We feel the need to mark the occasion of our millionth hit with a great big thank you.
1 million and counting…..
We feel the need to mark the occasion of our millionth hit with a great big thank you.
1 million and counting…..
Well,well, well what a difference a Wirral Leaks blog post makes . We’ve been sent this picture by a grateful reader after the clean up operation to remove the obscene graffiti on the substation at the bottom of Holt Hill, Birkenhead. They also tell us the weather has picked up since Monday! So, it’s all good!
If we re-publish the original picture below we’re sure we can all agree that whoever was assigned the de- graffiti task has done a really good job.
However call us cynical – guilty as charged – but we couldn’t help but ask ourselves was the prompt action prompted by the upcoming local elections. Indeed it is all very reminiscent of a story we ran almost exactly two years ago when the local elections were last held.
That particular story was appropriately titled The Shame Game and highlighted a derelict billboard site on Borough Road , Birkenhead which had been in a terrible state for a long time. A local resident contacted us and hey presto! – next thing you know the site is cleared and the billboard restored!
As we wrote at the time :
After complaining to Wirral Council to no avail about fly-tipping and general dereliction in their neighbourhood it only takes a few shaming pictures to us and lo and behold the situation is sorted first thing the following week , as clearly someone with the power to do so has picked up the phone and told someone to sort it pronto!
We are expecting a photo-op with a local councillor taking the credit in an election leaflet any time soon. This shamelessly happened after the clean up of the waste ground on Oxton Rd/Balls Rd East just up the road from the scenes above when Council “leader” Power Boy Pip Davies posed with a hapless local shopkeeper despite the site being left in a mess for many months before we were contacted by a despairing and long -suffering local resident who’d had enough of the biblical-like plague of bluebottles putting the fly into flytipping.
We’ve commented before that Wirral Council seem to be operating a system of governance by blog – as it seems that be it street lights, potholes , thieves , unlawful parking charges ,the hiring of consultants, cover ups ,the sexual imbroglios of senior managers or the corruption of councillors it seems the only way to get Wirral Council to do anything about “cleaning up the mess” is to shame them into it!
Apologies for the late arrival of the Leaky Awards 2017 but we’ve been inundated with suggestions for nominations. Furthermore ‘Her Ladyship’ had to arrange to borrow a dress and a pair of sparkly shoes from Wirral Chamber of Commerce CEO , ‘Princess’ Paula Basnett for the occasion. Times are hard (for the less well connected anyway).
However without further ado – let the ceremony commence ! This year we’ve had to divide the awards into sections starting with ‘Quotes of the Year’ . This is because 2017 proved to be a bumper year from beginning to end for foot in mouth, face palm and WTAF memorable quotes that have (dis)graced our pages . We’ll also revisit some past glories and provide details of where you can purchase your very own Wirral Leaks Inspirational Fridge Magnets
“You need to pay back the £19,000 bitch, or I will do what happened to that MP today” – Jim Crabtree , ex-Wirral councillor. After the story originally broke on Wirral Leaks it is finally revealed at Wirral Magistrate’s Court what ‘ Crabby’ actually said in the death threat made to former Labour colleague Cllr Louise Reecejones during a drunken late night telephone call. The MP referred to, was of course, murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
” People are C’s – never ceases to amaze me how horrible people can be to others” – Andrew Moore, diminutive solicitor hired by Wirral Council tweets to the world the benefit of his experience. Could C stand for councillor we ask ourselves?
‘I believe the findings of this investigation speak broadly for themselves. To speculate further upon those findings here risks undermining the analytical, data-led approach I and others have been careful to maintain.’ – Cllr Philip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore, Labour councillor shuts down any debate during a Committee meeting about the proposed reduction of Wirral councillors from 66 to 44 with a supremely pompous ‘we know best’ comment.
‘ I only found out (who was on the panel) via Wirral Leaks. Thank goodness for them in some ways, but that’s no way to run an open and transparent Council ‘ – Cllr Lesley Rennie , Conservative councillor with the barnet as hard as a bobby’s helmet begrudgingly bemoans the fact that she found out who was on the panel that led to the infamous appointment of Labour spin merchant Martin Liptrot to a ‘transformer’ role at Wirral Council only via this blog.
