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Posted by: John Brace | 7th November 2014

Trade unions march on Wirral Council, only to hear how wonderful the 2014 Open Golf championship was

Trade unions march on Wirral Council, only to hear how wonderful the 2014 Open Golf championship was

                                                        

Cllr Phil Davies at the start tells people how pleased he is to see so many members of the public at the Cabinet meeting of the 6th November 2014

Cllr Phil Davies tells people at the start how pleased he is to see so many members of the public at the Cabinet meeting of the 6th November 2014

The first part of the Cabinet meeting can be watched above (apart from a short video that has been edited out.

Prior to last night’s Cabinet meeting there was a trade union march from Seacombe Ferry to Wallasey Town Hall. Wirral Council’s Cabinet have managed to not just cause public sector union troubles, as part of the Cabinet has managed to cause trade union issues in my private sector workplace too.

The trade union strife and march is already covered in the Liverpool Echo.

Wirral Council of course knew this was coming, so with the “Green” party in the audience the first part of the meeting was about the “Royal and Ancient” (no, I’m not referring in any way to Wirral Council’s Cabinet) & the recent Open Golf Tournament.

So are Wirral Council’s Cabinet caught in the political equivalent of madly swinging at the ball in a sand bunker whilst there’s union trouble brewing back at the club house or does Cllr Phil “Golf Club Captain” Davies just take the “rough” with the smooth?

Ed – enough of the golf puns John!

Well caught in the PR nightmare of trade union issues, obviously Wirral Council had to have a “good news” story to tell.

So the meeting started by someone telling the audience about how great TV coverage and coverage about Wirral on websites was. For a moment I thought I was in a bizarre dream. Usually Cllr Phil Davies is saying how “irresponsible” the press is or how they’ve got things wrong. A politician having to sit through a meeting where somebody says nice things about the press is a rare event indeed!

Then it got even better, a guy said there was an “economic impact” of TV and online coverage about Wirral.

Oh boy, I thought. I really am just dreaming now aren’t I? They’ve actually asked somebody to assess the economic importance to Wirral of this blog about Wirral Council and associated Youtube channels (this is the main one and this one is temporarily used whilst the dispute with Sony over Lyndale School coverage of a previous Cabinet meeting is sorted).

Thankfully the guy was only talking about golf more specifically the recent Open Golf Tournament. Hmmmm!

So when I got an email from Surjit Tour telling me to remove coverage about the Open Golf tournament from my blog he was in fact attempting to harm the Wirral economy? Well blow me down with a feather and call me Nora (no offence Leonora).

My reply to him at the time obviously should have been, don’t you realise Mr. Tour the economic harm you’re trying to ravage on the Wirral economy? Obviously a completely missed opportunity on my part and should’ve been followed by don’t you realise tourism jobs on the Wirral depend on media coverage of the Open Golf? And indeed how without that blog post would we have got classic quotes such as local tailor Cllr Walter Smith saying the quotable line “I must say I enjoyed lavish hospitality” on BBC Radio Merseyside?

So next time a Wirral Council councillor stops me filming a public meeting, I will not only remind them of the law states but I will accuse them of the “economic carnage” and people that’ll be put out of work that they’re deliberately inflicting on the local economy. Probably hyperbole, but then a lot of politics often seems to be hyperbole.

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Responses

  1. Did they say these conflicting statements because the ‘resident rottweiler spin doctor’ wasn’t there to ‘advise’ them?

    • Well the guys who were talking about golf were one professor from Sheffield Hallam, a guy from the Royal and Ancient and a guy from the private sector.

      As in not a Wirral Council employee among them.

      Strngely enough the front two rows (about a dozen seats apart from two extra I added for filming) were reserved for them and they ended up sitting elsewhere!

      Sadly I’ve had to edit the video shown out of my footage, so the clip of that part of the meeting can’t be compressed and won’t finish uploading until some point this evening. When it does you can (apart from the video) watch for yourself.

  2. I hope Mr Davies named names about the press being Irresponsible and getting it wrong, further if he wants to name names he can be my guest, but he will avoid that and as you quite rightly point out the Figures quoted for how much was made was amply put. What they have to do now in the spirit of openness and transparency, should be to say how much it cost to put on and how much, as Mr Smith has already pointed out the Lavish Hospitality and Free Tickets cost, where the money they have received is going or gone

    • The “irresponsible” bit was said by Cllr Phil Davies in a previous Cabinet meeting.

      Obviously last night his Cabinet were looking for positive media coverage for their free after 3 parking plan (ironically right after a different Labour councillor had said free after three doesn’t work and the Cabinet had just rejected all his recommendations such as disabled parking near shops on the basis of it’d cost something to implement compared to free after three on which financial impacts were not given)!

      • G’day John

        I am surprised “Phil the Dill” didn’t talk up Wirral Funny Biz as great great news as he missed the farce of The Special Fudge It and Risk It meeting of 8 October into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods.

        It didn’t surprise me he didn’t turn up John he must have been “Offended” when I jumped up and moved away from the scumbag at the last meeting.

        Do you think he put in a claim for 48 big ones after I shocked him?

        Ooroo

        James

        • Politicians have to just put up with public criticism as part of the role.

          Much as I accept a certain level of criticism and loss of privacy because of what I do. That’s just life!

          I did see a quote from Paula Basnett in the press recently, can’t remember what it was on though.

          • G’day John

            I bet she wasn’t saying how she was told to keep her gob shut after I spoke to her and “The Football Shirt” on 5 July 2011.

