VIDEO: A round-up of local Wirral and Merseyside politics by John Brace (part 2)

VIDEO: A round-up of local Wirral and Merseyside politics by John Brace (part 2)

still from Youtube video part 2 thumbnail

VIDEO: A round-up of local Wirral and Merseyside politics by John Brace (part 2)


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John Brace on local Wirral and Merseyside politics (part 2)

Part 2 of this video series is shorter than part 1.

As before, this transcript of the video will include relevant links. After I recorded the video I found another bundle of papers that make up the BAM Nuttall contract on the scanner. There are also pages Wirral Council didn’t give me because of commercial confidentiality reasons. However I think you get the point that it’s a long contract!

still from a Youtube video about politics part 2 thumbnail
still from a Youtube video about politics part 2 thumbnail

Hello, I’m John Brace and this is the second part of my videos about local politics on Merseyside and on the Wirral.

One thing I’ll be talking about today is the Bam Nuttall contract. You may not have heard of Bam Nuttall, but they replaced Colas. If I went into the whole Colas saga and the senior officers that were suspended and paid oodles of money because Wirral Council didn’t quite get it right, well I’d probably use up all the tape on this camera.

But anyway going back to Bam Nuttall, in must have been 2014, Wirral Council signed up to a contract with them and the contract called, let’s see the Highway Services Contract. So for instance stuff to do with road works. Anything I think over a certain amount to do with traffic lights is someone else’s responsibility but I’ve scanned in the first bit of the contract which is here, see that’s the bit I’ve scanned in, but it’s an absolutely massive contract.

This is the next bit, bit not the rest of it! Then there’s this. That makes up the contract.

I have asked Wirral Council not to give me things on paper and to save the planet, not cut down so many trees and give them to me on a CD, but Wirral Council always seem to prefer paper.

Anyway the other thing I’ll be writing about in the near future is, this is some of the invoices I got during the audit for various things. For instance, this one is an invoice for £7,389.50 for the Moscow Ballet doing Giselle at the Floral Pavilion.

Moscow Ballet invoice Wirral Council Floral Pavilion 2014 £7389 50 thumbnail
Moscow Ballet invoice Wirral Council Floral Pavilion 2014 £7389 50 thumbnail

Now you may well say well what’s the point in getting an invoice for that? Well, the taxpayer actually subsidises the Floral Pavilion to a large amount of money.

So whereas for example Wirral Council sees closing down Lyndale School as a priority because they say they don’t have the money, they do have the money to be subsidising the tickets of rich people going to see the ballet at the Floral Pavilion. OK, I could look up the amount later.

The other thing I was going to talk about is Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Now of course this was only set up in the recent past and has mired itself in all kinds of controversy over the devolution deal, price, prize, all that and elected Member stuff.

Anyway, what I did notice and this came as news to me, even though I report on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is that Knowsley Council has set up a website for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and they’re currently running a consultation on the things that make up the devolution deal.

Now, firstly before the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority was set up politicians quite categorically said, I’m not going to name the politician here but I’m sure people can find this out, I’ll probably find this out when I write this up on my blog.

They said the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority won’t cost any more money than the existing arrangements. Now registering a website, having a website hosted, dealing with all the stuff to do with a website does cost money! OK, the politicians will probably turn round and say, well this is from existing budgets or something, but it costs money that can’t be spent on something else.

So anyway, when I write this up on the blog, in the transcript I’ll include a link because to be honest it was news to me, it hasn’t been in a report that was submitted to the Combined Authority and as far as I’m concerned the only mention online about it is from Knowsley, whereas the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is all the councils on Merseyside plus I think Halton and really speaking you shouldn’t just consult with the people of Knowsley, you should be consulting everybody.

So that’s a few things that I’ll be doing, let’s see today’s weather is cold, hence the jumper. When I was looking into market research as to what people want from a blog, one of the things that came up was weather forecasts. Now you’ll be glad to know that unless there’s a big demand I’m not going to start up with a map behind me and little symbols of clouds and sunshine, wind and all that because I really don’t fancy being a weather forecaster probably because people would love turning round and saying, “Well you said it would be sunny today John and now it’s raining!”.

