The Ugly Truth

ugly-sisters

 

Do you think Frank Field was forced to eat sprouts as a child ?

We ask this as he seems to have a deep aversion to greens. First it was Wirral Council Chief Officer Dave Green ,then it was the local Green Party which brought on a funny turn and now dragging every last ounce out of the ‘Sir’ Philip Green BHS scandal Fairy Godfather Frankenfield does what he does best –  being a world class hypocrite and asking for big fines for people who – legally if not morally – have done nothing wrong.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14979464.Frank_Field_urges_billion_pound_fines_to_prevent_repeat_of_BHS_pensions__disaster_/

He’s big on morality is Frankenfield – as long it’s not his own and those he’s protecting. If we didn’t dislike the ugly face of capitalism ‘Sir’ Phil  so much we’d be straight on to his solicitor Schillings with the ugly truth about what Frankenfield has been up to round here.

Lest we forget this involves St. Frank of the Foodbanks trying to get council taxpayers to stump up a bung to protect his Plug ugly* political agent Cllr George Davies (see above) and prevent an highly incriminating recording ending up in the public domain.

Here’s a thought – how about the local Labour group paying the group of complainants with the Wirralgate tapes and not the long suffering local Council Taxpayers ?

We say this as apparently the Wirralgate scandal is ‘live and sensitive’. Ironically we only know this because of a Freedom of Information request on What Do They Know. Needless to say Wirral Council have denied the release of the Nick Warren investigation report that will explain fully and without undue influence what all the fuss has been about all these years – yeah , right!

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/nick_warren_investigation_report#incoming-909829

What could be the possible explanation for the ongoing delay with resolving this case?.

Here’s our guess – current Council Chief Officers Eric Robinson, Joe Blott and especially Surjit Tour and David Armstrong all must know they’ll be tainted forever if they capitulate the immoral demands of the moral crusader Frankenfield. We’ll reluctantly give former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess aka Burgesski his due – he wasn’t prepared to be blackmailed by Frankenfield about a £48,000 payment to his ‘special friend’ because allegedly she was bullied and harassed by the other ugly sister in this sordid scenario – Foulkesy.

Have you ever known such a sleazepit in your entire life?

It all makes ‘Sir’ Philip Green look like Mother Theresa ( who as far as we’re concerned was no saint anyway

*The Plug uglies were of course an American street gang who were referred to as a political club. We couldn’t think of a more apt description for local politicians!

WIRRALGATE! – The Road Makers on the Make ?

road-makers-012

For those with their finger on the ‘record’ button the streets of Wirral are lined with gold.

We’ve never been able to settle on a collective name for the four men of mystery at the centre of the Wirralgate saga. Various reports and articles have referred to them as ‘The Group’, ‘The Complainants’ and  The Colas/HESPE/Highways ‘whistleblowers’. However their elusive nature and their absence from the Thynne investigations suggests to us they have a slippery quality – a bit like phlegm.

Similarly does anyone know what their gripe with Wirral Council was ever about?. We know they were a bit peeved about not getting a contract to mend the roads and replace the bulbs in the streetlights and they claimed there  was some jiggerypokery about how the contract was awarded to Colas . Something to do with EU contract regulations being flouted – like that’s something new with Wirral Council!. For example their dodgy arrangement with Wirral Mind springs to,er, mind. Nothing was ever done about that one for a start.

For a group of people who prize their anonymity it is surprising they were quite happy at one time to appear on the Channel 4 Despatches programme. However we understand they were so unconvincing they were replaced by the man who has championed their cause  – Birkenhead MP Frank Field who in his inimitable style stabbed his protegees in the back by claiming that Wirral was a small place and if a council officer bumped into a contractor during a tender process , well that was to be expected, now all move along  there’s nothing to see here.

Inexplicably Frankenfield was to later take claims of alleged nefarious wrongdoing to Merseyside Police and the the Serious Fraud Office – unsurprisingly neither were interested.  An Audit Commission report was, as ever with auditors , inconclusive and there was also an independent investigation into claims undertaken by external investigator Richard Penn whose “no case to answer” conclusion may be open to question but again nothing was ever proved.

