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Posted by: John Brace | 30th September 2016

Councillors on Wirral Council’s Audit Committee approve changes to Annual Governance Statement after critical OFSTED report

Councillors on Wirral Council’s Audit Committee approve changes to Annual Governance Statement after critical OFSTED report

                                         

Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee meeting held on the 26th September 2016 | The item on the Annual Governance Statement starts at 41m:22

Wirral Council's Audit and Risk Management Committee (26th September 2016) voting on an amended Annual Governance Statement L to R Cllr Phil Gilchrist, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Les Rowlands and Cllr David Elderton

Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee (26th September 2016) voting on an amended Annual Governance Statement L to R Cllr Phil Gilchrist, Cllr Kathy Hodson, Cllr Les Rowlands and Cllr David Elderton

Councillors at a meeting of Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee on Monday finally voted to approve an amendment to the Annual Governance Statement for 2015-16 relating to the recent OFSTED report.

Councillors talked about the Annual Governance Statement and amendment to it for fifty-six minutes, followed by an adjournment for twenty-one minutes (so the spokespersons and Vice-Chair could reach agreement on it in the Library), followed by a further eight minutes before it was finally voted on.

This is what was in the amendment:

“ As Members will be aware the Council received a report from Ofsted on 20 September 2016 which rated Children’s Services in Wirral as inadequate.

Given the significance of the issues highlighted the following amendment are [sic] to be made to the Annual Governance Statement:-

Section 6 : Significant Governance Issues

The Council received a report from Ofsted on 20 September 2016 which rated Children’s Services in Wirral as inadequate. The report highlighted ‘serious and widespread failures’ in the delivery of services to children who need help and protection in Wirral; focusing on frequent changes in social workers, issues in how partners work together, and evidence of poor records management across a range of areas.

The Ofsted findings have been accepted and the response will deliver major and sustained improvements which are carefully planned and considered.

An Improvement Board has been established and will initially be led by the Chief Executive until the appointment of an Independent Chair. The Improvement Plan has to be agreed with the Department for Education before 30 December 2016. A Department for Education adviser will assist the Council and Ofsted will return quarterly to review progress.




Description of Governance IssueResponsibility / Lead OfficerExpected Delivery
Ofsted highlighted serious and widespread failures in the delivery of services to children who need help and protection in Wirral; focusing on frequent changes in social workers, issues in how partners work together, and evidence of poor records management across a range of areas.

Improvement Board established to lead the process including identification and delivery of an Improvement Plan.

Improvement Board / Julia Hassall (Director of Children’s Services)Improvement plan before 30 December 2016



Later in the same meeting councillors heard from Wirral Council’s external auditor Grant Thornton that because of the OFSTED report, their value for money opinion for 2015/16 would be qualified.

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Responses

  1. On the subject of VFM or ‘value for money’, it’s the Wirral Public and the taxpayer who provide this money – not Grant Thornton. So what matters is what WE say on value for money.

    Grant Thornton do receive lots of our money from the council, the public accept that. But… leverage is therefore exercised over Grant Thornton, not on our behalf – but on behalf of failing senior officers and councillors who caused the Children’s Services crisis in the first place.

    It was brought about by treating frontline social workers like ****, downgrading their roles, giving them impossible caseloads, causing them to go off work with stress, doing staff appraisals for managers – but NOT for those doing the work. In other words, blind, out of touch incompetence on the part of those on top of the pyramid – the Joe Blotts and the Eric Robinsons.

    When Grant Thornton write their reports, at the forefront of their minds is the need to keep that cash (our cash) rolling in – so it’s not a true picture, just a coloured opinion that is frankly worthless in terms of accurate oversight, openness and transparency.

    OUR Value For Money opinion – which is the one that really matters – will be the same as always.

    Hopeless, corrupt, reckless, self-serving, wasteful and a clear and present danger to the children they have a statutory obligation to protect.

    Unless some ******* recognises this, does something about it and intervenes.

