Posted by: John Brace | 7 July 2016

Wirral Council councillors decide to recruit another Independent Person to help decide on complaints about councillors

Wirral Council councillors decide to recruit another Independent Person to help decide on complaints about councillors


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Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee (Wirral Council) discussion on independent persons is at agenda item 4 (Appointment of Independent Members starting at 1m:14s and ending at 4m:43s) and agenda item 6 (Establishment of a Standards and Constitutional Oversight Working Group) starting at 21m:31s and ending at 31m:22s)

Councillor Denise Roberts (Chair, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee at Wirral Council) 6th July 2016

Councillor Denise Roberts (Chair, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee at Wirral Council) 6th July 2016

Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee met yesterday evening.

Their second meeting that evening considered a report on the independent persons.

Although they had four to start with in 2012 (Professor Ronald S Jones, Mr Chris Jones, Mr David Burgess-Joyce and Mr Brian Cummings) they now have three as Mr David Burgess-Joyce was elected to Wirral Council in May 2015 and can’t be a councillor and independent person at the same time.

The other three independent persons’ appointments expire on the 16th July 2016.

As Wirral Council is legally required to have at least one independent person all three current independent persons (Professor R S Jones, Mr C Jones and Mr B Cummings) are being recommended by the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee to the Council meeting on Monday to be reappointed for another term of office.

This will form a supplementary agenda to the Council meeting on the 11th July 2016 (agenda item 8) once the minutes of last night’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee meeting are written up.

The Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee also agreed this additional recommendation (which will result in an extra independent person being recruited):

That the Committee agrees:

(e) That the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Working Group:

i. Have delegated authority to agree and oversee a new recruitment exercise for additional Independent Persons pursuant to section 28 of the Localism Act 2011;

ii. Have delegated authority to agree such arrangements (including all requisite documentation, advertisement(s) and procedures) and take all requisite steps considered necessary to ensure an effective and timely recruitment exercise, including the establishing of an Interview Panel.

iii. The scope, remit and authority of any Interview Panel established under (b) above shall be determined by the Working Group and the Interview Panel will have authority to make a recommendation to the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee with regards to the suitability of candidate(s) for the role of Independent Person for consideration and onward recommendation to Council for approval.

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  1. For independent persons’ ‘suitability’ read:

    …willing to:

    • bend to the will of councillors / Mr Tour
    • attend meetings in secret, flying in the face of all concepts of openness, transparency and essential public oversight
    • collect a cash reward for toeing the council line and keeping shtum
    • never ask any probing questions that may arise e.g. “Jeeezus Christ. What the fucking hell is going down in this backward, power abusing, mendacious hellhole?”

    • Yes they do get a cash reward for the meetings they attend.

      Yes they attend meetings that are not held in public.

      As to probing questions, it’s a bit difficult to answer that about independent persons apart from meetings of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee (which are held in public). However at the last meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee the two Independent Persons present didn’t declare an interest in the item that recommended to Council that those two (plus another) are reappointed for a further few years.

      So if the independent persons don’t understand the need to declare an interest in an item titled “Appointment of Independent Members”, then what hope have we got in them understanding a councillor not declaring an interest?

  2. So Wirral Council is the one pay their wage, so who’s side are they on?

    • Yes Wirral Council pays the independent persons for meetings they attend at Wirral Council.

      However the independent persons are not employees of Wirral Council.

  3. G’day John

    and Duoggsie and Joe

    The reason I keep going on and on and on and on is the fact that they are still playing their stupid dodgy, devious, sly as shithouse rat games five years on.

    John, I suppose you have seen the latest bullshit in the form of an FOI request response about Big Fund recipients from someone called Liein or something.

    So it seems kids that not only was there issues with Wirral “Funny” Bizz actually getting the contract but it looks like the clowncil paid them to tender for the job not to mention them knocking off about £2,000,000.00 and involvement in Lockwood/Harbac asset stripping.

    And now boys, assuming Douggles and Joe are boys, they are still playing silly buggers over the rest of the people who got Big monies.



    I think “Highbrow” has seen six or eight files and they have all been dodgy what evil crap do you think there is in the other 20 or however many there are.



    Some people at wirral must be very anxious.

    I wonder if they have Big meetings at The Spotty Blue Teapot RIP.

    C’mon Ecca earn your £200,000.00 plus and clean up the dross, crud and crap in wallasey.

    Or, at least be open, honest and transparent.

    • I think you mean this response from Wirral Council in reference to a FOI request made by Nigel Hobro about BIG Fund recipients.

    • You are right, the highest paid employee at Wirral Council is on just over £200,000.

      The highest paid employee is the Chief Executive who in 2015/16 was paid £159,798 (salary) + £239 (allowances) + £22,066 (pension contributions) = £182,103.

      Then when you add Returning Officer fee for the 2015 local elections (£5.505.28 for 22 wards) plus the Returning Officer fee for the 2015 General Election (£12,681 for 4 constituencies) = £18,186.28.

      So £182,103 + £18,186.28 = £200,289.28.

      In fact his pay for the 2016/17 year is probably higher as the Returning Officer fees are increased by RPI and his salary is also increased each year too.

      • G’day John

        £200,000.00 + and “Eccles Cake Face” can’t even clean up Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Wirralgate.

        Has he come from under his desk yet since Cardin said g’day?

        Ecca if you are being bullied stand up and say so or else DO THE RIGHT THING.



        No one respects a coward that hides behind a pseudonym or under a desk.

        • Wirral Biz/Wirralgate didn’t happen on Eric Robinson’s watch, or David Armstrong’s watch or even Graham Burgess’ watch. It was before that.

          It was at least 3 Chief Executives before him (at least) that you’re referring to.

          Eric Robinson is busy doing his four jobs as Returning Officer for the 23 local elections this year, Returning Officer for the EU Referendum, Head of Paid Service and Chief Executive!

          After all in his capacity as Chief Executive he has to attend Cabinet meetings (of which there are two this month) in case he gets asked if call-in can be waived.

          He also has to line manage various people (Joe Blott, Clare Fish plus probably others)…

          • G’day John

            It sounds you think he needs a pay rise.



            Or he can’t cope with openness, honesty and transparency?

            • No I think he gets paid enough for what he does. Indeed didn’t Wirral Council agree an annual increase to his salary of £5,000 each year anyway?

              I think your question about openness, honesty and transparency should be addressed to him in person rather than me.

  4. G’day John

    Talking of independant people coming in.

    They are just ignored.

    After my first whistle blowing interview with internal auditor Beverley Edwards, the lady that reported the Lockwood/Harbac asset stripping to whoever and the ill legal department, was asking me regularly to send an FOI about the rest of the Big Fund recipients.

    I asked her to do it for me.

    It never happened and she vanished.



    Why John 5 years later are they still hiding these names?

    • I would guess that because they think if the world knows which companies got grants then it could affect the companies’ reputation and how they are perceived by others.

      I presume by names you mean names of limited companies rather than individual names?

      • G’day John

        The other alternative of course is he could tell us privately and why they have deceived us for five years publicly.



        In the interest of not being involved with lying, cheating, obnoxious, toxic scum bags.

        • I think it’s more the role of a Monitoring Officer, not Chief Executive to look into and write reports about allegations of untoward behaviour.