Rotten Boroughs AGAIN !

…..And Wirral makes another of it’s regular appearances in Private Eye’s infamous Rotten Boroughs column - How much do they spend on "Reputation Management" and “spin”… hardly money well spent surely? And we all know how it ended for Malcolm Tucker ;)

Doubtless Mr Norman will appear over in Weightman’s or another solicitors firm or LA very soon

Tricked or Treat ? Where the Abnorman is Normal

DIRTY TRICKS AND TASTY TREATS
 
Lord and Lady Wirralleaks and all at Leaky Towers have been casting an increasingly jaundiced eye over recent comings and goings at Wirral Council.However if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor we have been keeping our powder dry and waiting for the dust to settle before we decided to put in our twopenneth worth with regard to the recent departure of Bill Norman Esq - ex Director of Law & Whatnot at the aforementioned esteemed institution (and we use the term advisedly).
 
New Chief Exec Graham Burgess seemed awfully keen to state that following the fallout from a recent investigation concerned with some decidedly dodgy dealings that there was “no case to answer” after all -  and so with a cry of “William ,it was really nothing”  Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer was bade a fond farewell with a big wodge of Council Tax payers cash.
 
This apparently was agreed after the former Director of Law said he wanted to leave the Council and hired some lawyers to fight his corner ( we know! - there was many a chuckle at the Towers when we realised the irony of that one) We can only conjecture that these fearless legal eagles must have mounted a robust and complex legal challenge which went something like: ” Sweet William has been terribly upset by all this unpleasantness so can you be awfully good chaps and pay our legal bills and give him a nice fat cheque to add to his collection and he’ll go quietly .Please?.Pretty please?” .
 
Because as we know that “Torbay Bill” has a bit of  a track record in not only ”dealing” with whistleblowers but also for “trousering the cheque” courtesy of a troubled Council .
 
 
 
However we couldn’t help feeling that there was something decidedly amiss about this arrangement. As I reminded Lady W when I had that unfortunate misunderstanding over my expenses (some pesky penpusher asking awkward questions about claims for dredging the moat at Leaky Towers, the ornamental duckhouse and the business trip with Miss Snoop to Paris) -  I soon came to realise that perhaps it might be expeditious to “spend more time with my long suffering family ” which I believe is correct expression used these days - although Eldritch puts it rather more prosaically as : " Leg it quick- we’ve been fucking rumbled" .
 
This ”accounting error” ultimately meant I had to leave my office with a shoebox  full of the loose change out of my desk drawer,some snaps of Verity under the Eiffel Tower and half a box of Earl Grey teabags.However as far as I can remember I did not depart with £150k of public money tucked cosily into my handkerchief pocket.
 
Therefore ,especially as the nights have been drawing in, the Leaky Towers household have been entertaining themselves in front of the log fire with games of Wirral Council Cluedo .
 
After a hearty,warming supper prepared by cook Miss Knowall - believe me there are times when I simply can’t wait to get my teeth into Nigella’s dumplings-  we all hunker down and lay the suspects on the floor, trying to identify what was behind this seemingly “irrational generosity” towards Mr.Norman. 
 
Now the first thing that perceptive Miss Snoop suggested was that we needed to identify was who sent Mr.Norman off site in the first place?.
However matters were confused by the fact that over the past couple of years there had been so many Chief Execs or Acting Chief Execs ( or “Acting the fucking goat” as Eldritch would have it)  - that it was difficult to identify who might have done the dirty deed just as Billyboy was due to go his well-earned summer jollies.
 
Lady W peeked out from behind her  Sudoku puzzle to suggest that perhaps it was Mr.C in the Finance Department as he was Acting Chief Exec at some point. “ No couldn’t be him “ prompted Miss Knowall   "because he was sent off site at the same time".
And  what’s more I added Mr.Coleman must be a bit miffed that he bagged just over half of what Bill Norman got especially since Norman has been at the Council for 4 years and Coleman had been there for as long as any of us could remember.  
 
It was at this point that Eldritch blurted out “MF”!. Lady W  was rather taken aback by this outburst : “ Really Ernest, must we?, I know you’re frustrated about this situation but the Oedipal expletive is not an acceptable term to be used in a respectable household”  
 
 " No Ma’m. I meant MF for Michael Frater".
 
We all scratched our heads and looked at each other quizzically until Miss Snoop helpfully opened the press cuttings file and yes, indeed there he was!  - he was the high flyer who flew in like a particularly opinionated canary saying that “weird” things were going on in Wirral and that the AKA report was “understated” and he was going to chuck out those birds of a feather who had flocked together to feather their own nests or some such birdshit.
 
However it would appear that before anyone noticed that he’d made not a blind bit of difference, he too flew south (while the Council went west) - clutching a big bag of swag in his beak ( £75K for 6 months work - nice work if you can get it).
 