            I could tell she believed me….poor little thing.

            She wanted it to stop and it went on and they got paid up until December 2012.

            What a fabulous success for….

            Ooroo

            James

            • The world is sadly full of people that have been told to keep their mouth shut. You’d be surprised how often the same instruction is given to me.

              The BIG/ISUS story is a textbook example of how even after a previous whistleblower’s tale that brought down a previous Labour administration, that despite warm words about “lessons learnt” and whistleblowers being “courted and feted” that instead we’ve just got history (to a large degree) repeating itself.

    • Last night was about justifying the costs you refer to because of the wider economic impact.

  3. I knew that Mr Brace, but thank you for the timely reply, but if he is going to make remarks about anybody or anything in the press or otherwise, if he wants to show some manhood he should name names, whenever the remark was made

    • The Council has to an extent a Duty of Care and it must not just look at “Financial Impact” Even in their own Constitution, that appears to change quite a lot, put simply it must look after all it’s citizens within it’s area and in some cases, its citizens in other Area’s, although it appears their are some rule changes on the way

      • Actions speak louder than words.

    • Politicians complaining about the press is about as common as sailors complaining about the sea. 🙂

  4. Last night’s Cabinet meeting was a snub to all those staff and public who had come to listen and lobby on the agenda item related to budget cuts and not to listen to consultants and councillors slap each other on the back over the Golf Open. Very poor choice of priorities by the Leader, but what do we expect other than utter contempt by him for the loss of services and staff that the Council and residents of Wirral face.

    • I agree with you that the larger numbers of the public than usual at the Cabinet meeting hadn’t arrived with the purpose of listening to talk about the Open Golf tournament.

      However having encountered the negotiating tactics of senior councillors and officers recently first hand, I personally feel that whatever warm words were said at the Cabinet meeting that negotiations with Wirral Council are nigh impossible as the senior councillors and officers haven’t learnt to compromise and meet in the middle. It’s either Wirral Council’s way or they won’t agree to anything at all. That is a wholly unacceptable way to conduct industrial relations matters as there is no give and take or flexibility. It’s what leads ultimately to strikes, protests, work to rule and ultimately redundancies.

  5. Whilst I fully accept what you all say in relation to matters, again I would say look at the overall picture, not just from a local perspective. This is what MP’s have to do. There are a number of reasons why Local Authorities have to save and sell off Public Assets, besides what they describe as “Austerity Measures” because of again what they describe as ” Central Government Cuts ” If I were an ” Investigator ” or an ” Impartial Bystander ” with what evidence that is in the Public Domain, through various Media outlets, I would be calling in what they describe as the ” Administration ” for my own peace of mind.

    • It’s up to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP if he wishes to order a best value inspection, which he did for Tower Hamlets earlier this year. If he did the costs would have to be met by Wirral Council.

      However if one was ordered for Wirral Council the results probably wouldn’t be published until after the May 2015 elections.

      The rationale behind selling off surplus assets is that it generates a capital receipt and removes the asset’s running costs from the revenue budget.

      It is however up to the people of Wirral in May 2015 to choose whichever administration they want in charge of Wirral Council.

  6. I would be pleased also to fully co-operate with the ” Administration ” handing over all the Documents to the ” Relevant Bodies “

    • Have a read of the recently published best value inspection report on Tower Hamlets. You’ll find in there, despite legal requirements to hand over documents requested within a few days that the council there deliberately delayed.

  7. Yes, I understand all that. however, there are both Statutory Remedies for obtaining evidence, both in Civil and Criminal Law, I must admit my Order knowledge is a bit lacking, but if it has not been repealed or overruled, from a Civil Perspective there is what is known as an Anton Pillar Order or a Police and Criminal Evidence Act Warrant, known as a PACE 8 (Collection of Evidence in relation to a Criminal Inquiry).

    • Sorry Mr Brace, it’s PILLER not PILLAR and in regard to PACE 8, more protection was given to Police in the 2005 Act

    • In order for either the civil or criminal orders you refer to happening, there has to be a court process first.

      In order for that to happen there has to first be some allegation of a breach of either the civil or criminal legal code that relates to the evidence sought.

      Usually it’s better to start criminal or civil cases with the evidence there from the start.

  8. In relation to a Warrant if memory serves me correct, you go to a Magistrates Clerk on Call, they process your document, check to see if the evidence is correct and then process on oath through the Court. Again if memory serves correct, day time. Night time slightly different. Civil Order similar and the person to whom the warrant or Order does not have to be there. As for Evidence, Direct or Secondary, Oral or Documentary, you have no need to worry. I will deal with anything that comes my way when it arrives now!!!!!!!!!!

    • It will probably start in your Blog, with someone telling you, you should remove Post’s from me and I will have return my reply the same way!!!!

      • We have to follow Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013 when it comes to requests to take down comments on this blog.

        The timescales are we have 48 hours to get in touch with the person who left the comment (assuming it was not left anonymously in which case a slightly different procedure applies), then they have a further 5 days to get in touch with how they want to proceed.

        So it can be strung out to a week before any action is taken depending on us and the commenter. 🙂

        As to specific court orders or injunctions for removing comments, blog posts or other material, in the last 4 years of running this blog nothing on that score has happened so far.

        I can confirm there have been no requests to remove posts from you.

        In the hypothetical situation involving your comments as I have no way of contacting you if a valid complaint was received such comments would have to be removed within 48 hours of receiving a valid complaint in order to maintain a libel defence.


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