Let Them Eat Cake

“Wirral Against The Cuts” have compared Wirral’s latest SOLACE approved Chief Executive Graham “The Goofmeister” Burgess to France’s infamous Queen, Marie Antoinette!!!  “The arrogance of the people who took this decision is similar to Marie Antoinette, the French queen who advised the starving people of Paris who couldn’t afford bread to buy cake instead.”  STORY HERE

This statement was prompted by GB’s somewhat insensitive decision to splash out on a £25,000 upgrade for town hall bosses’ offices (BUT NOT A SHOWER , OH NO! NOT THAT!)  as the authority prepares for massive budget cuts and jobs losses. This is what is known in the trade as "An EPIC PR FAIL!

We thought this a tad harsh, that was until we were given a picture of a recent council meeting in GB’s recently refurbished palace, ahem sorry, office … We now think they may well have a point !

All in it together

Keep Your Hat on

*incoming message* Please find advice to “Leaders” within Wirral Council when discussing redundancies. *stop* ….

Key Messages for Leaders

  1. This is hard
  2. Talk more
  3. Cascade through conversation
  4. Don’t answer what you can’t - escalate to FAQ’s
  5. Read Intranet
  6. No decisions made as yet
  7. Leadership – Visibility – Communication – Consistency – Ownership
  8. Print articles for staff without Intranet access
  9. Cascade One Brief on Friday 9 November 2012

See it in all its glory HERE


 Not that they would try and feign empathy you understand but Ricky Gervais would have an absolute field day if ever he decided to revive “The Office” format and based it on a local authority.



Now, how about this for rank hypocrisy from new Wirral CX Frank Drebin look a like, Graham Goofy Burgess - In a lovely soft focus interview in the Daily Post in May 2007 our hero GB tells us about his time in Liverpool as a union rep and how he fought those nasty Militants and banished them forever. Something he’s dined out on ever since…  

"……. the Militants’ solution to creating a legal budget – issuing 90-day redundancy notices to all 30,000 staff – immediately put the political leadership on collision course with unions.

Graham says: “They would say to us, ‘It’s just a piece of paper, of course we’ll re-employ everybody’ but from a union point of view, we couldn’t accept that because there was no guarantee.

“Liverpool at this time was, in many ways, in a desperate state. Hundreds of jobs were being lost at the big employers every week. The council was the employer of last resort, so we couldn’t let that happen.”

Fast forward to today and the latest leak … (click)  - Poacher turned gamekeeper

Taxi anybody ???

But GB is used to this for where GB lands redundancies seem to follow …see HERE

Love, Verity Snoop x

Bad Day At Black Rock ( Ferry) and Beyond :(

Hello Leakers

We have just had sight of the “Jobs At Risk Letters” sent by Wirral s Chief X-ecutioner . It does not bode well or the long suffering staff or indeed the people of Wirral

Eldritch our (very) common gardener had previously furnished us with a copy of a letter he claimed was the original draft! It certainly read like the truth, sans the PR spit and polish. However we were slightly suspicious that he appeared to be covered in printer ink kept guffawing over matters that are no laughing matter as Lady WL read the missive out.  We suspect it may be a fake, however ….

Il Comandante

“Lubyanka Lounge”

Brighton Street

Dear ‘Worker’,

As you will be aware, since l have been Chief Executive (a whole 2 months now), l have communicated regularly with all employees about the Council’s financial position.  We are facing a considerable financial challenge.

 The current position is that the Council is facing a budget shortfall of £103m over the nextthree years and a projected shortfall of £39M for 2013/14.  This will necessitate significant changes to the manner in which the Council conducts its business.  And let’s face it guys, this IS a business, not a ‘service’, by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s a business, with business needs

and there are some tough calls to make.

 ln response to the Council’s financial situation and the Public Consultation that we have undertaken, responded to by 18% of the local public, we have published a range of officer budget options.  The remaining 82% had their chance and blew it.  They can go and whistle.  

 Within these budget options there are two options which directly impact on the number of jobs:

1.      Significantly reduce the running costs of the Council by reducing the number of staff.

I’ve seen you, walking around, armed with a sheet of A4, pretending to look ‘busy’.  Well the game’s up comrades.  I’m on to you.

2.      Stop, reduce or change out of all recognition services that the Council currently delivers to ‘the public’.  We’re a high-flying concern goddamit – with ideas.  Who in his right mind decided we had to bring these people onboard?  They’re sooooo last century – and a bar to innovation.  An obstacle to progress.  How the hell do we get quoted on the Stock Exchange with this dead weight hanging around our necks?