So forthwith off went Miss Snoop to make some enquiries of trusted sources about the mysterious Master Frater and well,well,well it would seem that he may well have been involved in the suspension of Norman,Coleman ,Green and the other one who’s name escapes us - Lady W keeps referring to him as Mr.Taylor -Dane- but I’m sure that can’t be right.   
 
Anyway I digress -  as the crux of the matter lies in the fact that according to official Council sources “there was no case to answer”.However what seems not to have been considered in all this is an obscure Council ruling that Miss Snoop has uncovered in Chief Officers contracts of employment.And it would appear that Wirral Council Chief Officers, as befitting their Godlike status, cannot be suspended until it is first established that : "THERE IS A CASE TO ANSWER"!.
 
This privilege of course does not extend to the rest of the hoi polloi who work for the Council - but of course what it affords is the opportunity for Chief Officers to head for the shredder ,lean on the underlings to keep schtum and generally get their friends in high places to close ranks, all accompanied by the discordant clamour of the armour plating of backsides.
 
Of course if  Master Frater did indeed send  Bill Norman packing before it was proven “there was a case to answer” then dare we suggest this would have “compromised” Wirral Council somewhat and smoothed legal negotiations towards an amicable settlement on behalf of Mr.Norman?.
 
Of course as we understand that Bill Norman was not subject to a confidentiality clause within his Compromise Contract perhaps he’d like to resolve the mystery and share with the long suffering Wirral public what actually happened.
 
However the reality will be that with Norman,Wilkie and Coleman gone that some very senior Councillors will be resting easier in their beds -seemingly safe in the knowledge that the REALLY BIG DIRTY SECRET will remain forever hidden.
 
Fear not Leakers Miss Snoop has the key to that secret on a chain which she wears round her neck and which nestles ,rather pleasingly and reassuringly on her decolletage.
 
Toodle pip……… for now!……………

More Allegations From “The Boiled Frog” Council

It would appear Local Authority “Trouble-shooter” Michael Frater “gets” what’s been going on at Wirral Council for years, a place in which senior officers have  treated public office like a private gentleman’s club. In a recent interview with the Daily Post Mr Frater said the council was suffering from “Boiled Frog Syndrome” meaning in simple terms-  if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out. But if you place a frog into a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turn up the heat, it will boil to death. A nice analogy into how doing what’s right has stopped being the normal as staff and senior officers have become almost brainwashed  and inured to bad practice. Like some sort of mad “cult.” where wrong is right and anybody who dares speak out is left up shit creak without a paddle.

Mr Frater explained  "“What happens is it’s almost a form of institutionalisation. It’s the boiled frog syndrome – people stop noticing things are a bit different to elsewhere and don’t know how to go about changing it.” He also felt that 250-page report by independent consultant Anna Klonowski which took six months to prepare and cost Wirral taxpayers £250,000 report somewhat understated just how abnormally abnormal and freakishly bizarre Wirral BC’s practices are, and that the tag of a place where"the abnormal is normal" will, according to Michael “take the authority years to shake off – but it’s true, weird things were happening here”. 

Weird and also morally wrong as well as downright illegal Michael old son.  You must also wonder what the hell Wirral’s MP’s have been doing all this time ? (watch them jumping on various bandwagons very soon.)  So do we finally have somebody who really does “get” just how corrosive the culture within Wirral MBC has been ? How they have let down the public, abused the vulnerable and wasted tax payers money whilst bullying staff, attempting to silence whistle blowers and ruthlessly pursing their own careerist ambitions like greedy hobgoblins.  When exactly did they lose sight of what it means to be a public servant and how could they have been allowed, for so long, to treat the public with such utter contempt ? [ Full Frater interview HERE]

We suggest any clean up depends on just how deep Mr Frater wants to dig. For example today at Leaky Towers we have received information from a reliable source who tells us about the shambolic way  Personalisation was implemented in Wirral’s woefully inadequate Department Of Adult Social Services (DASS) . They tell of many staff going off with stress, overloaded with cases simply to meet targets, of bullying managers so inept they should have sticky notes with “arse” and “elbow” written on them, lest they forget.  How, when staff question a system, they are told “It is NOT to be questioned, it is what it is"  We have also had sight of  information which may explain why this was the case.

It has been suggested in a piece of correspondence we have seen that the Reform Grant, which is supposedly a ring fenced revenue grant to be used specifically for the purposes of transforming adult social care and which totalled over £3 million over three years was dipped into by a Head Of Branch, to cover overspends in other areas so as to deceive and also impress elected members.

There is a further allegation that under personalisation the resource allocation system (RAS) which defines each person’s personal budget, was reduced with the approval of a Head(s) Of Service  from 1.88 to 1.62, which would of course make management look super-duper at saving money but would also mean that all those in receipt of the Independent Living Fund would have been disadvantaged.  This can however be disguised at panel. …with some subtle manipulation of figures.  We have more information but at present will not publish it unless we have more corroboration.   

Worth looking into Mr F ?  Good luck, you may well need it. It’s a jungle in there!

Verity Snoop.