Wirral University Teaching Hospital : Imagine…there’s still no announcement on appointment of Chairman

WUTH

Following on from our Ruthless WUTH post there was the inevitable Wirral Globe headline story which read 400 new parking spaces to be created at Arrowe Park Hospital after Globe campaign . Although it must be said that 400 new car parking spaces doesn’t necessarily mean that car parking charges for nurses at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) sites will cease.  But hey! any excuse to publish  a letter sent to Birkenhead MP Frank Field – jointly signed by interim chairman Sir David ‘Diddy’ Henshaw and CEO Janelle Holmes.

Meanwhile we have reason to believe that there are bigger issues affecting WUTH in general and Henshaw and Holmes in particular as a well placed source writes :

Wirral Leaks of 10/12/18 says the announcement of new WUTH chair imminent
This is now at least 15 days overdue and there is limited intel only.
It seems the only applicant for the post has been interviewed the process is stalled at the governors. None of whom will give any more away – for real!

You may recall when former staff nurse Janelle Holmes CEO-bulldoze-through-fest stalled – Sir David Henshaw attended, met the governors to put them right. He’s a candidate this time so there are barriers that – even a rainmaker like him -cannot be circumvented so he can’t repeating his best and only trick – the Henshaw hardline.
It seems he also lacks  insight to now take the hint and withdraw his application in a dignified manner – suppose when the good Lord gives one the hide of a rhinoceros it’s there to be used.

Sir Dave’s track record is of some latter day Red Adair – called in when things boil over to put the lid back – obviously stifling any inconvenient discussion. Then like some mountebank he leaves town before the consequences of the quick-fix become evident.
The CSA went into melt down after this approach.
At St George’s NHS Trust; once he left the problems remained.
It only required matters to enter the real world when a St. George’s surgeon challenged the regimes legitimacy in court and won for the folly of Sir Dave’s only-trick to be exposed.
WUTH has a long-enduring, deeply dysfunctional culture. The directors (he has chaired for 9 months) wilfully fail to either recognise or address this.
Industrial psychologists ought to be highly visible. No really industrial psychologists ought to be on every corridor corner and tasked with re-introducing a fair culture – no sign yet!
What has likely changed at WUTH is jeopardy- I guess (and I don’t know) that the governors have woken up to realities. The execs have for years spoon-fed pap to the governors and have cowed the non-execs. One NED (Non -Executive Director) memorably told BMA (British Medical Association) reps they would never challenge an exec – despite that being in the Non-Exec’s job description.
Simply put – in 1 year execs have put 15% of the consultants out-of action [5% suspended, 10% now work elsewhere] it’s a simple calculation: if WUTH carry on like this there will be no senior doctors left.
This ought to be clear to Sir Dave – the execs don’t seem to have got the memo – not sure about the non- execs.
Stand by for the palace revolution; if the governors have  initiative – and it’s only  exercise of their  will – the executive and non-executives will become administrators held to account by the governors.
The remuneration committee that doubled executive salaries may be reconvened – CEO Janelle Holmes earned between £300 – 305,000 (including benefits) last year; yet to hear what she got when she was promoted. The governors may – choose to pay execs for what they do and not the multiples of clinician’s salary to show who’s boss.

You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one…

 

A Cammell Laird Christmas Carol – POSTPONED

Shortly after we published our Frank Field’s Casual Approach to Casualisation story  Wirral Globe inevitably and belatedly waded in with two stories providing the approved narrative that :  a) Cammell Laid CEO John Syvret is claiming that strike action is jeopardising future contracts and employment prospects and that b) Frank Field is working relentlessly behind the scenes to safeguard jobs. Unfortunately neither article addresses frigate in the dry dock and discuss what the strike action is actually all about.  Casualisation is obviously the new ‘C’ word !

Sadly for those wanting to show solidarity with striking Cammell Laird’s workers – especially those who received their redundancy notices this week –  and find out exactly why they are picketing the shipyard will be unable to do so as today’s planned gathering has been postponed. We’ll keep you posted about future developments:

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Futility

Today is the 100th anniversary of the day that Wilfred Owen was killed in the First World War. The irony being that Owen somehow managed to survive living in Birkenhead’s Willmer Road to write some of the world’s most celebrated war poetry.