 Chief Officers, Heads of Service and other Senior Managers have in the past few days tried to round up as many people as possible to inform them about the proposals and advise them how it affects them. 

As you are a line manager and/or work in a service for which reductions have been proposed,I must inform you that unfortunately, your post is one of those ‘for the chopping block’.

 An employee is ‘for the chopping block’ if, following a determination that redundancies need to be made, they are in the pool of staff whose post could be made redundant.

 The Council will now begin its consultation process.  The purpose of consultation is to explore ways of avoiding or reducing the number of redundancies.  It is an opportunity for you to make any suggestions or proposals as to how redundancies could be avoided or minimised,as well as raising any other concerns or questions – I’ve dubbed this ‘pissing in the wind’.  Additionally, consultation is an important way for the Council to highlight your needs, before offering any support or assistance that may be required i.e. a firm boot up the backside, to help you on your way.

 No decisions have as yet been taken and will not be made until consultation has concluded.

For these purposes the organisation will be consulting with the recognised trade unions about ways of avoiding or reducing the need for redundancies and about the criteria on which any selection for redundancy will be based.  Sadly, if you’re a member of a union which does not meet the strict criteria (golf handicap of 10 and below) you’ll be out before you know it.  lf redundancies are necessary, (ha ha – did I say ‘If’?) the Council will use selection criteria to determine who, from those at risk of redundancy, will be provisionally selected for redundancy.

This will be done on the basis of objective and quantifiable criteria that will be the subject of consultation with Joe (no, not Stalin – Taylor).  The criteria will be reasonably, fairly and consistently applied.  You as well as your Trade Union representatives will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed  criteria, and the score which you are awarded – see, you even get awarded a score.  We’ll even give you a piece of paper promising share options for when we get listed on the Footsie  – in return for the employment rights you’ve had savaged.  Who said this process didn’t have some positive benefits?  :)

As the Council is proposing to make more than 100 ‘workers’ redundant, in accordance with relevant legislation, consultation will last for a minimum period of 90 days.

 We are not seeking volunteers at this stage and we are not able to provide details of redundancy or pension estimates as we are currently consulting on ‘changes to the redundancy scheme’ with Trade Unions – Ha haaaaa – least said about this the better…

 During the period of consultation, as well as consulting with Trade Unions, we will hold group and individual consultation meetings to discuss the issues outlined in this letter, and any other concerns that you may have.  Please don’t attend these ‘wired for sound’ – the scanners will pick it up, and ‘security consultants’ will cart you off out the door and issue you a P45 in the process.

 l appreciate that this is an upsetting and difficult time for everyone but l regret that given the scale of the financial challenge the Local Authority has little option but to push on regardless.

 If you have any questions or concerns, we have published guidance in the form of Frequently Fudged Questions on the Intranet. We have also put in place a dedicated HR ‘Support’ Team

which can be contacted on 0151 LOL 2222 or by e-mailing  harseupgort@wirral.gov.uk. The

helpline will be open Monday to Friday from 08.45-17.00hrs.

Trade Union members may wish to contact their Union for advice.  If they’re busy, ring HR.  Same difference.  All employees can also contact the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).  This is a free, independent and confidential service available to employees and their family household members, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  You will be able to talk in confidence to a qualified adviser and the services include financial and legal advice as well as access to counselling. 

If they’re busy, ring the Union, HR, or the Samaritans.  Same difference again. ;) 

 Unless otherwise occupied (Golf, Town Hall bonding sessions) Unions will provide details of every aspect of this stitch-up as we work through it.

Yours sincerely,

Il Comandante

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Whilst Council CX,  Goofy “Kubla Khan” Burgess relaxes in the newly refurbished extension of his ego (yes it’s HUGE) over at Clown Hall, Council Staff are not happy.  It appears many may be getting “the bullet, or "F**ked up the arse with rusty spike after being made to eat shit for years" as Eldritch so colourfully puts it.  Even today, despite the spin, we hear tales of the sort of bullying that makes water boarding at Guantanamo Bay seem like a fun filled trip to “Splash Mountain.”

