it ? Some organisations have all the luck! A building here, a building there! Another fortuitous acquisition for Nepotism Central !

With one of our incredulous sources stating : “I can’t believe they keep getting away with it…”  we asked our Chamber insider who would be likely to challenge Princess Paula and the Chamber of Cronyism

Eric Robinson: his son is currently there…and Eric HATES confrontation and difficult conversations…so he won’t challenge the ‘norm’.
Phil Davies: he’s going and equally never stood up to her.
Alan Evans: he’s sown up in the Chamber, the Woodside Food Village, and the council. 
And Jesus wept, don’t get me started on the little **** who’s currently up Paula’s arse… Warren Ward.
Back to Woodside Ferry Village – they’re talking Baltic Triangle, we’re saying Bermuda Triangle , they ‘re talking Las Ramblas, we’re saying ramshackle .And before we get accused of pissing on the barbeque we do so in the knowledge that as long as cronyism, and nepotism are the guiding the way the true Wirral innovators and visionaries won’t get a look in and Wirral (and particularly Birkenhead) will continue to depend on the sorry shower who are currently running the show…and look where that’s got us!

Birkenhead – A Tomb with a Vue

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And so to the cry of  “have you got any spare change mate” the slow, agonising  death of Birkenhead town centre continues.

Whilst Wirral Council’s Wirral Growth Company seems to be in desperate need of anabolic steroids and the Wirral Chamber of Commerce is doing what exactly ? Birkenhead seems to be zombie-walking into an open grave…

Now having taken over control of Birkenhead Market and Milton Pavement with grandiose plans to make it somehow resemble Barcelona and Las Ramblas (where the beggars and scammers are at least entertaining) Wirral Council have hit upon the bright idea of buying the Vue cinema for a knockdown £7.1 million ! Whilst it’s understood the cinema will continue to be run by Vue, it will be owned by the council and presumably the Wirral public will still have the added cost to pay for the privilege of parking outside. Dare we ask has anyone checked out the financial viability of handed over millions of pounds of public money to a private company ?  Has anyone checked the demand and turnover?  Or is this all about maintaining a cinematic presence in the town rather than sound economic sense?

Meanwhile a couple of readers ,aghast at the move, have contacted us to express a vue :

  1. Read in the Globe that the Council have spent £7 million on the cinema in Birkenhead…WHAT?…No money to regenerate New Ferry though! Probably give it to Princess Paula (Wirral Chamber) in a few months anyway!
  2. The most expensive ticket is around £5.99 … no wonder we’re in the shit

As the song goes ‘this town becoming like a ghost town ‘ and whether this will be enough to raise the dead from the tomb of a town centre we will vue with some caution – but with Wirral Council (and partners) past track record we’d say there isn’t a ghost of a chance of those artist’s impressions coming to life…

Tales from the Chamber : Winners!!!

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Our thanks go Jonathan Quinn who writes to Wirral Leaks in response to our Tales from the Chamber : Annual General Meeting story.

We publish it unedited and unexpurgated :

What a non factual load of rubbish by a couple of Trolls and Bullies telling lies!

I would be happy to meet you and your X strategic partner to help you with how time could be better spent helping their business grow! instead of what it is doing failing and I thought they had a little more about them than this!! If only they give more effort and positivity they might have gained from the membership!! you get out what you put in life and Chamber