“It’s about cultural potential; reclaiming Wirral’s industrial heritage; pop-ups and meanwhile spaces and enthusiastic people who want to change perceptions, make a difference and try something new.” Wirral Chamber of Commerce describe their role in Wirral Council sponsored first (and last?) ‘Festival of Beautiful Ideas’ (!) held in Birkenhead/Woodside. For clarification we think a ‘meanwhile space’ is more usually known as a ‘shed’ . As for trying something new and considering the location we were thinking did they mean ‘Spice’ ? ‘Ket’? or ‘Bath Salts’ ?
“I have been imposed by Jeremy . I have the indignity of the leader imposing me on the party” – “I would collapse soon, it would be over. I hope to hit the wall running, that’s the aim.” – Frank Field , Birkenhead MP and droll wag muses on the double threat of Momentum and retirement respectively. We heartily endorse the latter sentiment and the sooner the better.
“(The investigator) found the actions of Cllr Reecejones were designed to threaten,intimidate,undermine and cause difficulties at work “ and her evidence was ‘inconsistent, vague and misleading’ – Standards Panel Investigation report
As for Crabby well he is one vile disgusting bully who goes around picking on women. His words to me were, ” your a f@@@ing Deaf, Fat Bitch”.This was I (sic) front of school children at the holocaust memorial service.Crabby refuses to answer to the complaint and will slope off as he has been deselected.There is another one you may be interested in but I will give you her next week after I’ve met with the whip, some interesting times ahead with key people leaving the group at May’s elections, positions are up for grabs and scary times ahead for who will become chair of the group etc. And I haven’t I have had him suspended and took him to task, I’m not an easy push over I just don’t believe this man should be near politics or vulnerable people.
Wirral Leaks : You need to look higher up. Crabtree is a nonentity.
– Cllr Louise Reecejones speaks candidly to Wirral Leaks about life in the local Labour Party
“I’m in favour of Wirral Leaks. If I was the Council I’d pay them money to find out what was going on in my Council” – Frank Field , Birkenhead MP speaks candidly to a local constituent who records him for posterity.
“However we know that the service faces many challenges and there are also clearly some significant corporate issues hindering the ability of the service to be more efficient.” – Eleanor Brazil , Children’s Services troubleshooter fails to speak candidly about why she bailed out on Wirral Council and leaves us all to interpret exactly what she means by ‘significant corporate issues’
Christmas has traditionally been the time when Wirral Council likes to bury bad news. Christmas 2017 is no exception. If hadn’t been for the perspicacity of pernickety blogger John Brace picking up on the fact that the documents which were denied public scrutiny at Monday’s Wirral Council Cabinet meeting were published on their website. Wirral Leaks is, of course , blocked from accessing the Wirral Council website so we are eternally grateful for John’s revealing article. Which you can read here : Golden Goodbye
As you can see the last of the Super Duper Directors Joe Blott is set for what Brace calls a £390K + ‘golden goodbye’ – although we prefer the term ‘ arse -covering bung’. Why such a significant sum for someone so insignificant we hear you ask ? Mainly because Blott knows where all the bodies are buried and what’s more he helped bury them !
But before we explore that further let’s just ponder the abject failure of former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess and his ‘big idea’ of appointing 3 Super Duper Directors. Where on God’s green earth would Blott, Kevin ‘Addled’ Adderley and Clare ‘Wet’ Fish be in a position to earn six figure salaries for achieving fuck all? Sorry that’s harsh – there was that Ofsted report rating Children’s Services ‘ inadequate’ wasn’t there?
But back to Blott – there isn’t a recent Wirral Council cover up his itsy, bitsy, dirty little fingers aren’t all over. However we’re saying his involvement in the ‘Wirralgate’ cover up is the main reason for his premium payment – at our expense. His conduct throughout has been utterly reprehensible . From lying to Patricia Thynne during her first investigation report by claiming he didn’t say ‘no comment’ when asked by a Wirralgate complainant as to why they weren’t investigating the Cllr George Davies ‘sweetheart deal’ (and you don’t think they didn’t record you saying that Joe?) to scampering round at Cllr Steve Foulkes Standards Panel hearing following the second Patricia Thynne investigation circumventing public scrutiny at every turn. Arselicking as an art form – but then it pays so well!
In his own way Joe Blott is a microcosm – and boy do we mean micro – of everything that is wrong with local government. The personification of How To Get Ahead In Local Government . The ultimate exponent of the ‘Kiss Up Kick Down’ management style that reaps rich rewards. The type to butter you up and then go behind your back.