One time Communist Party* member (*citation) Goofy hasn’t exactly had a tricky time with the local media, given the horrendous mess WBC  are still in.  An example of this kind of powder puff, kid gloves treatment revealed itself in all its  ghastly glory when GB appeared on BBC Radio  Merseyside,  and was given the soft focus treatment by Roger Philips…”So Graham, how do you cope with being so f**king awesome, day in day out”

 Our rotund and sweet-toothed cook Mrs. Doughball was not happy with this interview AT ALL and got in a terrible lather whilst kneading her large sweet dumplings.  Thankfully, with Verity’s help she took some solace by sending a rather sharp missive to the BEEB.  In short her complaint begged the question why was a public service broadcaster affording dear old Goofy a licence fee funded soapbox to sell his cuddly, cosy ‘vision ?’

Below you’ll find  the BBCs official response.  Maybe staff and soon to be ex-staff  can email Mr Phillips with some suggestions of possible questions to put to good ole Goofy Burgess ?  The BBC Website states ” Whatever your views on the topics of the day, Roger Phillips on BBC Radio Merseyside is the person to call on 0151 709 9333.”

After all he really does want you to have your say over “What Really Matters .” So much so in fact, he commissioned a video


Now, here’s that Email


Subject: BBC Complaints -

Dear Mrs Doughballe [sic]

Reference CAS- Doughballe 417000

Thanks for contacting us regarding Radio Merseyside.

We’re sorry to note you were unhappy with Roger Phillips interview with Graham Burgess.

The programme was a half hour conversation between Roger Phillips and Graham Burgess in the programme “The Phillips Hour”. The focus of the programme is to discover the person behind the title, their career history, and aspects about their personal life. The programme doesn’t set out to examine the current roles of interviewees per se, but instead looks at how they arrived at this juncture of their life.

As you may be aware, Mr Burgess took up his role as Chief Executive of Wirrall [sic] Borough Council on Sept 3rd 2012. Accordingly, Radio Merseyside are planning to have Mr Burgess as a Hot Seat guest early next year, when Roger will challenge him thoroughly on his new role. We believe this will be an appropriate and established platform to conduct the type of interview you suggest.

Nevertheless, we’ve also registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback we compile daily for the programme makers and senior management within the BBC. The audience logs are important documents that can help shape future decisions and they ensure that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available to BBC staff across the Corporation.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Kind Regards

Stuart Webb
BBC Complaints

Order Of The Boot - Things Get Uggly

Wirral Council are at last beginning to acknowledge the pulling power of Wirralleaks ( See FOI request) and have commissioned Leaky Towers to a assist  with their latest consultation.
Ok -Ok, in the name of openness and transparency , when we  say commission, we mean they bunged us a crate of Courvoisier ,a golfing holiday and life membership of the Venus in Furs Lapdance Emporium.
This consultation is a follow up to their monumentally successful ” Nothing Really Matters,Nothing Really Matters To Meeeeee” consultation and apparently they really really wanna see those fingers on your PC keys tapping out the name of the Chief Officers and Heads of Services who the staff and public think should shuffle off to Buffalo.
The name of this consultation is : ” You’re a Nonentity - Get out Of Here”.
So Lord and Lady W hereby request your nominations and reasons why these persons should be on the hit list, sorry, the at -risk list.
Please note: Reasons such as ” he looks at me funny”, “he supports Tranmere Rovers” and ” she wearsincongruousUgg Boots ” will not be accepted.

A Message From Burgess

Hello Lord Leaky here, word reaches us that Council Leader Graham Burgess-Meredith has written to staff to discuss changes in terms and conditions and a period of “consultation”…Oh dear, that sounds rather like a vote of confidence from Roman Abramovitch doesn’ it!  But cuts have to be made, after all its a costly affair paying off Heads of Law and the like…  One cannot help but wonder what grades the Department of Spin are currently on? They aren’t very good are they? We at Leaky Towers would certainly look at getting shut of them and pronto!

  This missive (below) comes in the wake of an announcement of the creation of the post of “SUPER DIRECTOR” on a salary of £127,000 or thereabouts, but fear not council staff you have the might of the Union to back you up, replete with “Just For Men” perma-tanned, Cuban heeled reps who will happily sell you down the river for the quiet life and a nice round of golf.

 Once again, the words of Martin Niemöller remain as prescient and well chosen as ever (See HERE)

Here’s what Burgess has to say - he certainly is no joker

From: Burgess, Graham 
Sent: 30 October 2012 15:31
Subject: Message from the Chief Executive


Dear Colleague,

I am writing to let you know that I will shortly be publishing a report, that will go to the Council’s Cabinet on the 8th of November, that requests that I be given the Authority to begin formal consultations with the Trade Unions and all staff on some proposed changes that will affect you. I would like to stress that this report seeks to give me the ability to consult and no decisions have been made.