    • Well at that very meeting they could’ve made a decision to set up an auditor panel that would pick (or at least recommend) their next auditor.

      Instead they decided to go for the officer option of delegating it to a section of the LGA instead.

      The national government argument about intervention has always been that local councils are accountable to local people and can be voted in or out depending on what local people think.

      However isn’t next May not an election year (apart from Metro Mayor) so the Wirral people won’t have a say anyway?

      Children however do not get a vote, so in the political system nobody has to care as much about what they think as what adults (with a vote) do!

      OK, if I was to write a report on Wirral Council (whether I was paid for it or not), do you think I’d hold anything back? No I wouldn’t!

      Personally about the only organisation on Wirral big enough that the political parties are somewhat in awe of it are the organised religions (that is the churches).

      They’re about the only organisation big enough, rich enough and independent enough to actually have the klout to tell the politicians and political parties to do.

      Then there’s the media…

  2. Am I right in thinking that the person who was in charge of a department that OFSTED consider inadequate etc etc, is the same person who will be in charge of the Improvement Board raised because of that inadequacy?

    • No, the Chief Executive Eric Robinson chairs the Improvement Board until an Independent Chair is found.

      However the Improvement Board will be coming up with an Improvement Plan which Julia Hassall will be expected to implement (I think there’s a statutory timescale of xx days in which they have to do this).

  3. So now we are going to have another board, this one called the improvement board so they can come up with a plan! and this will be led by the Chief Ex before an Independent chair takes over, so that more tax payers money going to fund people sitting in offices doing nothing, and you wonder why Wirral Council has to cut the budget or raise our council taxes.

    • Wirral Council’s been through needing an Improvement Board before.

      When the last one left the public said at its last meeting that basically the organisation (Wirral Council) had got better at public relations and spin but fundamentally hadn’t changed.

      Wirral Council’s view was that it had changed, didn’t need the Improvement Board any more and wanted to leave its chequered past behind.

  4. G’day John

    I had a bit of a go on Leakies site about all the clowncil officers and clowncillors at wirral not understanding accounting and if they do they all turned a blind eye.

    So, they are just amateurs that have been voted for by lesser mortals, but, they have absolutely no right siding with dishonest, corrupt officers and they do understand right from wrong.

    Shame on them.

    Ooroo

    James

  5. G’day John

    Their ex rubbish propaganda sheet

    Council prepares to pay a further £595,000 to pave the way for Hoylake’s deluxe golf resort

    For Golf’s sake ” Deluded Phil” keep your ridiculous dreams to yourself and go on a long holiday to China and take AdderleyDadderleyDooLally and “The Chamber Potty” with you and get Stella to give you and “The Kitchen Cabinet” a masterclass.

    Ooroo

    James

    They get more ridiculous by the day John.

  6. G’day John

    Not saying you just show bad news but do you ever get people complimenting any of these imbecile buffoons like “The Pretend Friend” “The Shyster” “Ankles” “Legweak” “Humpty Dumpty” “Uncle Georgie” or even “Eccles Cake Face”?

    Or do they just buy their compliments from the LGA and spoil the poor down trodden of birkenbloodyhead with dreams of golf courses in their back gardens and soccer/golf for the peasants?

    Ooroo

    James

    I bet their poor families tell them every day that what wirral needs is GOLF.

  7. G’day John

    Their ex rubbish propaganda sheet

    Wirral to recruit new child services leaders after safeguarding slammed by inspection report

    I suppose his messenger from Uncle Joe, Fartin Lobsterpot, has told Ecca not to do anything errr like work or they might have to dock his filthy lucre and people will see he is out of his depth.

    Ooroo

    James

    Haven’t heard from Joey Blowey or Dixon Docko lately they must have been told not to be naughty and draw more attention to Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods.

