Investigation demanded into Wirral Council's land battle victory over pony group

Cllr Ian Lewis with protestors at Fernbank Farm. Picture: Paul Heaps

Cllr Ian Lewis with protestors at Fernbank Farm. Picture: Paul Heaps

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

AN EXTRAORDINARY row has broken out at Wirral Council over its repossession of land used by a community pony club.

Demands for an investigation have followed an admission that senior officials of the authority were ordered not to negotiate over the lease of Fernbank Farm in Moreton.

Councillor Ian Lewis is calling for an inquiry after Upton Park Pony Association lost its legal battle to prevent the ten-acre plot being repossessed to be sold-off for redevelopment.

The site had been leased to the association for more than 40 years, but the cash-strapped council wanted it back to raise capital.

The judge allowed the local authority to repossess the land - which could be worth up to £5m if sold for housing - after a four-hour hearing at Birkenhead County Court last week.

The order was suspended for a year while a suitable alternative site for the stables is found.

Councillor Lewis said the association was deliberately kept in the dark by senior managers.

He attended court when evidence was given from a council officer, who said he had been instructed by his superiors not to respond to letters and emails from the association.

Councillor Lewis told the Globe: “The council presumably knew if these gestures could be stretched beyond the limit following expiry of the lease, then the tenants would have lost their right to seek a court hearing.

“Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, such a hearing would have been to solely consider renegotiation of the lease, as opposed to repossession, and the terms of a new tenancy agreement would be instructed by the court.

“By not being open and honest, the council achieved their objective of the tenant losing their rights to such a hearing and instead enabled the start of repossession proceedings.”

He stormed: “I want to know who gave the order not to negotiate with the pony association over Fernbank Farm, and why that order was given.

“The deeper we delve, the murkier this whole business becomes.

“So many decisions have been taken behind closed doors by officers without reference to any councillor or public scrutiny."

The council's head of universal and infrastructure services David Armstrong said in a statement: “As a local authority, there is a conflict between the interests of the group as tenants on this land, and the wider interests which the council has to consider.

“We regret the upset that the legal process will have caused for everyone involved.

“However, we have a duty to council tax-payers to realise the benefits of the assets we hold, including assets like this land.

“This is particularly true in the current economic climate where every asset we hold is under scrutiny.

“The court ruled in our favour, but we argued, in court, that the tenants be allowed to remain on site for 12 months so that we could help them find an alternative suitable location.

“This offer still stands.”

Comments (26)

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3:12pm Thu 20 Feb 14

johnhardaker says...

Can I suggest to readers they go onto wirralleaks website & follow the Fernbank saga there & click onto comments also my understanding is that this area is a flood plain & Leasowe & Moreton are at sea level or below & do you really want to build houses in an area with possible global warming may end up like the Somerset levels under water in a few years time..
Also a well known blogger Paul Cardin was speaking to somebody who used to deliver milk in the area by BOAT I rest my case.
Can I suggest to readers they go onto wirralleaks website & follow the Fernbank saga there & click onto comments also my understanding is that this area is a flood plain & Leasowe & Moreton are at sea level or below & do you really want to build houses in an area with possible global warming may end up like the Somerset levels under water in a few years time.. Also a well known blogger Paul Cardin was speaking to somebody who used to deliver milk in the area by BOAT I rest my case. johnhardaker
  • Score: 17

5:01pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Llamedos 1 says...

"Openness and transparency" Out the window yet again....as Wirral council tax payers we desperately need to get rid of the who circus known as Wirral Clowncil (sorry Ian Lewis, I do think you are doing your best for your constituants so these comments are not aimed at you but as for the rest, well you can guess)
"Openness and transparency" Out the window yet again....as Wirral council tax payers we desperately need to get rid of the who circus known as Wirral Clowncil (sorry Ian Lewis, I do think you are doing your best for your constituants so these comments are not aimed at you but as for the rest, well you can guess) Llamedos 1
  • Score: 11

5:34pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Breakpoint says...