So to start with actual facts – 

1.Renewal date has just past and wouldn’t want them a strategic anyway as they are nett takers not contributors. The chamber is about effort and how we can collaborate and all grow together. If its that bad why is it growing Ive helped 5 strategic & maybe 20 members sign up over the last 3 months its helped my businesses grow rapidly best value for money membership there is.
2.Golden Girls are exactly what they are all credible nett contributors in business and life again why is Wirral Chambers fastest growing chamber in the UK??? What they do for business and local community projects is unreal talk to them see what they do before you judge.
3.Construction Forum has the largest turn out of any business networking event in the Northwest with 100 people taking time out to listen, grow and collaborate. Onto main facts 4 people turned up from Sovini Group who is part of Carroll group who I introduced and Sara signed up as strategic partner that day. YPG also present, she promised and delivered on the agenda and well organised event or 100 people wouldn’t turn up time and time again. Its energy is brilliant that comes from the effort ranging from Sara –
4.Sara is one of the hardest working people I know who’s helps every single business who has ever asked for help she’s also one of the nicest also. Your a troll and a bully picking on women, fact do you get kicks out of trying to upset Women very very sad!!!! It won’t work as the people your aiming at are winners!!!
5.Prosseco was £29.95 and all paid for personally apart from start as it was in with the ticket price. 4 bottles but not like you to exaggerate! I thought the atmosphere and positive energy level went up post 7pm!!! If you want an intro to any company be a man and go up and speak to them its called business development skills, if you lack these ask Sara she would happy to a personal into to anyone that’s he role thats she’s perfect at!!!
6.I love you comment about myself Jonathan Quinn as you know nothing of me or my life. I bring everything to the table and always give 100% even when the chips are down. Im a governor of my kids school, I work with chamber youth and talk at schools every other week, Im an ambassador for Duke of Edinburgh, I run 5 businesses, Director for the chamber, Chair of manufacturing forum & vice chair energy and environment forum. I have stopped 100,000s tonnes waste going to landfill and stopped 100,000 tonnes of carbon being produced. Ive created environmental technologies that help save our planet, I help raise charity money and go to these events a few times a month. Im also a TEDx speaker business man of the year and over 10 personal and business awards. Im going to India next week to speak at the future tech festival invited by Sir Dominic Asquith the high commissioner for India for DIT for free to help shout about Wirral its amazing brand, people & businesses!!!! When I come to the table I bring it ALL experience credibility and integrity!!! non of which your Mole and you have. Ive helped business without personal gain for the last 12 years but my main contribution is changing peoples lives if we all done 10 and them 10 done 10 imagine!!! These key skills are at the core of the chamber!!!
7.Lisa and Heather I do agree your only actual fact are 2 super nice hardworking people but again facts Lisa has gone back to Mole to help grow their family business which is amazing and Heather is very happy in her new role both new jobs and people happier. Tittle tattle

Wirral chamber has fantastic credible board, brilliant management and staff all run by its Golden leader who has helped me & members for the last 12 years grow and inspire others again a talent you lack. Check out actual numbers GDP, jobs and plenty of success stories time and time again!!!

Rather than trolling and bullying when use your time to help others like we do!!! 

Again would love to meet you and your ill informed keyboard warrior!!! we could have a wine in the cafe, try contribution rather than taking doesn’t help anyone. The Wirral is a place to work, live and play positively! +++++++++++

God bless 

Tales from the Chamber : Annual General Meeting

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The Wirral Chamber of Commerce (WCoC) AGM kicks off any minute now so we’d provide an alternative to the formalities. No doubt with their local connections the Chamber must feel as though they have gold plated protection from criticism from either us or the growing number of aggrieved former employees. However perhaps they’ll take more notice of their own ‘strategic partners’ –  well they are for now anyway!-  who have been getting in touch. It comes to something when their quite happy to share the Chamber’s  audited statutory accounts , revised Articles of Association and the agenda for the AGM. We wouldn’t want to spoil the excitement of tonight’s meeting by publishing them in advance but we would like publish this comment made by one of our sources about the accounts:

Chamber accounts……..less an income and expenditure statement which the
directors would rather not disclose!!!!!!
Moreover here’s a unique insight into how WCoC operates from one of their  ‘strategic partners’ which we guarantee won’t be aired at tonight’s meeting :
I work for a company who are strategic partners with the WCoC.
Well we are until the renewal date and then we will be leaving all together. What a disgrace. On more than one occasion we have used the cafe in the Lauries for dinner and seen the “Golden Girls” Paula Basnett, Kate Eugini, Sara Davies and I forget the other names, sat there drinking wine in the afternoon.
However, the main reason for my email is the Construction Forum run by Sara Davies. The summer forum saw us all at Thornton Hall Hotel (who were excellent by the way). The guest list was pure VIP!! Muse, YPG and Peel all there. Of course it was hard to speak to them because they were placed on a table at the front guarded by the “Golden Girls”. Did I mention the “Golden Girls” were necking bottles of Prosecco on the “Chamber” tab???? I saw 6 and I left at 7pm so God knows how many they had. Muse and Peel, once again, failed to answer any questions and “our chamber” failed to ask any questions.
“60% OF THE WORKFORCE MUST BE LOCAL!!”
Paula Basnett told me that she would be personally overseeing this!!! That’s a bit like Harvey Weinstein saying he will look after your wife!!!
I then attended the Construction Forum last month. Sara Davies promised the world, YPG, Carrol Build, Peel!! None turned up obviously, but then why would they when they had already told her they were not. They were placed there to attract people to the forum, which was awful!! “A talk from Jonathan Quinn”. Wow!!! I wont be slagging that gentleman off but let’s face it he brings nothing to the table does he!!!
I have also seen the 2 best members of the chamber staff leave (Lisa Furlong and my favorite Heather Heaton!!!). They both left having a gripe with the chamber!!!
They need new management!! And they need to start working FOR Wirral businesses!!!

