The Leaky Awards 2017 – the Grand Finale

Fireworks

And so we finally reach the grand finale of the Leaky Awards 2017 and taking our cue from the #TimesUp  contingent at the Golden Globes we’ll be wearing black. The clock may been ticking down for us but may it also do the same on the abuse of power – wherever it takes place and in whatever form.

Times Up

However we’ll spare you the dreary , self-righteous speeches – it’s on with the show and our first award of the evening…….

Campaign of the Year

Winner – Defend Our NHS (Wirral)

The local branch of the DONHS have throughout the year provided us with information about future plans for the NHS  and particularly about Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) that should concern us all  , especially as Wirral Council are a key strategic player via the Clinical Commissioning Group.

davies

Runner Up – Wirral Needs

If only for the chant ” Labour Council listen to the people”. Our advice to them after  7 years of banging our head against a brick wall is that they won’t so you’ll  have to make them ! The only way they will be forced to listen is at your local constituency party meetings and in the run up to the local elections this May.  After that it’ll be the same old,same old – personal interest and political ambition taking precedence over the public interest. Don’t say we didn’t tell you!

Wirral Needs

Campaign Fail of the Year

Winner – Wirral Labour ‘Keep Wirral Green’ campaign

alternative-facts-3-013

How Wirral Labour reconciled this campaign with proposals and developments for assaults on the Green Belt at Saughall Massie, Hoylake and Thornton Hough etc; we can only hazard a guess but full marks for the sheer PR chutzpah .

Runner up  – Frank Field/Wirral Globe nurses car parking charges at Arrowe Park Hospital (aka Wirral University Teaching Hospital – WUTH )

Whilst it was undoubtedly a worthy campaign we noted how  WUTH CEO David Allison received the petition from Field, gave some bland assurances and then promptly disappeared in a cloud of controversy.We suspect that any incoming CEO will have their work cut-out just keeping WUTH afloat and car parking charges won’t be a priority . Meanwhile  we note that Field is strangely silent about more wide reaching proposals for car parking charges across Wirral that are set to be introduced by Wirral Council. And once again we have to ask is this the only income generation scheme that Wirral Council can come up with and is it even legal?

 

Allison field

David Allison : Yeah whatevs Frank I don’t need this right now. But love your tank top .

Comeback of the Year

Winner Esther McVey, MP for Tatton

Back from the dead

The former MP for Wirral West returns to high office as Work and Pensions Secretary in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle . Somehow this cat on a hot tin roof always manages to land on her kitten heels . And for all her talk of female empowerment we think that McVey is the quintessential beneficiary of modern day political nepotism , where ambition exceeds talent .  The only contribution of note to the local political scene when she was a Wirral West MP was when she hijacked the Martin Morton whistleblowing case for personal and political advantage at Prime Minister’s Questions (apparently Morton knew nothing about it) . What happened after she raised the issue with David Cameron is a particularly worrying episode but alas we won’t be able to do it justice here. Perhaps one day the full shameful tale will be told. 

Runner Up  Stewart Halliday – the economic migrant/consultant from York who crossed the Pennines escaping infamy to make his fortune on Wirral with his two consultancy stints earning him circa £200K. So will Wirral Council kindly tell us whether he’s still around and what exactly we got for our money?

smug-halliday

This man can do a powerpoint presentation and bullshit at the same time ! Therefore Wirral Council must give him as much money as they can.

Comrades of the Year – Cllr Louise Reecejones (LRJ) and Cllr Steve Foulkes (Foulkesy)

foulkesy-lrj-012

 

Were LRJ and Foulkesy separated at birth? Whilst they share so many characteristics none of them can be found in the Nolan Principles! See for yourself :

LRJ Standards Panel investigation report : The  Panel found the evidence of Cllr Louise Reecejones to be inconsistent,vague and misleading. The Panel did not therefore find Cllr Reecejones to be credible.

Foulkesy Standards Panel investigation report : I found it difficult to get Cllr Foulkes to be precise or detailed . His responses were vague,inclined to be evasive and I found them ‘economical with the truth ‘ and unconvincing. 

Yes, just the kind of low lifes we want making decisions about our lives,eh?

Accessories of the Year  –

Winner – Paula Basnett ,CEO Wirral Chamber of Commerce for those shoes.

