Emma Degg was a chief officer at Wirral Council. She was the Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement on a salary of between £77,697 and £86,330.
It has been revealed in the judgement that before leaving Wirral Council Emma Degg signed a confidential compromise agreement with Wirral Council. This compromise agreement included not revealing the amount she was paid to leave Wirral Council or the date she was paid it.
Wirral Council is forced to go back to the drawing board on plans to lease the Conway Building and Hamilton Building in Birkenhead as Isle of Man based International Centre for Technology Ltd pulls the plug on the project.
Continuing a theme running through a number of these stories about freedom of information requests, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan gives his view on freedom of information.
What were the 9 most viewed stories on this blog over the last week?
There are many stories I plan to publish on this blog soon. There’s one involving Hoylake Golf Resort, a story involving a cover-up at Wirral Council sanctioned by a Conservative Minister and of course the steady stream of news that is local politics. I also plan to look back at what were the most viewed news stories in 2015.
However it’s time to look back at the 9 most viewed stories of the last week (with a few comments on each of them).
This is a look at what Merseytravel spend on media monitoring (which covers not just this blog, but newspapers and broadcast media too). It formed part of my citizen audit over the summer (but with tales of councillors’ salmon dinners and stays at gentleman’s clubs by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority councillors) only was published now.
The big news story of the week was about whether the Mersey Ferries had a future at Woodside. Councillors disagreed with the consultants and asked for an option that kept the three terminals (Woodside, Seacombe and Liverpool Pier Head).
Inspired by the Sherlock Christmas special, this went back in time to 1894 to a fictional conversation around the Brace breakfast table. Yes Wirral is still in Cheshire, blogs don’t yet exist and the first Mersey Tunnel for the railway has recently been opened.
Number five leads in to Liverpool City Council’s views on Freedom of Information. They suggest a series of radical moves. They want the 18 hour rule changed to 6 or 7 hours, for those making Freedom of Information requests to be charged for the time it takes Liverpool City Council to black out information, more opportunity to deem requests vexatious and to abolish internal reviews.
Or as Mr. Tour put it before the U-turn, “This is clearly a serious matter and I formally request that you immediately remove the email and the associated commentary concerning this subject matter from your blog.” Yes it seems even Mr. Tour can get quite cross!
This is the public sector, I’m writing news that falls within the George Orwell quote above, news that from a public relations perspective “they” don’t want the public to know.
I think if I could be paid off with a generous pension and a large six-figure redundancy payment and a confidentiality agreement, they’d have tried it by now!
So it’s time for some more public interest journalism. Something that falls within the George Orwell quote above.
This is an email which sums Wirral Council up, but I’d better explain. Emma Degg was the head of the press office, Surjit refers to Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer/Head of their Legal Department), Joe Blott has responsibility for industrial relations and is Surjit Tour’s line manager, Graham Burgess was Chief Executive and Joe Blott’s line manager.
Graham Hodkinson is in charge of Adult Social Services (you can read the war of words between him and Cllr Blakleley over Girtrell Court elsewhere in the press) and Rob Vickers, well I don’t like to spoil the surprise (but he’s not the famous rugby player of the same name).
This response to a FOI request was made through whatdotheyknow.com, but Wirral Council felt the information was so embarrassing that they didn’t want it published there.
From: Vickers, Rob Sent: 18 June 2013 08:09 To: Hodkinson, Graham R. Subject: FW: Financial Liability
Hi Graham, I have now discussed this matter with Emma Degg, still no response from Surjit, Emma has advised that we should respond to Mr Morton as we would respond to anyone else and that our reply should be concise and cover the following – thank him for his Email, note his continuing oversight and scrutiny of the matters referenced and reinforce that the matter is subject to due process. The response should be in letter form and we should share letter with Joe Blott and Graham Burgess, due to wider matters relating to Mr Morton – the Council are seeking to draw a line under matters in relation to Mr Morton. Given the advice the letter would be as follows –
Dear Mr Morton
I write to acknowledge receipt of your Email dated 5th June 2013 and note your continued oversight and scrutiny of the matters you referenced allied to the AKA Report and specifically Service Provider 3. I can confirm that these matters are subject to due process and that we are seeking to bring matters to a conclusion.
Graham, such a response is blunt but captures the advice provided, what do you think.
From: Hodkinson, Graham R. Sent: 18 June 2013 12:52 To: Vickers, Rob Subject: RE: Financial Liability
I would refer to continued interest as a citizen rather than scrutiny/oversight as below :
Dear Mr Morton
I write to acknowledge receipt of your Email dated 5th June 2013. Thank you for taking the time to write, setting out your views in relation to matters relating to a former care provider. I note your continued interest as a concerned citizen into the matters you referenced allied to the AKA Report and specifically Service Provider 3. I can confirm at this stage that these matters are subject to due process and that we are seeking to bring matters to a conclusion.
Graham Hodkinson Director of Adult Social Services Five ways to add years to your life: Connect • Be Active • Take Notice • Keep Learning • Give
Wirral Council Please save paper and only print out what is necessary
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