Once again Wirral Council proves it does not have the best interests of its residents at heart. This land may be worth approx £5,000,000 to the council now but how much will it cost when this area floods. Build on this area at your peril fir earning a quick buck now it will cist in the future. As has been proved build on a flood plain the water has nowhere to go, this will create an area of Wirral that will suffer like Somerset has in the future.
Well done to Councillor Lewis, it is just a shame that no other Councillors on Wirral can show his committment & enthusiasm, we don't even see ours at election time.
Once again Wirral Council proves it does not have the best interests of its residents at heart. This land may be worth approx £5,000,000 to the council now but how much will it cost when this area floods. Build on this area at your peril fir earning a quick buck now it will cist in the future. As has been proved build on a flood plain the water has nowhere to go, this will create an area of Wirral that will suffer like Somerset has in the future. Well done to Councillor Lewis, it is just a shame that no other Councillors on Wirral can show his committment & enthusiasm, we don't even see ours at election time. Breakpoint
  • Score: 16

9:07pm Thu 20 Feb 14

PaulCa says...

If there is an investigation, whatever you do Councillor Lewis, it has to be done at arm's length. Don't allow Wirral Council to take control of how it's set up.

Unlike neighbouring councils, they've actually admitted to having no External Investigations Policy or Procedure. In other words, when they commission somebody to carry out an independent investigation, there's no public oversight, no declarations, and we only have the council's word to go on.

For an example of how it works, see the unlawful 4 week delay in care "independent" investigations carried out by former St Helens Council man Rob Vickers. After he'd delivered a whitewash for two separate inquiries, he was rewarded with work for his company, amounting to £100,000 plus per year, and welcomed into the fold. Who's to say he wasn't part of the fold in the first place? We just don't know.

Anna Klonowski also stopped short of...

o tape recording or minuting any of her interviews, thereby creating escape hatches for the guilty
o investigating any of the 66 councillors suspected of having undeclared interests
o spreading the net wider to discover the true extent of the illegal plundering of disabled tenants' bank accounts and the disability discrimination that resulted

And her company held an undeclared interest, that of providing governance training for Wirral's councillors and senior officers commencing back in 2008. Did this play a part in her decision not to proceed with investigating those who held the purse strings, potentially scuppering future training opportunities? Ultimately I think she was pleased to wrap up and collect the £414,000 of our cash that was paid across to her company.

I could expand on...

Martin Smith (bullying and abuse of power);
Eugene Sullivan (£31 million in toxic written off debts);
Richard Penn (Colas contract / 4 suspended seniors found with "no case to answer")

...but I'd just be repeating myself. You know the score... there were no declarations given to safeguard the public interest and public oversight was stifled and sidelined.

This is how they do things at the abnormal council. If you can't keep a tight grip on the processes, expect the very worst, because that's what you're guaranteed to get.
If there is an investigation, whatever you do Councillor Lewis, it has to be done at arm's length. Don't allow Wirral Council to take control of how it's set up. Unlike neighbouring councils, they've actually admitted to having no External Investigations Policy or Procedure. In other words, when they commission somebody to carry out an independent investigation, there's no public oversight, no declarations, and we only have the council's word to go on. For an example of how it works, see the unlawful 4 week delay in care "independent" investigations carried out by former St Helens Council man Rob Vickers. After he'd delivered a whitewash for two separate inquiries, he was rewarded with work for his company, amounting to £100,000 plus per year, and welcomed into the fold. Who's to say he wasn't part of the fold in the first place? We just don't know. Anna Klonowski also stopped short of... o tape recording or minuting any of her interviews, thereby creating escape hatches for the guilty o investigating any of the 66 councillors suspected of having undeclared interests o spreading the net wider to discover the true extent of the illegal plundering of disabled tenants' bank accounts and the disability discrimination that resulted And her company held an undeclared interest, that of providing governance training for Wirral's councillors and senior officers commencing back in 2008. Did this play a part in her decision not to proceed with investigating those who held the purse strings, potentially scuppering future training opportunities? Ultimately I think she was pleased to wrap up and collect the £414,000 of our cash that was paid across to her company. I could expand on... Martin Smith (bullying and abuse of power); Eugene Sullivan (£31 million in toxic written off debts); Richard Penn (Colas contract / 4 suspended seniors found with "no case to answer") ...but I'd just be repeating myself. You know the score... there were no declarations given to safeguard the public interest and public oversight was stifled and sidelined. This is how they do things at the abnormal council. If you can't keep a tight grip on the processes, expect the very worst, because that's what you're guaranteed to get. PaulCa
  • Score: 16

10:10pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Thepleb says...