We just wonder where next for the wunderkind and whether , as previously reported, he’ll end up topping up his pension pot by fulfilling his ambition to go into business with totally bona fide Labour councillor Paul ‘ Dance Away’ Doughty Blott’s Pension Pot
At least those business cards wouldn’t go to waste , eh Joe?
We’d like to thank our readers for the supportive comments that came in following the news of His Lord and Ladyship’s departure far from the madding crowd.
One of our long standing contributors and commentators, Dr Robert Smith, penned a reply that we felt was too good to languish in our replies section. It’s not so much a tribute as an insightful analysis of why we did what we did. As far as we’re concerned Dr Smith has it taped (or should that be tapewormed?). And for that we will be eternally grateful. Remember folks, surround yourself with people who get it…..
I see the function of Wirral Leaks over the last 7 years in this way.
You saw Wirral Council as a Council in trouble ie a very ‘sick organisation’ on the verge of Government intervention. This sick organisation was making many very questionable decisions which fly in the face of its own publicly stated claims and its raison d’être.
Wirral Leaks addressed an ‘information deficit’ on behalf of the unsuspecting people of Wirral, bringing to public attention the fact that Wirral Council was rapidly becoming a parasitic organisation which did not have a symbiotic relationship with its host, ie the resident and tax paying public it is there to serve, but had by then, grown into a type of parasite or cancer that eats away at the host for survival.
Behind the smoke and mirrors charade of an ‘Improvement Board’, the parasite grows stronger by the day, and as any public challenges are ignored, and any ‘audits’ and potentially incriminating evidence from ‘investigations’ is shielded from the public, it grows its protective shield of interdependent compromised councillors, compromised senior officers, and compromised external ‘partners’.
The parasite or cancer then enters an all-consuming survival phase and, when threatened, produces a façade of concern and respectability, a contrived myth of competence, all the time growing and absorbing the resources intended for the people of the borough.
For the self-serving and compromised there is much at stake should any scrutiny genuinely be allowed, or genuinely impartial reviews undertaken. This serves to compromise internal and external scrutiny, being held accountable and negates the concept of responsibility. The ‘bar’ has not been lowered, it has been completely removed. The proclaimed ‘independence’ of many third parties and partners is compromised by conflicting relationships, and these are then sucked into the parasitic organisation’s sel-serving network, and so it grows stronger as there is no meaningful independent scrutiny.
Wirral Leaks however, over 7 years, has continually revealed and endeavoured to ‘excise’ the parasitic or cancerous elements by public exposure of these insidious events, needing the democratic equivalent of surgical removal, or ‘containment’, by public action at the ballot box.
What if there is no public action at the ballot box? Has the parasite grown stronger than those which it supposedly serves? Does it feast on public resources to grow even stronger, more impenetrable and self-serving, as a self-sustaining corporate body bereft of any genuine concern, obligation or conscience associated with its public service duties?
Yes, it does, and as this imbalance grows and Wirral Council and its senior managers become the parts of an organisation which must be protected at any and all costs, with all public resources, be it money, employee skills and expertise, buildings, service delivery, etc., being sacrificed to feed the beast.
Wirral Leaks has recognised in this case, as medical practitioners do, that a point is reached where no further intervention will make any difference to a situation where a parasitoid-type organisation reflects the life-cycle of a parasitic or cancerous organism that spends a significant portion of its life history attached to or within a single host organism (Wirral electorate and residents) in a relationship where the host is ultimately killed.
Wirral Council will suck the life out of Wirral and its people to ensure its organisational survival. The inevitability of the outcome is certain, and as we know, Wirral Council is the greatest threat to Wirral’s future.
It is therefore now the time to walk away, as the all-consuming rot continues unabated.
Dr Robert B Smith FCMI
” Completely poisonous and insulting” – Cllr Steve Foulkes
“Caustic ” , “Mischievous” – Wirral Globe
“Excellent local blog” – Private Eye
“I’m in favour of Wirral Leaks . If I was the Council I’d pay them money to find out was going on in my Council” – Frank Field , MP
It was with the above picture and the words ‘watch this space’ that seven years ago Wirral Leaks was launched (originally on tumblr) to a politically apathetic local audience. Our early work 2010-12 can be found here : Wirral Leaks tumblr
Indeed in November 2010 we had two visitors, who we suspect were people who stumbled across us looking for a local plumber. However after a combined near million hits on our tumblr and WordPress sites the seven year snitch finally comes to an end. As we announced earlier this year His Lord and Ladyship will be swapping the clamour of Wirral for the glamour of the South of France.