Shoes

These understated little numbers were considered suitable daywear to shortlist nominees for yet another awards ceremony and did not in anyway reinforce our perception that Ms Basnett and her organisation are all about flash presentation and very little else.

Runner up All Wirral councillors wielding ‘Show Racism the Red Card’placards as a virtue signalling accessory. But especially the local Labour group who tolerate  racists in their midst. But can anyone spot Deputy Leader Cllr George Davies in the picture?

Screenshot_20171113-164701

Best Picture of Unwanted Copies of Wirral View

Winner 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Runner Up

wirral-view-twister-010

Whilst appropriately enough both pictures position copies of woeful Wirral View next to their final destination –  a bin – we’d like to think the winner of this category contributed to the dumping (no pun intended) of the original Liverpool -based distributor of Wirral View. Unfortunately a £750,000 3 year print deal with Trinity Mirror means we’re burdened with this lumbering white elephant for the forseeable future. Compare and contrast with Wirral Leaks which has cost council taxpayers of Wirral £0 and we would argue has been more effective in addressing the ‘information deficit’ of local people, particularly when we’ve been providing information that Wirral Council don’t want you to know about!

Wirral’s annual entry in Rotten Boroughs Awards 2017

Winner  Ex- Wirral councillor Jim Crabtree

Crabtree PE 012

Crabtree PE 009

Included in Private Eye’s  Rotten Boroughs 2017 ‘Quotes of the Year’ is this fine example of ‘doublespeak’ from former Wirral Councillor Jim ‘Crabby’ Crabtree. It’s a year to the day that Crabtree pleading guilty to offences under the Communications Act 2003 and it’s frightening to think that his well deserved fall from grace might never have happened if his increasingly appalling conduct hadn’t been reported on Wirral Leaks. As a quote from one of our Labour sources testifies when they raised concerns about Crabtree’s fitness to be a councillor    – “The comment from George Davies was ‘better the devil you know’ while Frank (Field) thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread” –  the local Labour group were reluctant to rein him in . Furthermore we understand that they failed to address allegations made by a whistleblower about grant monies which Crabtree allegedly should have paid back to Wirral Council.

Leaky awards   Leaky awardsLeaky awards

 

Advertisements

Advent Farewell 17 – Talking Turkey

Foulkesy Turkey trot

Please indulge us whilst we return to the subject of Wirral View. If you must! we hear you cry.

Now that the putrid publication is down from 32 to 24 pages we predict that at this rate it’ll be down to a two-sided leaflet (mostly filled with pictures) by this time next year. We also note from this puny edition that Wirral View is still failing to attract advertisers . But then wouldn’t any self-respecting business wish to avoid being associated with a toxic brand like Wirral Council?

However as you know Wirral Leaks is a public-spirited enterprise and as a parting  Christmas gift we’d like to offer some advice on how to attract more interest from readers and potential advertisers alike.

Primarily we suggest ditching the grubby articles about grub such as that contained in the latest edition which offers tips on how to make the most of our festive food –

BREAD SAUCE , No Christmas dinner would be complete without bread sauce. It’s a classic dish , which we also classically make too much of. Fear not,just freeze it!

Who knew?

TURKEY …..after your five-hundredth turkey sandwich you might want a change … From pasties to soups and stroganoff to stir fry there are countless turkey-based leftover recipes on line

Again- who knew?

Exactly who’s ‘information deficit’ is being filled with this filler is anyone’s guess.  So what we’d like to suggest is that Kev MacCallum’s communications crew need to ‘celebritise’ a bit more. How about featuring a prominent guest local political celebrity ? Perhaps starting with everyone’s favourite ex- this,that and t’other and Wirral Leaks favourite Cllr Steve Foulkes aka Foulkesy

A Christmas Q&A with Foulkesy might go something like this :

Q: So tell us about your Christmas 

A: Well, after we’ve been chucked out of Houlihan’s we go back to ours and ‘ave an apertif  and some nibbles. Now I used to think an aperitif was what French people called their dentures but no, it’s not, it’s a posh drink from abroad,like. So I’ll usually have a pint of creme de menthe and Lainey has a drop of Limoncello which is something she picked up duty free from our dead sound holiday in Sorrento. We have a few nibbles on the go  –  cheesy wotsits, pickled eggs, pork scratchings,the works. I have to admit that this kind of drink and food can sometimes create a, er , rich atmosphere !