You know that we face an unprecedented budget challenge - we have no choice but to reduce our net budget by £100 million - this includes a projected deficit for next year of £39 million. Given that over 70% of the Council’s revenue budget is devoted to the cost of employing our staff, tough choices need to be made.

Proposed changes include a significant reduction in the cost of senior management, changes to your terms and conditions and potential changes to the manner in which we deliver our services. These are as follows:

1) Firstly we are seeking to reduce our management costs by significantly reducing the number of managers across the Council and so ensuring we have an appropriate structure moving forward.

2) Options need to be considered with the aim of reducing the costs of our enhanced discretionary severance scheme. The aim would be to seek ways to reduce the costs, which will in turn protect more jobs and services, while keeping an enhanced scheme to reduce the potential impact on the very lowest paid. In the event that the scheme is modified any staff leaving after a new scheme comes into effect have to leave on the new terms, regardless of when the dismissal process began. In order to manage expectations, I am recomending that the current voluntary redundancy scheme is suspended immediately.

3) You are currently employed on national and local conditions of service. The local conditions of service are subject to local agreement through a collective agreement with recognised Trade Unions. I wish to work with the Trade Unions and all staff to consider options to reduce the cost of local terms and conditions. This will enable the Council to reduce the potential numbers of job losses that we face.

4) Finally, on the 9th of November I will publish a range of officer options for budget savings. While no decisions have yet been made on the future of services, any options that are being considered that potentially impact on staff require consultation at the earliest possible stage.

I will also be exploring and consulting on options that will enable the Council to implement job evaluation for those staff on grade principal officer (earning over £27,849 and above). This will enable us, as promised, to implement a legally fair, affordable and sustainable pay policy at this level.

My hope is that by entering into constructive discussions with the Trade Unions and all staff we will be able to do all we can to mitigate the impact of the budget reductions we need to make and save as many jobs and front line services as is possible.

My pledge to you is that over the coming days, weeks and months that I will ensure you are kept fully informed of any developments so that you hear about them first from me. The Council Leader and I will also be meeting with as many of you as possible so you have the opportunity to talk to us directly about any concerns that you have.

Best wishes

Graham Burgess

Chief Executive

Quantum of SOLACE

Last night I was rudely awoken from a postprandial snooze by some startling knockers.

Eldritch ran immediately to the Leaky Towers entrance where he saw a couple of figures running away into the distance. ” Fucking trick or treaters!  -should I get the 12 bore M’lud. I understand that nice Mr.Cameron chap is all in favour of blasting the head off bloody burglars……”

 Lady W, exasperated by the fact that her viewing of the documentary “Downton Abbey” had been interrupted, sternly interjected:

 ”Oh really Earnest, must we have such a commotion!  I think Dear David may have had hardened criminals in mind rather than kiddies asking for sweeties……  “

 "It’s a slippery slope M’am…and I should know.  I started off begging for money outside Leaky Square Station with a tatty Guy Fawkes .Next thing you know I’m in a branch of NatWest wearing a balaclava and brandishing a sawn -off shotgun …."


It was at this point that Miss Snoop espied a mysterious note lying on the parquet.Ever the one for proper decorum Lady W declared: "Eldritch - the silver salver and the tortoiseshell letter opener, if you would be so kind."

 And so with due ceremony I slipped the note from the envelope and this is what it said:

  Statement from the HESPE Whistleblowers

 The HESPE Whistleblowers have met with Wirral Council to express their serious concerns regarding the investigation procedure.

 Mainly that the independent investigator Mr Richard Penn did not interview them or request any evidence from the Whistleblowers.

 Mr Penn did state that he would need to interview the group regarding the statutory officer involvement etc. However, the Council then decided not to involve the investigator any further with the group.

 We are perplexed how the Council has stated (No case to answer) we have informed Wirral Council that this cherry picking manoeuvre will be exposed.


And so it would appear another character is added to the cast of Wirral Council Cluedo.Who could be this mysterious Mr. Penn?

 Quick as a flash Verity is fiddling with her i-thingy and it would appear that Richard Penn works for the organisation SOLACE Enterprises.  Which, to be frank, we all thought sounded like an organisation run by a Bond villain.  However according to their website:

 SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers) is the representative body for senior strategic managers working in the public sector.  The Society promotes public sector management excellence and provides professional development for its Members who come from all areas of the public sector.  Whilst the vast majority of its members work in local government it also has members operating in senior positions in health authorities, police and fire authorities and central government.  SOLACE spans all of the UK, having membership in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England.