PaulCa wrote:
If there is an investigation, whatever you do Councillor Lewis, it has to be done at arm's length. Don't allow Wirral Council to take control of how it's set up.

Unlike neighbouring councils, they've actually admitted to having no External Investigations Policy or Procedure. In other words, when they commission somebody to carry out an independent investigation, there's no public oversight, no declarations, and we only have the council's word to go on.

For an example of how it works, see the unlawful 4 week delay in care "independent" investigations carried out by former St Helens Council man Rob Vickers. After he'd delivered a whitewash for two separate inquiries, he was rewarded with work for his company, amounting to £100,000 plus per year, and welcomed into the fold. Who's to say he wasn't part of the fold in the first place? We just don't know.

Anna Klonowski also stopped short of...

o tape recording or minuting any of her interviews, thereby creating escape hatches for the guilty
o investigating any of the 66 councillors suspected of having undeclared interests
o spreading the net wider to discover the true extent of the illegal plundering of disabled tenants' bank accounts and the disability discrimination that resulted

And her company held an undeclared interest, that of providing governance training for Wirral's councillors and senior officers commencing back in 2008. Did this play a part in her decision not to proceed with investigating those who held the purse strings, potentially scuppering future training opportunities? Ultimately I think she was pleased to wrap up and collect the £414,000 of our cash that was paid across to her company.

I could expand on...

Martin Smith (bullying and abuse of power);
Eugene Sullivan (£31 million in toxic written off debts);
Richard Penn (Colas contract / 4 suspended seniors found with "no case to answer")

...but I'd just be repeating myself. You know the score... there were no declarations given to safeguard the public interest and public oversight was stifled and sidelined.

This is how they do things at the abnormal council. If you can't keep a tight grip on the processes, expect the very worst, because that's what you're guaranteed to get.
Paul ca have a look at wirral leaks reference wirral community patrol limited another inside job FOI request states no information held by Wirral council in this matter if I was a council officer or councillor I would be interested to know why a local security firm had registered a council service as a limited company purely coincidental I don't think so.
[quote][p][bold]PaulCa[/bold] wrote: If there is an investigation, whatever you do Councillor Lewis, it has to be done at arm's length. Don't allow Wirral Council to take control of how it's set up. Unlike neighbouring councils, they've actually admitted to having no External Investigations Policy or Procedure. In other words, when they commission somebody to carry out an independent investigation, there's no public oversight, no declarations, and we only have the council's word to go on. For an example of how it works, see the unlawful 4 week delay in care "independent" investigations carried out by former St Helens Council man Rob Vickers. After he'd delivered a whitewash for two separate inquiries, he was rewarded with work for his company, amounting to £100,000 plus per year, and welcomed into the fold. Who's to say he wasn't part of the fold in the first place? We just don't know. Anna Klonowski also stopped short of... o tape recording or minuting any of her interviews, thereby creating escape hatches for the guilty o investigating any of the 66 councillors suspected of having undeclared interests o spreading the net wider to discover the true extent of the illegal plundering of disabled tenants' bank accounts and the disability discrimination that resulted And her company held an undeclared interest, that of providing governance training for Wirral's councillors and senior officers commencing back in 2008. Did this play a part in her decision not to proceed with investigating those who held the purse strings, potentially scuppering future training opportunities? Ultimately I think she was pleased to wrap up and collect the £414,000 of our cash that was paid across to her company. I could expand on... Martin Smith (bullying and abuse of power); Eugene Sullivan (£31 million in toxic written off debts); Richard Penn (Colas contract / 4 suspended seniors found with "no case to answer") ...but I'd just be repeating myself. You know the score... there were no declarations given to safeguard the public interest and public oversight was stifled and sidelined. This is how they do things at the abnormal council. If you can't keep a tight grip on the processes, expect the very worst, because that's what you're guaranteed to get.[/p][/quote]Paul ca have a look at wirral leaks reference wirral community patrol limited another inside job FOI request states no information held by Wirral council in this matter if I was a council officer or councillor I would be interested to know why a local security firm had registered a council service as a limited company purely coincidental I don't think so. Thepleb
  • Score: 10

10:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Joeblogg85 says...

