Posted by: John Brace | 16 June 2014

4 Lib Dem councillors say “No, no, no” to Councillor Adrian “Father Christmas” Jones over £20,000 lease decision

4 Lib Dem councillors say “No, no, no” to Councillor Adrian “Father Christmas” Jones over £20,000 lease decision


Leonora Brace (my wife) and Councillor Adrian Jones (as Father Christmas) in Birkenhead, Christmas 2013
Leonora Brace (my wife) and Councillor Adrian Jones (as Father Christmas) in Birkenhead, Christmas 2013

Liberal Democrat councillors have gathered four of the six signatures needed to “call in” Councillor Adrian Jones’ decision to agree to a £20,000 lease of office space at Birkenhead Fire Station for the Birkenhead Constituency Committee. Birkenhead Fire Station is leased to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for the next thirty years. This is because it was built by a private developer under a private finance initiative scheme. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have told Wirral Council that the private developer will need £10,000 a year (over the two years of the lease) if Wirral Council were to lease office space in it. If the lease was agreed it would see Wirral Council being responsible for any costs and utilities of the office space on a pro-rata basis.

The four Lib Dem councillors are worried that “no other options have been considered” and express a view that there is available office space in Council owned buildings nearby. The Lib Dem councillors also ask for the criteria for choosing the location and whether it was just office space required or whether there was a requirement for public access too.

Should the Lib Dem councillors gather the six signatures required for a call in by the call in deadline on the 17th June, the decision will be looked at again by a special meeting of the Coordinating Committee. Since its former Chair Councillor Stuart Whittingham became Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, this committee is now chaired by recently re elected Councillor Moira McLaughlin. As the Coordinating Committee has a majority of Labour councillors on it, even if the Lib Dem councillors get the necessary support for a call-in, Councillor Adrian “Father Christmas” Jones is likely to have the last “ho, ho, ho” on the matter.

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  1. Who on earth do these clowns think they are squandering ratepayers cash yet again when I am certain that there must be available space in the numeros council buildings around the wirral. I sincerly hope the libdems & the conservatives join forces & stop this farce & waste of our”Ratepayers”money, just think they could have more super loo’s for what they would pay in rent or even pay for the new mayoral limo.

  2. Hi John I know you are not winding me up I have read the articles about obscene amount of money spent on outsourcing legal advice & I wonder why we employ 14 legally trained officers in the Clown Hall & why cant Mr Surjit Tour do what he & others are paid for not unless the councillors & officers have relatives in these companies???????????????????. Answers on the back of the usual fag packet please.

    • It’s not as simple as that, but more to do with the merry-go-round of people from Wirral Council to the private sector.

      I’ll give one example, Simon Goacher (previously Monitoring Officer and Head of Legal Services at Wirral Council), then a similar position at Chester West and Chester before moving to Weightmans local government team. Weightmans were paid for £198,043.55 of work from Wirral Council last year.

      It’s a revolving door basically between those commissioning legal services in local government and the companies providing it. If it was a former government minister or senior civil servant, they have to get permission from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments for employment up to two years after they leave.

      As far as I know there aren’t any such requirements for former local government employees, so an employee in senior management could receive a large payout for leaving local government, then get a job in the private sector doing work for their former employer.

      • Thank you John & to me it stinks of nepotism & corruption & Mr Goacher presumably received a large pay off from both councils & it appears his new employer are filling their boots at the expense of wirral ratepayers. Its outrageous & the use of outside contractors should be stopped & council qualified staff should start doing the job they are being paid for, Mr Surjit Tour please take note.

  3. Reblogged this on Karl Mercer for Independent Councillor of Seacombe.