But anyway if you really do want weather forecasts, there’s the Met Office website for that.

So that’s a summary of where I’m up to, this week there are hardly any public meetings because of the half term holidays and of course there’s Halloween at the weekend. One of the things that’s coming up of course is Bonfire Night and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ok I’m sure people are probably sick of me talking about Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are running, in I think conjunction with Wirral Council, trying to clear up the, say for instance the bits of wood and stuff like that people put together for bonfires because Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service probably really don’t want to be going round putting out a lot of small fires on Bonfire Night.

I mean they’re not being killjoys or anything, there are Council organised fireworks displays and things like that so people can go along. I’m sure there’ll be one in Birkenhead Park this year, people can make the usual jokes about taxpayer’s money going up in smoke, that kind of thing.

But anyway, that’s what I’ll be doing today, I’ve decided to keep it short because typing up these transcripts takes a while, but if there’s anything you want to leave a comment on or you think I should write about then please get in touch.

OK, thanks for listening.

If you click on any of these buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people. Thanks:

Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

13 thoughts on “VIDEO: A round-up of local Wirral and Merseyside politics by John Brace (part 2)”

  1. G’day John

    You were great.

    I watched you and Loose Women at the same time.

    Didn’t see Demigog.

    John their local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Council youth support team looking for volunteers to help Wallasey’s young people

    I suggest strongly John that no senior officer or clowncillor that knows anything about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and did nothing about it should not be allowed anywhere near a youth.

    If they can’t do the right thing themselves they are not fit for purpose.



    Loved your sweater.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. However there are some here that think the Lyndale School/Moscow Ballet at the Floral Pavilion point is expressing a political opinion. Your thoughts on that please?

      1. G’day John

        If I mention what I think about Lyndale and Wirral Clowncillors you would only censor me anyway so I can only hope the Clown Hall falls down.

        They should have saved the money on the Russians and put the Kitchen Cabinet plus “Ecca” plus “Ankles” plus “The Shyster” plus “The Angry LITTLE man that can talk………” he he he will never get the job in tutus at the top of the staircase and provided rotten tomatoes.



        1. I rarely censor your comments.

          Unlike say the Wirral Globe which seems to put people off leaving comments by the way they remove large amounts of comments repeatedly.

          I can understand how you feel about Lyndale though, which is what matters.

          Did you know there’s a rumour on the grapevine that David Armstrong is retiring?

          Thought you might be interested in that snippet.

  2. G’day John

    “He who can talk for twenty minutes without breathing or saying anything” ha ha he definitely will never get the job now.

    I have been saying all the dross, sludge and slurry will be gone soon.

    That won’t change history though John.



    How many times was he boss through the Wirral “Funny” Bizz scandal.

    I won’t even mention Wirralgate.

    Angry angry little man who lied to “Highbrow” in front of my very face.

    I had to tell him to get back inside with the rest of the …………

  3. G’day John

    Lyndale will go down as “Phil the Dill” “Ankles” and “The Shyster’s” et al lowest possible act in the history of Wirral.



    If it closes they all deserve to rot in Hell.

    1. The irony of Lyndale is the raison d’être for closing it was to save money.

      From what I’ve heard on the grapevine at least one of the children from Lyndale School will end up going to an expensive (but excellent) out of borough placement (the cost of which is uncapped and I think costs more than a place at Lyndale School), the rest will just have exactly the same needs therefore need exactly the same (or more) spent on them in staffing costs.

      Yes writing more on this, I feel like I’m flogging a dead horse here.

      What’s heartwrenching is making the vulnerable suffer so you can stick it to the government. Then managing to so screw up the last bit through incorrect guesses that you look heartless and incompetent.

      Anyway, rant over time to write a piece about tax credits…

  4. G’day John

    A quiet week with school holidays.

    “Fartin Lobsterpot” the turd polisher must be laughing all the way to the bank of “Phil”.

    Started a couple of weeks ago and told “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” not to say or do anything.

    So he didn’t say or do anything.

    Tick tick tick goes the meter.