Birkenhead has long made an issue of Owen’s tenure in the town. So what a terrible indictment and yet such an appropriate ‘tribute’ that the anniversary was marked by this picture :

Futility 017

We are with the statue on this one. Complete and utter futility.

The unveiling of the sculpture was widely heralded on MSM including BBC -read here and inevitably Wirral Globe ,who as ever indulged Birkenhead MP Frank Field with this piece of work titled Poppies spring up around Birkenhead for Wilfred Owen Commemoration . As Field says :

To commemorate, of course, is to do more than simply remember. It is to enshrine in the memory that which must never be forgotten.

We’d like to ask whether any of the MSM were around when the sculpture was due to be unveiled. An eyewitness tells us that at the specified time that there were a couple of people milling around complaining that there was nothing on social media to tell them the event was cancelled, a war veteran proudly wearing a poppy and a confused tourist astonished that the sculpture was placed opposite a building that was in the process of decay. For those who were there it will indeed be a memory that will never be forgotten – and for all the wrong reasons.

Now we don’t whether North West Construction were responsible for the debacle or whether they’ve been called in to rectify the situation but what a complete and utter shambles.

This was the shoddy scene that greeted visitors at the time the sculpture was due to be unveiled :

Futility 003

But then the people of Wirral are used to cover ups.Perhaps this was indeed the best way to commemorate the occasion . ‘Futility’ is the word…

Memo to Frank : When Owen wrote ‘ Move him into the sun’ he was asking for the last earthly enjoyment to be bestowed on someone about to die . It was NOT an exhortation to write for the ghastly rag of the same name… just sayin’!

Fieldwatch 3: ‘Everyone has their price…’

2CYNICS

We are really,really sorry we started this ‘Fieldwatch’ mullarkey .We promised we’d keep you posted on the media appearances of the political anomaly that is Frank Field. He’s the MP for Birkenhead but he’s not a Labour MP and not an independent MP either. What exactly is he? – all a bit unsatisfactory but as far as we’re concerned Frankenfield has been more than unsatisfactory for many a year.

However the alerts we get at Leaky Towers about Field are absolutely,bloody relentless . Media whore doesn’t come close to describing the media coverage this man craves from predictably, Wirral Globe and Liverpool Echo , inevitably The S*n, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph , The Guardian and surprisingly to Horticulture Week (!) to The Sydney Morning Herald… on and on and on it goes.

We’ll just concentrate on a couple of stories and taking a leaf out of Field’s playbook we admit that we’ve chosen them for our own purposes. If you want further details you’ll have to take us on trust and Google the stories yourself.

First – let us consider Frank and prostitution. He’s certainly got his money worth out of this particular ‘story’. There have been a number of press stories where he claims that women have been forced into walking the mean streets of Birkenhead directly because of the implementation of Universal Credit. It may be false,it may be true but nothing stops a Fieldian anecdote from becoming a press-worthy fact . What’s more surely he’s been well acquainted for a long time with people at Wirral Council getting big money for screwing over the people of Wirral (and sometimes each other)?

Second – and again inevitably – Field gegs in on the ‘Sir’ Philip Green being identified being ‘not a very nice person’ by Lord Hain using – some might say abusing – parliamentary privilege in the House of Lords . Who knew Green could be such a serious baddun’ ? We all bloody did!

Field’s press comments haven’t deviated from his own belief that Green is a baddun’ but skirts around the more problematic areas of NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements) where money is exchanged in return for silence, or bullying or allegations of racism. Might we suggest this could have something to do with such matters being a bit too close to home when it comes to his local political allies…

 

Is ‘Matron’ McLaughlin the next Labour resignation?

Curse of the Ugg Boots

Matron and the Curse of the Ugg Boots

A most curious message has arrived at Leaky Towers from someone describing themselves as ‘a veteran Labour member on Wirral’ who tells us :

Cllr Moira McLaughlin will resign the Labour whip tomorrow  morning ,announcing it in the ECHO

Ordinarily we’d be in ecstasies because  a) we’ve long held the view that Matron McLaughlin needed to exit from local politics a long time ago – 2012 to be precise  and b) we take pleasure in scuppering a Liverpool Echo ‘exclusive’  just as we did last week with the Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil Davies and his sudden resignation .