Good Advice

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Such is the sage advice we receive on a daily basis we really should do a ‘ Wirral Leaks’ self  help book.

Chapter 1 would be about the ruling administration at Wirral Council taking themselves down the steps at the back of Wallasey Town Hall and throwing themselves into the River Mersey. If this is a hate crime we are proud to say we are guilty as charged.

However in the mean time we publish the recent contributions we have received that we feel the need to share in the public interest.

First off we follow up our Wirral Council Have Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two… with this pertinent advice :

Dear Sirs,
I have as well as many other businesses received a letter stating that I will be fined if I do not process my business waste via their channels.
I urge all businesses to send the letter back minus their name and address to the sender of the letter stating that in future we do not want their waste!
Regards
Next up we have some advice from down south (not a euphemism) as we know when something is kicking off when we get loads of hits on a long lost post.On this particular occasion it is our updates on the progress of infamous local government cheque collector Anna Klonowski . You know the one , she flew in to Wirral ,made a killing telling us what we already knew  that Wirral Council was a basket case and offering absolutely nothing to rectify the situation she moved on to her next lucrative gig ticking the boxes of mutual mediocrity along the way – for cold hard cash of course.

However it has been revealed that another pay-off of almost £100,000 made by Bristol City Council to its former chief executive ‘the Blessed Anna’ was not a contractual obligation, according to auditors.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees insisted Anna Klonowski was entitled to the cash when she left in September 2017.

But the council’s auditors said it was “inappropriate” for the authority to say the payment was contractual. Read full story here : Bristol council’s £98k payout to chief exec ‘not obligatory’

So can we advise when Wirral Council wants to pay off the likes of  Webb, Noone, Fowler, Maddox, Coleman, Wilkie,Adderley ,Burgess, Degg ( we always put these 3 together – we can’t think why!) , Fish, Hassall, Blott, Norman, Lyon  etc; etc; they need to act in the public interest and remember the words :

NOT OBLIGATORY 

However we’ll leave the last word to ‘our betters ‘ at Wirral Chamber of Commerce  and particularly their Chair, Sandra Kirkham aka ‘Our San’, who advises us lesser mortals in a Tweet from last month:

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Whilst is looks as though San has also attended the ‘Sybil Fawlty School of Statin’ The Bleedin’ Obvious’, along with Anna Klonowski, it would also appear her message about skills and what we do in schools is somewhat undermined by the fact that she (or whoever writes Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s tweets) doesn’t seem to know the difference between ARE and OUR…

 

 

Tales From The Chamber : Chapter 2 – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…

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Wirral Chamber CEO Princess Paula and new Chair Sandra Kirkham

As the late,great David Bowie once sang ‘Ch-ch-ch-ch -changes…’ have been afoot at Wirral Chamber of Commerce (WCoC) this week. We’ll leave you to judge whether they’re for the better.

First of all there’s the news that Kate Eugeni has been appointed as the new WCoC ‘Visitor Economy lead’ ( and if someone can tell us WTAF that means we’d be grateful)