No doubt this news will be the best Christmas present that some of the Wirral Council reprobates and associates who have featured regularly on our naughty list will have received in many a year . But fear not dear readers , there are still a few surprises sat under the Leaky Towers Christmas tree waiting to be opened.
Accordingly this year’s advent calendar will be like our very own version of A Christmas Carol featuring the ghosts of ‘Christmas Past’, ‘Present’ and ‘Yet to Come’. No need to tell you who represents Scrooge but we remain pessimistic that our advent calendar will ‘transform’ Wirral Council into a kinder, better organisation.
Although we are currently in negotiations to transfer operations to a trusted scion we have agreed that His Lord and Ladyship may make a Barbra Streisand type future comeback if there’s a particularly good tune we can whistle.
Meanwhile in the run up to Christmas we invite our dear readers join us on this advent adventure and send us your stories, memories, pictures and leaks that we have shared together on this sentimental journey . For as we all know – and to paraphrase the final line of the classic Christmas movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ :
” Every time a whistle blows an angel gets its wings……..”
And so another Labour councillor from Wirral Council is found to be unworthy of holding public office as a damning Standards Panel ‘Decision Notice’ is published. Wirral Leaks readers will know that Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) is no stranger to these pages . This time she appears to be the perpetrator rather than the victim of malicious acts.
The Standards Panel , after considering an Investigators Report, “found the actions of Cllr Reecejones were designed to threaten,intimidate,underine and cause difficulties at work “ for one of the complainants Tamsin Coates . The Standards Panel also noted that LRJ took a similar approach to the second complainant , Jessica Smyth, where she had made a complaint to the organisation where Ms Jessica Smyth volunteered . Both Ms Coates and Ms Smyth had previously raised legitimate concerns with Wirral Council’s Internal Audit and Merseyside Police. Although no charges were brought against LRJ because of ‘insufficient evidence’ the complainants were found to be justified in raising their concerns.
Furthermore the Standards Panel found all the complainants to be credible ( there were more from the Overchurch Residents Association) and yet LRJ was found to be ‘inconsistent, vague and misleading’ – we know what they’re trying to say there don’t we boys and girls? Of particular interest to us was this quote from the Decision Notice :
However it was when we read the ‘Sanctions’ section that apoplexy rapidly set in.
There are 5 sanctions in all : i ) a formal warning letter from Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer Surjit Tour (!) ii) LJR must provide a written apology to all complainants iii) Labour leader Cllr Phil Davies to consider whether party disciplinary action be taken against LRJ and whether she should be removed from all outside bodies to which she has been appointed iv) Tour will be arranging ‘training’ for LRJ which she must attend v) The Panel’s decision to be considered further by the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee.
These sanctions stand in stark contrast to the mild rebuke that was imposed on Cllr Steve Foulkes last year. Foulkesy got away with an apology to Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green who wasn’t even the complainant! Foulkesy had lied to Wirral Council, lied to the investigator (necessitating a further investigation costing Wirral Council taxpayers £17K) and continues to lie about what he and Cllr George Davies had been up to – to this very day.
If we were LRJ we’d be asking some serious questions as to why Foulkesy wasn’t given similar sanctions. Especially in relation to a proven liar being able to represent Wirral Council on outside bodies.If anything he is even more unworthy of public office than LRJ – and it would appear that’s really saying something!
But then again we did advise LRJ she was on a hiding to nothing a long time ago . She’s not and never has been part of the ‘Inner Ring’ . Unlike Standards Panel member Cllr Moira McLaughlin who must have enjoyed sticking the knife in someone who played a part in bringing down disgraced former Labour councillor Jim Crabtree – who was , very much, part of the ‘Inner Ring’ .
We have never claimed that all Labour councillors are dishonest,incompetent or corrupt but we have consistently called out the cabal that are. Ultimately we believe it is this ‘Inner Ring’ which has consistently brought Wirral Council into disrepute and until these people are removed from public office the people of Wirral will continue to be poorly served.