The fact that David Armstrong is trying to defend this outrageous behaviour says everything about the culture in this Council. Where does it say in any Council policy not to respond to enquiries from the public? If this is proper Council procedure, then can the Senior Officer who instructed David Dickenson to ignore any contact please step forward. Please remember that the Council is there to serve the public. That is why they are called a public Servants. This behaviour is dispicable and someone needs to be brought to account. The Leader and/or Chief Exec needs to order an enquiry and whoever gave these orders needs to be charged with Gross Misconduct in Public Office. This place has not improved and anyone who says it has is lying.
The fact that David Armstrong is trying to defend this outrageous behaviour says everything about the culture in this Council. Where does it say in any Council policy not to respond to enquiries from the public? If this is proper Council procedure, then can the Senior Officer who instructed David Dickenson to ignore any contact please step forward. Please remember that the Council is there to serve the public. That is why they are called a public Servants. This behaviour is dispicable and someone needs to be brought to account. The Leader and/or Chief Exec needs to order an enquiry and whoever gave these orders needs to be charged with Gross Misconduct in Public Office. This place has not improved and anyone who says it has is lying. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 12

11:03pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Cloud 23 says...

The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem.
The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem. Cloud 23
  • Score: -9

11:30pm Thu 20 Feb 14

bigfoot says...

Inquiry-Now that's the real deal!,if it happens.
Inquiry-Now that's the real deal!,if it happens. bigfoot
  • Score: 5

11:57pm Thu 20 Feb 14

PaulCa says...

Processes at Wirral Council tend to be a chaotic, lumbering shambles, apart from ONE very important one that runs like clockwork...

There's a slick, well-oiled machine that's targetting certain people with "Gross Misconduct" disciplinary charges.

The problem is it slaps them on complainants and whistleblowers, and never sets its sights on the highly paid chancers and wasters i.e. those who deserve disciplinary action or the sack.
Processes at Wirral Council tend to be a chaotic, lumbering shambles, apart from ONE very important one that runs like clockwork... There's a slick, well-oiled machine that's targetting certain people with "Gross Misconduct" disciplinary charges. The problem is it slaps them on complainants and whistleblowers, and never sets its sights on the highly paid chancers and wasters i.e. those who deserve disciplinary action or the sack. PaulCa
  • Score: 11

12:11am Fri 21 Feb 14

PaulCa says...

Cloud 23 wrote:
The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem.
"Those that are left.........."

You appear to have breezed past the whistleblowers who spoke out, and in so doing made themselves targets for the bullies, put their jobs on the line in order to try and get the place sorted out.

You seem to have forgotten... £millions upon £milllions have been squandered on lies and cover up and corrupt practices over many, many years. Are you EVER going to join us and criticise this? I don't remember any posts from you while the abuse against vulnerable people was in full flow. Was your own life easier back then maybe?

THAT abuse and the failed attempts to cover it up is why you're up sh*t creek without a paddle now. Don't expect to get an easy ride if you're going to come on here looking for sympathy. Not from me anyway.

The council is still lending out £millions at favourable interest rates to its chumz. Why don't they stop now and instead, redirect THAT into your struggling department, boosting yours and your colleagues' morale, so you can return to feeling good again?

btw, we don't criticise junior staff who are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances, EXCEPT if they're bystanders or lackeys, witnessing abuse, sitting mute, laying prostrate and doing nothing.