   SOLACE Enterprises is wholly owned by the Society and operates, in effect, as a “not for profit” public sector company.  It provides high quality, customer-focused and practical support to local government, the public sector, and the voluntary sector, both in the UK and internationally.

 Which rather makes SOLACE sound like a Corporate Old Boys Network if you ask us.

At which point it might be useful to remind everyone that Michael Frater is also a member of SOLACE.

 We can only assume that Mr.Penn has been attracting the same kind of financial remuneration from Wirral Council, as did Mr.Frater…………. a quantum of SOLACE indeed.

Tricked or Treat ? Where the Abnorman is Normal

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!……………

Having A Ball - The Mayors In Fact

Afternoon Leakers

Verity has been very busy preparing for the Lord Mayors ball, but alas, she seems to be fresh out of Ugg Boots.  But fear not she will be there with her little recording device to capture just how the great and the good in WBC wine and dine themselves …lovely! And the funny thing is these people don’t even know what she looks like! Chortle ! It looks a lovely spread, why they even cater for allergies…which is handy because some of Wirral’s great and good do seem somewhat allergic to the truth. The only worry is Verity’s own allergy may give her away, you see she’s allergic to BULLSHIT.

She’s even been sent the table plan (see below) all the big boys and plate spinners on one table, and oh look even a few local journalists…Verity may feel more at home with them perhaps ? It all looks like wonderfully self congratulatory fun, but we do wonder whose paying for this she-bang ! … to which dear Eldritch our gardener and handy man retorted “us probably, the tw*ts!” Hope it’s Bolly then. 

Love, Lady Leaks x

Table 1 - Civic Table (16)

Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral

High Sheriff of Merseyside and Mrs Amlot

Mayor and Mayoress of Knowsley

Sheriff of Chester and Sheriff’s Lady

Mayor and Mayoress of West Lancs

Mayor and Mayoress of Halton

Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress

Reverend and Mrs D Chester

Table 2 (9)

Mr & Mrs G Burgess

Mr & Mrs G Hodkinson

Ms Julia Hassall

Mr David Armstrong

Ms Fiona Johnstone

Mr Kevin Adderley

Mrs Emma Degg

Table 3 (11)

Deb Pedlow

Nick Pedlow

Karen McCormick

Joelle Warren

Andrew Warren (no cream)

Mark Ellis

Tope Coward

Jacqui Wenden

Greg Wenden

Natasha Inglis

Fraser Inglis

Table 4 (10)

Carolyn Tallents (gluten free meal)

Andrew Tallents

Karen Griffiths

Sally Robinson (nut allergy)

Lisa Newton (veggie)

Mike Newton

Claire Fletcher

Mark Shepard

Karole Dunmore (veggie and brazil nut allergy)

Steve Mitchell

Table 5 (10)

Cllr John Hale

Mrs Tricia Hale

Mr Nigel Wills

Mrs Sue Wills

Dr Kenneth Young

Mrs Lesley Young

Mr Geoffrey O’Connell

Mrs Maureen O’Connell

Mr Roy Catherall

Mrs Hilary Catherall

Table 6 (7)

Mr John Bebell

Mrs Sue Bebell

Mr David Hind

Mrs Sandra Hind

Mr Clive Watkin

Mrs Monica Watkin

Mrs Vivienne Reece

Table 7 (10)

Cllr Jeff Green

Mrs Carol Green

Mr Alan Kerr

Mrs Catherine Kerr

Mrs Yvonne Sanne

Mr Michael Spencer

Mrs Keri Spencer

Mr Noel Fagan

Mrs Chrissy Fagan

Miss Esther McVey MP

Table 8 (8)

Cllr David Elderton

Mrs Barbara Elderton

Mr Rod Trotman

Mrs Eunice Trotman

Mr Geoff Cross

Mrs Marion Cross

Mr Gerry Johnson

Mrs Christine Johnson

Table 9 (10)

Cllr Geoffrey Watt

Mrs Anne Watt

Mr Bill Withey

Mrs Denise Osborne

Cllr Don McCubbin

Mrs Pat Johnson

Cllr Eddie Boult

Mrs Brenda Boult

Mr Mike Clements

Cllr Wendy Clements

Table 10 (10)

Major David Hudson

Table 11 (11)

Councillor & Mrs Phil Davies

Councillor Brian Kenny

Councillor Moira McLaughlin

Councillor Chris Meaden

Councillor Anita Leech and Mr Gary Leech

Mr & Mrs Tony Norbury

Joe and Maureen Copeland

Table 12 (10)

