New Term at St.Frank’s Academy


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?……




Frankie Rotter & The Council Chamber of Secrets


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 ?.Frank & Stars

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.


Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities

Following the local elections Wirral Council “leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies has had a Cabinet reshuffle. But let’s face it judged by his awkward public performances he’s always fiddling with his drawers.

However – out goes Welsh windbag Cllr Adrian Jones having mainly served his purpose of pretending to support whistleblowers and giving his former Cabinet colleagues the heads up about where the next bombshell might be  coming. He must be so proud.

Also tossed aside is Cllr Chris Meaden , who as we commented this week seems to have been thrown under the bus by Power Boy Pip over the Passport for Life leisure pass fiasco . Her (personal) involvement in the Control Room debacle probably didn’t help either….

So what are we left with when it comes to the big decision makers affecting the quality of life for people on Wirral ?.

Read this and weep:

“Leader” , Strategic Economic Development , Finance & Devolution – Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies

You know what they say about a man with a big portfolio don’t you?. Yes! –  that’s right he’s hiding behind important titles to make him sound “bigger” than he is.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Group , Transformation , Leisure & Culture – Ann McLachlan

Talk about one trick pony. If this woman says “moving forward” one more time she’s going to blow the turret off Leaky Towers (and no that isn’t a euphemism). As for “culture” – somebody needs to tell her that doesn’t mean drinking a pro-biotic yoghurt every morning.

Deputy Leader of The Council, Housing & Community Safety – George Davies 

Well,well ,well. No Cabinet would be complete without Georgie-boy would it?. Old faithful. The runaround. The go-between.The fixer.

We look forward to the day when Power Boy Pip  is indisposed and Gorgeous George has to command the authority of the Council chamber without putting on his glasses and reading from his notes (written in crayon).

Adult Social Care – Chris Jones

Sadly as her husband has been ousted from the cabinet Welsh Windbag-ess Chris Jones will no longer be able to regale us with her rendition of Amy Winehouse’s classic ” Me & Mr.Jones”.

However her continuing appointment as a cabinet member after the Girtrell Court still has us singing “what kind of fuckery is this?”.

Children & Family Services – Tony Smith

Love the Irish lilt. Hate his role in the closure of Lyndale School. He probably does too. But he’s still in the cabinet. These are the choices people make in life. Again , he must be so proud.

Highways & Infrastructure – Stuart Whittingham 

The big question is whether Stuart “Witless” Whittingham knows what “infrastructure” means. Remember this is guy who spawned a jokes about streetlights and how many people does it take a change a lightbulb on Wirral.

Answer : lots of them and and great cost and only after being highlighted (pun intended) on this blog and elsewhere.

Environment – Bernie Mooney 

Bernie sees it as her personal duty to be publicly affronted by absolutely everything from the Tory government to fly-tipping to litter to dog crap.

But mainly dog crap. Because that’s where the votes are.

Public Health – Janette Williamson

Congrats to Janette “Milly Tant” Williamson at getting a cabinet seat for being gushingly enthusiastic about absolutely everything Wirral Council does.

There is the added advantage she can advise on matters related to the elderly – such as euthanising members of the royal family and in the case of money owed to the council Jan would have no trouble recommending sending in the bailiffs mainly because that’s who she used to “work” for. So much for being a champion of the poor and oppressed!.

Community Engagement & Communications  – Matthew Patrick    Martin Liptrot

Enough said.


Leaks Activism


“Whistleblowers are exposing the secrets of the powerful and the foundations on which contemporary political and economic power relations are built”

Obviously not everyone likes , understands or supports what we do at Wirral Leaks.

And we’re OK with that.

However some people do like what we do and one has sent us an illuminating article written in the wake of the ‘Panama Papers’ leak titled : “Whistleblowers and leaks activists face powerful elites in struggle to control information”  written by Arne Hintz  – Senior Lecturer in Media , Cardiff University.

Now we’re not saying that anything we do is as significant as the leaks identified in the article but we do recognise that we are a very small part of an emerging news environment identified as the “networked fourth estate”.