No, we target the seniors, the ones who are worthy of attacking good, long, hard and with no mercy. You're still welcome to join us some day if you can sort yourself out.
[quote][p][bold]Cloud 23[/bold] wrote: The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem.[/p][/quote]"Those that are left.........." You appear to have breezed past the whistleblowers who spoke out, and in so doing made themselves targets for the bullies, put their jobs on the line in order to try and get the place sorted out. You seem to have forgotten... £millions upon £milllions have been squandered on lies and cover up and corrupt practices over many, many years. Are you EVER going to join us and criticise this? I don't remember any posts from you while the abuse against vulnerable people was in full flow. Was your own life easier back then maybe? THAT abuse and the failed attempts to cover it up is why you're up sh*t creek without a paddle now. Don't expect to get an easy ride if you're going to come on here looking for sympathy. Not from me anyway. The council is still lending out £millions at favourable interest rates to its chumz. Why don't they stop now and instead, redirect THAT into your struggling department, boosting yours and your colleagues' morale, so you can return to feeling good again? btw, we don't criticise junior staff who are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances, EXCEPT if they're bystanders or lackeys, witnessing abuse, sitting mute, laying prostrate and doing nothing. No, we target the seniors, the ones who are worthy of attacking good, long, hard and with no mercy. You're still welcome to join us some day if you can sort yourself out. PaulCa
  • Score: 13

12:14am Fri 21 Feb 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Cloud 23 wrote:
The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem.
Hey Cloud,

I understand your very valid point about a £5m capital receipt. However, there is proper legal processes to be followed and ignoring the very people you serve is not one of them. Especially when the Council is going out of its way to tell everyone how it has changed and is now more transparent.

I also agree with you in that very many good people work hard for the Council on ordinary wages. However, It is the Senior Officers that come under attack when things like this go wrong, as it is they who are ultimately responsible.

Also, it is clear that Councils have been unfairly targeted by this Government and that the ordinary a Council worker is under more pressure than ever and many must feel extremely vulnerable.

It just doesn't help the Council cause when senior management get it wrong time after time seemingly without recourse and close shop when it should be explaining why it acted in such an underhand manner to those it is there to serve.
[quote][p][bold]Cloud 23[/bold] wrote: The staggering financial challenge facing the council, which will mean radical cuts to services with a massive impact on our communities and losses of hundreds of jobs over next three years barely gets reported or mentioned by commentators on these pages. Have they any idea what it's like working for the council. Those that are left are in a permanent state of uncertainty and fear about the next wave of cuts. These are normal people on a low or moderate wage struggling to make ends meet who live amongst us. They are not the people often described on these pages as incompetent, corrupt, earning vast amounts of money etc. I make no comment on this particular story, unlike some on here I don't like to without knowing the full facts. Local government has been disgracefully targetted by this government and itsnbeen disproportionate to other areas of the public sector. So it's inevitable that the council has to sell assets like land and buildings to raise money and this won't be in any way popular with those affected. But the fact is council is in a dire position. Can it really afford to ignore a 5m asset enjoyed by such a few when it has to find investment for services or facilities that may benefit the wider community? Local councillors like Lewis on this issue and Kelly on school crossing seemingly have no idea that things are so chronically bad and are just playing politics. They need to look the real issues going on in a council facing such a crippling problem.[/p][/quote]Hey Cloud, I understand your very valid point about a £5m capital receipt. However, there is proper legal processes to be followed and ignoring the very people you serve is not one of them. Especially when the Council is going out of its way to tell everyone how it has changed and is now more transparent. I also agree with you in that very many good people work hard for the Council on ordinary wages. However, It is the Senior Officers that come under attack when things like this go wrong, as it is they who are ultimately responsible. Also, it is clear that Councils have been unfairly targeted by this Government and that the ordinary a Council worker is under more pressure than ever and many must feel extremely vulnerable. It just doesn't help the Council cause when senior management get it wrong time after time seemingly without recourse and close shop when it should be explaining why it acted in such an underhand manner to those it is there to serve. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 9

9:19am Fri 21 Feb 14

hobroW says...

It was always simple in this case. Mr Norman's offer of as new lease emanating from the highest level should have been honoured. The change of policy could not take back an offer to treat once accepted as clearly it was by the lessees. The dishonest scrambling to retract the offer by even the lowest sleight of hand is not the behaviour expected from a public body. A mistake was made and the WBC should have expended its energy determining why the legal department knew not the intentions of the Asset Management department, rather as it should be seeking to discover why the legal department has failed to oversee the signing of valid contracts with its Service Providers.

