Float On

Today there was a good news story today splashed (!) over the Wirral Globe website announcing Government funding for New Brighton’s Marine Lake transformation

Apparently the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) will be providing a grant for the princely sum of £38,594  to pay for ‘a floating ‘event platform’ to create ‘Animate Marine Lake New Brighton’.  So, basically a giant float. Which we’re sure we all agree that when it comes to planning and regeneration is a drop in the River Mersey.

Meanwhile on a macro planning level there was a further announcement today from MHCLG about Wirral Council today which whilst far more significant in the scheme of things found itself being announced in the rather more obscure Planning Resource website which can only be accessed via a pay wall.

Here we discovered that ‘ten local authorities have fallen below the government’s ‘special measures’ threshold for the proportion of application decisions made within the statutory timescales, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)’.

And of those ten councils we’ll give you one guess as to which authority was the worst performing in the country :

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Which again we’re sure we can all agree that this doesn’t augur well for the ambitious developments we keep reading about the Local Plan ,Wirral Growth Company, and Wirral Waters (One), especially when it comes to these plans being realised any time soon.

But never mind there’ll always be plenty more artist’s impressions in the local press and a ‘floating event platform’ to keep the Wirral Council’s regeneration plans afloat in the public imagination.

 

Wirral Well Hard : Another Liptrot Mystery

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The Liptrot Mystery established from the outset that Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies pet PR -person Martin Liptrot was a man of mystery.

The main mystery of course being how did he keep repeatedly landing well remunerated and influential posts at Wirral Council ? We’d call him enigmatic if that didn’t carry connotations of being vaguely interesting . Liptrot is only interesting to us in the sense of the famous curse  ‘May you live in interesting times’.

Curse

We are certainly living in ‘interesting times’ and particularly at Wirral Council with several high profile departures in the offing (more on those in forthcoming posts). However in the aftermath of the Stewart Halliday affair we’d alluded to reports that Liptrot had also recently slipped out the back door (not a euphemism).

Try as we might, we’ve been trying to find out the whys and wherefores of this potentially intriguing development. However our usual sources are on pain of death to reveal anything at the moment so we’ve had to resort to a bit of research (i.e Google) .

As you can see above from our first port(al) of call Liptrot was NOT FOUND at the now seemingly defunct ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ website (can somebody tell us what the bloody full stops are all about ?) We could never quite work out what ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ was, other than Liptrot’s stupidly titled marketing tool (not a euphemism) and the PR arm of the Wirral Growth Company , which now appears to have taken over the website under its own name with the ‘Wirral.Well Made.’ imprint consigned to a domain name. Furthermore there have been no Facebook posts on the ‘Wirral. Well Made.’ page since mid-February and nothing on their Twitter feed since December.

All of which adds to the mystery and inevitably leads to speculation, not least from those pesky kids at Leaky Towers. We ask ourselves : Is the latest ‘Liptrot Mystery’ further fallout from the Stewart Halliday scandal? Is it anything to do with the infamous alleged  Train Rage  incident? Or is it Liptrot’s realisation that with your personal benefactor bailing out that the ‘belligerence and bullshit’ game is up?

As we know how Wirral Council are keen to promote their business and regeneration flagship that they will be anxious to quash this speculation and in the public interest clarify the situation about Liptrot’s crucial role in the future success of the Wirral Growth Company…and no, we don’t need another artist’s impression.

Liptrot pose

Mean and moody Marty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Halliday Report – Money for the few not the many…

Greed

The things we do for you people – like reading a turgid INTERNAL AUDIT REVIEW INTO PAYMENTS MADE TO FORGE HOUSE ASSOCIATES LTD  of a Sunday afternoon. Our first observation is that Forge House Associates Ltd is an exercise in nominative determinism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Charles Dickens novel.