    Now school holidays so “Phil the Very Very Deluded Dill” will probably just play golf as usual and talk shit at the nineteenth about Jack’s new Wirral golf courses and beanstalks…….

    “Fartin” will just get another weeks pay for nothing.

    Tick tick tick goes the meter.

    How much has “Fartin’s” meter ticked up already?

    Nearly as much as “Crapapple’s” electric meter as reported by your fellow genius The Lord of Wirral Leaks.

    What a peanut.

    Not you or Leaky John, “Crapapple”.



    1. Imagine how long I’d last if I was Phil’s PR advisor.

      Imaginary conversation.

      JOHN: Phil, you’ve got to be honest with the people of Wirral.

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Yeah John, write me one of those great speeches you do about us being on the side of the people and how great we are.

      JOHN: No, I mean actually honest with the people of Wirral, not just saying you are?

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Well what’s the difference? People believe what we say don’t they?

      JOHN: The peasants are revolting and all those former Wirral Council employees will come back to haunt you. Now they don’t have a job you’ve created a lot of cheesed off whistleblowers.

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Hmmph, we’ll just ask Cllr Adrian Jones to mentioned how the Tory administration back in 2012 got rid of 1100 staff back then, he’s good at that sort of thing. Then we’ll follow it up by another jibe at the Tories by saying how great industrial relations are!

      JOHN: No it’s worse than a bit of winding up the Tories will solve. Really, it’s bad.

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: But aren’t we the greatest Labour administration Wirral Council has ever had?

      JOHN: People are starting to not believe the spin and positive news stories.

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Well that’s why I’ve got a PR advisor now haven’t I?

      JOHN: Indeed, but I’m not a miracle worker. I know from the press side, yes you can throw enough positive press releases with great pictures the press’s way that eventually one will stick, but if they’re full of spin and lies no publication or journalist is going to risk their reputation by publishing stories based on them.

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Enough of the nuts and bolts John, I mean seriously look at the opposition.

      We ousted Cllr Green as Leader in 2012 (he resigned), the Lib Dems (well they make us laugh don’t they?) and … well don’t mention the Greens to Cllr Kenny.

      JOHN: So you’re basically saying that as long as Labour is seen as a better alternative to the Wirral public than the Conservatives/Lib Dems/Greens then you’re laughing all the way to another majority?

      CLLR PHIL DAVIES: Yes, the opposition parties aren’t united and more importantly they don’t have the votes to stop us any more.

      All they do in many wards is split the non-Labour vote and make sure we get elected again!

      It would take something really bad happening for Wirral to go back to no overall control.

  5. Encore encore

    G’day John

    There is so much hype at the moment around Frankenstein and it actually looks like he should have been doing for the last decade and more.

    Feeding the starving etc…..

    He must be about to go.

    Where to?

    Who cares?

    So John what will happen when he gets nudged over?

    It won’t be voluntary he is as stupid as “Ankles”.

    Who John would be the contenders?



    1. My next blog post only mentions Birkenhead’s MP in passing in a piece about tax credits.

      As I think you (or other people leaving comments have pointed out), feeding people is easy when you’re not spending your money doing it.

      There have been attempts to deselect Frank Field as Birkenhead’s MP in the past. As you can probably gather they failed. He has a very high media profile.

      However as you point out there are no doubt councillors that would like a seat with a large majority such as that of Birkenhead’s MP rather than seats that swing between parties such as Wirral West.

  6. Thanks John on the information with regards the Floral Pavilon and taxpayers, as for who ever does our highways, looking at New Brighton prom road for one they should be put up agasint a brick wall and!

    1. It’s Bam Nuttall.

      If you’re talking about the bit between Marine Point and the Floral Pavilion (apart from the shelters which Bam Nuttall are doing) I think the million pounds or so of investment got outsourced to a different firm.

      The coast road further down was rather bad, but it deteriorates because of the salt water.

      Truth is Bam Nuttall are a good scapegoat, but it’s up to Wirral Council to agree to any work that needs doing. Sadly digitising a massive contract so the public knows what it’s getting for its money will take a long time (in parts it’s very technical such as the procedure to be followed if a street light needs fixing).

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