The fault lies in ourselves not in the stars...
It was always simple in this case. Mr Norman's offer of as new lease emanating from the highest level should have been honoured. The change of policy could not take back an offer to treat once accepted as clearly it was by the lessees. The dishonest scrambling to retract the offer by even the lowest sleight of hand is not the behaviour expected from a public body. A mistake was made and the WBC should have expended its energy determining why the legal department knew not the intentions of the Asset Management department, rather as it should be seeking to discover why the legal department has failed to oversee the signing of valid contracts with its Service Providers. The fault lies in ourselves not in the stars... hobroW
  • Score: 6

9:50am Fri 21 Feb 14

WirralAl says...

This council have yet again proved that all the actions that they take are under hand and devious. They should know by now that it is better to be honest and truthful the tactics that they use which are despicable and self serving.

They have not changed what so ever no matter what crap they come out with its one rule for them and they treat the people who pay them with contempt.

Give the voters a choice in what happens. Give us the chance to voice our opinions.

Make the choice are you public officers or gangsters as so far you act more like the MOB with your sneaky little lies.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT WE REMEMBER THIS ON ELECTION DAY.
This council have yet again proved that all the actions that they take are under hand and devious. They should know by now that it is better to be honest and truthful the tactics that they use which are despicable and self serving. They have not changed what so ever no matter what crap they come out with its one rule for them and they treat the people who pay them with contempt. Give the voters a choice in what happens. Give us the chance to voice our opinions. Make the choice are you public officers or gangsters as so far you act more like the MOB with your sneaky little lies. PLEASE ENSURE THAT WE REMEMBER THIS ON ELECTION DAY. WirralAl
  • Score: 3

10:07am Fri 21 Feb 14

woodyres2 says...

Maybe the pony club could move down to the land at the bottom of the Woodchurch Estate....

Oh no, sorry, they can't, Wirral Council are going to give all that land and the Woodchurch Leisure Centre to Tranmere Rovers Football Club !!

Another shady deal in the offing which will probably not benefit the community in any way, and can we find out anything about it ? No !!
Maybe the pony club could move down to the land at the bottom of the Woodchurch Estate.... Oh no, sorry, they can't, Wirral Council are going to give all that land and the Woodchurch Leisure Centre to Tranmere Rovers Football Club !! Another shady deal in the offing which will probably not benefit the community in any way, and can we find out anything about it ? No !! woodyres2
  • Score: 4

10:48am Fri 21 Feb 14

Growl Tiger says...

In the past I have had dealings with officers in the departments of Technical Services, Asset Management and Legal - the common thread is that they speak with forked tongues. They use phrases which deliberately confound and trying to elicit the exact meaning from them is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. You get the feeling that they are all in league and that behind your back they are laughing their socks off. To date I have not dealt with one officer who has been open and honest or followed through a promise.
In the past I have had dealings with officers in the departments of Technical Services, Asset Management and Legal - the common thread is that they speak with forked tongues. They use phrases which deliberately confound and trying to elicit the exact meaning from them is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. You get the feeling that they are all in league and that behind your back they are laughing their socks off. To date I have not dealt with one officer who has been open and honest or followed through a promise. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 9

12:18pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Llamedos 1 says...

I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors
I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors Llamedos 1
  • Score: 8

1:45pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Llamedos 1 wrote:
I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors
Good post.....I totally agree with everything said here. The majority of people take up public service because they believe in it. Unfortunately, the proud name of Wirral Council has been eroded away over the past number of years and this has a profound negative affect on the general Council staff.
[quote][p][bold]Llamedos 1[/bold] wrote: I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors[/p][/quote]Good post.....I totally agree with everything said here. The majority of people take up public service because they believe in it. Unfortunately, the proud name of Wirral Council has been eroded away over the past number of years and this has a profound negative affect on the general Council staff. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 7

1:48pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Growl Tiger wrote:
In the past I have had dealings with officers in the departments of Technical Services, Asset Management and Legal - the common thread is that they speak with forked tongues. They use phrases which deliberately confound and trying to elicit the exact meaning from them is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. You get the feeling that they are all in league and that behind your back they are laughing their socks off. To date I have not dealt with one officer who has been open and honest or followed through a promise.
Ha ha, I have been in your position Growl and do understand your feelings. This is a legal/technical area of work but this department is renowned for its particular way of working!
[quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: In the past I have had dealings with officers in the departments of Technical Services, Asset Management and Legal - the common thread is that they speak with forked tongues. They use phrases which deliberately confound and trying to elicit the exact meaning from them is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. You get the feeling that they are all in league and that behind your back they are laughing their socks off. To date I have not dealt with one officer who has been open and honest or followed through a promise.[/p][/quote]Ha ha, I have been in your position Growl and do understand your feelings. This is a legal/technical area of work but this department is renowned for its particular way of working! Joeblogg85
  • Score: 5

5:59pm Fri 21 Feb 14

keen gardener says...