For those interested in trying to understand how a culture of “leaks activism” has emerged internationally, nationally and locally might we suggest you have a read of the article and consider what the power elites might have got away with if it wasn’t for those pesky whistleblowers and leaks activists.

Pesky kids

Blonde Ambition

1a_Esther McVey painting a door (1)

Following our last Election Special featuring Wirral’s veteran political Svengali Frankenfield and in the interest of political balance Wirral Leaks will this week feature Wirral West MP Ms Esther McVey ( aka McVague,McVile etc;) – who is very much the cheese(cake) to his chalk.

Let’s face it we’d be wasting our time profiling Wallasey MP Angela The Eagle (Hasn’t Landed on Wirral) and Wirral South MP Alison McGormless.They are to the local political scene what Her Ladyship is to rugby league.

For example McGormless – clearly desperate for some pre-election press coverage – recently joined a hapless postman on his round to see what he does…and she found out he posts letters …..and er,sometimes delivers parcels.
McGormless was able to reassure us that during this selfless fact-finding mission the weather was “quite good”. Phew!……the parents and carers of Lyndale School currently facing closure and which sits in her constituency will sleep well tonight knowing their MP has avoided getting wetter than she already is during the course of a puerile PR stunt.


The difference in profiling the fragrant Ms.McVague is that we are not in a position to deconstruct her personal political ideology which is set out in a series of publications – all we can draw upon is : “If Chloe Can …” her seminal feminist work or “career recipe book”/”bookazine” as she likes to call it .

Put it this way – Simone De Beauvoir it ain’t.

The message of the “bookazine” (that’s a neologism we hope doesn’t make the Oxford English Dictionary) is of course simple and direct: “If Chloe Can….” you can too! Flicking through this literary masterpiece this basically means you can grow up to be another ” Duffy” – remember her? – just follow your dreams,reach for the stars or alternatively face benefit sanctions. SEE HERE

The Esther Bunny

The Esther Bunny

And if Ms McVague isn’t the living embodiment of this credo then we don’t know who is…… however she appears to us to represent what happens when limited talent meets limitless ambition. Where the X-Factor meets welfare reform.

Witness the toe-curling disregard of accepted protocol as she announces on the cutting edge political arena that is the TV programme “Loose Women” that she harbours the ambition to be Prime Minister.  Good luck with that one Esther – but we think that as an ex-TV presenter you’re destined to be forever associated with the showbizzy ,shouty end of politics (or should that be screechy end of politics) – an Anne Widdecombe in waiting – an end of the pier politician – an Edwina Currie who’s cashed her chips. Rather than dream of being PM we think you should follow your destiny ……. straight to reality TV – which is where you will find your natural metier – a new career being voted out rather than being voted in.


Having said all that McVague does seem to have a particular knack of annoying people – recently having been variously described by fellow politicians as “Hard Hearted Hannah” and as a “Washing Machine” (the latter by Speaker of the House John Bercow – who clearly thinks that McVague is more irritating than his wife Sally which I’m sure you’ll agree is quite an achievement ) .

Indeed as her Wirral West constituency has been identified as a target seat by Labour at the next General Election McVague has been under particular fire lately with visits from heavyweights (that’ll be mainly you Tom Watson) and Harriet Harperson in her pink “Woman to Woman” van. “Dearie me…..” sighed Her Ladyship “I’ve heard of a political vehicle but this sounds like a Sapphic Love Bus”. McVague even claims that during a recent visit Labour MP John McDonnell called on West Wirral voters to ” lynch the bitch” !


Can you imagine if a political opponent had called for Frankenfield to be lynched – it would need a catering size pack of smelling salts to bring him round and there’d be outraged cries about dangerous political subversives and endless articles about how it was not very nice to say rude and nasty things about such a lovely man.

Even this week there was a “Sack McVey” rally held in Hoylake or was it Heswall ? (all 14 protestors and 1 dog didn’t seem to know)



This demo was organised by local TUC firebrand Alec McFuckup and coincided with the release of a strongly worded song “Sack Esther McVey” which includes the touching refrain “The wicked witch of the Wirral’s had her day” .