Our second observation is that it’s the usual Wirral Council evasions and obfuscations  where you get the general impression that SOMETHING’S NOT QUITE RIGHT. But then what do you expect from a report written by Chief Internal Auditor Mark ‘Knobhead’ Niblock? A parallel universe where everything is done correctly and yet still manages to be a monumental cock up.

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Due to the strangulated language it’s left to the reader to join the dots and reach the conclusion that NOBODY KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING . Nevertheless it is still evident that what’s going on here is a spectacular systemic failure – particularly a failure of scrutiny and a failure of due diligence.

One recommendation that had the steam coming out of our ears was this :

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We can only presume Wirral managers will be told that to ensure ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ that they :  i) Try Google ii) Try Google

However what had us banging our head against the wall in sheer frustration was contained in ‘Appendix 2 – Timeline of events relating to Forge House Associates LTD to the referral to Internal Audit on 16 January 2019′

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Here we learn : “The Senior Accountant  confirmed that the spend relates to the Growth Company, The Transformation Team is currently responsible for getting it up and running and when it becomes an actual functioning entity the responsibility for spend will be transferred to economic and Housing growth.   Although Economic and Housing Growth are accountable for the spend, they do not have control or any real knowledge  of what is being processed and paid against the code.The Senior Accountant confirmed that in preparation for the budget monitoring meeting, the transactions report was examined relating to the Economic and Housing Growth budget, for any errors/miscodes etc…

One large spend related to DWF LLP (Legal Services) who the Senior Accountant knew of. However, the other large spend was for Forge House Associates Limited and the Senior Accountant did not know who this company was and what services they actually provide. Therefore, the Senior Accountant tried to obtain this information from the company website, using google as the search engine. The Senior Accountant could not find a website for the company.

During the meeting the Senior Accountant, Assistant Director – Regeneration & Inward Investment, Lead Commissioner – Place and Investment and the Economic Development Lead discussed the fact that they do not know who the company is and what they do and they agreed to look into the matter further.

You do the math – all those highly paid public servants acting like incompetent tin pot property tycoons…at our expense. But then this is what happens when it’s NOT YOUR MONEY that’s being frittered away. No wonder Halliday found the perfect safe haven in Wirral after facing no sanctions after he fled City of York Council.

What’s more, are we the only ones asking what exactly did the people of Wirral get for the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS that was lavished on Halliday during his increasingly questionable time at Wirral Council?

 

 

 

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…

‘Bring It On’ – The Brand New World of Wirral Council

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The only way to start this journey was to bravely use honesty of the past in order to present a different future

They call it ’employer brand’

We call it ‘reputation management’

Nowadays the ultimate goal in personal achievement is to become a ‘brand’. From royalty to rock stars to multi-nationals to public institutions. A world where a logo and a strapline become a recognisable saleable commodity and human worth is counted in economic units.

Now if any organisation needed a re-branding we all know its Wirral Council especially after several lamentable attempts in the past which have done nothing to shift the public perception of a toxic,dysfunctional organisation. Those of us who remember ‘What Really Matters’ and ‘Destination Excellence’ might be forgiven for thinking that yet another costly shit-glittering exercise couldn’t any more woeful. We were wrong.

We’ve previously posted a link to Bring It On Wirral  and we would implore you to  particularly view  The Roles .  We think you’ll find it hard to disagree with an apoplectic reader who wrote to us with the following questions :

What the fuck is this????

Who is paying for this?

Why is it only officers, are elected officials irrelevant? 

What is the purpose of this website?

How much is it costing to set up and run?

All we do know is that the media geniuses behind this farrago are Penna . On their website they tell us :

A very recent example of bold EVP development is the work Penna has developed for its client Wirral Council. On a big change journey Wirral asked us to create a leadership employer brand that truly positioned the Council in a fresh, more dynamic and commercially focused way. Through research and fact-finding meetings reviewing their past, present and future we developed some compelling messages aimed at both supporting and challenging some of the perspectives the external audiences held.  

