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Posted by: John Brace | 10th May 2016

WIRRAL COUNCIL goes to the dentist: a short play about FOI and local government

WIRRAL COUNCIL goes to the dentist: a short play about FOI and local government

The below is written in memory of my late Great-Uncle Joe who before he retired taught dentistry. I am currently writing an e-book about freedom of information of which the below is an excerpt.

ICO Information Commissioner's Office logo

ICO Information Commissioner’s Office logo

WIRRAL COUNCIL, a "most improved" Council is in the dentists’ chair looking worried.

Hovering above the patient in the dentists’ chair is MR BRACE, the dentist. Every tooth of WIRRAL COUNCIL he has taken out before is displayed proudly in a cabinet in the waiting area and visitors leave comments about them.

WIRRAL COUNCIL (mumbling and looking worried): You want to take my teeth out, again!? So the public can look at my teeth!?

MR BRACE: Only some of them, don’t worry you’ll grow new ones! Or I could take X-rays of them instead?

WIRRAL COUNCIL (mumbling): I’ll have to think about this and get back to you in twenty working days.

Twenty working days pass. Nothing happens. MR BRACE phones WIRRAL COUNCIL.

MR BRACE: You said you’d get back to me!

WIRRAL COUNCIL (alarmed): Sorry, it will all cost too much and end up taking over 18 and a half hours of my time! (slams the phone down)

MR BRACE rings WIRRAL COUNCIL again.

WIRRAL COUNCIL (even more alarmed): Sorry now you’re just being… vexatious! (slams the phone down again)

MR BRACE rings ICO and tells them what happened.

A year later WIRRAL COUNCIL rings the dentist.

WIRRAL COUNCIL: Sorry I’ve changed my mind you’re not being vexatious, but it’ll still cost too much!

ICO after a year of scratching their head tell WIRRAL COUNCIL it won’t cost too much.

WIRRAL COUNCIL takes some of its teeth out (reluctantly) and hands them to the dentist. It claims despite conducting a thorough search of its own mouth, that the teeth it thought it had, and claimed it had and had been telling everyone it used for chewing food for two years, aren’t actually there.

It tells MR BRACE and ICO that he cannot have the other teeth because they contain "personal data" and after consulting its solicitor that to hand over some teeth would be "prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs".

MR BRACE asks WIRRAL COUNCIL to think again. WIRRAL COUNCIL says no, so he asks ICO.

WIRRAL COUNCIL (after trying to ignore MR BRACE) tells him and ICO that MR. BRACE is being vexatious and he can have no more of its teeth.

Then WIRRAL COUNCIL changes its mind and over two years after this saga started, hands over one more of its teeth (but with bits blacked out). Eventually it removes the blacked out bits.

ICO tell WIRRAL COUNCIL it is being very naughty with MR BRACE, feels sorry for Wirral Council so it let’s it keep one tooth, but also says to stop calling MR BRACE vexatious. ICO asks WIRRAL COUNCIL to provide a fresh response.

WIRRAL COUNCIL doesn’t like this!

WIRRAL COUNCIL just refers MR BRACE and ICO to its earlier decisions.

MR BRACE contacts ICO again. However ICO conveniently lose what most of what MR BRACE told them.

ICO tell WIRRAL COUNCIL once again it is wrong, ICO tell WIRRAL COUNCIL to hand over two more of its teeth.

MR BRACE thinks the whole thing (now lasting over 3 years) is getting very silly indeed!

So he asks for a meeting, where independent people at a "Tribunal" can decide whether WIRRAL COUNCIL should have to hand over its teeth (whether blacked out or not).

WIRRAL COUNCIL hands over two more of its teeth, again with bits blacked out.

WIRRAL COUNCIL hires a barrister to plead with the Tribunal to help keep its teeth.

ICO says its not going to come to such a meeting about WIRRAL COUNCIL‘s teeth but sends a written response.