Considering the animosity that McVague seems to engender in Labour politicians you’d think that Frankenfield would be particularly keen to have a few sly digs – but he’s curiously silent on the subject of McVague. Could it be he has a sneaking admiration for someone so closely associated with policies which he himself espoused in his magnum opus Making Welfare Work (1995). Someone in the know recently described this publication as the blueprint for Iain Duncan Smith’s destruction of the welfare state – check out the Green Paper which Field authored in 1998 if you don’t believe us.

However it seems to us that The Right (Dis)honourable McVague will hitch her rising star to any cause or any policy if it raises her profile. Who remembers that it wasn’t long after she raised the damning Independent Review about Wirral Council at Prime Ministers Questions in February 2012 where she raised concerns about overcharging and intimidation of disabled people that soon thereafter she was appointed Minister for the Disabled before swiftly being promoted to the Department of Employment to work with Duncan-Smith.

It is not known what Minister was tasked by David Cameron to look at the matters raised by McVague and what did that Minister tasked with addressing McVague’s concerns do about her plea that “those responsible be brought to account and never work in Adult Social Services ever again”.

Did McVague ever follow it up or was it just a case of making a name for herself and pleasing her political masters by having a pop at a Labour-controlled Council and then forgetting about it?

Sadly those in the know inform us that because of the redactions in the report it would have been impossible to identify the perpetrators of abuse and consequently it seems that some people who should indeed never work in social care have since gone on to manage care homes on Wirral – care homes where unsurprisingly concerns have been raised about further neglect and abuse of vulnerable people.

We would suggest that the recent spate of care home scandals that have been reported in the local press are not unrelated to the fact that certain abusers were never “brought to account”.

But hey why should that concern McVague as she continues her political ascent ?
Whether that ascent continues following the General Election we shall see – but whatever the outcome we suspect that McVague will simply pick up a copy of “If Chloe Can..” and continue her relentless pursuit of power…..


“There is a purpose to journalism…It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men” – Peter Oborne – journalist resigning this week from Telegraph newspaper group

During the interminable run-up to the local and national elections we must learn to get used to PR and puff pieces and party political broadcasts masquerading as news so Wirral Leaks will continue to bring you the news that you won’t read in local newspapers or websites.
Wirral Council – please take note  below  are just some of the despairing correspondence sent to us recently by your adoring public…..

I Spy With My FOI

“Haven’t bothered for a while but seen John Braces video from the council budget proposals for the coming years and then was amazed to see my old job (only twelve months ago) with a hefty bit of investment and the promise of new staff to carry out a role deemed redundant only last March.
After many emails, F.O.I requests, meetings with councillors who soon disregarded me as soon as they realised I was talking sense and trying many other avenues to raise the point making us redundant was a stupid idea in the first place because their plan was built on lies and was quite shit also.

Now Philly boy has eventually decided that yes it was a shit idea and as he was told the Police couldn’t carry out the same role carried out by the council staff and for the amount of money invested in the cctv and repairs it was better left alone with the fully qualified staff carrying out their role much un-noticed but much admired and appreciated by Merseyside police officers and many other stakeholders. As previously stated they were all hoodwinked by our ex boss …… who is now failing to pitch for council contracts..thankfully.”

We Don’t Need No Education

“The level of misconduct, negligence and breach of the legal responsibilities of Wirral LEA (Local Education Authority) and Social Services confounds me.
I am being forced to take legal action against them as, even now, their behaviour (is) ridiculous.”

Our Source Is Outsourced

“I don’t know if you are aware that a company is being set up (extremely quickly!) by the council for all the services who trade / provide services to schools , it will run as a partnership with Cheshire and Cheshire West, like Cosocious. Staff will be type transferred across so they no longer will be council employees, they also will loose the option to take EVR /redundancy at the enhanced rate. No negotiations have been had with unions and staff have not been told t&cs (terms and conditions,) The financial information is not forthcoming to staff in relation to the ‘ business case ‘ that was drawn up by consultants ( which were apparently paid for by the government) so it makes the staff ask the question , is this company being set up to fail to rid the council of a number of staff at a reduced redundancy rate? I do wish to remain anonymous please, as repercussions do still happen within the council ”

Preaching to the Converted

‘Spect you’re v. busy with elections looming. Don’t know if the mormon councillor for Prenton’s standing for re-election in May but here’s some info about his ‘church’ & their latest efforts.