Gordon and Sue Nicholas

Peter and Jackie Brown

Jerry and Sandra Ireland

Richard and Jeanine Lesley

Giuseppe and Debbie Roberto

Table 13 (9)

Linda Smallthwaite
Jo Hales
Val Boyd
Rachel Jones
Carys Hooker
Geraldine Marchment
Nicola Mullin
Cath Naylor
Sue May - 1 person no seafood, banana, kiwi or melon and 1 person no citrus or cheese)

Table 14 (10)


Table 15 (9)

Mary Dutton (9) (2 veggie and 1 celiac)

Table 16 (10)

Wirral & West Cheshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Table 17 (5)

Wirral and West Cheshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Table 18 (10)

Councillor Peter Kearney (5)

Councillor Cherry Povall (1)

Mr & Mrs J Clarke (2)

Mr Paul Murphy (2)

Table 19 (14)

Thornton Hall (1 veggie and one no mushrooms)

Justin Dunn

Carole Jackson

Sue Carroll

Barb Marg McGee

Babara Turner


6 drivers



The Ex-Files Update - Wirral Council

The Ex-Files Update
Well I must say the brouhaha that has followed the revelation that Wirral Council’s Former Chief Moneyman  Ian Coleman has swanned off with a big bag of swag amounting to £82K comes as no surprise.However  we our led to believe that this is but nothing compared to the true amount.
An anonymous well informed source tells us: 
"The 82K is certainly the tip of the iceberg and is simply the sum Wirral charge payers are handing over to Merseyside Pension Fund to allow the retiree to go before his normal retirement date (60 yrs. minimum)

An additional severance payment is normally paid to the individual concerned and can be up to 66 weeks of salary. Given that Wirral MBC Chief Officers enjoy a remuneration of over £100k per annum the payoff can be well into six figures. Officers mentioned on your site in the past have certainly collected a payoff of this magnitude. “
Lord Wirralleaks is minded to recall the parting words of his late rebellious cousin Sir Jonathan Rotten : "Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
We also understand from the same source that David Garry the Chief Internal Auditor - also allegedly implicated in some shady shenanigans may have ”retired” last week.Any information on his “remuneration” would be gratefully received.
Of course we’d like to think ,as Council Tax payers, we should be able to freely access the information on where all our money is going and how much is actually involved.However we understand that these Compromise Contracts which are flying around like a flock of birds migrating south for winter, preclude the pesky public from ever finding out about the tidy sums disappearing into the Cheshire countryside.
I have to say I am so perplexed by what seems to be a very rum do indeed I wandered into the garden with Lady W in an attempt to clear my head and make sense of it all.It was here that I espied through my monocle the rugged physique of the gardener Eldritch getting to grips with a dirty hoe.I asked him what his considered opinion was:
 ” A fucked up fuck witted clusterfuck, if you’ll pardon my language Sir”

"But Eldritch, can we not take SOLACE ?” I enquired
"Thing is sir, the only thing SOLACE is taking, is the fucking piss,and lots of taxpayers money   if you don’t mind me saying so sir"