Although currently marked ‘Strictly Private and Confidential ‘ the full ‘Investigators Report’ can be found here
September always has an air of ‘back to school’ about it and so it is that after the summer break the cycle of Wirral Council meetings resumed this week.
Things kicked off with a meeting of Cabinet on Monday at 10 am . All the better to ensure it gets less coverage than Tom Daley’s swimming trunks and the prying eyes of the public are kept away. Although to be honest these meetings are more stage managed than a Busby Berkeley production number. It’s usually a case of Council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies handing over to deputy Cllr Ann McLachlan who recounts how everything on Planet Wirral is “going forward” despite the “Tory cuts” . Then assorted cabinet members chime in with gushing good news stories about their portfolios whilst using either the words “Wirral Plan” “20/20 Vision” or “Pledges” (they haven’t quite co-ordinated a consistent approach yet).
However we understand that an absentee from yesterday’s meeting was Cllr George Davies as it was left to Power Boy Pip to reveal Davies’ grand plan for the Lyndale School site. Yes – what a surprise it’s going to be a property developer’s paradise. And so it came to pass with cruel circularity and sickening similarity to the Wirralgate story as George finishes off what Foulkesy started with the former drawing up the final plans for the disposal of Lyndale School after the latter chaired the original “consultation” meeting proposing the closure.
One councillor that did manage to turn up and nod approvingly at everything that was said was Cllr Stuart Whittingham who will be attending an event “The impact of congestion on bus passengers” in London on 14 September 2016. Although a) you would think Cllr Whittingham, as a bus driver with Arriva, would know this already… and b) the only congestion to be experienced on Wirral is when there’s badly co-ordinated roadworks as recently experienced by the poor people of Hoylake and West Kirby.
Also worth noting at this meeting was the rubber -stamping of the Public Health ‘commissioning intentions’ which included a £7,709,379 contract with with drug and alcohol support provider ‘Change, Grow , Live’ – no questions asked.
A meeting to look out for later this week is the “People Overview and Scrutiny Committee”
Curiously for a committee which pays so much attention to inclusivity it is surprising to see an exempt item on the agenda. Could it be another report that the the people on the People Committee don’t want the people of Wirral to know about?……
Just when you thought Birkenhead MP Frankenfield couldn’t get any more publicity seeking there he goes taking time out from feeding starving mites and covering the arses of corrupt local politicians to write to popular author J.K. Rowling
Sadly the appeal of Ms.Rowling’s oeuvre is rather lost on us as a) we’re adults and b) thoughts of boarding schools induces flashbacks of fagging.
Anyway apparently Labour Party donator J.K. has had a pop at Labour leader Jezza Corbyn on social media and who wades in gushing like a luvvie but our Frankie.
This ‘private’ letter managed to find itself all over the internet courtesy of it being published on Frank Field’s own website :
This latest stunt comes as no surprise to us as Frankenfield is drawn to the lustre of celebrity like a starstruck Stage Door Johnny . Who can forget his courting and feteing of Jerry Hall ( aka Mrs.Rupert Murdoch), alleged tax avoider and frocky horrorshow Vivienne Westwood and sex tape starlet Pamela Anderson ?.
Talking of tapes – we guarantee even JK Rowling herself couldn’t come with a a story as fantastical as the Wirralgate saga. Although it does involve Frankenfield waving a magic wand in an attempt to make unpleasantness disappear in a puff of smoke.
As you can see from our feature picture above – we’ve included former Wirral Council Chief Executive Graham Burgess (aka Burgesski) alongside Power Boy Pip , Gorgeous George and Frankie Rotter as one of the characters in the ongoing tale of intrigue. We wonder whether Frankie has shared with new found friend “JK” how he tried to ,ahem, compromise Burgesski by “demanding” he agree pay the holders of the Wirralgate tapes a substantial sum of money equivalent to that which had been paid to close colleague . Burgesski was having none of it and resigned soon thereafter.
But then Frankenfield is used to getting his own way as demonstrated by his pompous reference in his letter how Corbyn failed to do as Frankenfield told him. Now we know Jezza needs all the help he can get fighting members of his own party but we’re not sure the sage advice of the backstabbing Birkenhead MP is the way to go!.
Oh how we long for the day when Frankenfield gets his own “blast of reality” and in the final chapter of the Wirralgate saga he’s exposed as the devious , hypocritical schemer that he really is.