Centred around a leading strapline of “Bring in on” (sic) we developed advertising collateral, a microsite and a video. The investment in attraction will be realised when people have a different view of Wirral and start to see them as an employer of choice. The only way to start this journey was to bravely use honesty of the past in order to present a different future

www.bringitonwirral.co.uk  – Still live the campaign has so far received over 1.25M impressions with 1,500 clicks through to the microsite for more information. Enormously satisfied with the applications so far (and with fresh and new people coming through), we are confident that finding ways of embracing a brand identification (or re-identification) can be fundamental to any such strategy being a success.

There’s more to do to change and embed new perceptions of Wirral, but the campaign is a real positive start. Paul Satoor, Chief Operating Officer said ‘I recognised that we needed to a bold and impactful employer brand if we are serious about what we wanted to achieve. By creating ‘Bring it On’ Penna have captured the essence of our ambition and aspiration, and although we have a long way to go it is an employer brand that we can be proud of and we are already seeing a positive impact on our recruitment campaigns’

Read more here

If you managed to view members of The Senior Team (and some random extras) repeatedly uttering the immortal words ‘ Bring it on’ without gagging you’re doing well – for us it was not so much a case of ‘Bring it on’ but ‘Bring it up’ !  Our first impression was that we don’t know what filter Penna were using on ‘the Senior Team’ but can we suggest that ‘slapped across the face with a frozen kipper’ is not a good look.  We also noticed that it was left  to a kiddiewink to read the line ‘no fibbers’ . Might we suggest that after  finding out that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy don’t exist that Wirral Council having ‘no fibbers’ will be the poor boy’s third big disappointment in life.  More significantly what is Children’s Services Director Paul Boyce doing talking about the Wirral Growth Company? And as for the performance of Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson is there anyone less suited to uttering the gung ho expression ‘Bring it on’ ?

Bring it on ?  Wirral Council should be careful what it wishes for , whatever the branding Wirral Leaks doesn’t need any further encouragement, especially as we ain’t buyin’ what they’re sellin’…

EXCLUSIVE : What’s in a Name? – Is this the real reason the controversial, high profile Stewart/Stuart Halliday appointment was suddenly dropped by Wirral Council?

We have been made aware that the attached four invoices (see below) , each referring to Forge House Associates Ltd and including an amount claimed for VAT, were dated AFTER the company was compulsorily dissolved by Companies House (first Gazette notice 10 July 2018; final Gazette notice 25 September 2018).
The invoices relates to work to support the “Wirral Growth Company” and includes the company number 10306493.
  • 21 October: £16,189.50
  • 16 November 2018: £15,152.63
  • 14 December 2018: £16,333.30
  • 11 January 2019: £9,600

So far, so familiar – for as we know from the BIG/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods debacle Wirral Council don’t seem to concern themselves with the status or personnel of companies when it comes to distributing public money.

So what’s the big deal here?

Well it may interest you to know that there were 2 directors of Forge House Associates, an Elizabeth Stead and one… Stuart Halliday.

 

On 3rd October 2018 a new company, “Forge House Associates Lincs” was incorporated, this time with just Elizabeth Stead as the sole director, although Stuart Halliday owns 50% shares in the company (Company number 11602174).

However the now dissolved Forge House Associates continued to invoice the Council up until January 2019 when the “financial irregularities” were brought to the attention of the Council. Could this have been the route via which Halliday’s consultancy fees ( circa £4K a week!) were paid prior to his short lived appointment as the new Director of Housing and Economic Growth?

We understand that the HMRC and Companies House are now investigating and under the circumstances we think it is reasonable to assume that this could be the reason that Stewart / Stuart was dropped by the Council .

After persistent rumours we have also been made aware that Martin Liptrot – from ‘Wirral Well Made’ , which from what we can gather is the PR arm of the Wirral Growth Company – has also allegedly been removed from his post with immediate effect. As Wirral Council are currently on lockdown about this alleged departure we don’t know if the two matters are related.  However when we get more information – and we will – we’ll let you know.

