An intended article for publication in Private Eye. Never used. The very costly lies of the then Wirral Council leader Phil Davies, his councillors and senior officers

Liar profile here:

14/04/13 Private Eye article / Nigel Hobro

When local authorities get their hands on large piles of public money, events will follow a predictable course.  At Wirral Borough Council, you’ll be leaving a baby alone with chocolate, then returning to find it smeared all over its face. 

Wirral “Super” Director Kevin Adderley, although craving a massive influx of Chinese yuan for the flagship “Wirral Waters” dockland regeneration, has had to settle for investing £800,000 of UK grant money with local small businesses.

News reaches the Eye of serious misgivings over this Adderley-led “job creation” initiative, designed to split the cash into £20k packages, before placing them with local firms.  These “Business Investment Grants” were part of the cleverly titled “BIG Fund”.  However, one grateful recipient was ‘BIG’ in one respect only – that of impending insolvency.  An appraisal by whistleblowing accountant Nigel Hobro predicted the company would be going bust within months.  Nevertheless, in went the cash, and bust went the firm.  Digging further, Hobro was soon horrified at evidence linking senior council officers to recipients of grants.  Then, finding himself choked off and hastily cast aside by his employer WirralBiz, he waved goodbye – but not before he’d armed himself with an all-important compact disc filled with company data.  Now, as he awaits a June employment tribunal, three of his former WirralBiz bosses, entrusted as “company advocates”, have been implicated, along with Wirral Council bigwigs.

Further analysis reveals that WirralBiz, business advisers themselves, had a less than rigorous recruitment procedure, employing the right members of staff – but with the wrong sort of behaviour: links to cannabis farming; TT style motorbike racing on the M53 motorway; strings of failed directorships, and the employment of a former RE teacher, hauled before the courts and banned from teaching for 10 years after making advances to a 15-year-old schoolgirl.  So, all in all, not at all savoury, but a necessarily compliant workforce.

An investigation report by auditors Grant Thornton, which perversely overlooks the council’s monitoring role, is now with Wirral for “fact-checking”, but moving with the speed of a glacier.   One public freedom of information request has been blocked, and branded “vexatious” and “obsessive”, whilst another still beckons an answer after a year. 

Wirral council tax payers, anxious not to see their cherished dockland regeneration re-launched as Wirral “dead in the” Waters, have been left wondering when democratic scrutiny will kick in.  Perhaps they can draw some comfort here:  at a recently convened Audit and Risk Management Committee, one inquisitive councillor was heard to demand: “An investment vehicle?  What’s that?  Some sort of taxi?”

More on Phil Davies’ lies:

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4. Arse…

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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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1 Response to An intended article for publication in Private Eye. Never used. The very costly lies of the then Wirral Council leader Phil Davies, his councillors and senior officers

  1. Reblogged this on Wirral In It Together and commented:

    A Private Eye article that didn’t cut it and was never published…


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