Nevertheless our “heroes” , the men who Frankenfield claimed the people of Wirral owed so much (£192,000 to be precise) , have continued to pursue a compensation claim against Wirral Council. Other than briefly naming one of them  years ago on the Wirral Council website no-one has ever been able to tell us what exactly why they think they deserve compensation.

The best that Frankenfield could come up with was the vague notion as to whether they’d been treated “fairly” and then completely “unfairly” got his old mucker Nick Warren to undertake an inquiry!. Let’s face it if there was a bespoke inquiry every time people from  Wirral claimed to be hard done by the council there’d be a long and winding road between the two town halls and we’d be here ’til kingdom come.

But then when we consider that one of the main protagonists in the Wirralgate scandal is Frankenfield’s political agent Cllr George Davies it might explain why St. Frank has too much to lose and isn’t prepared to play Pompeia on this one.

Strangely the infamous recording where Cllr George Davies tries to secure what The Group/Complainants etc; themselves called a “Smear Deal”  is not in the Terms of Reference for that inquiry. You’d think if the Group/Complainants etc; were so keen to expose wrongdoing and wanting to make Wirral Council better for all of us you’d have thought the first thing they would have done would be to publicly release the tapes , especially when Cllr George Davies reneged on the arrangement to “sort them out”. The “Smear Deal” being reliant on them providing a signed copy of an old letter they’d sent to former council head of law Bill Norman . It would appear that not only did they hand over the document they then started touting the recording of Cllr George Davies left right and centre. Talk about wanting your tape and playing it too!. It’s no wonder it’s reported in the first Thynne investigation report that they received threats that if they produced the tape the “Smear Deal” was off.

Road Makers 009.JPG

We can’t help thinking that if the Warren inquiry was legit it should have been a pre- condition that if an inquiry took place then the recordings – and we understand there’s a number of them – should have been handed over . Then there could be no accusations , including from council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies , that a recorded telephone conversation was being used to extort money from Wirral Council.

Davies - Thynne 1 008

As it stands the only sensible conclusion is that the tapes are indeed a sordid means to a seedy end . Although it needs to be said that this is a situation which was created and dictated by a group of corrupt politicians and not by The Group etc; themselves. Having said that , ordinarily we’d support anyone taking on Wirral Council but these guys seemed to have played fast and loose with politicians, the press , us , other whistleblowers – anyone who could help progress their dubious claim for compensation.

Why we feel particularly let down here at Leaky Towers is that we have always understood that the Wirralgate scandal  was a once in a lifetime opportunity to expose the dark heart of Wirral Council and to hold accountable those who’d abused their power for many years whilst all the while destroying people’s lives and careers in the name of self enrichment and self-aggrandizement. This small cabal of  conniving, lying , scheming politicians should have been thrown out of office years ago.

Sadly it would seem that because of the road makers on the make politics on Wirral will remain forever in the gutter.

 

 

WIRRALGATE! -George Davies Dodges The Bullet

GD-WIRRAL-GATE

As you can see we’ve compared  Cllr George Davies to former US President George Clinton before. As once gain we have -an admittedly minor league politician – making succession of denials which eventually will be proved to be a series of lies. The only difference here is the evidence is to be found in a taped conversation instead of on a blue dress.

Unfortunately for reasons best known to herself  Patricia Thynne did not take a statement from Cllr George Davies this time round – meaning that Foulkesy took the flak and Davies dodged the bullet.

However it is  perplexing that Thynne has corroborated evidence of what was heard on the Wirralgate tape from three different sources but the only reason she backed off is that is that she hasn’t heard it herself (despite pleas to the ‘The Group’ aka ‘The Complainants’ to do the right thing and hand it over).