Indeed the Echo and Wirral Globe  seem to be taking it in turns to publish ‘exclusives’ about local Labour Party resignations/ hissyfits. ‘Orchestrated’ doesn’t come close to describing what’s going on here – all we need is cannons going off and we’d have the 1812 Overture!

However such is the fetid and febrile political atmosphere circulating around Wirral at the moment we don’t quite know what to make of the news especially as ,even more curiously , our source goes on to describe themselves as an ‘ experienced Labour member’ and provides us with this quote :

Moira’s resignation is further confirmation that hard-left elements have infiltrated the Labour Party, making it their mission to drive out hard-working community champions in a shameful power grab. These recycled Militants want to drag Wirral back to the 80s by installing disgraced former Council leader Yvonne Nolan as a Rock Ferry Candidate tonight. Nolan was hauled out of office over the poll tax debacle and like Derek Hatton shouldn’t be on the cusp of returning to front line politics under the Labour Party banner.
Cllr McLaughlin has served the people of Rock Ferry for over 20 years and has consistently stood up for her residents, helping fight against the worst effects of Tory austerity. It is a sad day for true Labour supporters. She will be sorely missed by the majority of decent Labour councillors and members.

The quote rather suggests to us that its from someone who’s not familiar with our blog , especially when it comes to Matron.  However we’ll be interested to hear of further developments and we’d particularly request a comment from Ms Nolan – who we know is a member of the Labour Party and has previously stood as a Labour councillor.

As we await further news it’s a question of pace your bets now as which Frank Field acolyte jumps before they’re pushed. The smart money is on Frankenfield’s faithful factotum and electoral agent Cllr George Davies…

Wirral Council ‘leader’ and his shock resignation : Power Boy Pip reaches the ‘Omega Point’

pipmirrorkisser

Power Boy Pip’s reflects on his political career  and decides smashing the mirror is easier than doing something about the distorted image. 

There are many curious aspects to Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’  announcement that he was packing in politics – not least the fact we got to exclusively reveal the news from a leaked email . As much as we appreciate the leak we would have thought a more appropriate forum for this momentous news would have been the previous evening’s full Wirral Council meeting.

Whilst Liverpool Echo just did a hasty cut and paste job with archive photos shortly after we’d published the story , clearly other parts of local MSM were geared up for the announcement as Wirral Globe managed to get the news into yesterday’s print edition. The Globe also managed to reference to Frank Field’s recent run-ins with the resurgent Labour left despite the fact that this did not feature in Pip’s epitaph for his political career.

We’ll be analysing both the resignation message and Power Boy Pip’s political career in a special commemorative,cut out and keep, full colour supplement on Sunday  titled ‘ THE 30 INGLORIOUS YEARS OF PIP’ – but for now all we’ll say is the hackneyed comment about him wanting to spend time with his long suffering family’  was not only reminiscent of resignations of Wirral Council’s past ( ex-CEOs Maddox and Burgess spring immediately to mind) but is also the time honoured phrase used by politicians just before the proverbial hits the fan…and oh believe us, it’s about to…

There have been various theories sent to us about the sudden announcement  and we believe it may be a combination of all of them. After  Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  reign of terror came to an end in 2012 in an unprecedented vote of no confidence , Power Boy Pip had the chance  to really ,really make a difference to the toxic culture of Wirral Council but instead chose the path of least resistance.

Ultimately it is a failure of Pip’s ‘leadership’ – the reliance on a handpicked spin doctor ,the failure to rein in out of control councillors ( Crabtree, Reecejones, Foulkes and George Davies for starters) ,the inability to say ‘NO!’ to Birkenhead MP Frank Field, the all consuming reputation management and the constant denial best exemplified by the fantasy  (Local Government Chronicle ‘Most Improved Council award) taking precedence over the reality (an ‘Inadequate’ rating of Wirral’s Children’s Services by Ofsted).

However it is also what French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin titled the “Omega Point”: “Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness and greater love! … For everything that rises must converge.”

It is about the rise of the Green Party in Birkenhead (the humiliation of defeat in next May’s local elections had become a reality for Pip) , it is about the rise of Labour left (being held to account by party members had never before been a reality for Pip) , it is about the rise of local blogs ( there is no hiding place for local politicians up to no good any more ) and it is about the rise of political activism from people of all political persuasions across Wirral (especially those defending the Green Belt and the NHS – the likes of which Wirral politicians have never experienced before) .