And so with the departure of Brian Bailey, and now Stewart Halliday, this will result in yet  further delays to Wirral’s beleaguered and long overdue Local Plan. Surely now we could have hoped that the Council would bring in a new Director of Housing and Economic Growth who would have a strong background in, well, housing and economic growth and, as he is the man to bring forward the Local Plan,  a thorough understanding of national planning policy. Apparently the man to now take forward the Local Plan is to be Paul Satoor a man who has a “strong background in organisational transformation, human resources and organisational development”.

http://www.bringitonwirral.co.uk/the-senior-team/

All of which leaves us fearing that this may not turn out well for the likes of the Local Plan ,Wirral Waters or the Green Belt but it will certainly continue to keep us in business !

Please note we have edited the bank and personal contact details of company director from the following invoices (and apologies for the wonky screenshots – it’s a late night for us!) :

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Enter Stage Right

Red Right

One thing that we failed to mention in our Exit Stage Left story concerned with Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin’s bitter and twisted ‘personal statement’ at Monday’s full Council meeting was her mention of the threat of  the ideological driven ‘hard left’ and those who have ‘no ideology but will do the bidding’ . Like that’s never happened before! For far too long Labour councillors have been willing to back all kinds of abuses of power as long as they got an easy ride and the only ideology at play was pure self interest.

However Matron may want to do some research as to whether the ‘lefties’ are quite as ideologically pure and driven as she makes out.Also at Monday’s meeting Bromborough Labour councillors Jo Bird and Joe Walsh vote in favour of building a housing estate with a golf course attached on  Wirral’s Green Belt. Perhaps they think it’s for social housing and communal sporting facilities and not luxury homes and an exclusive private golf course?

Another example of Matron applying the blinkers when it came to having a pop at former Labour council leader Yvonne Nolan and her being ‘parachuted in’ to safe Labour ward was when it came to up and coming Labour councillor Liz Grey. As you can see from correspondence we’ve received below there is currently a ‘wrong’ and a ‘right’ sort of socialist. Which is which is becoming increasingly hard to tell!

Hi

So as Frank Field prepares to embark on his new career as an ‘Educator’ with his new Free School for Birkenhead perhaps he has a position in mind for the rapidly rising star on Labour’s benches at Wirral Council

Elizabeth Grey ( Liz to the comrades) managed to convince the good members of Bidston St James to select her despite being another emigre . They also don’t seem to have a problem her being the Head of Religious Education at the prestigious (and private fee paying) Birkenhead School.

Comrade Grey obviously doesn’t see any problem with private education and would no doubt be an asset to Mr Field’s new school.Either way it’s reassuring that despite announcing his ‘retirement’ Phil Davies is still scrabbling around gettting as many of his place men (or women) into position as possible to try and force his Golf Course, Growth Company and privatisation of the NHS through before he leaves the people of Wirral to clean up his shitty mess…

Consultations and Cover Ups

We’ve been concentrating on a series of special reports but couldn’t let a few recent local news stories pass without comment.

Consultations

Tomorrow’s Wirral Council Cabinet meeting will feature announcements about two upcoming consultations which have been heralded in the local press. First up we have a press release in Wirral Globe where Cllr Angela Davies tells us she’s excited. However the former short lived Change Grow Live employee is not excited that Christmas is coming. Oh no! she’s excited because there’s exciting plans and she has an artist’s impression to prove it. Generously she wants to share her excitement with us :

Wirral Growth Company's artists impression of what some of the Birkenhead town centre redevelopment could look like