Now if the stepson is around we have to play a traditional Christmas party game of hide the cutlery. Which makes it a bit difficult when it comes to Christmas dinner – so we just hope there’s a chippy open somewhere !

Q: Do you have a Christmas message for our readers?

Yeah ! don’t over do it or you might end up with the turkey trots !

Q :  And finally what would you say to your critics who say you’ve been winging it for years and have somehow managed to evade accountability or proper sanction because you’ll implicate powerful political friends? 

A: Get stuffed !

 

 

 

 

Advent Farewell 16 – A View of Christmas

Wendy Clements Wirral View (2)

“OK Wendy love, give us your best angry face…”

The bumper Christmas edition of Wirral View has landed .  A bumper edition consisting of 24 particularly pisspoor pages .

We can’t help feeling that articles titled “ Drink Less, Enjoy More”  and ” Tips To Avoid Scammers” should be directed towards a certain Labour councillor and his spouse and the ‘leader’ of Wirral Council respectively.

We have to say that the Wirral Conservatives picture to accompany the posting on their website decrying the Christmas edition of Wirral View is pure comedy gold

The full article reads :

Residents are now being asked to sign for receipt of Wirral Council’s controversial newspaper, ‘Wirral View’, when it is delivered.

As a further sign of the troubled delivery of the newspaper, the Town Hall has also compiled a list of ‘VIPs’ who must receive it and sign for it, including councilors.

One of the Councillors who was told she is on the ‘VIP List’ is Councillor Wendy Clements, in Greasby.

Councillor Clements said: “Wirral View gets more ridiculous as time goes on. To have a ‘VIP List’ of people who the Town Hall think are important and must receive it, whatever the weather, is a sign of how out of touch they have become.

“The only ‘very important people’ as far as this newspaper is concerned are the people who are paying £270,000 a year for it – the residents and taxpayers. Half the Borough doesn’t receive it and many of the rest don’t want it. The best Christmas present that the Labour Council could give us would be to scrap it.” Wirral View Goes VIP

As you can see from the picture above Cllr Wendy Clements has got her glum face on – and who can blame her ? It’s straight out of popular Facebook page Angry People in Local Newspapers  only in this particular case it’s more People Angry About Local Newspapers.

And finally (as once again they say on the telly) to follow up last week’s Wirral View story here’s a response from our regular commentator ‘ The Prof’ which was not published by the Wirral Globe following the letter from a certain Chris Noble asking for suggestions for alternative uses for the wretched rag.  Deja View

I agree with Mr. Noble in the last Globe: we should find positive usesfor ‘Wirral View’. I have found two. Firstly it is fun to spot and test all the false performance claims made by the council. The October / November issue claimed that ‘closer working [Safer Wirral initiative] has already led to an 11% reduction in anti-social behaviour across Wirral’. Using a Freedom of Information Act request I obtained the ASB incident data from 2012 to 2017.

The improved ‘working together’ period covered 2016 onwards. ASB fell during
this period but it had been falling steadily since 2013.’Working together’ did not
affect the rate of fall. This is not surprising since the list of  12 ‘actions’ provided
is purely administrative not street focused.
Wirral View also claimed a £50,000 saving on emergency services in 2017 from
these anti-ASB actions. Surely a good result? But the savings related to stopping
high numbers of emergency calls from just TWO people. One was demented and
put in a care home! The other was mentally ill and they changed his medicine!
This was about sick, vulnerable, people seeking help, not ASB and crime reduction.
Wirral View is full of such amusing alternative facts …it is surely a treasure.
Secondly Mr. Noble suggests using Wirral View to wrap fish and chips. Here is another thought. When I was a kid in Liverpool we could not afford toilet paper and used the Echo.The paper quality of Wirral View is far superior to the Echo and in these days of austerity it can be pressed into use instead. Thank you Wirral Council and keep up the crap work.
                                                                                    Professor D P Gregg (retired)
P.S. On 04.09.17 the Globe reported a 38% fall in ASB ‘across Wirral’ due to the above  activities. My FOI request answer was that this was ‘incorrect data’ in the press release you quoted. Apparently the note implies, the Globe should have realised this so it was  your fault really for publishing false information! By the way the 38% applied to Frank Field’s (Beirut) Birkenhead but it is also based on flawed statistical data.