Wirral Councils Ex-Files

Apologies Leakers - I’ve been to “Hoity-Toity House” - an exclusive country house spa for the treatment of my insufferable gout .Lady Justine Wirral -Leaks keeps telling me to lay off the port and cigars and is insisting I sign a Gifts & Hospitality register each and every time a mysterious crate of expensive comestibles arrives at Leaky Towers.To which I say: "Oh don’t be a silly moo Justine, if Wirral Council’s new Chief Exec ,Graham "Bon Viveur" Burgess, doesn’t seem overly concerned about such matters, then why should I"?.
I mean the Department of Adult Social Services apparently didn’t even have a register - which is rather odd as I’ve returned to a mound of missives from disgruntled DASS staff who not only had to sign the requisite forms but were forced to hand over boxes of chocs and booze - usually only to see it disappear into their Managers handbag .
I also missed out on the startling revelation that Council Education Chiefs couldn’t do their sums which resulted in the £1.4 million loss of Government grants………..like you do - if you work for the Council anyway- safe in the knowledge that there will be no consequences for blithering incompetence.
So praise the Lord that I’m surrounded by faithful retainers who are able to keep me updated on the fast moving train crash that is Wirral Council. And -strange as it may seem - I find it very reassuring that, in these turbulent times,  some things just don’t change. Or as the delightful Miss Verity put it to me : “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose……”
"I beg your pardon,my dear ……." I asked, adjusting my hearing aid.
" Oh its French for "same old ,same old….." she replied - adding by way of explanation - " I forgot to mention I’m bilingual". Well, I thought to myself, I had my suspicions but I just thought that was "downstairs " gossip mongering.
Anyhoo - what apparently has transpired in my absence is that, to the amazement of absolutely no-one, another Wirral Council Senior Officer ( Ian Coleman, no less- one time Acting Chief Executive and Director of Finance) has flown the coop with a nice big cheque firmly clasped in his beak like a particularly voracious carrion bird
News has already reached us that there’s much more to this than meets the eye and what’s more tales of £1 million legal challenges intended to justify the payment are entirely bogus and intended to convince the long suffering people of Wirral that the Council are being careful with our money, whilst at the same time, they hand over another bung to someone to go away and keep quiet.
What’s more it would appear we can expect much more of this palaver as there has been a Committee set up especially to look at these arrangements:
This Committee would appear to be a response to a recent recommendation by David Garry - Chief Internal Auditor from the much maligned and discredited Internal Audit from within the Department of Finance which states :” The system, process and procedure for all Compromise Agreements (whether above or below the threshold for referral to the Sub-Committee of the Employment & Appointments
Committee), should be documented”.
Which rather suggests a) Compromise Agreements have been thrown around like confetti made of money and b) Mr.Garry has only just realised it might be a good idea for someone to actually keep a note of where all the Council’s money was disappearing to…….
Indeed we at Leaky Towers are led to believe that Mr.Garry has been well aware that the situation with Compromise Agreements (or contracts as they have been re-badged) was a matter which Eldritch (our gardener) has always suggested was going to "come back and bite them on their fat fucking arses". Therefore we would suggest that the motive behind the belated “armourplating” of said “arse” (if you’ll pardon the vulgar pun) is that chickens are coming home to roost and there is a distinct whiff of rotten eggs in the air!. 
I use the term ”belated” because Miss Snoop has been laboriously poring over old Audit and Risk Management Committee reports and after making further enquiries on a seemingly defunct blog called A Really Rotten Borough by the mysterious “Veridici”  it would appear that Mr.Garry may have been involved in the cover up of , ahem,  a particularly “compromising” Compromise Agreement from as far back as 2008.
Which rather calls into question why he took 4 years to raise the issue especially when he did so just 2 weeks before his Director, Ian Coleman, was no doubt asked to sign one in exchange for £82K!.
Although the saying goes ”the truth is out there” this doesn’t seem to apply to Wirral Council’s Ex-Files.
This is because ,according to Eldritch : "Wirral Council seem to have more gags than fucking Ken Dodd".
The funny thing is………nobody seems to be laughing as the joke’s on us.
Lord Wirral-Leaks.

Snouts In The Trough - Wirral Council officers slammed over freebies

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear  it just gets worse and worse at Wirral Council. When oh when will these people learn ? Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks find themselves aghast yet again at the behaviour of senior officers at a local authority that’s still being run like some sort of private members club. Are they arrogant or stupid, we think possibly both as this shameful behaviour seems to trundle along unabated, no matter who is in charge.

As our gardener Eldritch said, with his usual earthy vigour “Why not name and shame the f**king greedy f**king bast**rds - Indeed!

Observe this report in the Liverpool Echo

"SENIOR officers from Wirral Council accepted “freebies” worth thousands of pounds without properly declaring them, a damning new report has revealed."

Here’s the rather shocking details from the Audit report

Nine out of thirteen personal files did not comply with procedures and there was generally insufficient information to assess whether gifts and hospitality had been considered in line with guidance. The key issues are noted below.
■ A senior officer accepted hospitality to Chester races and noted this in the register; this had not been signed by the chief officer on the register; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There were a number of other M17 declarations on the personal file that were not entered in the register and had been self approved by the officer. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ An officer accepted a lottery ticket and noted this in the register; there was a supporting M17 declaration. Procedures were complied with but there is no evidence that this was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted honorary membership for West Kirby Sailing Club; this was signed on the register by his deputy; no value was noted although annual membership is currently £226 per annum; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There was a M17 declaration on the file for a golf event that had not been entered on the register. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ An officer accepted tickets to Liverpool Philharmonic; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted a European Cup match ticket at Old Trafford; there was no M17 declaration form to support this on the personal file. There were further entries on the register that were not supported by a declaration form. The same senior officer also accepted a ticket for a rugby match at Twickenham; this was noted on a M17 declaration but the form was not approved by the officer’s line manager. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

■ A senior officer accepted a number of instances of hospitality including golf and also a flight, accommodation and meals amounting to £2,000; there were no M17 declarations to support these items. Procedures were not complied with and there was insufficient information to assess whether the hospitality was considered in line with guidance.