“How he’s balanced commitment to this organisation with his role as a Labour councillor is baffling. Throw in his continued membership of XXX……well, just makes your head start to spin. Why is he still chair of a major committee? (Merseyside Pension Fund) & how does he find the time to fit everything in? His building company SDA’s got a lot of planning applications currently in process; the late (but unlamented) Dirty Food, Hoylake (prev Bej Vegetarian) restaurant’s been re-incarnated as Steak & Lobster & his day nursery (Little Angels), occupies a disused mormon meeting house in Moreton is pretty much full.”

Which brings us to …..

Alison McGovern wringing her hands –  HERE – & he’s coining it from this venture. Last OFSTED inspection (October 2012) reports 66 children in attendance. The mormons’ll conveniently overlook this one tho as all his income generates at least 10% for them so he’ll be filling their trough nicely & the good people of Wirral have helped those donations along over the last 4 years as his councillor allowance will also be available to tithe. Plus gift aid & if he is up for re-election, that’ll be another 4 years of creaming off the 10% from the long suffering citizens of Wirral.

What A Load Of Testimonials!


We have been following yesterday’s reports in the local press who were in attendance at Wirral Magistrates court where the Jack Nolan “Teenage Rampage” case reached it’s inevitable conclusion as ” Our Jack” gets a slap on the wrist. SEE HERE AND HERE

As Nolan pleaded guilty to charges of affray and assaulting a woman by beating Judge Michael Abelson gushed:

“This is a wholly exceptional case.I can’t remember the last time I read so many testimonials from such an extraordinary range of people, from parish priests to head teachers….”

He also quite unbelievable went on to say – “”I can see what’s happened here. This young man who doesn’t really drink alcohol has had drink given to him by the gallon and feeling nice and relaxed and having a nice evening, has just drunk himself senseless”   Oh so that’s OK then…  although you missed the bit out about assaulting a woman and attempting to stab people… bless him. The poor lad is obviously the victim here.

Might we suggest that Judge Abelson gets out more or at least appraises himself of how things work on the sinful peninsula . This is NOT an exceptional case at all – and ordinarily we wouldn’t comment on the antics of a drunken, violent woman beating prick…..but in this case we will make an exception.

And the reason we comment is that this sordid little story is symbolic of EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG.

It’s the usual topsy-turvy world of Wirral which we report on week in week out on Wirral Leaks where “the great and good” run to the defence of the guilty and the tired old meaningless cliche of “lessons have been learned” is trawled out ,until the next time and the time after that……. The only lesson that “No-Mark” Nolan will have learned is that when you’re in trouble it’s not who you beat up it’s who bigs you up.

If Nolan’s mother wasn’t the Mayor’s consort – would the outcome have been different?

Who knows? – but it certainly didn’t work against him as he was able to drag on a cast of hasbeens ( Ex-Cllr Bri “Nylon” Kenny ), nonentities ( Power Boy Pip) and God -botherers ( Father Phil – who’s stock in trade is forgiveness – and Lord knows he’s had enough practice with Foulkesy).

Meanwhile we see this sinister hypocrisy on a bigger and more sickening scale with the defence of Foulkesy himself and his sidekick Georgie Boy Davies by Frank Field and Power Boy Pip as they try desperately to cover up the Wirralgate scandal. Those tapes must be worth “A King’s Ransom” (or more accurately “A Mayor’s Ransom”) by now.

So next time you see Power Boy Pip trailing behind Frankenfield like a scabby dog, shaking his head in despair at anti-social behaviour in the badlands of Birkenhead just remember his fawning testimonial from today and ask yourself would he be quite so quick to run to the defence of kids who aren’t quite so well connected ?.

On a final note we’d like to contrast Judge Abelson’s concern about how a less lenient sentence might have affected poor “No-mark” Nolan’s future career prospects with the complete lack of concern show by Wirral’s councillors to those people who’s careers have been destroyed as a result of exposing Council corruption.


Wirral Leaks is proud to announce the forthcoming blockbuster : “Wirralgate! – The Movie”.