If you feel 'strongly' about Fernbank and all that it involves may I suggest that you join their Facebook page. No, I am not a lover of Facebook and I am not politically motivated either. Newspaper headlines come and go but I would like to think that this debacle will move Wirral out of the past and into the future ie 'truth' we Wirral folk can deal with, 'lies and deceit' we cannot and WILL NOT. This is about ordinary folk standing their ground - enough is enough says I.
If you feel 'strongly' about Fernbank and all that it involves may I suggest that you join their Facebook page. No, I am not a lover of Facebook and I am not politically motivated either. Newspaper headlines come and go but I would like to think that this debacle will move Wirral out of the past and into the future ie 'truth' we Wirral folk can deal with, 'lies and deceit' we cannot and WILL NOT. This is about ordinary folk standing their ground - enough is enough says I. keen gardener
  • Score: 2

9:01am Sat 22 Feb 14

hobroW says...

Joeblogg85 wrote:
Llamedos 1 wrote:
I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors
Good post.....I totally agree with everything said here. The majority of people take up public service because they believe in it. Unfortunately, the proud name of Wirral Council has been eroded away over the past number of years and this has a profound negative affect on the general Council staff.
"With great power, comes great responsability"

Staff do not make executive decisions, Managers and Directors do. The public could only blame staff that take large tracts of sickness without proper cause elsewise the public can blame Directors. And these directors should fall when they fail.

For the moment we have an uneven preponderance of power with no responsability
[quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llamedos 1[/bold] wrote: I don't think that any of the contributors on this or any other site has criticised the general council staff. It is the buffoons running the show like 66 councillors bar a few, the CEO, department directors and even our useless MP`s. These are the people responsible for the dire mess WBC find themselves in and I think you will find that most of us have some sympathy for the hard working council employee trying to do the best job they can whilst their morale must be at rock bottom because of the incompetence and dishonesty of their superiors[/p][/quote]Good post.....I totally agree with everything said here. The majority of people take up public service because they believe in it. Unfortunately, the proud name of Wirral Council has been eroded away over the past number of years and this has a profound negative affect on the general Council staff.[/p][/quote]"With great power, comes great responsability" Staff do not make executive decisions, Managers and Directors do. The public could only blame staff that take large tracts of sickness without proper cause elsewise the public can blame Directors. And these directors should fall when they fail. For the moment we have an uneven preponderance of power with no responsability hobroW
  • Score: 4

10:33am Sat 22 Feb 14

JohnON says...

"For the moment we have an uneven preponderance of power with no responsibility"

Otherwise known as a carefully conceived and nurtured dictatorship. They're past masters at it and it will take more than the elections in May to break it.
"For the moment we have an uneven preponderance of power with no responsibility" Otherwise known as a carefully conceived and nurtured dictatorship. They're past masters at it and it will take more than the elections in May to break it. JohnON
  • Score: 3

3:03pm Sat 22 Feb 14

tiprat says...

WirralAl wrote:
This council have yet again proved that all the actions that they take are under hand and devious. They should know by now that it is better to be honest and truthful the tactics that they use which are despicable and self serving.

They have not changed what so ever no matter what crap they come out with its one rule for them and they treat the people who pay them with contempt.

Give the voters a choice in what happens. Give us the chance to voice our opinions.

Make the choice are you public officers or gangsters as so far you act more like the MOB with your sneaky little lies.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT WE REMEMBER THIS ON ELECTION DAY.
Unfortunately, come election day, we can only vote to change the Councillors...not the senior management of the council.