Only by listening and engaging with local residents and deliver thousands of new jobs. We will be asking the question: ‘What sort of place do you want Birkenhead to be?’ and soliciting ideas about improving the public realm, establishing more residential opportunities in and around the town centre and expanding the leisure, retail and cultural offers available.After too many false dawns, Wirral residents are now looking forward to being asked to shape real plans and a concrete set of proposals to regenerate Birkenhead as the commercial and retail heart of Wirral.Wirral Growth Company is an ambitious partnership between Wirral Council and a private sector regeneration specialist, but it needs to be informed by the views of local residents and businesses across the town. This consultation will provide the qualitative and quantitative regeneration evidence base which has been missing.Wirral Growth Company has established some provisional ideas for what a rejuvenated Birkenhead could look like – a new market, improved retail and leisure offers and up to 300,000sq.ft of Grade A office space.The Council is excited by these initial ideas and feedback already received has been positive, but it’s now the turn of local residents to say what they aspire to see. Rebuilding work in Birkenhead could start as early as Spring 2019, so over the coming weeks and months I am proposing the Council and its partners conduct this wide ranging consultation, outreach and engagement to gather the views of local residents.

Full press release here : Birkenhead regeneration consultation

It’s not just the dawns that are false Angie. Are you really telling us that Wirral Growth Company was set up with NO qualitative/quantitative at evidence base ? This consultation is beginning to look like “The people who get paid huge amounts of public money to think up new ideas haven’t got any – so can you lot come up with some for us ?” So here’s one from us – how about turning Birkenhead into Dubai on the Mersey and build a skyscraper hanging from the sky as let’s face it all of these consultations and artist’s impressions are already pie in the sky anyway.

 

Next up on the consultation front is keen royalist Cllr Janette ‘Milly Tant’ Williamson who is introducing  a consultation on how Wirral Council should  spend the few quid that Wirral Council have left in the coffers with her Budget saving plan . If the Cabinet meeting wasn’t so early we’d suggest organising a drinking game for every time Williamson uses the phrase ‘Tory cuts’. Perhaps she’ll regale us with tales from her time working for the Insolvency Service. Or perhaps not …

Cover Ups

The other story we couldn’t help commenting on was  ‘Embarrassing’ council slammed after failing in 90% of complaints – with some taking YEARS to complete where we find Conservative councillors Tony Cox ( ’embarrassing’) and Chris Blakeley  (absolutely appalling’) commenting on the abject failure of ALL councillors to properly police complaints against themselves but failing to acknowledge that it was Wirral Councillors who agreed to the utterly woeful ‘Standards’ regime that is currently in place. Even Wirral Council’s leading apologist/lawyer Philip McCourt concurred the Council had ‘failed’. Inevitably Labour councillor Chris Jones chipped in that she was ‘happy’ with a 90% failure rate.Which let’s face it is a 10% improvement on most aspects of the ruling administration’s achievements.

This all comes after the recent case brought against Cllr Paul Hayes by Professor Maggie Atkinson ,the touchy Chair of the Wirral Safeguarding Board which we reported here. If somebody had just explained to Atkinson that commenting on the public perception of a cover up is a legitimate course of action for a councillor and is not the same as being accused of being part of a cover up perhaps Wirral Council could have saved a lot of time and money on this particular (non)-case.

Just a shame no-one from the Tory group (or any councillor) has seen fit to make a public comment on a notorious long running cover up involving Wirral Council . We suppose it will be down to us ,once again ,to dissect this particular one in a future ‘Special Report’ :

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Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #16

STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS 

PuppetMaster

Desperate stuff from beleaguered Wirral Council leader  Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the announcement that those French puppets on steroids will be visiting your shores in the autumn .

Wirral Council leader Phil Davies said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Giants across the Mersey for the first time.Wirral is thriving – we have huge regeneration schemes coming to fruition, thousands of jobs being created through our Wirral Growth Company, and a programme of incredibly exciting events taking place throughout the year as part of Imagine Wirral. Working with our colleagues in the Liverpool City Region to bring huge events like the Giants to our shores is exactly the kind of thing we should be doing.These events attract thousands of visitors to our region, boosting local businesses and helping local people and families create memories which will stay with them forever.”