A hearing date is set (16th June 2016 starting at 10:00am at The Employment Tribunal, 3rd Floor, Civil & Family Court, 35 Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX) and the rest is yet to be decided!

But why is making a simple FOI request like pulling teeth?

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.


Responses

  1. G’day John

    I will see you in court.

    Ooroo

    James

    Luv ya work.

    It is brilliant watching “The Shyster” and his ill legal department bowing and scraping, mumbling and fumbling.

    You won’t recognise them as the usual bullies that lie and obfuscate.

    • Well yes, in a court building, in a court room, but not in court as it’s a tribunal.

      Having 4 stages for a FOI request to go through (request, internal review, ICO, tribunal) probably means the number of ICO cases that end up “in court” are very small.

  2. Outstandingly brilliant our John. God knows whether you receive this praise c’os me bloody laptop is buggered up.

    • Hope your laptop gets fixed soon.

      • G’day John and Bobby

        Trust you are as fit as Mallee Bulls?

        Bobby will get his laptop fixed but please tell me how wirral with a small w can be fixed.

        They even have the DCLG on side……Bizzarrre

        Luv yas’

        Ooroo

        James

        • How Wirral can be fixed?

          1) Short answer is different people in charge (there are some different councillors now but it’s too early to know what effect they will have).

          2) Long answer is a different attitude/culture by councillors, senior management and staff as in some aspects although there has been progress, Wirral is still reputation wise suffering in people’s minds under a murky cloud of what happened in recent years over whistleblowing. Sadly that bad experience has led to better reputation management which has obscured the gaping gaps of corporate governance that still exist.

          3) Oh and most important, a Wirral population, press and political parties that care enough to bring about positive change.

          • G’day John

            I think you are spot on with your opinion.

            They just can’t hide under their desks like The Blinking CEO and hope Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Wirralgate will go away.

            They cannot get better until they face their shit and be open, honest and transparent about their past.

            C’mon “Spotty Dog” your a big (some might say big fat) boy now, grow some cojones, man up and fess up about those evil scum bags you are defending.

            Ooroo

            James

            A clue “Ecccles Cake Face”

            “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill”

            “The Shyster” and his ill legal department

            “Legweak”

            “Humpty Dumpty”

            AdderleyDadderleyDooLally

            “The Chamber Potty”

            “The Garbage Lady”

            “Ankles”

            “The Pretend Friend”

            Missus bilong him “Nurse Rat”

            “She who thinks they named an art gallery after her”

            “Phil’s Ugly Twin Brother wit the Comb Over from Hell”

            If you are not man enough just get “Fartin Lobsterpot” to do it now you’ve got shot of the “Blot on the Landscape” and “Ugh Boots”.

  3. G’day John

    I woke up thinking of your comments on wirral with a tiny w this morning but you don’t have to get a restraing order John….honest.

    Did AdderleyDadderleyDooLally sum up the attitude of public servants (ha ha) in this country when the deluded buffoon with a childish football shirt with his name on “LIAR’ said at Gra Gra’s Public Farce of a Meeting into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods that it was not our money anyway.

    Do they believe that they can just do what they want as Europe is accountable and it is down to them to catch us?

    He publicly didn’t give a toss and sounded exactly like the old scally’s at the gym and pool of a morning talking about the next tranche of dosh the clowncil will get.

    Maybe if the BRXIT vote won accountants like Edwards, Garry and Walker at DCLG might be listened too?

    “NOT OUR MONEY LETS NOT GIVE A SHIT” should be The Blinking CEO, Eccles Cake Face sign on his door and sit on the floor if you want to talk to me under my desk.

    Ooroo

    John

    If the little wus is not going to sort out Wirral “Funny” Bizz it might be time to up the game in the interest of honesty, openness and transparency.

    • Hi James,

      If I remember correctly, the reference was to European money externally grant funding some of the BIG/ISUS matters.

      Although if I also remember correctly didn’t a lot of it have to be match funded with Wirral Council’s own money anyway?