The councillors, probably, by and large, try to do a decent job. However, it should be them directing the senior civil SERVANTS in the council, It seems that these unelected officials think that they are the tail wagging the dog
[quote][p][bold]WirralAl[/bold] wrote: This council have yet again proved that all the actions that they take are under hand and devious. They should know by now that it is better to be honest and truthful the tactics that they use which are despicable and self serving. They have not changed what so ever no matter what crap they come out with its one rule for them and they treat the people who pay them with contempt. Give the voters a choice in what happens. Give us the chance to voice our opinions. Make the choice are you public officers or gangsters as so far you act more like the MOB with your sneaky little lies. PLEASE ENSURE THAT WE REMEMBER THIS ON ELECTION DAY.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, come election day, we can only vote to change the Councillors...not the senior management of the council. The councillors, probably, by and large, try to do a decent job. However, it should be them directing the senior civil SERVANTS in the council, It seems that these unelected officials think that they are the tail wagging the dog tiprat
  • Score: 4

4:19pm Sat 22 Feb 14

scunner52 says...

I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her.
I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her. scunner52
  • Score: 3

6:11pm Sat 22 Feb 14

keen gardener says...

scunner52 wrote:
I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her.
Personally I am not looking for a 'head on a platter'. What I, as a taxpayer, would like to see is openness and transparency ie 'TRUTH'. Yes, hard to swallow at times, but at least we then as individuals/groups know what to face up to and deal with. The internet has given you, I and the majority of others the ability to access, read and digest what is going on...the sooner MBW appreciates this the better. I regard this whole matter as a WAKE UP CALL....anyone listening/reading? I hope so.
[quote][p][bold]scunner52[/bold] wrote: I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her.[/p][/quote]Personally I am not looking for a 'head on a platter'. What I, as a taxpayer, would like to see is openness and transparency ie 'TRUTH'. Yes, hard to swallow at times, but at least we then as individuals/groups know what to face up to and deal with. The internet has given you, I and the majority of others the ability to access, read and digest what is going on...the sooner MBW appreciates this the better. I regard this whole matter as a WAKE UP CALL....anyone listening/reading? I hope so. keen gardener
  • Score: 1

6:19pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hobroW says...

scunner52 wrote:
I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her.
a head or two would help the process "pour encourager les autres"

My hopes of a head, seconded by quite a fair number of others, resides in the story of misinformation fed to Grant Thornton at end 2012 where Invest Wirral MAY NOT have given them the database "CRM" which they required whereas 1 year later the Department of Local Government and Communities did obtain the correct information aided by further information from NWDA/A4e and by my own efforts (see FOI by nigel hobro on What do they know,com) by correspondance with WBC Internal audit
[quote][p][bold]scunner52[/bold] wrote: I am coming to this late, however, we have a council officer telling the court he was instructed by superiors to not answer communications. Is there no way that we, the council paymasters, can make a grievance complaint against the officer giving that instruction. If anyone knows a way lets go get him/her.[/p][/quote]a head or two would help the process "pour encourager les autres" My hopes of a head, seconded by quite a fair number of others, resides in the story of misinformation fed to Grant Thornton at end 2012 where Invest Wirral MAY NOT have given them the database "CRM" which they required whereas 1 year later the Department of Local Government and Communities did obtain the correct information aided by further information from NWDA/A4e and by my own efforts (see FOI by nigel hobro on What do they know,com) by correspondance with WBC Internal audit hobroW
  • Score: 2

6:23pm Sat 22 Feb 14

hobroW says...

I confess that the issues of ISUS and BIG and working wirral are small compared to overall expenditure annually but they do laser onto specific weaknesses in the WBC set-up and they did attract a peculiar effort by WBC officers to delay and possibl;y oimpede a proper investigation.
It is for that reason, rather like the Feds nabbing Al Capone on minor tax evasion charges rather than murder, that I keep on highlighting this affair
I confess that the issues of ISUS and BIG and working wirral are small compared to overall expenditure annually but they do laser onto specific weaknesses in the WBC set-up and they did attract a peculiar effort by WBC officers to delay and possibl;y oimpede a proper investigation. It is for that reason, rather like the Feds nabbing Al Capone on minor tax evasion charges rather than murder, that I keep on highlighting this affair hobroW
  • Score: 2

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