This film has everything a film noir thriller should have and more – a cinematic masterpiece with more twists and turns than a rattlesnake on a rollercoaster .


Behind the suave presence ,the benign demeanour and the prissy pursed lips lies a ruthless mastermind hell bent on sustaining the status quo- AT ANY COST!


Quasimodo with a comb-over. The dealmaking go-between with a fine line in casual racism. Money doesn’t talk – it whispers: ” Give us the letter and we’ll sort you out” – AT ANY COST!!



Feckless and wreckless  and of late has been seen gadding about the Wirral dressed like an incongruous  Matalan outcast from Wolf Hall- but look beneath the surface, and beyond his penchant for outlandish fancy dress and you’ll find this pie eating luddite has low friends in high places,  and they’ve rescued him time and time again – AT ANY COST!!!


All the substance of the invisible man.The fall guy who sees no evil,speaks no evil,hears no evil . Given the choice between right and wrong he chooses to support a cover up – AT ANY COST!!!!




Don’t be fooled by the fluttering eyelashes – the eyewitness to that document knows all their dirty secrets….and they’ll pay for silence – AT ANY COST !!!!!



Can they play the players at their own game?….”SOITENLY!” They’ve got what the others want and they’ll pay for it – AT ANY COST!!!!!! ………

Wirral Leaks Welcomes Stressed Eric

Stressed Eric

So Wirral Council appoints a new Chief Executive.

And it’s not as we predicted a person of the female persuasion – no,no,no – that would be a step too far. So it’s back to the usual “M” template – male,middle aged,middle class,malleable. The only departure is that this one is apparently a Reds fan – whether this means LFC or the local Labour elite we don’t yet know.

As devoted readers of Wirral Leaks will know we don’t like to judge but the picture in Echo doesn’t instill confidence.


We’re minded to recall the character Eric Feeble from the Stressed Eric cartoon – and let’s face it if he’s not “Stressed Eric” now he will be as soon as he discovers the shameful legacy he has inherited………

The Godfather


There was a collective scratching of heads and dropping of jaws at Leaky Towers when we read highly concerning local press reports about the appointment of a retired judge to undertake “an informal review ” of an infamous and seemingly neverending Wirral Council whistleblowing case.  We at Leaky Towers shall henceforth be calling this review “The Warren Commission” – a title which conspiracy theorists will no doubt appreciate.
We consider that Wirral Council’s press release and subsequent statements given to the media by local politicians about this review are highly dubious, open to serious question and much closer scrutiny.

Therefore it is left to Wirral Leaks to deconstruct these press statements in the name of openness,transparency and most importantly the PUBLIC INTEREST – all of which seem to be alien concepts to some of our most prominent so-called public servants……

Let’s start off with excerpts from the Wirral Globe : HERE
Firstly we are grateful that they have corrected the description of “Nicholas” Warren as a retired high court judge. How remiss of the Globe’s sources not to seek to immediately correct this description, especially when they’re not usually backward in coming forward when it comes to anything they believe to be misleading or inaccurate (or more usually embarrassing or incriminating).
No – this is Nick Warren – a Birkenhead solicitor who chaired benefit tribunals…..and has been personally appointed by Birkenhead MP Frank Field to box this little local difficulty off once and for all . To which all we can say is : in your dreams Frankenfield.

Now this particular Mr.Warren is very much part of Wirral Labour’s Inner Ring ( a phrase we’ve picked up from Morton’s Open Letter to Wirral Council sent to us just before Christmas and which is suddenly beginning to make more and more sense and which we will be following up at a later date. ) We understand Old Nick is very much an old friend of Frankenfield and they go back a very long way indeed. There are unconfirmed reports that Frankenfield is Godfather to one of his children.This may or may not be true but in every other sense Frankenfield seems to be THE Godfather round here. A source writes: “Apparently Warren used to work for Frank at the Child Poverty Action Group before either of them came to Birkenhead. Stinks to high heaven.”

Let’s just hope all the right declarations about conflict of interest have been made. For example what are Nick Warren’s links to the local Labour group?