For everything that rises must converge and together we say that is what is  responsible for Pip’s demise…

 

 

Stressed Eric’s Vision : A Big Yellow Taxi Driving All Over The Green Belt

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We’ll leave the final words on putative plans to ‘pave paradise and put up a parking lot’ and proudly preview  ‘The Prof”s perfect riposte to the Cllr George Davies letter published in this week’s Wirral Globe . Let’s hope ‘The Prof’ gets equal prominence in next week’s publication.

TRUE LIES

George Davies’ Globe letter in response to mine demonstrates finally the degree to which Wirral residents have been let down by this council…and previous councils. The 20,620 sites with planning permission for building clearly EXPLICIT in Phil Davies letter to the Housing Minister in 31.01.18 were a mirage. The list of villains is increasing! First we had the ‘wicked government’ referred to by George Davies attacking our Green Belt and now the ‘wicked’  Peel Group who, to the ‘surprise and frustration’ of the council, have pointed out to the government that actually they only ever intended to build on 2,700 of the 13,521 sites under their control with planning permission. Have our naive council been stitched up by the developers or is somebody lying? Either way, Wirral residents are being poorly served. In his final thrust George Davies yet again conflates the issue of the council’s LEGAL, statutory duty to produce a Local Plan (some 18 year late) with the Green Belt issue. I repeat : we are being softened up for some hard decisions forced upon residents by decades of council incompetence and neglect. I have written and circulated an independent analysis of Green Belt sites in my own neighbourhood using the criteria defined by the council itself and and I urge local action groups to do the same in their areas and lobby local councillors as we are doing. A copy of my analyses has been sent to the Wirral Council Heritage Officer for the record. I would be happy to supply copies to any Green Belt activist groups via the Globe.

Professor D P Gregg (retired)

With all this all talk of housing developments and artist’s impressions and threats to the Green Belt going on and with Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson ‘s soon to be legendary comment that ‘Birkenhead Should Be Brooklyn, Not Another Manhattan’ ringing in our ears we’re minded once again to recall the lyrics to the song
‘Big Yellow Taxi’:

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique ( Hoylake Golf Resort?)
and a swinging hot spot ( The Townhouse ?)
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum ( finally a use for Birkenhead Town Hall?)
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em (a new income stream for the cash strapped council?)

 

Un-Peeling the Truth

Even More Homes 001
Congratulations to Wirral Globe who’ve followed up the past two weeks’ bogus front page stories about the Green Belt to a bullshit story about brownfield sites.

This one is headlined ‘Even More New Homes Are Due’ and we are treated to a picture Cllr ‘Gorgeous ‘ George Davies. Joy was further unconfined to find that the lead letter in the Globe’s Mailbox was also credited to Wirral Council’s Cabinet member for housing. Although no doubt there will be a Wirral Council officer somewhere who actually penned the letter, proudly showing their partner (or more probably their mother) and saying : ” I wrote that!”  Bullshit peddling – what a way to earn a living!

Anyway we know it can’t have been written by Davies as the letter is titled : ‘ Truth behind our Local Plan’ and as we all know this casual racist and smear campaign organiser isn’t even on nodding terms, let alone being acquainted with the  ‘truth’.

In the letter Cllr Davies tries to take on ‘The Prof’ and refute the claims made in the latter’s correspondence  (which we believe was the last to be printed in last week’s Globe and not given the prominence that Davies’ response gets) . We’d already previously published Professor Gregg’s letter here –  Summer Shorts : The Heat is On 2 – Quo Bono?

Let’s face it it was never going to be a meeting of minds was it?  Especially when ,unlike a supermarket trolley,  Cllr Davies doesn’t even have a mind of his own.

Nevertheless,seemingly displaying some rare insight that challenging ‘The Prof’ on facts is a dangerous game to play Davies resorts to the time-honoured tactic of ‘ner,ner,ner,ner,ner’ and tells him (and Globe readers) :

What the seemingly well-informed Prof Gregg doesn’t know is that since the earlier exchange of letters, Wirral Water’s owners Peel Group have been in touch with the Government directly , and to Wirral Council’s surprise and frustration ,have informed the new secretary of state they only intend to build 2,700 new homes at Wirral Waters over 15-year lifetime of the Local Plan

Surely anyone who reads Wirral Leaks must know that the Peel Group have been taking the piss (and public money and public property) for years. The contempt with which they hold Wirral Council (and us) is there for all to see. The thing is the former deserve it – we don’t!