Gorgeous pouting Eugeni
A WCoC insider has contacted Wirral Leaks to comment on this particular appointment and commented as follows:
Because of course Kate has a background in the Visitor Economy. Ffs.
Headline states she’s ‘new visitor lead’ when she’s been appointed as Director of Visitor Economy.
Who’s budget is she being paid from? How many members in the visitor economy exist in Wirral, is it enough to pay her salary and deliver outputs?!
Has the council given money to the chamber to deliver on these outputs? And isn’t Lucy Barrow the lead for Visitor Economy in Wirral?
All valid questions but they need to be put in the context that the poor love once had to return from a Christmas break skiing in France with her father only to find that a treasured sculpture had disappeared from her garden . Can we please just imagine the sheer horror of that situation for a moment? #prayforsuperlambanana
Did we mention that Ms Eugeni’s father is, of course , former Parks hamper magnate,Tranmere Rovers owner and current tax exile Peter Johnson. We don’t have to tell you how this insular peninsula nepotism shit works again once again do we?
Meanwhile another source tells us :
Worth noting that another chamber member left this week. ‘An agreement’ was reached and she left straight away. Lisa Furlong was the only person on the Enterprise team who actually had any knowledge of running a business and who was credible to offer business advice. 
Good luck Warren Ward
But the big announcement was the appointment of Sandra Kirkham as the new Chair of WCoC following on from Asif ‘Massive’ Hamid, who having squeezed every bit of financial advantage out of the role, has moved on to pastures even more lucrative as Chair of Liverpool Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
We’ve a bulging file on the previous exploits of Ms Kirkham but her profile hasn’t been big enough . But as this promo video shows it is now :
Now as you know we try not to judge at Wirral Leaks but the most interesting aspect we gleaned from the promo, amid the corporate BS,was the fact that ‘Our San’ is a Kylie Minogue fan. But then, let’s face it ,she would be wouldn’t she?
As we can exclusively reveal here are ‘Our San’s Top Five Inspirational Kylie Minogue Tunes’ for Wirral’s business community :
Theme tune : Better The Devil You Know  (even if it’s Kevin Adderley)
I Should Be So Lucky ( to be ‘best buds’ or related to Princess Paula) 
Especially For You ( Duet with Cllr Phil Davies) (but mainly for us)
Spinning Around (spin is what we do – get over it)
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (but if you sign a non-disclosure agreement it would help) 
 

Tales From The Chamber : Chapter 1 – ‘The Elephant in the Lift’

BID pic

We understand that Wirral Council’s ‘Witchfinder General’ and Deputy CEO David Armstrong has been making less than discreet enquiries about who has leaking information to us .  So let’s help him with his enquiries and let him know it’s ‘Spartacus’. The thing he (and other local powerbrokers) need to understand is that when toxic and dysfunctional organisations treat people badly then those people who have inside knowledge as to what goes on within these organisations will sometimes seek an outlet to bear witness to what they’ve seen and heard . It was how Wirral Leaks came to be and we are honoured and privileged that people come to us ,  as where else would they go?

Whilst we have been receiving information about the Wirral Chamber of Commerce  (WCoC) from various sources for some time often people are reluctant for us to publish their compelling stories merely because they recognise the power of the local connections that WCoC have (and particularly with Wirral Council). That in itself is a damning indictment of the corrosive, insular culture’ that has been created on Wirral.  So as an antidote to last night’s meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee and the anodyne news in the Constituency Manager’s report about litterpicks and skip hire we provide an insight into what lies behind jargon such as this :

3.4 Birkenhead First Activity Update: 2018 Since May 2018, we have had two of our Town Hosts leave the team, this has opened up an opportunity for us to re-evaluate the strengths of the team and review where our strategic focus needs to be aligned in terms of moving the BID forward

Read full report here : Birkenhead Constituency report

Whilst the information should be of particular interest to Birkenhead Improvement District (BID) levy payers we also think that there is a significant public interest element to the first anthology of Chamber tales we’ve compiled below :

I will offer you some interesting facts. Why isn’t the expenditure of the levy money made public ? Why aren’t the accounts available to be scrutinised? Simply because it’s mis- managed. Ask the question – why was Mark Barrow ( Campaign Manager) paid his salary out of the levy money? Why have the Chamber paid £25,000 to The Hive to be a Patron ? Who paid for the lights within the gardens of Hamilton Square?  Who is behind the creation of the CIC Food village at Woodside ? Who are the board members and associates? – I’m sure you can guess! There is only ONE host remaining at Birkenhead – considering there was 4 – ask the question about a public document that was put out by the BID after their first year – in it states about extra cops in the town – think from memory it said 37 extra cops – a simple question where’s the paper trail of how those cops were paid for? How was it accounted for? Simple answer is ,  it’s a number plucked from the air . PP (‘Princess’ Paula Basnett – WCoC CEO) took it to (Wirral Council) cabinet and stood up and quoted it as fact.

The BID  money is about £370,000 per year. The first two years nothing was spent on the town other than planters and some money for alley gates near Sally Army. So where did the money go?  It went to prop up and pay for the Chamber – and its staff

Quite funny you should mention about PPs salary-  at some point PP and her chums salaries details were given out by mistake to staff. I think PP was on a substantial salary . Big red faces and emails directing people not to disclose.