 

 

Advent Farewell 6 – Deja View

There’s an interesting lead letter in the printed edition of this week’s Wirral Globe written by a certain Chris Noble asking for our views on what to do with the Wirral View. You can read the online version here : Your Views?

Mr Noble tells us he wraps his fish and chips in it. How very droll! But dare we suggest that Mr Noble is a bit late to the Christmas Party? We made the following suggestions a year ago in our Things To Do With Wirral View  post where we wrote:

Put out the flags! Strike up the band !  – not that it was delivered to Leaky Towers but we’ve finally got our hands on an actual paper copy of the second issue of the Wirral Council newspaper Wirral View .  

And was it worth the wait we hear you cry ? – “not so much”  we reply ! . Seemingly in an attempt to avert the attention of  Department of Communities and Local Government minister Marcus Jones who takes a dim view of such publications  Wirral Council seem to to have reversed the old Daily Mail ad slogan and made Wirral View – ” A snoozepaper  , not a newspaper” . Dear Lord but it’s dull.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2016/news/tax-boost-for-local-press-as-minister-launches-council-paper-crackdown/

The tone is set on the front page  with an exclusive story about road gritters. Now we’re sure the guys in the picture are lovely chaps and they do a wonderful job but it’s a bit of a literal and metaphorical fall back down to earth after the fireworks on the front page of the first issue .  The partly obscured word “SPREADING” (no laughing at the back) seems to a subliminal message as even by issue 2 Wirral View seems to spreading itself too thin ( down to 28 pages from 32 and no advertising!) . Her Ladyship was most disappointed there wasn’t even a follow up recipe to the spicy lentil & tomato soup recipe from the first issue.

Therefore  to avoid that empty feeling for those who feel their information deficit has yet to be filled we’ve come up with five festive fun things to do with your copy of Wirral View.  And so with a cry of  : ” Mummy dearest pass me my superman pyjamas I’m going to the spare room to crank one out for Wirral Leaks ….” here dear reader is the list we cranked out just for you ! : 

  1. RETURN TO SENDER

Buy some extra stamps from the Wirral Scout & Guide Charity Post and return the unwanted gift back .

Do_This-Return-to-Sender

2. PARTY BUNTING

Make your own party bunting – or better still your own party political bunting by personalising it with pictures of your favourite local politicians !

things-to-do-023

   3. CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

Do as Wirral View suggest and recycle card and paper from around your home! Forget health and safety regulations (or should that be elf and safety !- geddit?) and craft your own crackers from an empty loo roll. Add some glitter to bring a bit of sparkle to your mundane existence!

things-to-do-019things-to-do-022

 

4. PARTY HATS

What better accessory to go with the wacky Christmas jumper than a Wirral View party hat ! You can surprise everyone  at the Wirral Council office party by showing what a funster you really are under that dour exterior . But remember ! – no photocopying your bottom or subsidising your festivities by raiding the petty cash tin!- or Internal Audit will be after you. Oops! no sorry they missed that particular party trick didn’t they?

things-to-do-030

5.  HAVE YOURSELF A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS

After a trip to the local foodbank to pick up a slightly dented tin of Spam for Christmas dinner why not go the whole hog and get  into the austerity spirit of rationing and make do and mend. Relive those post-war , pre-Izal days of yore and get all nostalgic about outside lavs and using strips of old newspaper for loo roll!

Newspaper loo

Advent Farewell 3 – Wirral Needs

Wirral Needs

We think the fact that we have faced criticism from both ends of the political spectrum stands as testimony that we have always tried to be avowedly apolitical. For clarification we hold the political classes (with a few honourable exceptions) in complete contempt. However we have found ourselves regularly criticising the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council  because a) they’re in power b) they abuse that power and c) some Labour councillors are either not up to the job or in some cases , simply corrupt.

It is not that we are anti-Labour per se it’s just that we’ve long maintained that we deserve so much better from them as councillors and MPs. With the local media more or less sewn up – adding further to the argument their own publication Wirral View is surplus to requirements and an expensive luxury – and local political opposition being, at best ineffective and at worst, collusive, we have always maintained that the only way the local Labour cabal would change their ways was when their own supporters started holding them to account.

