Posted by: John Brace | 27th November 2014

2nd consultation response to Lyndale School closure consultation from Cllr Phil Gilchrist

2nd consultation response to Lyndale School closure consultation from Cllr Phil Gilchrist


Councillor Tony Smith at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney, Lyndzay Roberts

Councillor Tony Smith at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney, Lyndzay Roberts

Further to this earlier post about the recent consultation on closure of Lyndale School which includes the first consultation response I received, I’m publishing here a second consultation response received by myself from Cllr Phil Gilchrist (a councillor for Eastham ward where Lyndale School is based).

I’m still awaiting a response to my FOI request made a week ago, but as my FOI requests get routinely sent to Wirral Council’s press office for final approval before I get a full response I’m not surprised.

Here is the second response I am publishing to the closure consultation. If you have responded to this consultation and would like me to publish your response (please tell me if you wish your published response to be anonymised) please email me at I’ve linked to the Cabinet reports and Cabinet agenda item referred to by Cllr Phil Gilchrist in his consultation response for ease of reference.

From: Cllr Phil Gilchrist, 2 Gordon Avenue, Bromborough, CH62 6AL 334 1923

I object to the closure of The Lyndale School.

The Cabinet adopted funding arrangements which could be re-visited if there was a willingness to address the financial constraints imposed on the school. The report to Cabinet (Agenda Item 13 of 16th January 2014) included a number of comments that foresaw and helped create the financial straitjacket for the Lyndale School.

Section 2.5 made it clear that there was a need for any banded approach to..
‘recognise the resource intensive nature of making provision for those with the most profound and multiple difficulties ‘

The Cabinet report promised that the changes.
‘will be kept under review with regular reports to the Schools Forum’

Section 2.5 also raised the prospect that there would be.
..’a contingency fund which would be used to support specialist provision experiencing financial difficulties whilst future options are considered’

Section 2.7 described the Wirral banding model as seen by respondents to the consultation as…‘a reasonable starting point for development’

The aforementioned paragraphs suggested that there was a recognition that the authority was creating a system which needed reviewing and developing.

It was clearly reported that..
‘One respondent argued for a school specific top up significantly higher than the banding proposed because without it the school will not be financially viable next year.’ (2.7)

Instead of heeding the concerns raised the Cabinet adopted a funding arrangement which did not fully reflect the costs of providing the specialist provision valued by the parents of children at The Lyndale School..

During the consultation process covering the options for the future of The Lyndale School the parents made it clear that the school was meeting the needs of their children..

They did not wish to see the teamwork, the expertise of teaching staff and of the support staff at The Lyndale School fragmented and broken up. They made this point throughout.

There was an opportunity to ‘replicate’ the provision at The Lyndale, to plan and develop a modern unit that would have achieved this, but it was broached in a half hearted manner. The local authority seems determined to break up The Lyndale’s centre of expertise by sending the children to other schools.

The children will need the same high quality support in any new setting. The parents have remained unconvinced that this will be the case. They have put the needs of their children first and the authority should do likewise.

Cllr Phil Gilchrist 18th Nov 2014

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  1. And here’s written confirmation that FOI requests have been screened, presumably for PR or reputation management purposes, by Emma Degg and Surjit Tour in the past:

    • Yes, but it also explains why FOI requests from myself get a slower response as they have to be assessed by the press office et cetera.

      Might also possibly explain why some in the past have got stuck in that stage and I’ve not received a response. 😀

  2. Possibly, others are also screening your FOI’s as well. What you may well have found, is that a Particular Person, may answer and it then has to go through a chain

    • Mr Brace, you may also find that your FOI is replaced with a different one in a different name, that suits purpose and yours never see,s the light of day. I know because it has happened to me, when you question it, your threatened with all sorts of Hideous things

      • Well even if ICO state they’re wrong, Wirral Council pick another exemption, which then goes to internal review and back to ICO again.

