We lodged an FOI request re: Wirral Council visits to CHINA – a few days later the poo hit the fan

lgc-most-improved-council-phil-davies-surjit-tour-joe-blott

With no sense of irony, Phil Davies brandishes the most idiotic, most undeserved, “Most Improved Council” award, watched by grimacing Joe Blott and poker-faced Surjit Tour … an accolade which was awarded around the same time as Wirral Children’s Services Department was secretly going into freefall and many vulnerable children were put at risk – with these three’s full knowledge

23rd September 2016

On 16th September we lodged the following Freedom of Information request with Wirral Council:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/senior_staff_member_visits_to_ch#outgoing-580057

…it’s reproduced below:

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please advise whether plans have been put in place to dispatch staff and / or council members on visits abroad in the near future? i.e. before Christmas.

Please supply the following:

• Number and title of visit(s)
• Names of staff per visit
• Names of members per visit
• Details of destination(s)
• Duration of stay, per visit
• Total cost of flights / accommodation / expenses to the public purse, per visit
• Name, address of hotel(s), standard of accommodation booked, per visit
• Dates of departures / arrivals back in UK

Please endeavour to respond asap in the event that a visit is now imminent but has not been announced to the Wirral public,

Yours faithfully,


They haven’t responded to the FOI request yet, but once they’d realised they’d been rumbled, they fessed up and the story quickly broke in the Wirral Globe today:

Wirral Globe article on CHINA jolly

The timing of this has been awful given that Ofsted have just uncovered massive failings in Wirral Children’s services department which have sent shock waves through the council – failings that senior officers were well aware of but did nothing to address.

The embattled leader, Councillor Phil Davies however, didn’t break stride, ‘moved forward’, and magicked up £2 million, “Oh, I must have been sitting on this, here it is…  we did have some spare cash after all…” despite spending many years telling everybody the council had no money whatsoever and no alternative but to ignore the vulnerable kids, their heartbroken families, the 5,000 name petitions and go ahead and close down and demolish Lyndale School and Girtrell Court respite centre.

This was the deliberate, shameless and OPEN harming of our vulnerable children – as opposed to the hidden, calculated, unheralded stuff that went on behind the scenes in our name – or did until pesky, meddling Ofsted turned up and exposed it.

So we won’t know the details on whether Phil Davies will be enjoying a luxury break, how much spends he’ll be taking, how long for, who’ll be accompanying him, what ceremonial gifts will be exchanged, and who’s footing the bill … until the information people answer our FOI request…

…which could take a very, very, very long time at Wirral – your Most Improved Council.


25th September 2016 – Update

We know who he’s taking with him now – Mayor Joe Anderson – and it looks like the absurdly named “Liverpool Vision” – is footing the bill.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/new-liverpool-echo-business-publication-11919744

liverpool-business-post

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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One Response to We lodged an FOI request re: Wirral Council visits to CHINA – a few days later the poo hit the fan

  1. Bobby47 says:

    And it is a strange and an abnormal thing to do isn’t it. Under normal circumstances, putting abnormality of WBC aside, a public servant normally races toward the catastrophe rather than go away from it and in this fella’s case, several thousand miles away from it. Clearly, in these circumstance opinion is divided when it comes to leadership. This fella thinks you should clear off to the Orient whilst everyone else thinks you should not.
    Indeed, half a mountain falls upon folk minding their own business and the Minister entrusted to deal with these things, namely mountains collapsing and burying villages and villagers, he or she, both sexes are equally capable of dealing with a catastrophic event, will get the call whilst on holiday and quickly, very quickly they’ll respond,’hi up! My leadership skills are required here. I’m going to cut short my holiday, return home and lead my people’. In this case of course, the reaction is very different. Rather than respond to an emerging thought that screams, ‘for fucks sake cancel the jolly to China’, this leader of men and women has concluded, ‘fuck it and all associated with this devastatingly problematic problem, I’m off to China to spend thousands of publicly funded monies, pretend to all that I’m Marco bloody rotten Polo on a trade mission that’ll generate the Wirral ten thousand jobs, millions in trade benefits, savings of billions and the chance to return after some other incompetent twat has worked on and developed an Action Plan.
    Course, I could be wrong here. It’s perfectly possible that this fella, cognisant that he reached his own personal level of incompetence many years ago and knows that if he gets involved he’ll bugger it all up more, has taken the decision to remove himself from the region, the Country and the Continent so that those now tasked to deal with the issue get the best possible chance of succeeding and not becoming infected by his ability to touch something and immediately turn it into a steaming bag of rats excrement.
    Thinking about it some more, perhaps this decision to fly off to the distant Orient, seek out some wrinkly old gap toothed hag who runs the local Opium den, suck on an Opium pipe, get blasted out of his mind and think, ‘fuck it’, is a decision that actually does benefit all the people of the Wirral and we should all applaud the lad and say, ‘thank you very much’.

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