Surprisingly it was left to Wirral South MP Alison McGovern to criticise Peel Group for “insufficient progress” in the press. Whither Frank Field and Angela Eagle now ? – especially the former who has consistently wet his knickers talking about all the wonderful things that are just about to happen in his Birkenhead constituency “tomorrow…next week… a month later… maybe next year… we need a five year action plan… these things take time…perhaps another 37 years ? …….meanwhile I’ve just conned money out of Wirral Council to open another foodbank. Hurrah for me, me ME!”

However what you won’t read on the front page of Wirral Globe or Wirral View (can anyone tell the difference these days?) is news from a ‘Wallasey Town Hall insider’ detailing some interesting developments involving a recent Wirral Council appointment and their intimate connection to……Peel Group.

We’ll be un-Peeling that forbidden fruit tomorrow…

Green Gauge Summer

Green Siege 003

Another week , another front page shock horror probe about the Green Belt courtesy of Wirral Globe.

Following on from Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson coming out from under his desk at Wallasey Town Hall to make a special guest appearance and announce his deep and heartfelt concern about Wirral’s green and pleasant land we now have a ‘leaked document’ which has been sent to the Wirral View , sorry , we mean Wirral Globe.

This ‘leaked document’ – yeah right ! -‘leaked’ from Wallasey Town Hall HQ  with full approval of council leaders and their lackeys by the looks of it- apparently tells us that :

A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral’s precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.

In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.

The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, “will fundamentally change the nature of our community.” Full story here : Leaked Document

Note how  councillors Phillip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore and Angela Davies don’t seem particularly bothered that the document has been leaked with the former commenting that : “Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals……”

No sorry to have to tell you  Phil , sweetheart , but what residents are pissed off about is being subject to the cynical media manipulation that’s going on here.

Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?

Oh and can anyone identify where the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is on the ‘Green Belt threat map’ – or is that not considered a threat? And if not why not?…

 

Summer Shorts : The Heat is On 2 – Quo Bono?

Green Belt Eric 008

This follow up to yesterday’s bogus  Stressed Eric ‘Green Belt’ Wirral Globe story is a timely reminder that on Wirral there is a need to question every front page ‘exclusive’ , especially when it comes to timing and motivation.

We are grateful for ‘The Prof’ for giving us a sneak preview of this  letter to the Globe editor

The Globe report on Green Belt development, quoting Eric Robinson, is puzzling.

We are told that ‘there is no other option’ than to build on the Green Belt and it’s the wicked government’s fault. It seems we must build 12,000 new homes by 2035 or ~700 per annum. This is all very strange.In February Phil Davies wrote to the CLG & H minister, Sajid Javid,  to reassure him all was well.

Here are the key bits:

‘Planning permission is currently in place for 16,098 homes, including 2,577 on existing urban and previously developed sites and up to 13,521 dwellings at a large regeneration site …at Wirral Waters…The council’s SHLAA  to April 2017 shows the potential for a further 4,531 dwellings, subject to viability…’Taking these numbers in total we have 20,620 homes with planning permission, or 29 years worth at the required rate of building. We are also told that ‘1,315 new dwellings were under construction in April 2017 compared to only 475 in April 2016’ an average of 895 homes per year in recent years compared with the average needed rate of ~700.

Clearly the ‘government’ required rate of building is possible to meet. Robinson’s view that new Green Belt land must be used is therefore puzzling. I also note Javid’s comment that Wirral ‘is not an area of high housing pressure’ which is interesting. Javid’s attack was not about numbers but about Wirral’s failure to meet the statutory duty to have a Local Plan in place. The last plan was published in 2000 !

To conflate statutory plan duties with Green Belt release issues is arguably mischievous. Is all this blather something to do with forcing through pet council Green Belt schemes like the ‘Golf Resort’? Tax payers might reasonably ask, Quo Bono?

Professor D P Gregg (retired)

So there we have a perfect riposte with facts,figures and everyfink ! – and ending with the pertinent question as to who benefits from bogus front page stories like this ?
PS  Oh and to the reader who asked us whether the name at bottom left of the Globe picture was a subliminal message – well spotted. You win a Chinese meal , a recording device and four blank cheques courtesy of Wirral Council.