The Globe helpfully clarifies that The Warren Commission is to lead an inquiry into the way a group of Wirral whistleblowers have been treated by the council – and decide whether they should receive compensation.

Wirral Leaks comments : This particular group of Wirral whistleblowers have been known by various names – HESPE/Colas whistleblowers and more recently in the Patricia Thynne report involving allegations of misconduct concerning Councillors George Davies and Steve Foulkes as “The Group” ( a term of reference that we have adopted at Wirral Leaks).
Wirral Globe :Nicholas Warren will carry out the review once the scope and terms of reference of the inquiry has been agreed by council leader Phil Davies.The move comes after Birkenhead MP Frank Field met with the authority’s now-retired chief executive Graham Burgess in November, demanding that a sum of £48,000 in compensation given to an unnamed senior council officer should also be paid to the whistleblowers.

Wirral Leaks: Now Wirral Leaks devotees will know that this alleged payment of £48,000 has always deeply troubled us. But what troubles us even more is that Frankenfield thinks he can stroll into a Wirral Council Chief Executive’s office and demand the same kind of compensation for The Group without due legal process.  Of course “now-retired” Graham Burgess has left Wirral Council so Frankenfield doesn’t have quite the same leverage he once had in negotiations as we understand that Burgess was very much compromised with regard to this £48,000 pay-off (in more ways than one).

Wirral Globe : Mr Field said the group are suffering severe hardship and are “on the point of bankruptcy” after raising their concerns over a multi-million pound outsourced highways contract. He claimed the payment to the anonymous officer, who it is understood had suffered at the hands of town hall bullies, was the least the council do in the circumstances.

Wirral Leaks : We do hope that Frankenfield and The Group are able to evidence that they are “suffering severe hardship” and “on the point of bankruptcy” especially when we understand that they may have all been continuously and gainfully employed and there may have already been compensation payments made (although not by Wirral Council). What we’d particularly like to know is how Frankenfield thinks there is any equivalence between these two cases. Did The Group “suffer at the hands of town hall bullies”? – reading The Thynne Report it makes it sound it was the other way round!  Could it be that the compensation payment of £48,000 was also made without any evidence that the recipient had suffered any financial loss as clearly they are still in post as Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement?

Furthermore if Wirral Council taxpayers have had to stump up just under £50,000 (thereby evading any public scrutiny as we understand the Chief Executive has the authority to sign off anything under £50K – no questions asked) can we state that we make these claims in the PUBLIC INTEREST. We firmly believe that when public money is given to public servants because of the alleged malpractice of other public servants this should NOT be hidden from public scrutiny under the guise of confidentiality and privacy.

This then becomes a COVER-UP and Frankenfield seems curiously anxious not to challenge this precedent but to replicate it !….and we think we know why!

Wirral Globe: His (Frank Field) demands led to agreement that Mr Warren should carry out an informal review and that his findings will be binding to both parties. Mr Field told the Globe: “I am delighted that Nick Warren has agreed to take this review.He has one of the finest legal minds in the country and if anyone can get to the bottom of what has gone on – and decide whether the whistleblowers have been fairly treated or not – he can.

Wirral Leaks: Hang on – if this is an informal review with no legal standing how can findings be “binding on both parties” ? We presume that this statement heralds the potential return to the bad old days of pay-offs and Compromise Agreements to hide malpractice and misconduct. Frankenfield seems very selective about making “demands” doesn’t he ? and the making of such demands also suggests his baleful influence extends way beyond that of being the MP for Birkenhead. Furthermore we’re absolutely sure Frankenfield is “delighted” about The Warren Commission being undertaken by “one of the finest legal minds in the country”. You’d certainly think that someone who fitted such a description would have a much bigger public profile or perhaps Warren is just very modest and keeps his legal wisdom within the confines of Houlihan’s……

Wirral Globe :The added advantage of Mr Warren leading the inquiry is that he has no connection with the ongoing case and can approach it with a completely clear and unbiased view.

Wirral Leaks: Oh I think we know what the “added advantage” of the Warren Commission to Frankenfield is don’t we boys and girls?