    • Indeed, but it leads to a delayed response. It also leads to having to plan ahead when it comes to FOI and expect a final answer in the next 2 years…

  3. G’day John

    Sorry I am hijacking Lyndale again but I am furious, feel more and more violated and affronted every day by the people at Wirral particularly the ones that tell untruths.

    I am quite confident they will rescue Lyndale they will have to do something decent this century.

    The Echo today;

    Social enterprises and small firms in Merseyside are facing a “disastrous” shortfall in funding after the Government demanded the repayment of more than £1.4m of grant money already given out.

    In the last three years the Big Enterprise in Communities (BEiC) programme has delivered pre-start up support to 3,293 individuals, resulting in 1,301 new businesses being started within the city region.

    It has created 1,292 jobs, and safeguarded 107 and has also assisted 249 businesses to improve their performance.

    Social Enterprise North West (SENW) is the lead agency responsible for giving out the money under a formula agreed with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in the North West.

    However, national Government auditors now say that formula was incorrect and are demanding that SENW pay pack the money within 30 days.

    Chief executive Val Jones has told ECHO Business that the future of SENW itself and jobs within 17 partner organisations, were now under threat. She also said it means that millions more that could have been secured under match funding would also now not be available.

    She said: “I am both shocked and disgusted at the incompetence of DCLG whose wrangling between national auditors and the North West civil servants has led to this devastating decision.

    “This is not SENW’s liability and this high-handed action has wider impacts in terms of the delivery of current and future EU programmes. It calls into question whether local civil servants have the competence required to manage European funds on behalf of the people of the North West.”

    However, in a statement the DCLG accused SENW of having “serious irregularities” in its accounts. And it pledged it would not be seeking to reclaim money from the 17 support organisations who it said had “operated in good faith”.

    The statement said: “In July 2014 an audit carried out by the Audit Authority in accordance with European Commission rules identified serious breaches in the project’s accounts. Under the terms of European grant funding, SENW is required to show how all public money it has received for the BEiC project has been spent.

    “Failure by the SENW to do so has forced the DCLG to take action to recover the money.”

    Communities Minister Lord Ahmad added: “I accept that European Commission rules can be very bureaucratic but in this case they are perfectly clear – failure to provide evidence of how money is spent puts the funding at risk.

    “The DCLG has a clear obligation to make sure every pound of taxpayers’ money is properly accounted for.”

    So John when is Gra Gra going to cough up the report on Wirral?



    Ps We know HE wasn’t there, wasn’t there, wasn’t there.

    • Welcome to the “blame game”.

      I await the answer to my question being given to see if the report will happen this year (at the moment I doubt that is possible though but that’s just my opinion).

  4. I really do not think that the Report that you seek can be seen, as from Mr Braces previous Blog indicates: Vital Signed Contracts and other Relevant Documents not given to the Police are missing, this in fact would tend to corroborate the Department of Communities and Local Government comments in the Local Newspaper.
    The DCLG is quite Right, when it says it is their responsibility and they do have a clear obligation to ensure every pound of Taxpayer’s money is properly accounted for and by a Failure to produce the Documents required merely places suspicion of a clear lack of Transparency

    • I would further advise ” Pro Bono ” that the Report and other missing documents are produced, in particular, the one an Employee was waving about after the meeting of the 8/10/2014. If one has been found then there might be more.

      • G’day “Pro Bono”

        I am more pro Elton John.

        The report above talks of the last three years. My and “Highbrows” beef is with the six or seven years or so before that.

        A DCLG auditor finished an audit and report over a year ago.

        Almost a year after the report was finished the minutes of Gra Gra’s farce of 8 October 2014.

        Resolved (unanimously) – That the Committee,

        (1) Notes the report;

        (2) Accepts the findings reported by Grant Thornton and Merseyside Police into the allegations made in respect of BIG and ISUS grant programmes; and

        (3) Subject to the response of the Department for Communities and Local Government (‘DCLG’), the Chief Executive shall undertake all necessary steps to address any points/issues raised by DCLG and report back to this Committee.

