23rd September 2016
On 16th September we lodged the following Freedom of Information request with Wirral Council:
…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,
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:
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.