As we know this is not the first time that Davies has been treated with kid gloves.There is the Peter McKay investigation ( which not surprisingly has never been published) about the racial slur used by Cllr Davies to describe Head of Law Surjit Tour.  This resulted in Council manager Joe Blott   deciding that  Davies and Tour come to a gentleman’s agreement behind closed doors and the public weren’t allowed to know anything about it. Astonishingly  this wasn’t a Code of Conduct complaint – which again is deeply perplexing as Council “leader”  Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies admits to hearing what George Davies said on the tape so shouldn’t he have referred the matter as a Code of Conduct complaint or even more appropriately have suspended his namesake. But of course he couldn’t do that could he ?- Frank Field couldn’t have his political agent subject to a Code of Conduct investigation or a suspension – who knows what might have been uncovered?.

Whilst we’re not dismissing the racial slur as a serious matter  (allegedly Davies claimed he called a Tour “a bloody useless gimp”!. Believe us he didn’t !) but the most important aspect of the case against George Davies and indeed of the ENTIRE Thynne 2 report can be found here :

Thynne - davies 008

Note the use of the term “criminal law” to describe a potential serious breach by Cllr George Davies.The serious breach being the offer of resolving a non-existent legal claim without due legal process if an alleged incriminating document was handed over. Which all of course means that the only thing keeping Davies & Co out of the custody suite is the fact that the taped conversation has never been handed over and means that the holders of the recording hold Wirral Council (or rather the corrupt bunch that control the purse strings ) a hostage to fortune.

Remember it was Council “leader” Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies who said in Thynne 1 :

Davies - Thynne 1 008

The  publication of Thynne 2 now must mean that the stakes are even higher and The Group/The Complainants must now surely be in a position to name their price. As everyone must know by now if those recordings were to ever come to light the house of cards would all come tumbling down .

Could the Wirralgate saga be any more sordid?. Based on further information we have received – yes it can ! – as we will detail in forthcoming posts.

 

WIRRALGATE! – Secrets and Lies

Private Eye Aug 2016 008

As we ponder the fallout from the Thynne 2 report we note that Private Eye magazine have this week written a less than flattering account of Wirral Council. The article focuses on the inglorious record of the Local Government Chronicle giving awards to local authorities “heading for (if not already up) shit creek” and as an example  goes on to question the secrecy surrounding the Standards Panel  where Thynne 2 was discussed.

For an eye witness account of the “bureaucratic machinations” surrounding the Standards Panel meeting look no further than the latest post on John Brace’s blog .

However as we promised we’ve given Thynne 2 the once over and as ever with such reports it provides us with more questions than answers. Nevertheless we thought we’d unpick what we could in a systematic way and deal with the leading players and outstanding  issues from the report in the following separate blog posts :

Foulkesy the Fibber  – the man and the motivation behind the lies

George Davies Dodges the Bullets – but for how long?

Green and Yellow – does Cllr Jeff Green deserve an apology?. In a word : No.

Double Echo – the tale behind a recording of a recording

Code of Silence – how councillors abuse their power to protect each other

The Notorious Two – the surprise witnesses who brought about Thynne 2

The Prefab Four – the anonymous men who hold Wirral’s leading politicians a hostage to fortune

It’ll End in Tears – who’ll be crying all the way to the bank and who’ll be in despair about the death of accountability? Wirral Leaks predicts some further twists and turns in this sordid saga despite the best intentions of Wirral Council to ‘move forward’ as fast as they can write a few cheques out!.

 

WIRRALGATE ! – Half the Story

 

SweatyFouker

 

Shamefully nearly 3 years after Wirral Leaks first broke the story here it is at last the 2nd Patricia Thynne  investigation report into misconduct by Wirral councillors -or more accurately and for some strange reason just one in particular.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/exclusive-wirralgate/

Verity is currently combing through the report and we will be bringing you our full detailed analysis over the next few days. But from what we’ve read it’s only half the story (if that) .

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=751&MId=5769&Ver=4

We have the advantage of having been  gifted  a very revealing archive which we hope tells a much more compelling and accurate version of events surrounding Wirralgate and which we think leaves an indelible stain on Wirral Council.

However for starters here are the findings against  Councillor Steve Foulkes

Thynne 2 015

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents/s50035824/20160628_Standards%20Panel%20Decision%20Notice.pdf

We’ll leave our readers to consider in the light of the findings whether an apology is an appropriate sanction for such astonishing dishonesty and whether someone who conducts themselves in such a manner should be making decisions about your life and representing Wirral Council on lucrative outside bodies.