        (4) That the report from the Chief Executive referred to at (3) above (or in a separate report if necessary) shall also include the response of the Council to the Grant Thornton recommendations as set out in their reports into the ISUS and BIG programmes and how they are being and / or have been addressed.

        I would bet your left testicle (if you are a man Reprahnehpets) that Gra Gra knew what that report said before organising the fools to tell untruths publicly.



        Ps Go on “Graham Burge(r with the lot plus super duper car and 7 mistakes in 29 seconds)ss’ show us yours. (Report)

        • Personally I don’t believe that Graham Burgess believes he is lying.

          I think he’s sticking up for Wirral Council employees who were there during that time period.

      • I think you’re referring to Kevin Adderley and his signed contract at the 8th October meeting, however that is just one of many contracts relating to this matter.

        If Wirral Council have lost their signed copy of a contract why didn’t they just ask for a copy to the other party/ies to the contract? Or would that be too embarrassing?

        • G’day John

          Michael (I can’t do simple sums) Wirral Funny Biz has got some incredible dirt on this lot and that is why three and half years later the Clowncil will do anything it can to keep them out of court.

          He got them for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds and they have spent at least £150,000.00 plus keeping it away from any court.

          John this stinks three and a half years later.

          I would love a chat with the dude from the Raving Loony Party that one minute said it was the worst scandal in his farty years and then got so far up the CEO’S backside at THE MEETING he won’t need laxative for some time.


          James (Irreverent Aussie with the tray bits)

          • Submitted the following question to the next council meeting on the 8th December 2014:

            My question for the meeting on the 8th December 2014 is as follows to Cllr Jim Crabtree:

            In relation to the BIG (Business Investment Grant) and ISUS (Intensive Startup Scheme) and the Special Audit and Risk Management Committee
            meeting of the 8th October 2014. Can the Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee Cllr Jim Crabtree, in relation to parts (3) and (4) of the resolution agreed at that meeting (which is at the foot of this question for reference) please give an update as to:

            (a) whether the Department for Communities and Local Government has responded, if so what points/issue DCLG raised and

            (b) bearing in mind that the current Chief Executive is leaving at the end of this year, whether the report referred to in part (4) of the motion containing the Council’s response to the Grant Thornton
            recommendations and how they are being and/or have been addressed is expected before he leaves later this month and if not expected by the end of the year when is it expected to happen by?

            Yours sincerely,

            John Brace

            For information (parts (3) and (4) of resolution agreed at 8/10/14 meeting):

            (3) Subject to the response of the Department for Communities and Local Government (‘DCLG’), the Chief Executive shall undertake all necessary steps to address any points/issues raised by DCLG and report back to this Committee.

            (4) That the report from the Chief Executive referred to at (3) above (or in a separate report if necessary) shall also include the response of the Council to the Grant Thornton recommendations as set out in
            their reports into the ISUS and BIG programmes and how they are being and / or have been addressed.

            • Thanks John

              • Knowing Mr. Tour as I do he may try and find a way of preventing me asking it… sighs

                • G’day John

                  I bet “The Shyster doesn’t sleep well at night.

                  Unlike “The Pretend Friend” in the afternoon.



              • G’day John

                I would have been more blunt.

                It would have gone along the lines of;

                a) How long ago did the DCLG respond you scumbag?

                How much is the fine or did you smoosh them?

                Don’t lie!

                Spill the truth.

                b) Is “Graham Burge(r with the lot plus super duper car and 7 mistakes in 29 seconds)ss’ going to do the right thing before he does his vanishing act to tell St Helens he is the new Alex Murphy.

                Before you start again John with where exactly my primary school was in Borough Road my mum came from St Helens and Alex Murphy is the legend that let me hold the Rugby League Challenge Cup when the team visited the Providence Hospital across the road from my Nana’s in 1960 after they beat Wigan 12-6 at Wembley.



                Ps I can’t believe they can get away with saying (Or not saying in the case of Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods) whatever they want just because they are the council. Who do they think they are??????????????