Read full story here : Giants

Is anyone taken in by this ocean-going, international bullshit? Just you watch Power Boy Pip will be gegging in on the Tranmere Rovers ascendancy to the Football League next. However can we just remind everyone he’s talking about puppets.  They maybe bloody big puppets but the expression ‘Bread & Circuses’ comes to mind. We can admire the artistry and the technical skill involved but at the end of the day they’re just bloody big puppets.

And Lord knows Pip must know what that feels like! Let’s face it he (and others) have been Frank Field’s puppets for years!

BIRKENHEAD BID – DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO

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You may remember we’ve previously covered the hyperbole surrounding award-winning  Wirral Chamber of Commerce offshoot Birkenhead Business Improvement District (BID) who made a big deal about cleaning  up the town like Gary Cooper in ‘High Noon’  Read more here : Chamber of Horrors

So imagine our surprise ( not!) to receive this message and the accompanying  photo above:

Good to see the Birkenhead BID outfit who take money of businesses in Birkenhead to tidy the town up.Maybe they should sort their own shop out!

 

KINGDOM COME LATELY

We note with a certain amount of cynicism how suddenly everyone seems to be gegging in on the litter Hitlers known as Kingdom Security and how they are simply aghast at their practices.  The newest guest late to the party is ‘Local Democracy Reporter’ Tom  ‘Media’ Houghton . We’ll be returning to the matter of ‘Local Democracy Reporters’ at a later date but meanwhile here’s his Eye Watering Sums story which notes that  Kingdom began issuing fixed penalty notices on behalf of Wirral Council back in July 2015. Shame we started raising concerns about Kingdom within months of their appointment : Cash for Trash

As we said way back then ‘Fixed Penalty Notices’ are not about caring about the environment but about cold hard cash for a wasteful council.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

Another story covered by Young Tom was the announcement that a couple of Wirral pubs would be turned into a) flats and b) a restaurant and which informed us :

Paul Doughty, who is the agent involved in the proposals, said: “It’s a well-located building in a prominent position and we are hoping these plans will be approved.There’s been no objections to date. The client already has a successful restaurant in Prenton. There’s a shortage of good quality places to go and have a meal in Birkenhead generally, so we are hoping it will be a good addition to the local economy – creating jobs and providing a place for people to eat and socialise.”

Full story here : Changes

Could this be COUNCILLOR Paul ‘Danceaway’ Doughty we ask ourselves? If so Doughty seems to have become involved with a ‘colourful character’  by the name of ‘Michael’ Read more here : Wirral Life -But Not As We Know It!

It would certainly explain as to why a member of the public questioned the number of Labour election posters that were recently on display above the restaurant where ‘Michael’ is the manager.

Of course Doughty is not a stranger to such hook ups having previously been involved with another ‘colourful character ‘ – notorious flytipper Arthur Morgan. Read more here :  Architecture and Morality

Might we suggest that Mr Houghton would unearth a particularly rich seam if he cared to investigate these connections further.

POTHOLE OF THE WEEK 

King Street, Wallasey. Not so much a pothole as a ravine.

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AND FINALLY 

An outfit by the name of Angelfish Opinions are actually willing to pay you money to tell them what you think of Wirral Council. So are they paying you your own money back to tell them how Wirral Council waste your money in the first place? If so claim your rebate now! This is from their Facebook page : Angelfish Opinions Facebook

CALLING LOVELY PEOPLE FROM THE WIRRAL – WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are looking for people who live in Wirral aged 20+ to attend an interactive 90 minute group workshop to share your ideas and views on the councils public services.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 24th May at either 6pm – 7:30pm or 8pm – 9:30pm and as a thank you for your time you will recieve £30 in cash at the venue.

To register your interest, please apply using the link below:
https://hubs.ly/H0c081-0

Don’t forget to refer friends and family for the chance to receive £10 Love2Shop per successful referral that takes part!

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Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #13

Mr T

CARPET BURNS 

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

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

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

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

STUCK IN TRAFFIC

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

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

Read more here : Network Management Plan

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

BCEGI TO DIFFER

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

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