As we can see from the recent reinstatement of the Wallasey CLP there is an increasingly interesting battle for the soul of the Labour Party on Wirral . However what Wirral needs is more politically engaged people of all political persuasions and we have to say in the seven years that Wirral Leaks has been a minor irritant there does appear to be an increase in public awareness of what goes on in Wallasey Town Hall . No doubt this has been prompted by a continuing series of damning reports involving Wirral Council after which we’re inevitably told ‘lessons have been learned’  – which inevitably it hasn’t and which ourselves  us and other excellent local blogs continue to point out. We are also encouraged by the increase in campaign groups that are challenging the political status quo.

One such campaign is Wirral Needs ,which although may be too closely politically aligned for us to maintain our neutrality, it is fair to say we broadly support the campaign to prevent the continuing dismantling of public services.  However we don’t think it’s just about serving the needs of the wealthy – it’s also about serving the needs of the political classes locally and nationally and fuelled by self interest and nepotism.

From the Wirral Needs campaign:

Please continue mobilising for our protests against public-sector cuts and privatisation:

      5pm Monday 11th December, Wallasey Town Hall, for the Full Council meeting at 6pm – the WIRRAL NEEDS petition is on the agenda; support our speaker, and

      9am Monday 18th December, Wallasey Town Hall, for the Cabinet meeting at 10am – we expect all the proposed cuts 2018/19.

 This weekend, every Labour Member of the Council will receive copies of the attached letter, joint position statement and leaflet in advance of the Labour Group meeting on Monday 4th  

The letter is published here :

To each Member of the Labour Group, Wirral Council

SERVE HUMAN NEED NOT GREED: STOP CUTS & PRIVATISATION

A petition of Wirral people has been submitted for the Council meeting on 11th December.  It calls on our Labour-controlled Council to start seriously fighting cuts to, and privatisation of, our much-needed public services.  That means no longer doing the Tories’ dirty work, and ending secretive decision-making.

It means working with unions to protect and build all the services we need on the Wirral for safe, useful work and fulfilling lives.  It means getting out of the Town Hall and helping to lead a mass public campaign against Tory austerity, greed, hypocrisy and cruelty to working and marginalised people.

The petition will be supported by a demonstration of protest by local people, including many Labour Party members – a protest against a Labour Council, which has been serving the needs of the wealthy and not the needs of workers, dependents and vulnerable people.

We are asking you to support the people of Wirral.

Whether the Labour old guard finally realise that there are people out there who want  Wirral politicians to finally change for the better or whether they’ll resort to the time-honoured tradition of  denial, carrying on as abnormal and claiming conspiracies against them – be it from the left or the right – only the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’ will know!………….

A Repulsive Exclusive

Echo exclusive 011

We understand that Wirral Council have just agreed a 3-year £750K contract with Trinity Mirror (publisher of the Liverpool Echo) to print their appalling rag Wirral View. This new arrangement  is due to start on December 1st so we just hope that council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies , seen bopping away in a PRIVATE box in the Liverpool Echo Arena at last night’s Queen & Adam Lambert concert, paid for the dubious privilege or at least made an appropriate conflict of interest declaration. Just sayin’

However the arrangement seems to be bearing strange fruit for the Liverpool Echo as they publish an EXCLUSIVE! , presumably courtesy of Wirral Council ,on the repulsive Rajenthiram brothers Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) case.

As we’ve already reported the Serious Case Review (SCR) report has not , and currently will not, be published . Instead  Liverpool Echo have today published a front page  EXCLUSIVE! under the headline  Grave Errors ‘ paved way for Wirral abuse scandal ‘. Inside on page 16 there are details of the 24 ( count’em) recommendations of the SCR.  Crime Reporter Joe Thomas chips in with the sub-heading ” Too many missed opportunities. The public should be told”  and bigs up the Echo’s role in revealing ‘concerns’. However after the bigging up comes the inevitable copping out as Joe says :

“The safeguarding situation on Wirral is said to be much different now ….”

And commenting on Wirral Safeguarding Children Board’s chair Dr Maggie Atkinson he adds :

” And she believes that improvements have already been made – and that the same failings seen in the Rajenthiram case would not be repeated today”

Yeah , whatever! Hey! Joe they said that in 2012 after the publication of a damning Independent Review about adult social services. They lie. It’s what these people do. Might we suggest you at  least check out the veracity of their claims before publishing.