  8. G’day John

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Their ex local propaganda sheet

    Victims will come face to face with offenders as ‘Neighbourhood Justice’ relaunches in Wirral

    VICTIMS of crime in Wirral will be able to look the perpetrators in the eye as a pioneering project is relaunched.

    The Neighbourhood Justice scheme will let victims have the chance to explain to offenders the real impact of their crime face-to-face.

    Wirral cabinet member for neighbourhoods, housing and engagement Cllr George Davies said: “The restorative justice approach is proven to reduce offenders committing further offences, stop conflict from escalating and reduce the harm caused to victims.

    Maybe Ecca could set the example John and invite “Highbrow” and I to meet up with his good self and the “Lowbrow Pretend Friend” and “The Shyster” and they could explain all the lies and conspiracy and explain why we were not offered a new job.

    I say “Lowbrow Pretend Friend” John because……have you seen his brows on your filum my boy they are a bush fire hazard and wouldn’t all the rats come scoot-ling out of that beard if he told the truth and self combusted.

    Ooroo

    James

    I presume both you and Joey Blowey and Dixon Docko have read the missive from the Information Commissioner talking of wirral being worrying.

    Luv ya Joey.

    You and Uncle George could sit in too.

  9. C’mon Joey Blowey

    Pipe up about my ridiculous posts with the insults that no one understands.

    Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods needs reviving, lest we forget.

    Ooroo

    James

    I suppose Joey and Dixon Docko your boss has barred you from uttering.

    Use a different name bozo.

    • (To the tune of Old McDonald)

      Wirral Council had a BIG Fund, E-I ICO Oh!

      And at the Town Hall there were some pigs,

      With a oink oink here

      And a oink oink there

      Here a oink, there a oink

      Everywhere a oink oink

      Wirral Council had a BIG Fund, E-I ICO Oh!

      I’ll leave you to write the next verse James!

  10. G’day John

    Trust all is well.

    Their ex-local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Wirral golf club receives cash boost from North West business

    Ask “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” when he is back from China John why a golf club would need a cash boost when all his eggs are in one leaky 20/200 basket around a golf resort involving Big Jack and his beanstalk.

    Golf/soccer must be such a cash cow they should be giving away german cars as prizes each monthly medal.

    Ooroo

    James

    • Is Big Jack and his beanstalk the name of Wirral’s new tourism strategy? 😛

      Or is Big Jack and his beanstalk just code for Mr Brace and his blog?

  11. G’day John

    How dare these scum bag buffoons criticise anyone for lying.

    Beggars belief.

    Ooroo

    James

    They truly are crud, crass, dross and unklikeable

  12. G’day John

    No wonder they want their own paper.

    Their ex local rubbish propaganda sheet seems to be years behind the TIMES (intended pun)

    Council ‘asleep on the job’

    “The Pretend Friend” the little welsh scum bag has finally been reported years after he started to nod off in the warm Brighton Street.

    Ooroo

    James

    Hands up anyone who hasn’t seen him asleep on the job.

    • I’ve seen councillors fall asleep during meetings, but don’t worry their colleagues wake them up to vote (doesn’t matter they’ve slept through what they’re voting on does it?)

  13. G’day John

    I presume with your lack of activity (on this site) I presume they have offered you the top job on their new rag.

    I didn’t think they could afford you.

    In fact I know they couldn’t afford you

    Ooroo

    James

    Not your wages John your honesty, decency and good humour and your neck is not bursting over your collar like “The Shyster”, “Legweak”, The Abbott” and “Ankles Foulkes”.

    • No, I’m not working for another publication.

      No I haven’t been offered a different job.

    • See latest blog post for some of the reasons why.

      The guys who’ll be running their new newspaper (if it doesn’t get axed by the government) are Surjit Tour as Editor-in-Chief and Mr. Kevin McCallum (plus some new hires).

      Thanks for reminding readers that my integrity doesn’t come at a price.

      As to blood pressure, if I did another 20 years of this I’d probably end up with high blood pressure.

  14. I trust all is well with you John?


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