And what of Social Services ? We’ll let Eldritch tell you

"Still fooking shite"


DASS Update: According to Peer Review Progress Not Even So-So” “

It’s now late summer and somewhat like this snifter of Courvoisier I have in my hand  we’re feeling fine and mellow at Leaky Towers and we’ve been musing  on how we’ve got to know each other very well now - so lets dispense with the formalities for the time being.

We may be members of the landed gentry but in the words of those good buddies Cameron and Brooks -"we’re all in this together" right?.  Therefore, you have special permission to henceforth refer to me by my first name Julian and my loyal and trusted Ladyship is quite happy to be called Justine.

 So, in the spirit of such bonhomie we’ve been trying to find out for you what Wirral Council’s Department of Adult Social Services has been up to lately.

As you may know they’ve got a new Director - a certain Mr.Hobgoblinson or some such and they even have a plan -  "The Everything is Going To Be Nice & Lovely Plan" - so many wonderful,clever  ideas with timetables and pie charts and spreadsheets and outcomes and targets and so on and so forth (sorry correction - Justine has just whispered in my ear :” not targets dear ,targets have become very unfashionable ” - and as we know its all about appearances these days and if its one thing darling Justine knows about its  fashion  - there isn’t a day that goes by without her fingering her way through Vogue and its supermodels).

 So there I was thinking so far, so good until dainty Miss Verity just tiptoed in with a note on a silver platter.

 And oh dearie ,dearie me  it would appear that so much for DASS getting its house in order as the unbelievable news reaches us that the so and so’s at DASS are renewing contracts with a “care provider” who were heavily criticised in the notorious AKA report and who has featured prominently in despatches from Leaky Towers and horrifyingly in this particular story "A Grave Injustice."

 How so? I hear you cry?!  

Well apparently all those associated with Service Provider 10 has been given the all clear because the owner has been very upset about pranging the Bentley (don’t you just hate it when that happens?) and so all is forgiven apparently - and so - its business as usual and  they are now an integral part of The Everything Is Going To Be Nice & Lovely Plan  -   so break out the Bollinger boys and girls!.

 However as dear,darling Verity points out things are not as Oh So Rosy as it would  appears as there a few pesky social workers in DASS who are not very happy about this situation as it means they may be have to get into bed (if you’ll pardon the expression ) with a particular person associated with appalling practices ( I’m assuming that these “practices” which would be classed as criminal if perpetrated against you or I were never investigated properly by DASS/CQC or Police or as Ernest Eldritch, our earthy gardner puts it in his own inimitable style - “Seems they just couldn’t be fucking arsed sir, if you’ll pardon me for saying so m’lud”.

 So I suppose the question that disgruntled social workers should be posing is whether DASS managers or indeed anyone associated with the Council would be happy to have members of their family under the “care” of someone with a “bit of a rep" as once again Eldritch delightfully puts it

 And so - at this juncture I fear that all I can do is sigh deeply,adjust my monocle and commandeer one of Justine’s fashionista phrases and proclaim: ” OH DASS - this is SO VERY YOU"   

   READ MORE AT CBBC , sorry we mean CQC  has ANYTHING changed ?

More shocks in store ……

We, at Leaky Towers, are all a-quiver about the promise of astonishing revelations from mysterious sources.  It is clear from these sources that there are Town Hall employees  who are STILL afraid to go through official channels…..(and looking at this week’s Page 3 of the Globe my dears who could blame them - suicide may be painless but it’s pretty drastic isn’t it Mr. Morton?).

 However, Lord and Lady WL are sitting here with our dry Amontillado breathless with anticipation, should Miss Snoop sweep majestically and stealthily like a young gazelle with the promised piece of paper, which has been referred to in a number of cryptic communiqués from a variety of sources?

Apparently whatever is on this piece of paper is occupying the minds of the great and good of Wallasey Town Hall (OK not great and most definitely not good but I think you know who  we mean)   and what’s more it explains an awful lot about Town Hall bungling over the past few years ……..

At our age, my Good Lady and I could do with an explanation because frankly we’re having difficulty following the plot of 'Murder She Wrote' these days, so as you can imagine the recent Town hall “machinations” leave us bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

Watch this space, the press and all your favourite news sources.