                • Well I do get a supplementary question too. However if I phrased it like you suggest, it would just get ruled out of order and go unanswered.

                  They think they are Wirral Council and to them this is perfectly normal behaviour….

    • A lack of openness and transparency can hide a multitude of sins though..

  5. Mr Griffiths, I am well aware of what your ” Beef ” is and how you wish it would be resolved. You will find and I believe there are much Bigger Issues to Resolve, than a Trite 2.8 Million Pound problem. The way forward in your case would be to produce all the Evidence you have in Support of your Claims to either the DCLG or Police, whichever you feel comfortable with.

    • Further, the Police and DCLG can only do their job properly, if they have Evidence before them and someone saying I will give you a Statement, then it would also help if you had Corroboration of your Allegations, as I can quite clearly see what allegations you are making in a roundabout way.
      As for the subject of note from Mr Brace, unfortunately ” Lyndale School ” and other ” Independent Consultations and Investigations ” can or maybe seen in another Light as a result of the Subjects and Behaviour raised.
      Again, the way forward for the Council is of their own Volition, to call in the Administration, this would have afforded the Council some opportunity to clear up any worry or fears the Public may have and it would have saved them a great deal of Money on Independent Investigations (Let me stress it is my opinion only). I have indeed offered advice and Evidence to support this opinion.

  6. G’day John

    Can you please explain to your alter ego that the police and DCLG plus Grant Thornton plus 66 councillors had more evidence in front of them than Stella had free meals.

    Can you also explain that if the Clowncil can’t resolve the issues around a trite 2.8 million problem how in God’s name are they going to resolve bigger issues.

    Show him John that size doesn’t matter.



    Pro Bono

    • In answer to your two points/questions.

      There’s plenty of evidence of breaches of good corporate governance. Some of it has been sent to me too. However (and for whatever reason) the police decided not to charge people (but with Wirral Council matters they often say that).

      You are write that the Council outsources a lot of goods/services, so if there are problems in one area they are often duplicated on other contracts across Wirral Council.

      One of Wirral Council’s arguments on this seems to be is that it doesn’t matter too much, they were only spending money given to them by other public bodies. However having already given the money away, if DCLG or BIUS ask for some of it back, it’s Wirral Council that will have to cough up.

      As to bigger issues, well they to keep those out of the public domain wherever possible.

      • Yes, I can see what the issues are in respect of Contracts, it is when they make the contract up and then pass them off as genuine, Invoices and other Paperwork, purported to be signed by one Person, but signed by another, that really pi…. m. o.. What I cannot understand, all this has been explained and all that has happened is they have impolitely tried to DESTROY

  7. If you go back in the Blogs, you will find Evidence was missing or not given in respect of your BEEF to the Police, I could be exact in my summary, however why waste words, when their written down and on display.
    In respect to Size, that is a matter, Nature over Nurture, not my domain, I am not a well man anyway so to me Size is a matter of Indifference.
    In respect of a Trite 2.8 Million, it is not a matter of Decrying your efforts, so do not get so worked up or ” Affronted ” work to resolve your issues, get it out your system, in a very nice way!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. G’day John

    Can you explain to your mate that he brought up size.

    The police did not allow me to talk to them at “Highbrows” house.

    I am totally affronted angry raging that I went to the council as an honest citizen and I was lied to, ignored for some time Grant Thornton have found criminality and I have been on the dole since I phoned Basnett while the criminals are sunning themselves in Portugal and getting new gnashers on their ill-gotten.

    There is no evidence missing “Highbrow” has the data base and the original auditors work is redacted hidden or destroyed before the chief internal auditor took over and produced a crock of shit.

    I will only get more worked up with a new CEO unless justice is done.



    Ps I wish more would get involved in this John. You are very quiet I hope all is well.

    • G’day again John

      I was worried about you boy but you are back.

      Your mate Reprahnehpets is suggesting he has much bigger issues so if he doesn’t say what they are how is he going to get support?

      Have you any idea what he is referring too?

      I just reported criminals and have been ignored for three and a half years.