Around mid 2017 the BID produced its annual report. Within that report was mentioned what the BID had done over the last 12 months – by and large most of it is inaccurate and misleading. This document was taken by PP to (Wirral Council)  Cabinet – who painted a picture of how great things were. Like all things official – it’s about showing to the public and in this case more appropriately the businesses in the BID area that there is credibility in the BID.

A system was believed to be in use to record Town Host activities. It was a system used by (Wirral) Council to track maintenance but it was used as a way by the BID to record activity. It would have been useful for councillors to ask the question as to which areas were subject of the 70 clean ups as stated in the published yearly report and ask WCoC to   produce the records of those clean ups.Who was involved? What was cleaned up? Where was cleaned up?

37 extra cops in the area? Ask the question as I’ve mentioned previously – it costs around £600 a day for a Police Officer – you pay not only for the officer but the supporting infrastructure. Ask PP to disclose the costs – I’m sure it would be recorded somewhere. NOT. To produce an Annual Statement that features inaccurate and misleading information surely can’t be right and should be brought into the public domain. As an organisation (WCoC) that advises new and existing business they run their own business in such a shambolic way. Disclosures that over 20 people have left over the last 18 months or more – if it’s that good, why do people leave. Do you know about the elephant in the lift at Pacific Road? More wasted money. Paid for by PP at a charity auction at Oxton cricket club. It’s a huge almost life size model of an elephant made of copper or something similar. But since all the work at Pacific Road it sits in the lift .And has done for some time. Cost of lights in Hamilton Sq gardens was about £50,000. I’m sure BID  levy payers in Oxton Road would see the benefit of that money being spent.

The four original priorities of the BID are falling short. Budget £100,000 – Safety and Security. Budget £75,000 – Marketing and Promotion. Budget £110,000 – Clean and Attractive. Budget £50,000 – Supporting Business. As can be seen in the Annual report this was the budget for each of the BID’s priorities. Once again ask the question – how is the money spent ? Surely as an organisation that advises and supports new and old business they keep ACCURATE records !!!! All this will show that the BID does not have any credibility. It needs to be brought out into the public domain – ie via your website/ social media platforms.

My final comment at the end of this extensive piece is that within the UK there are over 200 BIDs operating. As far as I’m aware there are NO BIDs that are set up like the Wirral BID – most if not all are stand alone companies. They invoice out and record all their expenditure – they are more likely to operate independently without any of the money being diverted to support another organisation. In this case the WCoC. The levy money is there to make a difference to the local business community – above and beyond what is already provided. But it’s clearly not.

I have to say there is a huge amount of good people in the chamber but sadly really, really badly led …

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Light On The Subject

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Prompted by yesterday’s blog post further light sources have come forward with information which we thought we’d share with you prior to our upcoming special report on Wirral Council’s mini-me , the Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

I should point out the pictured floor light on FB (Facebook)  – Hamilton Square – supplied by the BID  (Birkenhead Improvement District) to the tune of 50,000 – they also installed so I’m led to believe CCTV cameras in the centre by the Monument – CCTV Cam is bogus – and is there to deter not record. No use

Seeking some corroboration and further information from a well placed source we received this response :
Well that’s a strange one because a complaint went to (David) Armstrong about staff being monitored and their conversations picked up via the CCTV having sound.
That was rightly refuted by Armstrong as he started it does not have sound and staff are not recorded.
Hence if staff are not recorded I take it the public are not.
The truth about the Hamilton Square project is plain and simple. David Armstrong and the council leader.
The Chamber are a law unto themselves , the council are terrified to upset them . Why ! ?
Simply because the Chamber said leave them as they are, you don’t have the money to do the works we do, to this end the council has backed off.
It’s not just the electrical issues and wastage, they employee one company who do the works who are a cleaning company specialising in widow cleaning who then employee local cash in hand lads who dig up the place making a mess .
The council will not take them on . All true sir I guarantee it. The point you make about highways doing the work is the question everyone is asking. Their managers do know the legislation . But the council need the Chamber’s dosh. The Chamber want something doing do not have specialists in their team so do what any ignorant client would do employ cheap incompetent contractors…
We’ll have more on the curious tale of the tail wagging the dog and other stories tomorrow…