Meanwhile we still think that the problem with Wirral Council is its culture and which is revealed in the 24th and last recommendation of the SCR  which reads :

To ensure the promotion of “professional curiosity” when vulnerable children seek advice 

Or in layperson’s terms – try and employ people who actually give a shit about their job and more importantly vulnerable people. Simple as that.

However isn’t it reassuring to know that the day before Wirral Council was humiliatingly yet again being called out for being crap all over the local TV and press that its ‘leader’ saw fit to play air guitar and headbang along to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ ?

Public Services – ‘At Risk’

Public sector workers

Public service ‘transformers’ at work.

Today we return to a sadly familiar tale. The destruction of public services and those public servants making a killing making it happen and enabling private sector vultures to gorge on the corpse.
Let’s start appropriately enough with one of our respondents by the name of ‘P45’ who told us in a reply to an earlier post :
Won’t be reported in the glorious Wirral View how hundreds of (Wirral) council workers have just this week received ‘at risk’ letters.
Average wage of these manual workers 18k a year – the normal cuts start at the bottom.
Compare that with the obscene rates paid to fly by night municipal mercenaries in the form of external consultants and  particularly so called ‘transformers’ who seem particularly adept at transforming their bank balance if nothing else. These are dark days for public services – not just in terms of central government funding but also because of those who seek financial and /or career advantage from its demise.
No doubt the latest round  of redundancy threats will be done in the name of short term savings when we all know its more about the Council divesting themselves of direct responsibility for staff and services.  Then watch as in the long term the council wage bill rises to pay for agency workers and temporary staff on insecure short term contracts.
But then what hope do rank and file staff have when they are not only at the mercy of self serving senior managers but are also ill served by supine unions and betrayed by amoral councillors – the most sickening example being serial failure Cllr Steve Foulkes recently voting himself a rise in expenses/allowances for sitting on outside bodies alongside his day job and his council duties when council staff are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
Of course this  “I’m Alright Jack” mentality shows up the support for the likes of foodbanks and the homeless to be the phony political posturing and cynical virtue signalling that it is.  ” Oh these foodbanks are a damning indictment of modern society  ….. I know !  let’s open another foodbank so I can get my picture in the paper”.
As we know there’s not only political capital to be had at the expense of the vulnerable there is ,more pertinently,  financial capital to be gained.
Indeed we have been provided with a telling example by a well placed source who notes that we have written extensively about Change, Grow, Live  (CGL).  As we know CGL are the grateful recipients of the biggest slice of Public Health monies ( £7 million +) to provide drug and alcohol services that were previously provided by the NHS. Our source has been reliably informed that David Biddle the Chief Executive of  CGL ( formerly Crime Reduction Initiatives) will be in line for a £1 million golden handshake when he retires next year .  David Biddle – ‘stepping down’
In an interview published last year in The Guardian Mr Biddle claimed ‘what pissed people off’ was that CGL were ‘very businesslike’. Read the full story here : What pisses people off
Believe us Mr Biddle the CGL operation on Wirral has been described to us in many ways but ‘very businesslike’ certainly isn’t one of them! What’s more what we think really pisses us off is people making obscene amounts of public money that can be made out of other people’s misery . As our source says :
Surely this is public money, squeezed from LA drug budgets as CGL undercut by some way existing NHS services, like Wirral, and set up inferior and less effective services. Remember the 72 dead here in their first eighteen months? Talk about blood money.
It is because of the increasing prevalence of scenarios such as this that we applaud the work of campaign groups such as Defend Our NHS Wirral who campaign to support public services for the benefit of ALL and not just the gilded elite ‘transforming’ public services mainly for the benefit of themselves.
“Will you defend our NHS?”
Wirral campaign group Defend Our NHS has written to all councillors to find out where they stand on the destruction of the National Health Service.
The group, alongside others in Cheshire & Merseyside, is asking councillors to do more than express their admiration for the NHS and its staff.
Rather than simply share patients’ and widespread public concerns at the harm being done to our health service by cuts and closures Wirral councillors have the statutory power to STOP the damage in its tracks.
Wirral shares the same problems as other parts of the country. But the closure of the Eastham Walk-In Clinic (without adequate notice or indeed any consultation), the pressures on Arrowe Park Hospital, and the ongoing appointment difficulties are just some of the specific local concerns.
All of this, and the accelerating pace at which problems are mounting, are the inevitable result of £22 billions cut from the NHS budget. And now the so-called ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ (STP) would produce a permanent regime of cuts (almost a further £1 billion in our region) and threats to a free national health service.
Wirral Council voted last December to oppose the STP for Cheshire & Merseyside which would inevitably (unless stopped) lead to an American-style ‘accountable care system’ (ACS).
The STP and ACS scandal is now the subject of two legal challenges.
Defend Our NHS is asking all councillors three simple questions to discover where they stand on all this.
Along with other campaign groups in the STP ‘footprint’ Defend Our NHS will be publishing the results and inviting councillors to briefing sessions to learn more about the destruction of our NHS – and how to defend and reinstate it.
1. Do you support our campaign to stop the STP and oppose the further cuts? YES/NO
2. Do you support the reinstatement of our NHS? YES/NO
3. Will you tell Wirral voters what your responses are in any forthcoming communication? YES/NO