The Gaslighters : Silent but Deadly

Lying

Wirral Council will be holding the most significant meeting in their history today.

What do you mean you haven’t heard about it?…… details are right there on their website. Oh no sorry they aren’t are they ?!.

Of course they’re not as Wirral Council’s gaslighting* of the masses continues unabated.

So what are we banging on about you might ask yourselves? – today (and possibly) tomorrow if the meeting is adjourned , in a room somewhere in Wallasey Town Hall , the details of the second (and hopefully more factually accurate ) Thynne Inquiry will be laid bare before a select few. A select few who have been sworn to secrecy and silence.

Not surprisingly we’ve made the comparison to the Chilcot Inquiry before –  delays, bureaucrats protecting their political masters, and the Maxwellisation of the process as politicians bleat about how they’re being picked on and it’s all so unfair.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/the-maxwellisation-of-wirral-council/

The only difference is it looks like The Chilcot Inquiry will actually get published very soon and discussion will take place in public . We even live in hope that there may actually be some sort of belated accountability for the Iraq war debacle.

But oh no not the Thynne Inquiry – what could possibly be so incendiary that it wouldn’t be allowed to see the light of day?. Could it be the truth about how some of the most senior politicians on Wirral conduct themselves and have been conducting themselves for many years ? . Destroying the lives and livelihoods of those who dared challenge their wrongdoing so that they could  maintain their reputations and positions of power – and what’s more using YOUR MONEY to do it!.

As we’ve said before it is the poison that has infected the body politic of Wirral for far too long. An infection that the likes of the Local Government Association and various consultants have diagnosed (for a big fat fee)  but chose to walk away from saying  to Wirral Council : physician heal thyself!.  The physician in this case being Harold Shipman.

Of course the Thynne Inquiry is just one half  of this sordid tale. Does anyone know if the Nick Warren Review (allegedly completed in April 2015) will  ever see the light of day?. No – thought not!. Whilst we might know that both of the reports from these investigations are different sides of the same sordid ,moneygrubbing coin known as Wirralgate –  why is it that  the people of Wirral aren’t allowed to know ?. Is it because they’re just considered to be the mugs kept in perpetual ignorance  and yet are expected pick up the tab for covering up corruption in high places.

Therefore we ask is it too much to expect that Wirral Council communications tsar Martin Liptrotsky should be enlightening rather than gaslighting the press about today’s momentous meeting?.

 

*Gaslighting

Where The Paranormal Is Normal

Leaky towers

Infamously Wallasey Town Hall was once described in a damning report as a place where the abnormal is normal.

Well it would appear that in yet another  case of you-couldn’t-make-this-shit-up that there will be a Wallasey Town Hall Ghost Hunt held next month where the abnormal is now paranormal .

http://www.trinityparanormalteam.co.uk/#!wallasey-town-hall—sat-11th-june/m12az

Yes – apparently there will be a Paranormal Team on hand at the event and guests are encouraged but not forced to participate in “experiments ” which  include:-

Vigils and seances in your groups – this will be very familiar to a lot of people already as let’s face it trying to get a response from Wirral Council on some issues is like trying to commune with the dead. So save yourself from making a time consuming Freedom of Information request – join hands , close your eyes and chant :  ” Eric can you hear me ? …..is that you Eric ?…….Eric you’re very faint …….what’s that you say ?……you want to apply an exemption and can’t be full and frank with the living ?…..”      

Table tipping we assume this must mean getting rid of all those excess desks floating like ghosts round Wallasey Town Hall following the arrival of shiny new office furniture earlier this year

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/well-furnished/

Ouija board and glass divination (both optional) – Watch as the powers of darkness spell out W-I-R-R-A-L-G-A-T-E   

Lone vigils (optional) – This will be for all the Wirral Council whistleblowers sent to Coventry or Occupational Health  or the dole queue . Remember this is optional – the option being to keep your mouth shut and your head down.

