What was a £30,507.67 ex-gratia payment made by Wirral Council for?

What was a £30,507.67 ex-gratia payment made by Wirral Council for?

What was a £30,507.67 ex-gratia payment made by Wirral Council for?


Each month Wirral Council publishes a monthly list of all payments over £500 made to suppliers and agencies and a particular entry from January 2015 caught my eye.

A £30,507.56 payment was made on the 30th January 2015 to a firm of solicitors called Jackson & Canter. So what you might say, doesn’t Wirral Council seek legal advice quite often?

It was the description of the payment that caught my eye as it was down as “Ex-Gratia Payments”. So what is an ex-gratia payment? Well it’s probably a voluntary payment to a former employee, by Wirral Council without Wirral Council admitting liability.

Back in April 2012 councillors agreed that “all Compromise Contracts except those to settle litigation and those requiring a payment of £30,000 or less” would be decided by councillors instead of officers. In addition to this a report on compromise contracts agreed was supposed to be brought to each meeting of the Employment and Appointments Committee.

The compromise contracts for both David Garry and Bill Norman happened in this way with councillors making the final decision on them.

The whole definition of a ex-gratia payment is that there’s no legal obligation to make it. This notice of motion agreed by Council shows when the change was made.

So, what’s this payment of £30,507.56 for (and let’s hope it’s not to pay someone to keep quiet about something)? Should councillors have agreed to it? Have constitutional changes made to Wirral Council’s constitution since 2012 meant that what was agreed by politicians 2012 is no longer the case and officers have the final say on such matters (if so when did that change get made and does it overrule what Council agreed)? If the payment was made to a senior officer (or a former senior officer) is there a public interest in the public knowing who it was made to?

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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 “What was a £30,507.67 ex-gratia payment made by Wirral Council for?”

  1. Methinks it might have been the outgoing chief executive as timing is correct and after all he was on only £130k or so wherea Johnny come later is on much much more

    1. No the £30,507.67 was paid to Jackson and Canter by CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) which is a form of bank transfer.

  2. G’day John

    You really are a legend.

    I have wondered for ages how with the officer and councillor division how they could get together when councillors are supposed to monitor the bikkies for the taxpaying public.

    Silly me I didn’t think councillors and officers could plot and scheme together…in theory and with the power of the pound.

    That would explain why a particular friend of “Highbrows” more or less lives in Brighton Street or at least sleeps there. I thought he was just saving on his heating at home.

    For example John in theory if a senior officer,the captain of the football team, had been caught out lying apart from his other orrible sins he could get a junior to re-write a report and promise he would be rewarded handsomely by his pretend friend councillor if it ever came out.

    I know this wouldn’t happen at Wirr John but are you saying it could?

    All ex-gratia?



    Ps I think I love you even more John.

  3. G’day John

    I think the time is nigh for openness honesty and transparency.

    Early Voluntary Retirement

    2.1 Internal Audit are currently looking at options for restructuring the service. As such, Mr Garry has agreed to take voluntary severance as part of the restructure.

    2.2 Mr Garry has 38 years continuous service on 30 September 2012 and is aged 62 years. Mr Garry works 21.6 hours per week and is currently paid at EPO6 grade (SCP55: £46,423 per annum). Mr Garry is currently on flexible retirement, and already has access to his pension.

    As was said of his report at the time what a croc of shit or publicly not fit for purpose.



  4. The worryingthing for rate-payers is:- if D Garry was prepared to write such a tissue of lies in his BIG and ISUS reports at the end of his career; and penultimately the internal audit approval of working neighbourhoods with three stars I think, when all manner of shenanigans was going on, then what had he been prepared to do for the previous 38 years?

    He was in the internal audit counter-fraud department!!!

  5. G’day John

    Didn’t bother with my usual Friday night drunken ramblings.

    I found it very sobering that DCLG doesn’t seem to be any better than Wirral Clowncill.

    From: Anna Canning
    Department for Communities and Local Government

    10 March 2015

    Our reference: 768042 Information request

    Dear Mr Hobro

    Freedom of Information Act 2000 (reference 768042)

    I apologise for the delay in the response to your request for a copy of
    the investigation report in to the abuse of the Intensive Start Up Scheme
    and the lack of acknowledgment to your internal review request. I have
    taken up your case and will try to get a response to you as soon as

    Please quote the reference number 768042 in any future correspondence
    regarding this request.

    Yours sincerely


    Anna Canning
    Knowledge & Information Access Team
    Department for Communities and Local Government

    Link to this
    James Griffiths left an annotation (11 March 2015)

    G’day “Highbrow” I think they are hiding this one in the pile.



    Link to this

    nigel hobro left an annotation (11 March 2015)


    You remain as having not answered this request so come next Monday it is going to the Information Commissioner.

    Decent people just wouldn’t believe that a firm of villains like Wirral “Funny” Bizz could get away with hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money when senior officers “The Football Shirt” and “The Chamber Potty” are informed of exactly what they were doing.

    An original audit report by a nice lady hidden away and an auditor with 38 years can write a croc of shit and then get paid off.

    Is Simon Kelly the only decent councillor in the joint?



    1. Yes I read that response that says nothing from DCLG too. It’s Stuart Kelly, not Simon Kelly.

      Look at this 30 decisions by Wirral Council in the last year to give local businesses large sums of money. The Regional Growth Fund comes from European funds.

      Yet we (the public) aren’t told how much or to which companies. That is all kept a big secret. However this money goes to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership first.

      Let me pierce the veil of secrecy on one grant awarded.

      £402,236 was paid to the Contact Company by Wirral Council of Regional Growth Fund money on 21st August 2014.

      Of course the fact that the CEO of the Contact Company is also the Vice-Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is probably just sheer coincidence!

      So where’s the political oversight of how these Regional Growth Fund amounts are spent or decided by Wirral Council? These amounts are far larger amounts of money than the business investment grants were.

  6. G’day John

    I know what Simon Kelly’s name really is like “Phil the Dill” “The Dunny Chain Wearer” “The Pretend Friend” “The Shyster” “Crabapple” “The Raving Loony” etc.

    John I am sorry but I will keep banging on till something is done which I thank you so much for the opportunity.

    We told “The Football Shirt” and “The Chamber Potty” about crimes.

    They ignored us.

    The Pretend Friend” got internal audit involved months later.

    A nice lady Bev did a report buried to this day after she went missing.

    An auditor “Save Barry” wrote a pack of lies, under orders or not, declared not fit for purpose and paid off a shit load.

    Grant Thornton couldn’t find a lie out of “Highbrow” or myself and found wastage and criminality without even quizzing officers at a cost of £50,000+ which has been ignored.

    DCLG wrote a report finished a year ago and still hidden.

    How can senior officers keep there jobs when they lie publicly and privately.

    We (I) intend to up the game dramatically when Ecca turns up.



    Ps I do not believe they can treat people like “Highbrow” the way they have when he has all the evidence in the world.

  7. G’day John

    It is never in the public interest for senior officers like “The Football Shirt” to lie.

    Did you hear that “He who can talk for twenty minutes without breathing or saying anything”.

    £100,000+ a year to lie.

    And as for you “Chamber Potty” I wouldn’t let any kids let alone my grandchildren anywhere near you and your obedient self.



    Honesty should be the only policy.

  8. G’day John

    Sorry to hear Frankenfurter has been unwell I do hope he recovers to a very long life as I believe everyone should reap what they sow.

    Just think if “Phil the Dill” didn’t get the job how would they explain all their secrets to Ecca and then a new Frankenstein?



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