Happy Talk

Wirral view Latest 492

Imagine our delight at Leaky Towers to receive a rare ,hand delivered copy of Wirral View on a Sunday afternoon. If truth be told we were briefly entertained by the sheer brain numbing , desperate, relentless positivity of it all.

As it would appear that this comic (without the laughs) is not attracting enough advertising revenue to make this vacuous vehicle viable we are instead treated to 28 pages of relentless intelligence insulting  BS ( we can almost feel our cranium escaping out of our earholes).

In lieu of addressing our ‘information deficit’  we get a free full page plug for relentless self promoter Nisha Katona and her Mowgli chain of Indian eateries. Ms Katona eulogises about Wirral without mentioning she hasn’t yet opened a restaurant in the place where she chooses to call home.

But don’t despair Nisha dispenses her wisdom on how to start a successful start -up. Might we suggest the income earned from being a barrister for 20 years might have helped somewhat and that attending Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s Enterprise Hub (FFS!) wasn’t the key to Mowgli’s nationwide success (just sayin’!)

However we acknowledge that Nisha is just trying to make a (very good) living and instead we reserve our opprobrium for Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and his ‘leader’s column’ ( no laughing at the back) .

Pip makes reference to the recent Rightmove website survey which suggests that Wirral  is ‘officially’ the happiest place to live in the North West of England and the third happiest in the UK (  yeah ! whatevs!)

As we’ve alluded to before , perhaps ‘happiness’ on Wirral is predicated by on which side of the M53 you live and whether you have a property to sell with Rightmove ( just sayin’). Even after using the word ‘officially’  Pip concedes that these surveys are ‘ a bit of fun’.   But fun for who?  lazy press officers?  It should as come as no surprise that Pip concludes ‘What a wonderful place we call home’

But then when a monumental mediocrity like him reaches the top of the Wirral tree – a la Mandy Rice Davies – he would say that wouldn’t he? For others who don’t live in the right postcode he fails to acknowledge that life on Wirral can be pretty grim.

Meanwhile other highlights from this latest edition include Cllr George Davies cutting a tape ( Freud would have a ( Frank) Field day) and the headline ‘Everything you want to know about Wirral’  juxtaposed ,with no irony whatsoever, with  ‘ Secret Bunker of New Brighton’ .

You really couldn’t make this shit up ! – but  Wirral Council do – and at our expense. But at least thanks to Wirral View we know to make a ‘CHEEKY CHILLI!’

 

 

Double Dealers

Wirral Council closes in on double deal

Hey Eric, is that Asif Hamid in the background? Might we suggest you don’t introduce him to the Foulkes’s any time soon ? Just sayin’ !

Recent alleged racist events on the continent rather overtook us ( you may have noticed) so this particular post was relegated to the back burner. Nevertheless we think this story is interesting for several reasons. To understand what we mean read the following link:

Wirral Council Closes In On Double Deal

First of all doesn’t Wirral Council CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson look particularly smug? Wouldn’t you be on a near cool £200K of public money we hear you cry ! Well, yes but would you be him? , we shriek back in horror.

Apparently according to Inside Media :

Wirral Council is close to sealing two major land and property deals in Birkenhead totalling 200,000 sq ft.