Human pendulam (sic) – As we all know a pendulum is a body suspended from a fixed support so that it swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity. We’re guessing that a human pendulum at Wallasey Town Hall consists of senior managers swinging freely back and forth under the influence of those who have power in the hope that they’re not the latest human sacrifice tossed into the gutter once they’ve served their purpose.  

Full use of equipment throughout the night including K2 metres, hand-held thermometres (sic) and voice recorders –  Sssssssh! –  we don’t know what the first two are for but if there’s one thing that will scare some councillors more than anything at Wallasey Town Hall it’s the use of voice recorders!!!.

Ouija

Panel Beaters

Panel Beaters 007

Now this is getting silly.Very silly indeed.

Remember the serial postponements of the Standards & Constitutional Oversight Committee which we have previously reported ? –  well as you all may know there was supposed to be a meeting of a  Standards Panel comprising of 3 councillor reps to consider   “serious” matters prior to the reconvening of this Committee . We understand that these “serious” matters concerned  the second Patricia Thynne investigation report into the alleged misconduct of senior councillors.

Well that Standards Panel meeting was set to take place next week on March 23rd. Now whilst it may still be listed as “PROVISIONAL” on the Wirral Council website we understand the meeting has now  been “POSTPONED”.

Somebody on the Labour benches must have twigged that Purdah didn’t start until March 28th and it would be inopportune during the run up to the local elections to have any more “unpleasantness” hanging around in the air like a fart in an elevator.

As we understand that Thynne completed her report at least 6 months ago it suggests to us that it’s the same old story of the Wirral Council power elite abusing their power . The same tactics were deployed with the recent belated publication of the LGA Peer Review . The fancy word they like to use for incessant delays is that reports have a number of  “iterations”  –  for  fact -checking, right of reply etc;.

What is really means is that it enables Wirral Council to not only “massage the message” but to buy some time when it comes to damage limitation.

We can only wonder what arm-twisting Patricia Thynne was subject to to take the sting out of her final report. All we will say is that at least the LGA Peer Review is now actually publicly available – there’s more chance of Lord Lucan riding Shergar in the Grand National than Thynne 2 appearing any time soon.

Which leads us to make this heartfelt plea  : Enough is enough! . Can we just cut the crap and ask somebody to just leak the damn report ?. Let’s face it Wirral Council are not averse to making strategic leaks when it suits them (not that we’re complaining!). Let’s not forget the infamous leaks of confidential information involving former Head of Tourism Emma Degg . To leak one confidential  Compromise Agreement looks like carelessness but to leak two looks like there’s a hidden agenda…….which brings us full circle back to the cancellation of the Standards Panel !.

The Kipling Method

 

Town hall foulkes 2 015Town hall foulkes 2 011Town hall foulkes 2 014

As moviegoers can testify a sequel is rarely as good as the original.

As Her Ladyship once witheringly whispered to me : ” Darling, you’ve disappointed more women than Sex and The City 2.”

However we at Leaky Towers are breathless with anticipation that lurking somewhere in Wallasey Town Hall is a follow up investigative report which is the equivalent of The Godfather Part II .Which is that rare thing – a sequel that many film fans think surpasses the original.Perhaps more pertinently the film is concerned with omertà – the Cosa Nostra code of silence….and so strangely enough is this report.

Readers may remember that in July 2014 we commented on the release of the original report into the Wirralgate scandal by investigator Patricia Thynne where we commented :

” All we can do is implore anyone who interested in “how things work” on Wirral is to read the report which consists of 17 pages of pure putrescence….”

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/wirralgate-council-claim-theyve-got-it-taped/

Last year Wirral Council were quite happy to publish the findings , possibly thinking that somehow it would finally put the biggest scandal in Wirral Council history to bed. However beady-eyed readers will now find that if they click on “DOWNLOAD” in the link above that the message “Page Not Found” will appear on your screen and whaddyaknow the report is no longer available on Wirral Council’s new in-yer-face website.