To reassure the Wirral public that this review is unbiased we request that any prior connections and affiliations to any interested parties is openly and publicly declared or we’re heading for the same sort of outcry that accompanied the short-lived appointments of Judge Woolf and Baroness Butler-Sloss to head up a national Child Abuse Inquiry because of their prior connections and affiliations.

Actually – who are we kidding – there will be no such outcry. This is Wirral where political apathy rules and therefore the abuse of power will probably continue unchecked .

Wirral Globe : His review will get underway as soon as Phil Davies, who is extremely keen for a fair and equitable outcome, signs-off the terms of reference.

Wirral Leaks: Well this is an interesting (but entirely understandable) turn around. Didn’t Council Leader Phil Davies state that “The Group were trying to use the content of the phone conversation to pressurise him into settling their claim” . The phone conversation to which Davies refers is of course contained on the infamous Wirralgate tapes – which of course is what we think this little circus is really all about.

Are we to assume then that the Wirralgate tapes have been handed over and will be part of the investigation about how the whistleblowers were “treated by the Council”. It’s the only way to counter allegations that the tapes are the real means to a “fair and equitable” outcome. Otherwise it looks suspiciously like Quid Pro Quo ( a legal term which Mr.Warren will no doubt be familiar with) – we’ll sort you out if you bury the tapes (which is similar to the tapes themselves which were concerned with sorting The Group out if they provided incriminating document about a political opponent)

Wirral Globe : Mr Field has been battling to reach a settlement with the authority for several years after a group of former council employees – acting under whistleblowing law – voiced concerns of alleged “irregularities” in a £40m contract with highways maintenance company Colas.

Wirral Leaks: And of course a subsequent investigation conducted by Richard Penn concluded there was “no case to answer” with regard to alleged “irregularities” . We seem to remember there have been at least 5 investigations regarding The Group’s case and we are still are none the wiser about the extent any malpractice (or indeed if there was any) . This begs the question as to why Frankenfield has been battling to reach a settlement for The Group if there was no foundation to their claims. Now either he knows more than he’s letting on and that the Penn report was a stitch up or he has an ulterior motive in pursuing this settlement. Which is it?

Wirral Globe : In November, he (Frank Field) told the Globe: “Their whistleblowing resulted in an almost clean sweep of senior council officers.

Wirral Leaks : This is simply untrue. No disciplinary action of any senior council officer ever took place as a result of The Group’s “whistleblowing” and former Chief Executive Jim Wilkie went off sick ,never to return just after the publication of the damning AKA report in January 2012 – 10 months before Penn published his report .

Wirral Globe : ( Field ) – “The debt Wirral owes to those who blew the whistle is considerable. And yet they gained no compensation for the damage that has occurred to their careers.There were last year carried information (sic) that a senior officer of the council was paid a fraction under £50,000 after allegedly being bullied by an even more senior officer. Surely the case of the whistleblowers is more deserving than the case of this officer, who is still in post”.

Wirral Leaks : We note that Frankenfield provides absolutely no evidence to support his allegation that Wirral Council’s head of Engagement and Communities was bullied by an even more senior officer (can he, in the public interest , name the officer involved and identify whether he is aware of any disciplinary action that resulted from Wirral Council having to shell out nearly 50K because of such unacceptable conduct).

We do know that Graham Burgess claimed that the payment was a result of “corporate failure” to respond to an allegation of bullying. Corporate Failure we presume being a euphemism for the Leader of the Council – who at the time the allegation was made was…..Councillor Steve Foulkes!

It’s all beginning to fit into place isn’t it ?- unless Wirral Council would like to publicly deny any of these claims.

The Liverpool Echo also seems to have based it’s story on press release statements from the same sources. HERE

Liverpool Echo : The whistleblowers had highlighted concerns about the authority’s former multimillion pound highways contract.
Wirral Leaks: Which up until now appear to be unfounded. What has never been revealed is that the whistleblowers themselves had also bid for this particular contract …….

Liverpool Echo : But several have since lost their jobs while in July 2012 the then acting chief executive of the council, David Armstrong, was forced to issue an “unreserved apology” after a blunder allowed one of them to be stripped of his anonymity when his name was published on the authority’s website.