The local authority has signalled its intention to acquire a number of strategic sites and buildings to support the work of Wirral Growth Company, a new joint venture company that it is creating with the private sector.

As part of this, the council has reported that it is close to concluding two acquisitions in central Birkenhead, while a further four potential deals are currently under negotiation. The objective is to unlock covenants and leases that are holding back redevelopment, and to provide new revenue streams to support local services where buildings are profitably occupied.

The exact details of the sites have not been disclosed.

Whilst it seems the usual Wirral Council story of Stressed Eric doing his dance of the seven veils like a superannuated local government (asset) stripper on their behalf – ‘signalled its intention’ , ‘close to concluding’ , ‘potential deals’, ‘currently under negotiation’ , ‘the exact details of the sites have not been disclosed’  –  we’re particularly intrigued as to why this major exclusive announcing the selling off of what remains of the Borough’s family silver was heralded on this particular (deservedly) obscure website.

We haven’t checked the Wirral View lately ( let’s face it – life’s too short) or other Wirral Council approved outlets to check whether this story was covered elsewhere but we’re astounded that Stressed Eric can , from the comfort of yet another costly and glamorous MIPIM event ,this time in London rather than the rather more louche Cannes, casually announce major plans for the redevelopment of Birkenhead.

Can somebody tell us how, without any local consultation or hysterical local press coverage replete with the requisite ‘artist’s impressions’ of schemes that will never come to fruition unless magic mushrooms are involved, that this ever went to press?

Answers on a postcard please ( or should that be a brown envelope ?)………….

 

Picture the View

Picture the View 018

One of the arduous tasks we all have to endure when returning from a break is to catch up on correspondence. So imagine our delight when wading through the bills and flyers that had landed on our doormat during our absence that we found a copy of Wirral View.

As this is only the second copy we have received of this elusive publication since its launch we decided to wait a week , give the publication the attention it deserves and review the latest edition of Wirral View whilst we were perusing the Sunday papers in the Leaky Towers morning room or what we are now calling in the modern vernacular , the ‘Information Hub’ .

Needless to say we weren’t impressed. But then we never were. We had high hopes that Wirral View would provide us with  ‘endless opportunities for satire ‘ . But the man behind the hapless project – Wirral Council’s head of communications Kevin ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum is absolutely right when he says we haven’t ‘delivered’ on this pledge mainly because it’s the dreariest thing we’ve ever read and we can’t even work up enough enthusiasm to mock it.

Communication with Kev

Communicating with Kev – Continued

However we do note that the latest edition is already now down to 24 pages (from the original 32)  and we note that it consists of  more pictures than words. Not including the Wirral councillors mugshots we lost count at 80 pictures . The front page (see above) is indicative of the content within. It reminds us of the song lyric – “let’s go through the book of life , you can just look at the pictures if you like”  .   Her Ladyship quips that it would appear that Wirral View now has more fillers than Katie Price !

It seems to us that  Wirral Council think the collective readership of Wirral View has an ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ and need to be distracted at regular intervals by pretty pictures (or in some cases – not so pretty).

For example on page 8 there is a FULL PAGE encouraging us to, er, take a walk in the park and yet another half a page on 16 telling us to do the same – it’s just such a shame there is nearly another full page on page 23 which gives notices of parking charges in Wirral’s parks , thereby discouraging ‘one of the easiest ways to get active, lose weight and be healthier’. As ever with Wirral Council , it’s a case of left hand meet right hand.

Picture the View 010

We are left wondering just how the business case to set up Wirral View is stacking up. With just one (half page) advertisement from Goodwin’s restaurant in Greasby it’s no wonder another half page is used to flog advertising space with the questionable claim that “Wirral View is a monthly publication distributed FREE to every home and business in Wirral”

Two things  –  firstly ,Wirral View ain’t free , it costs Wirral council taxpayers at least £270K per annum and it needs to be asked as to whether those council taxpayers should be promoting  private businesses and secondly somebody needs to report Wirral Council to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)  if they cannot  provide evidence that Wirral View  is indeed distributed to every home and business in Wirral.

As far as we’re concerned this claim is all my arse and talking of which His Lordship must apologise but he has to be off to the Leaky Towers  ‘Slash & Dump Hub’.