So why might this suddenly be the case?.Could it be that there is a sequel to this elusive report which is now in the Wirral Council cutting room being judiciously edited and unlikely to be premiered any time soon – even though Wirral council taxpayers paid for it !.

We can only presume that Wirral Council don’t want any public interest minded websites comparing the two reports and highlighting the glaring discrepancies between them.And by glaring discrepancies we mean the LIES told by senior Wirral councillors .

So why have we got such high hopes of this sequel when the original “Report of Investigation Into Allegations of Breach of Code of Councillors”  was such a travesty?.This is because ,  from what we can gather , this update report features some special guest appearances and a surprising star turn from a former leading lady which now means there are considerably less holes in the plot. 

We just hope the follow up investigation used  “The Kipling Method” –  a time and tested investigative technique based on the Rudyard Kipling poem :

                                                I keep six honest serving-men
                                                 (They taught me all I knew);
                                                 Their names are What and Why and When
                                                 And How and Where and Who.

The application of The Kipling Method (What , Why, When ,How , Where ,Who) to the film stills of Cllr Steve Foulkes shown above and the shameful events that have followed these ugly scenes from a council meeting held on 15th July 2013 will , we believe , be the reason for Wirral council’s X-rating – X for eXemption. Put it this way we wouldn’t waste your time making a Freedom of Information request for this particular report if we were you.

The powers that be know that this sequel always had the potential to unspool messily , entangling some of the most prominent local politicians and scuppering some lofty political ambitions……and is the reason that every effort is being made to ensure that this report never sees the light of day.

Finally , knowing what we know about  Cllr George Davies’ role in the fiasco initiated by the Foulkes horrorshow , which thankfully is more a voice-over than a close-up , can we offer some advice?. Instead of relentlessly posing for publicity shots such as the one outside New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion – where Davies stands next to Lofty the home insulation polar bear – that he needs to take a long hard look at himself in the mirror ( a big ask we know) and consider whether he is really the right person to be Wirral Council’s spokesperson on the local Restorative Justice scheme which is launched tomorrow in Wallasey Town Hall.

“The scheme is only applied in cases where those responsible admit their behaviour……….”

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/news/16-10-2015/can-you-help-deliver-neighbourhood-justice

Seriously Cllr Davies ?, really ?………….. at least you’ve finally confirmed to us that you really do have more front than New Brighton itself.

WTAF! Picture courtesy of The Wirral Globe

WTAF?! The only thing coming out of this picture with any dignity is the turnip.
Picture courtesy of The Wirral Globe

 

Suspension Suspense

suspended_animation

Following the time-honoured tradition of burying bad news it was announced (or rather it was dragged out of them) just prior to the elections ,that the North West Labour Party had suspended Wirral Labour Councillor Louise Reece Jones pending a further investigation.As you can see from the press report they are desperately trying to keep this one on media lockdown. HERE

Consequently, we have been asked whether we know why Cllr.Reecejones had been suspended – and needless to say – we do.

This is Wirral Council we’re talking about – where leaks are in direct proportion to secrets.

We publicly stated on Twitter that we wouldn’t want to jeopardise due process (an alien concept at Wallasey Town Hall) so we’ll keep a watching brief on this development for now.

We expect the usual – a report to be released on Christmas Eve stating how robustly Labour Party investigated the matter and there will be press release stating either a) there is no case to answer or b) appropriate sanction will be made as such misconduct will not be tolerated (unless you’re Cllr.Steve Foulkes or Cllr.George Davies).

Talking of which we were excited about new kid on the blog “The Morton Distortions” written by Wirral Council whistleblower Martin Morton but somewhat like Cllr.Reece jones that currently also seems to be in a state of suspended animation.

From what we’d read there were a couple of revelations about the Wirralgate scandal which we didn’t know about – but much of it we already knew and had already disclosed.

We’re just waiting information from a couple of sources and we’re ready to publish “The Definitive Guide to Wirralgate”.

Might we suggest that it might be useful to her if Cllr Reecejones reads the guide so as to understand what conduct the local Labour group think is or is not acceptable.

Failing that we think her only hope is to foster a friendship with Frankenfield very,very quickly or her days are numbered.