Wirral Leaks: As we have always been led to believe that The Group comprised 4 whistleblowers how can it be said that “several have since lost their jobs ” when we know that contracts of employment would probably have been transferred from Wirral Council to Colas to Bam Nuttall in accordance with employment law.

Once again this statement is inaccurate. What is true (and the only example of mistreatment of The Group that we actually know about) is that indeed the anonymity of one of the whistleblowers was compromised by Wirral Council.

But can anyone remember the name of the whistleblower involved ? – it’s on our blog somewhere but we simply can’t be bothered referencing it and anyway we can remember a time when the whistleblower involved was quite happy for his identity to be revealed or we simply would not have printed his name. Once again we’re wondering how this whistleblower is going to demonstrate how this cock-up has adversely affected their career.

Liverpool Echo: At a meeting with council chiefs last year Mr Field called on the council to act quickly to compensate the whistleblowers who he says have suffered since highlighting their concerns.

Can Frankenfield please describe the nature of their “suffering” exactly…. ?

Liverpool Echo : The MP said the debt Wirral owes the whistle-blowers “is considerable” and yet they gained no compensation for “the damage, or potential damage” that has occurred to their careers.

Wirral Leaks: After at least 4 previous investigations can the”influential” MP explain exactly what Wirral owes these whistleblowers?  Eldritch rather succinctly if crudely states that it is : “Fuck all….”

That’s not to say we don’t think The Group should not be compensated. We wholeheartedly do ….but simply not from dwindling council funds.

We think Wirral Labour need to be dipping into their fighting fund as it is they who have ruthlessly played cat and mouse with The Group and have engaged them in a dangerous double bind from which they seem to be trying to extricate themselves by means of a pay-out from the public purse.

Liverpool Echo: The group of whistleblowers were told by the council in 2012 to employ lawyers, Mr Field said, to obtain compensation but he said they have “nearly bankrupted themselves in the process with mounting legal fees and with no compensation package being offered”.

If The Group has been paying lawyers for over two years might we suggest no compensation package has been offered to The Group could it be because a) lawyers have been leading them up the garden path and/or b) they do not have a legitimate legal claim against Wirral Council …..they cannot take their case to an Employment Tribunal,they don’t seem to be able to bring a claim for bullying – so what is the basis of their claim ? (other than 1 person’s confidentiality has been breached ). All we know for sure is that they have a series of taped recordings which incriminate Wirral’s leading politicians in acts that could be interpreted as criminal.

Liverpool Echo : Mr Field said: “I met with the former chief executive Graham Burgess before Christmas with the whistleblowers to seek some way of settling in a fair and equitable manner their grievance. They said I could suggest a chair to review how the authority behaved. I suggested Nick Warren, who is just retired and lives in Birkenhead, but has no knowledge of the case.”

Wirral Leaks : Lady W spluttered out her sherry on reading this : “Where’s Old Nick been – living in a cave? Are we really expected that someone who should be so well informed about the local political scene would have no knowledge of the case?  Poppycock!”

Liverpool Echo : Mr Field said the retired judge would have access to the whistleblowers, council and documentation and said: “I’m hoping we might now get justice, a settlement that is fair and just to the whistleblowers.”

Wirral Leaks : And of course Warren will also get access to a bumper pay-cheque Who knows , if he plays his cards right , he can spin it out as long as Anna Klonowski. Unless of course he’s doing the work pro bono or donating the cheque to charites fighting poverty…….

Liverpool Echo: Council leader Phil Davies said: “We have agreed that the review will go ahead and we will await his report.I know Nick quite well and he is a very distinguished judge and I’m sure he will do a thorough job.”

Wirral Leaks : All of us at Wirral Leaks are in complete agreement with Pip ,especially when he knows him “quite well” and that indeed Warren will do a thorough job (wink,wink nudge nudge)

A council spokesman said: “Terms of reference have yet to be agreed regarding the proposed review so it is not possible to confirm timescales or exactly what form any subsequent report might take.”

Wirral Leaks: Ok we’ll do it on behalf of the highly paid council spokesperson – we anticipate the report won’t be completed until after the May elections and will then be exempt from any Freedom of Information requests on the grounds that the report contains legally privileged information.

Let (another) cover up commence !….