      As this country gives money to Europe collected through taxes which we then get back through such schemes, then how is it any different to how Wirral Council receives money, after all it’s all taxpayers’ money?

      As to accountability and Europe, the way it works (or is supposed to work) is that Europe gives the money to national government who then decide the criteria for how its spent, so if there’s a problem it’s up to national government to clawback funds, or Europe to blame the government of the day.

      There is limited devolution on the cards though. For example if air pollution levels are breached resulting in EU fines, national government wants local councils to end up paying rather than them, the combined authority (which didn’t exist in the BIG/ISUS days) also has more of a role in how EU funds are spent locally and in return next year you will get a vote in who chairs it.

      • G’day John

        I presume it will be political and they will have a thicker than the chair Chair like Wirral with a tiny w had “Crapapple” to do the filth for the Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Committee.

        Ooroo

        James

        John does democracy work?

        • As the saying goes James, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”.

  4. G’day John

    Australia never had a chance of winning Eurovision amidst all those uncorrupt European countries?

    More chance of Ecca from an uncorrupt country fessing up about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Wirralgate.

    Why are they so quiet John after “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” saying they got a vote of confidence?

    I just luv Fartin Lobsterpot’s tactics, that is if he is still in his shiny new office, say nothing at all and getting a stonking good wage for nothing.

    Bunker down under your desks like the main boy, mute, “Eccles Cake Face”, The Blinking CEO says Fartin.

    Ooroo

    James

    • Well in Eurovision a lot of the countries (or at least this used to be the case) vote for their neighbours putting Australia at a disadvantage.

      I think their strategy at times is to ignore embarrassing issues in the hope the media and whistleblowers will give up and (to use that terrible phrase) move on.

      However if the news is really bad, they usually have a few positive press releases in reserve to counterbalance the bad news.

  5. G’day John

    I just logged on before I read your last comment to say that the only thing they do well at Wirral is keep their gobs shut and that is even before the invisible man, Ecca, The Blinking CEO turned up and lead their attack by hiding under his desk in case Cardin said G’Day.

    I presume you saw John in the rubbish paper from over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters that if they book you for parking legally on a Sunday you have to bash “The Shyster’s” ill legal department into submission.

    Can’t wait to see “The Shyster” again in court with his shiny arsed suit cheap plastic biro and expensive barrista from London getting him out of the shit every time he mumbles rubbish.

    Ooroo

    James

    What a lovely day…..to ignore Wirral “Funny” Bizz….sunning themselves in Portugal with wirral’s £2,000,000.00

  6. G’day John

    When they won their few seats at the recent election and according to “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” saying they had a vote of confidence the half wit thought he had a further mandate to whatever he wanted.

    The rubbish paper from over Kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant waters

    Wirral council workers will now keep retirement gifts after authority tried to claw them back

    Sorry an insult to half wits.

    So “Dillbrain” when are you going to do the right and decent thing about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Wirralgate.

    Standing down and apologising is an option.

    Wirral “Funny” Bizz the company is still alive.

    Ooroo

    James

    • I think the former workers threatened to sue Wirral Council didn’t they?

      Seems the one thing Wirral Council doesn’t like is being embarrassed by losing a court case.

      • G’day John

        I presume you have seen “The Shyster” in court and can understand why they won’t go near a court room unless his ill legal department are bullying someone who can’t fight back.

        Cowards, scum and evil.

        Ooroo

        James

        Ecca “The Shyster” and his ill legal department were all over Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Lockwood/Harbac asset stripping like your spot cream.

        • No strangely enough I’ve never seen who you mention in court.

          On the other subject above about the worker’s passes, I think the unions were behind causing that U-turn.

  7. G’day John

    These buffoons really need to be stopped John all I can say is Lyndale and Girtrell Court.

    Their rubbish propaganda sheet

    Liverpool legend helps open Birkenhead’s new £11m offices

    Ooroo

    James

    • I’ve read the piece in the Wirral Globe.

      The question is will any other businesses base themselves at the Wirral Waters project?


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