EXCLUSIVE: Letter from Cllr Phil Davies to Cllr Jeff Green about “Wirralgate”
Please reply to:
Councillor Philip L Davies
Leader of Wirral Council
Town Hall, Brighton Street
Merseyside, CH44 8ED
Telephone: 0151-691 8539
Date: 17 December 2013
Councillor J Green
Leader of the Conservative Group
Wallasey Town Hall
WIRRAL CH44 8ED
my ref PD0012/DLK
I write in response to your question at Council. I will also copy this response to all Members and ask for it to be published as an appendix to the Council minutes.
A group of individuals approached me about this matter. The individuals did not wish to make a formal complaint regarding the comments allegedly made by one of my Senior Members regarding a Senior Council Officer. However I am absolutely committed to ensuring that all matters of concern are properly investigated and so chose to immediately refer the matter to the Chief Executive.
The Chief Executive instructed the Strategic Director for Transformation and Resources, in his position as Deputy Monitoring Officer, to conduct an investigation and an Independent Investigator was appointed.
The Senior Officer concerned does not wish the investigation report to be made public, and I intend to respect their wishes. However if you would like to see a copy I will ask the Chief Executive to make it available to you. I intend to make the same offer to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats. I have been informed that you have been briefed previously regarding the outcome of that investigation however for clarity I will outline the conclusions.
The Independent Investigator wrote on two occasions to the individuals who had brought this matter to my attention, however they refused to cooperate. All other concerned parties were interviewed, with external legal advisors present. No evidence was made available to the investigation to substantiate a serious allegation regarding inappropriate language.
The Senior Member concerned did make clear that he had made adverse comment regarding a Senior Officer, comments he regrets. The Investigation therefore found there had been a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct. It concluded that an apology to the Officer concerned and a conciliation process was appropriate. At the request of the Senior Officer the matter has been dealt with in a confidential manner.
We have discussed the issue of improving the culture of this Council and I believe that both myself as Leader, and you as Leader of the Opposition have a crucial role to play in this. I have stated publicly, at Improvement Board and elsewhere, that the number one priority for this Council over the coming months must be to address this once and for all. I do not believe this is a matter for party politics, our staff and the residents of Wirral deserve and expect us to take a lead.
I would therefore again urge you that if you have any evidence of wrong doing, or can encourage others to supply any evidence that exists of wrongdoing, that you work with me to bring this to light. I promise that if this happens a further robust investigation will take place.
Councillor Phil Davies
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6 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Letter from Cllr Phil Davies to Cllr Jeff Green about “Wirralgate””
The ‘Dear Leader’ is deluded if he ‘thinks’ people will come forward, as past events regarding the Councils corporate treatment of ‘whistle blowers’ has been despicable in the extreme. This then indicates that there will be a massive cover up and,if they are chums of the (mis) ruling group,the aggrieved party will receive an unapproved wedge,for hurt feelings.
The way the previous standards regime worked, if it got to the stage where the independent investigator wrote a report saying that the councillor had breached the code, it went to a public meeting.
From memory, the last time that happened was to Denis Knowles (which seemed pretty pointless as by then he wasn’t a councillor anymore anyway so from memory 11 out of the 14 different punishments that the panel could decide didn’t apply).
Other than the councillor here being male, Labour and “senior” there are no other clues to go on. I’d either have to make an FOI request and comb through their policy to see if the report can be released.
If it’s connected to the alleged recent large payout to a senior officer, then the public will think that said money was paid in order to persuade the senior officer to push for the investigation report to never be seen by the public. Publishing the report would clear that point up.
It’s certainly not the “open and transparent” Council that the public and Improvement Board were promised is it?
It seems the information the abusers desperately seek control of is out of reach. If I held that info, I’d send it to Wirral Leaks oh… say 7 to 10 days before the May election.
All done in the legitimate and compelling public interest of course… which will be to dispense with a number of deadbeats from this corrupted hell-hole
Yes a likely surmise is that the senior officer gets large payout for silence. An entirely ridiculous scenario where the public pays out tens of thousands and never gets to hear why they have done so. The occassion of the money outflow simply says sorry and we cant know his identity.
Let me remember in case of Surjit Tour warning letter to James Griffiths that was sent to all councillors. In that case Mr Tour was defeated in that WBC could not pay for legal expenses of officer who was suposed to be libelled but could only pay officer costs if the officer himself was accused of libelling others.This case now is similar though not exactly the same. Why should our money pay for hurt feelings of the officer? Surely the senior Labour councillor should be sued for defamation by the officver in a court of law, paid for by himself and it should be the Labour councillor who pays the damages from his own purse!!
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